Baptism Preparation, Ages 0 - 7 Years
The Importance of Preparation and How to Begin:
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart require that parents be properly prepared for both living out the commitment they are making to raise their baptized child in the Catholic faith and for being able to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism with understanding. Therefore, parents are to first schedule an initial visit with clergy or staff and attend baptism preparation classes before a baptism can be scheduled (except in extreme circumstances.)
First and foremost, all parents must make note that in order for your child to baptised at Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, you must have undergone the two Baptismal Classes here.Â Once these two Baptismal Classes are completeed, you may then schedule your child's Baptism.
Baptism preparation at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is (at minimum) a two month process and dates for Baptism cannot be guaranteed until the first two Baptismal classes are completed. Therefore, please plan accordingly.
The Baptism preparation process begins with the parent(s) scheduling one "initial visit" and then attending two classes. The initial visit will be between the parent(s) and a member of the clergy or Cathedral staff member. The initial visit is meant to answer all your questions about the baptismal preparation process, especially those questions that are specific to your family circumstances.
During the initial visit, parent(s) fill out a registration form and they are then signed-up for the next two class dates. If you are unable to attend the class that you registered for, please contact the Baptism Coordinator at (713) 337-3570 to reschedule.Â Classes take place every 2nd Sunday of the month from 2PM-4PM in the Cathedral Centre. Required class topics alternate months. Both class topics are required, so please plan accordingly if you are not able to attend two months in a row.
After parent(s) have completed both classes, they can then contact the Baptism Coordinator to schedule their child's Baptism.
Baptism, Ages 8 - 17
Youth 8 years old through 17 yearsÂ who have not been baptized are invited to enter the RCIA 4 Children process. RCIA stands for the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults" and is a process of conversion forÂ unbaptized adultsÂ wishing to enter the Church. RCIA adapted for Children prepares the child to celebrate all threeÂ Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) during the Easter season. This is aÂ two year process and is a combination of age-appropriate religious education, sacramental preparation and rites of the catechumenate.
Year 1:Â Â Inquiry & Catechumenate Stages - the initial period before one decides to enter the Catholic Church byÂ asking questions about the Church; followed by the stage whereÂ the child decides to enter the Church andÂ begin training for a life in Christ byÂ developing their faith andÂ being "catechized" â learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life. This year consists of regular CCE classes and monthly Mass dismissal and Family RCIA class/Breaking Open the Word.
Year 2:Â Catechumenate Stage Continued, Purification and PreparationÂ StageÂ & Initiation - The second year of basic religious educationÂ begins with a Rite of Election where the catechumens enter into focused preparation culminating with full initiation into the Church. ThisÂ second year the child continues basic religious education (CCE classes) in addition to monthly focused sacramental preparation classes. DuringÂ the Easter season the child celebratesÂ the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Rite of Initiation Mass.
Following Years:Â Mystagogy - Initiation into the Catholic Church is just the beginning of a child's life in Christ. After reception into the Church at Easter, the Mystagogy stage lets the child reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that they now participate in fully. Because theyÂ are fully initiated at a young age, it is especially important that newly initiated children continue their religious educaiton (CCE Classes) through high school even though they haveÂ celebrated all three sacraments.Â
To enroll in RCIA 4 Children, please register first in regular CCE classes.