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Chapter 15. Baptism: Becoming a Christian • 189

The Baptism of Infants

Infant Baptism has been practiced since apostolic times. Infants need to

be baptized because through this Sacrament, they are freed fromOriginal

Sin and are welcomed into the community of the Church, where they

have access to the fullness of the means of salvation. Their parents, god-

parents, and the parish community commit themselves to their ongo-

ing formation in faith and knowledge of the tradition of the Church.

The best gift that parents can give their children is a life in the Church.

“The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of

becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after

Whenever a person is baptized, as an infant, as a child, or as an

adult, there should be at least one person present who will act

as sponsor for the one being baptized. The sponsor, commonly

referred to as one’s godmother or godfather, accepts the respon-

sibility of helping the person grow in the Catholic faith. One who

acts as a sponsor for an infant or child agrees to help the parents

teach their child about the faith and how to live as a practicing

Catholic. One who acts as sponsor for an adult agrees to encour-

age and support the person, pray with and for the person, and

offer whatever help, information, or support is needed while the

person is preparing to enter the Church and then is living out the

rest of his or her life as a practicing Catholic.

For a person to act as a sponsor for Baptism, he or she must

be at least sixteen years old, must have already received all

the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy

Eucharist), and must be living in a way that demonstrates that

one’s faith is strong enough to be able to fulfill the responsibilities

involved with being a sponsor. A sponsor who is married must be

married in accord with the laws of the Church (cf. CIC, can. 874).