The First Sacrament

About Baptism

Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are called SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION. In the early church and today as part of the Christian Initiation of Adults, these three sacraments are received together, traditionally during the Easter Vigil. Children, however, receive them at different stages of their lives. The Maitland-Newcastle Diocesan Policy on these sacraments can be found by clicking here.

Baptism is the first Sacrament. It initiates us into the Catholic Christian Community, those who believe that God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to live among us, so that, filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit we too, can live in harmony and peace with each other and enjoy eternal happiness in heaven. The waters of Baptism commit us to dying to our old way of life and being reborn to a new life in the Spirit of Jesus.

Baptism is a prerequisite for the reception of other sacraments.

If you are an adult and are thinking about becoming a Catholic, then the first step is to contact us and ask how to go about being received into the Church. One of our Parish staff members or priests will arrange to meet with you to discuss the process and how the journey will unfold.

Baptism of infants

To arrange a Baptism, contact us at the Parish Office.

It is customary for Baptisms to be conducted during or after one of our Sunday Masses.

The Parish hosts a monthly Baptism Preparation Meeting on the first Wednesday of each month. This meeting is held at the St Benedict’s Centre, 25 Farquhar St, The Junction commencing a 5.30pm. During this relaxed and informal meeting, the nature and purpose of Baptism is discussed with the parents of children who are to be baptized. The meeting also provides an opportunity to ask questions and to finalise dates and times future Baptisms.

Parents are advised to confirm the location, date and time of the Baptism with the Parish Office.

FAQ’s about Baptism

The Church asks that each person to be Baptised has a sponsor, referred to as a Godparent, who will be a mentor for that person as they grow in faith. Where other people want to share that role, they can be recorded as witnesses to the Baptism. The number of ‘Godparents’ is a matter for the person being baptised or their parents to decide. In practice, Parish records may show only 3 or 4 names.

Since a Godparent is accepting the responsibility of helping the candidate for Baptism to grow in the Catholic faith, at least one Godparent has to be a baptised and confirmed Catholic. It is certainly possible for other people who are not Catholic to be registered as a witness to the Baptism.

In our area, most Baptisms do occur after the Sunday Mass or, sometimes, during Sunday Mass, because it is meaningful to have Baptism associated with the Mass. However, depending on the availability of the priest, it can be possible to arrange for other times, so please ask if this is a question for you.

The short answer is we don’t ‘sell’ the Sacraments, so there is no ‘cost.' However, traditionally people make a donation for the support of their priest on occasions such as this. The size of the donation is a personal decision for people to make according to their circumstances. In this Diocese, over many years, the priests have decided to pool such donations centrally to support all the priests of the Diocese.

That can be an awkward question. Remembering that the Godparent is committing to helping the candidate to grow in their life as a Catholic, their accessibility, and personal contact is a potentially important factor. This should be discussed with your Priest.