Pastor’s Column


Continued from last week

Last week we went through Scriptural evidence for the baptism of infants and provided various sources from the Fathers of the Church testifying to the fact that this was the normal practice in the early Church and, indeed, baptisms were done as soon as possible. Not even the argument that baptisms should be delayed until the eighth day after birth, in order to manifest the fulfilment of circumcision as a foreshadowing of the Sacrament, gained any traction – it was considered too long to wait.

This particular catechesis is not prompted by any real neglect on the part of parishioners. Most everyone has been extremely prompt about contacting us after the birth of a child and sensitive to the demands of the divine and ecclesiastical law to secure Baptism for children as soon as reasonably possible. But I do want to explain why I am very insistent that this be done.

In the first place, although infant mortality is at a historic low – almost to the point where it is unthinkable – it is not totally eradicated. Depending on what state you live in, infant mortality hovers around half a percent, so about one in two hundred children. Not all of these deaths are foreseen on account of pre-existing medical conditions. Delaying the baptism of a child is a senseless risk.

The catechism states well: “The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation…. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit” (CCC 1257, my emphasis).

(We certainly do well to trust in the goodness of Almighty God where it pertains to the fate of unbaptized children. Although their ultimate destiny is not revealed to us, we know that such souls are precious to God, and that wherever he places them for eternity, we will be satisfied. But again, why not baptize as soon as possible, when that is the sure and certain means given to us by Our Lord?)

In the second place, Baptism is a priceless gift for the child. In addition to securing heaven, the Sacrament also reprieves the child from the dominion of Satan, eradicates the stain of original sin, infuses the soul with sanctifying grace – that is, the participation in the divine life, and with the virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost, it makes the infant to be a child of God, and it joins the child to the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, the Church. Why would we delay in bringing all of these benefits to the little one?

Finally, we need to consider things from the perspective of Our Lord. It is he that is the ultimate father of every child. “And call no man your father on earth,” he says, “for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Mt 23:9). He died in order to be united to every soul, which is precious to him. “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:14). What pain it must cause him, when parents to whom he has given responsibility, neglect to bring their child to him promptly!


Our annual report, which includes an overview profit and loss statement and our balance sheets, is now available to parishioners. It may be picked up in the vestibule.

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on August 27, 2023

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5461 44th Street
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 455-5114