Chapter 15. Baptism: Becoming a Christian • 191
birth (CCC, no. 1250; cf.
Code of Canon Law
Codex Iuris Canonici
CIC], can. 867). However, the Church also teaches that the Baptism of
an infant may be postponed if there is not a “founded hope” that the
child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith (CIC, can. 868 §2).
There are the children—born and unborn—who die without Baptism.
The Church entrusts them to the mercy of God, who wills that all people
be saved. We recall Christ’s tender welcome of children saying, “Let the
children come to me and do not hinder them” (Mk 10:14). Because of
The Elect enter the stage of
Purification and Enlightenment
occurs during the season of Lent. They prepare themselves for
the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation by prayerful reflec-
tion. On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, the Scrutinies
are celebrated. These rites, which take place during Mass, offer
opportunities for the Elect to reflect on the full meaning of the
step they are preparing to take. They are meant to bring God’s
illuminating Word to the Elect so that whatever is weak or sinful in
their hearts can be healed and so that whatever is good in them
can be strengthened. The parish community joins them by exam-
ining their own lives and interceding with God for the Elect. This
period concludes at the Easter Vigil, when the Elect receive the
Sacraments of Initiation and become full members of the Church
and are called neophytes.
From Easter to Pentecost, there is a period of postbaptismal
. This is a time for the neophytes, or
newly initiated, along with the members of the parish to come
closer together as a faith community to examine more deeply
the Gospel, to share in the Eucharist, and to do works of charity.
During this joyful time, the neophytes’ enthusiasm can inspire the
faithful of the parish, who in turn can share their experiences of
the faith with them.