188 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated
Who Can Baptize?
The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest
and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon. In case of necessity,
anyone, even a non‑baptized person, with the required inten-
tion, can baptize, by using water and the Trinitarian baptismal
formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church
does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this
possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity
of Baptism for salvation. (CCC, no. 1256)
WHO CAN RECEIVE BAPTISM?
The Baptism of Adults
For adults today, the Church, after the Second Vatican Council, has
restored the order of the Catechumenate in the Rite of Christian
Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It outlines the steps for the formation of
catechumens, bringing their conversion to the faith to a greater maturity.
It helps them respond more deeply to God’s gracious initiative in their
lives and prepares them for union with the Church community. This
process is meant to form them into the fullness of the Christian life and
to become disciples of Jesus, their teacher. This includes an initiation into
the mystery of salvation, the practice of faith, hope, and love, and other
virtues in a succession of liturgical rites.
Persons baptized into another Christian church and now seeking
full communion with the Catholic Church are also welcomed to par-
ticipate along with catechumens in the RCIA in the process of learning
about the Catholic faith and being formed in that faith. They bring to
the process of preparation their prior experience of Christian life and
prayer. For a baptized Christian, reception into full communion with
the Catholic Church involves reception of the Sacrament of Penance and
Reconciliation and then a Profession of Faith followed by the celebra-
tion of Confirmation and the Eucharist.