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).
SPONSORS FOR BAPTISM