“Holy Baptism is basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to the life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in Her mission.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1213)
The Sacraments of Christian Initiation lay the foundation for the entire Christian life, and the first of these is Holy Baptism. The Lord Jesus Himself made Baptism necessary for salvation (cf. John 3:5), and from the beginning the Church faithfully followed Our Lord’s Great Commission to teach His Gospel to all nations and baptize all who believe (cf. Matthew 28:16-20).
In the first years of the Church’s life, most of those who were baptized were adults, but when the Gospel began to be accepted by great numbers of people, even infants and children were baptized. Infant baptism, an immemorial tradition of the Church, shows forth the absolutely free and unmerited grace of God leading to salvation, but the danger also exists that Christians will forget that Baptism is the sacrament of faith.
But faith needs the community of believers, and it is only within the living faith of the Church that each of the faithful can come to believe. That is why infants and children can only be baptized when their parents and godparents (sponsors) give evidence of genuine Christian belief and practice.
Baptism at St. Clement of Rome
For an infant to be baptized at St. Clement, at least one parent must be a practicing Catholic (regularly attending Holy Mass and participating in the life of the parish) and a registered member of the parish. Baptisms are scheduled each Sunday of the month after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Parents are asked to contact the Rectory (preferably before the child is born) at (314) 965-0709 to schedule a meeting with the priest or deacon who will be administering the Sacrament.
For an adult to be baptized at St. Clement, or to learn more about the Catholic Faith, an individual is asked to contact the Rectory at (314) 965-0709 about the RCIA program (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults).