Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, 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. (CCC 1213)
Today, the Sacrament of Baptism is often performed on infants. Parents who wish to have their child baptized need to take a one-evening class at St. Henry. Please contact Karen Koorsen at (641) 753-7374 to learn about the next offered class.
Children (age 8) through Adults
The baptism of older children, teens, and adults is different, because they are able to understand their own baptism. For youth ages 8 and older, preparation for baptism begins in the fall of each school year. Contact Alissa Fulton for more information. Adults (baptized or unbaptized) who would like to join the Catholic Church follow the process through Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Call Mark and Shelby Dolash for information.
The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).
- Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
- Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
- Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
- White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.