Baptism for Children - Ages Seven (7) and Older
We are very happy to welcome you and your child to St. Anthony the Abbot Catholic Christian community.
For Catholic Christians, Baptism is the beginning of all Christian life. Jesus instructed His disciples to “Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20). During Infant Baptism, parents and godparents vow before God to teach their children the Catholic Christian faith.
If children are ages seven (7) and older they need to be taught to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. The process that assists parents in teaching their children to follow Christ is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults Adapted for Children.
Your child will need to complete one full year of Faith Formation in the applicable grade of study then, upon successful completion, the child will enter the RCIA process the following year. At the end of these sessions, your child will receive the Christian Initiation Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist (Communion) at the next Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday.
Why is My Child Being Prepared for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist in addition to Baptism?
From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.
—1229 Catechism of the Catholic Church on Christian Initiation
In the early Church, after completing the initiation stages, children and adults were welcomed into the Church at the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday and received the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist (Communion). Similarly, today, children, teens, and adults receive all three Sacraments of Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday.
What are the Goals of RCIA Adapted for Children?
- To develop a relationship with Jesus Christ
- To have a prayer life with God and one’s family
- To know the Bible, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Faith
- To be fully prepared to receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist (Communion)
When Will My Child Receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation?
If your child attends the sessions faithfully for two years, and attends Sunday Mass every week, he/she will receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist (Communion) at the next Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday.
What is the Role of Parents, Grandparents, and Family in this Process?
Family involvement is very important. Children cannot solely learn to be patient, generous, humble, and prayerful from a class that meets once a week—they need parents, grandparents, or godparents who live and pray the faith. Parents are responsible for leading their children in daily prayer at home and attending Mass weekly.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom.” (2207)
The Church community assists you as parents in your commitment to bring your child up in the Catholic Christian faith. While we will be teaching your children at RCIA Adapted for Children, parents remain the primary teachers.
To Register or for More Information
Please contact Miriam Melfy, Director of Religious Education, (352) 796-2096, Ext. 106; E-mail DRE@stantchurch.org, or RCIA Co-Director Michele Niemier (352) 796-2096 ext. 108; E-mail AsstSecretary@stantchurch.org.