|The Sacrament of Baptism|
Because of original sin, we are born without grace in our souls, so there is no way for us to have fellowship with God. Jesus became man to bring us into union with his Father. He said no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is first born of "water and the Spirit" (John 3:5)-this refers to baptism.
Through baptism we are born again, but this time on a spiritual level instead of a physical level. We are washed in the bath of rebirth (Titus 3:5). We are baptised into Christ's death and therefore share in His Resurrection (Romans 6:3-7).
Baptism cleanses us of sins and brings the Holy Spirit and His grace into our souls (Acts 2:38, 22:16). And the apostle Peter is perhaps the most blunt of all: "Baptism now saves you" (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is the gateway into the Church.
At St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Baptisms are usually celebrated on Sundays at our Oak Street Church at 1:00 pm. Baptismal class, which is held once a month, is required. Parishioners are asked to call the Parish Secretary at the Pastoral Center at 815-455-5400 ext. 400 to schedule both the class and Baptism dates. Please note that Baptisms are not held during Lent, except in an emergency.
Baptism for adults is part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, see Adult Sacraments. For children between the ages of 3 and 7 (and their families) will have individual preparation through the religious education department. For children over the age of 7, see Special Sacraments.
For more information or to register for classes, please call 815-455-5400.
*This text was taken from "Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth" by Catholic Answers. More information about baptism can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1213-1284) or at www.catholic.com