Baptisms

How is Baptism prefigured in the Old Covenant?

In the Old Covenant, Baptism was prefigured in various ways: water, was seen as a source of life and of death; in the Ark of Noah, which was saved by means of water; in the passing through the Red Sea, which liberated Israel from Egyptian slavery; in the crossing of the Jordan River, that brought Israel into the promised land which is the image of eternal life.

Who brought to fulfilment those prefigurations?

All the Old Covenant prefigurations find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ. At the beginning of his public life, Jesus had himself baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan. On the cross, blood and water, signs of Baptism and the Eucharist, flowed from his pierced side. After his resurrection he gave to his apostles this mission: “Go forth and make disciple of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

In what does the essential Rite of Baptism consist?

The essential rite of this sacrament consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water over his or her head while invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

What is required of one who is to be baptised?

Everyone who is to be baptised is required to make a profession of faith. This is done personally in the case of an adult or by the parents and by the church in the case of infants. Also the godfather or the godmother and the whole ecclesiastical community share the responsibility for baptismal preparation (catechumenate) as well as for the development and safeguarding of the faith and grace given at baptism.

Who can baptise?

The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and the priest. In the Latin Church the deacon can also baptise. In case of necessity any person can baptise provided that he has the intention of doing what the Church does. This is done by pouring water on the head of the candidate while saying the Trinitarian formula for Baptism: “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

What are the effects of Baptism?

Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sins and all punishment due to sin. It makes the baptised person a participant in the divine life of the trinity through sanctifying grace, the grace of justification which incorporates one into Christ and into his Church. It gives one a share in the priesthood of Christ and provides the basis for communion with all Christians. It bestows the theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A baptised person belongs forever to Christ. He is marked with the indelible seal of Christ (character).

How do I arrange for me or my child to be baptised?

If you have never had any of your children baptised before you will need to make an appointment to see the Parish Priest. To do so, you can contact the Parish Secretary (see contact information on this website). If you have had children baptised in the Catholic Church before you will need to fill in an Application Form. This you can obtain from the Parish Secretary.  If you are no longer an infant and have reached the age of reason and want to be baptised the Parish Priest is happy to provide you with some instruction to prepare you for this sacrament. It is a tradition within the Church for the Baptisms of adults or children of an age who can be instructed to be baptised during the Easter Vigil. The process of instruction is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). For more information about the RCIA you can go to: http://www.rcia.org.au/are-you-interested-in-becoming-a-catholic/what-is-the-first-step.html

Date & Time of Baptisms

Baptisms take place on the first and third Sundays of each month at 11.30 am (directly after the 10.30 Mass). The Baptism Ceremony takes about 30 minutes. In the Church’s tradition, children from more than one family are often baptised together to exemplify that they are entering God’s family.

Baptism Preparation

Parents are required to take part in a Baptismal Preparation Session which is held on the second Sunday of each month from 4.00 to 5.00 pm in the Parish Office, unless you have already had a child or children baptised prior to your newborn child. (Note: If one of these Sundays falls on a long weekend, parents can negotiate an alternative Sunday for the Baptism Preparation Session to take place).  Parents will need to bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate to the Baptism Preparation Session.

What you Need to Bring to the Baptism

A Baptismal Candle and a White Garment is required.  The White Garment can consist of an entire garment which is white, or simply a while cloth with a hole in the middle to place over their baby’s head after their child is Baptised. The Baptism Candle can be decorated with symbols of Baptism – such as a dove or water being poured from a shell, including the name of your son/daughter – but it does not have to be decorated. You can decorate your own Baptism Candles by purchasing special pens that write on candles from Spotlight or you can have them made-to-order by various places, such as:

  • Church Stores
    2nd Floor, Dymock Building
    428 George Street
    SYDNEY   NSW  2000
    Phone: 9233-2268
  • Paul Sarks
    14-16 Burwood Road
    ENFIELD   NSW  2136
    Phone: 9747-3586
    Fax:   4744-5222
  • Sister Disciples of the Divine Master
    55 Broughton Road
    STRATHFILED   NSW   2135
    Phone: 9764-6648
    Fax:   9764-6155

Cost of Baptism

There is no cost for any of the sacraments, however, it is customary to make a donation for the Church after the Baptismal Ceremony .  Such a donation would be gratefully received, especially given the costs involved in maintaining such a historic church.

Baptism of Children who are Not from St Benedict’s Parish

If you do not reside in Chippendale, or at least anywhere in the inner city of Sydney, the Parish Priest will not be able to baptise your child (his time constraints makes him unable to serve the needs of people beyond his existing appointment because in addition to being the Parish Priest, he is also the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Director of Vocations). However, the baptism of children from outside the Parish can still take place in St Benedict’s Church if any other priest agrees to celebrate the Baptism upon your request. The date and time would still need to be booked through the Parish Secretary. Confirmation of the booking can only be given if:

(i)       the Parish Priest from your local Parish gives his permission, as a matter of courtesy, to the Parish Priest of St Benedict’s Parish for the Baptism of your child to take place in St Benedict’s Church; and

(ii)      the priest who you have asked to celebrate the Baptism contacts the Parish Priest or the Parish Secretary to confirm that he will be doing the Baptism. Since a coordinator needs to be hired to open the church and prepare everything which is required for the Baptism, you will need to agree to pay $50.00 directly to the coordinator.

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