Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments by which one becomes a member of the Church and a new creature of Christ. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church were instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church to make the love of God real and present in the world. Parents wishing to make arrangements for baptizing their children should call Bridgit Goedeke in the Office of Faith Formation at 443-981-3187 ext. 111. Expecting parents are encouraged to contact the office before the birth of their child. Parents are required to participate in a Baptism preparation class before the baptism is celebrated. Godparents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the preparation class with the parents.
Baptisms are celebrated at St. Mark on the third Sunday of the month during the 11AM Mass or in a group celebration on the fourth Sunday of the month at 12:45PM. Our semi-private celebrations are independent of Mass but still include the Liturgy of the Word and the full Baptismal Rite. The Baptism Liturgy will be approximately 1 hour long in either setting. We will reserve seats for your family and guests at either celebration.
Adults interested in becoming Catholic should call the Office of the Pastoral Associate,Charlotte Henderson 443-981-3162.
What is Baptism?
The word baptism in its origins is Greek and means “immersion” and “bath.” Immersion in water is a sign of death and emersion out of the water means new life. To bathe in water is also to undergo cleansing. Saint Paul sums up this truth when he says, “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12).
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. “He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake . . . to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water” (St. Gregory Nazianzen, Liturgy of the Hours, I, 634).
Jesus’ immersion in the water is a sign for all human beings of the need to die to themselves to do God’s will. Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father.
By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin Original and actual and begin to live a new life with God.