Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213)
From the earliest days of the Christian Community, the baptism of infants has been celebrated so that they may be brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all are called. Parents requesting the baptism of their child are accepting the responsibility of nourishing the life of baptismal grace through the Christian education and formation of their child.
Baptism is celebrated at St. James Parish on most Sundays at 1:15 pm. (Please refer to parish calendar for exact schedule.) Parents are encouraged to attend a pre-Baptismal gathering during which the meaning of the sacrament is discussed as well as details concerning the celebration of the sacrament. The pre-Baptismal gatherings for parents are generally held on the Monday of the month.
Parents requesting to have their child baptized are asked to contact the parish office and to complete a Baptismal Request Form either online or download a copy and return it to the parish office.
Baptismal Preparation for Parents
Parents are encouraged to attend a pre-baptismal gathering prior to the baptism of their first child. During this session, the sacramental meaning and responsibilities of baptism are discussed as well as details for the celebration. Godparents are welcomed to attend but not required to attend. Pre-baptismal gatherings are scheduled for the last Monday of every month at 7:00 pm in the High School Meeting Room. Please contact the parish office to pre-register.
We also highly recommend the Reborn series (6 episodes) available free online on FORMED.org to all St. James parishioners. Reborn explores the deeply personal power of Baptism, bringing to light the spiritual reality for parents and godparents and, most importantly, the child being baptized. Rendered with a cinematic beauty, Reborn presents the foundation of the Church's teaching on Baptism, with a step-by-step explanation of the rite itself, including its profound place in Scripture and Tradition.
To set up an account on FORMED.org:
- Visit https://formed.org/signup
- Choose St. James Church 94 Broad St Red Bank NJ
- Set up a user account using email address (no need to create/remember a password)
- Check email and click the link to log in
To view “Reborn” content after creating an account, visit: https://watch.formed.org/reborn
The role of the sponsor/godparent together with the parents is to present a child for baptism and to assist in the faith formation of the child being baptized. With the parents, he/she helps the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with the grace of baptism. Further, the sponsor/godparent represents to the parents the assistance of the Christian faithful in the child's formation. Parents should choose a sponsor/godparent who will take this role of assistance and representation seriously through faithfully witnessing to their own baptism and faith.
Honoring the importance and necessity of the role of the sponsor/godparent, the Church has established norms governing the qualifications needed to be a sponsor/godparent (Code of Cannon Law nn. 872-874). There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each. A sponsor/godparent is:
- to be designated by the parents (or one to be baptized)
- to have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function
- to have completed the sixteenth year of age,
- to be a Catholic fully initiated into the Catholic Church having celebrated the Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist and not bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; not to be the father or mother of the one to be baptized
- to live a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken. This means that a sponsor/godparent sincerely believes and strives to put into practice the Word of God as taught by the Catholic Church and regularly takes part in the sacramental life of the Church; and if married, is in a valid marriage in accordance with the requirements of the Catholic Church.
- Sponsors/Godparents are requested to obtain a letter of eligibility from their parish. A copy of such a letter can be downloaded from this page.
Members of St. James Parish who have been asked to serve as a sponsor/godparent are asked to download the form, affirm the role of sponsor/godparent by signing it and returning it to the rectory for signature by the parish priest.
For adults and children of catechetical age (7 years or older) the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is the process through which one prepares to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) and becomes a member of the Christian community. The Sacraments of Initiation for Adults are celebrated during the Easter Vigil. For more information on the RCIA process, please contact the parish office.
Reception into the Catholic Church
For those who have been baptized into the Christian faith in another church by water and the invocation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit do not need to be baptized again to become a member of the Catholic Church. A profession of faith needs to made and the celebration of sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. For more information please contact the parish office.