Baptism is the first Sacrament of the Church and makes the baptized person an adopted son or daughter of God and a member of the Church—the Mystical Body of Christ. Baptism commissions each one of us to make the risen Lord present in today’s world; at home, at school, at work, at play, and wherever we go.
The Church makes a distinction between children under 7 years old, the "age of reason," and those who are over 7. Children under 7 are baptized at the request and with the promise of the parents to raise the child in the Catholic Christian Tradition. Once a child passes age 7, the child has to consent to be baptized. Parental permission and support is also required at least through grade school.
At Our Lady of the Assumption, children between 7 and 13 years of age prepare for Baptism during Eastertide in a process adapted from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This RCIC process involves monthly family sessions intended to provide a common faith development for children of catechetical age (7 years and older) preparing for Baptism accompanied by their families. The children must also be enrolled in REP classes or attend OLA School. Following diocesan guidelines, two years of religious education are required before First Communion. The parents must be committed to the religious education of their children to enroll in the RCIA-C process. This means regular attendance at Sunday Mass as well as attending classes and family meetings. Children beyond second grade who are completing their second year of religious education will also make their First Communion in the Eastertide. First year students will only be baptized. A copy of the child’s birth certificate is required for the files. The children make the decision to be baptized with the permission of their parents or guardians.
The group gathers after the 9:30 A.M. Sunday Mass approximate once a month and more frequently during Lent. The Rite of Acceptance as a Catechumen and the Rites of Sending and Election are important mileposts on the way to Baptism.