What is Baptism in the Catholic Church?

Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration and initiation into the church that was begun by Jesus, who accepted baptism from St. John the Baptist and also ordered the Apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). According to the teaching of St. Paul, which draws an analogy with the death and Resurrection of Jesus, baptism is death to a former life and the emergence of a new person, which is signified by the outward sign of water (Catholic baptism involves pouring or sprinkling water over the candidate’s head). Baptism is understood, therefore, as the total annulment of the sins of one’s past and the emergence of a totally innocent person. The newly baptized person becomes a member of the church and is incorporated into the body of Christ, thus becoming empowered to lead the life of Christ.

Nothing but pure natural water may be used, and baptism must be conferred, as Jesus taught, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is normally conferred by a priest, but the Roman Catholic Church accepts baptism conferred in an emergency by anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, having the use of reason “with the intention of doing what the church does.” In the spirit of Vatican II, which acknowledged the validity of any baptism that is “duly administered as Our Lord instituted it” (Unitatis redintegratio [“The Restoration of Unity”]; November 21, 1964), the church has recognized as valid the baptisms of a wide range of non-Catholic churches.

How do I setup a Baptism?

We’re so excited that you’re seeking the Sacrament of Baptism, and you should be as well! Baptism is the first Sacrament that you or your child will receive, which is why we want to make sure that you receive it in all of its richness and beauty.

The sacrament of Holy Baptism is usually scheduled for the third weekend of each month on Sunday at 12:30 PM. Baptismal Preparation Classes are typically scheduled for the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm. The Baptismal Preparation Class is required for first-time parents or if there is no record of a previous class. A Baptismal date cannot be scheduled before registration for the preparation class is scheduled.  Class space is limited, so please plan ahead. Contact Marylu Mariniello at 352-702-4735.

Here are some steps that will need to be fulfilled prior to the actual Baptism; please read below.


The parents or guardians of children to be baptized need to be registered and actively participating members of the parish for at least four months prior to arranging the Baptism, and will also be encouraged to attend a Baptism preparation class here at the parish.
Note: Married Sponsors must be married in the Catholic Church.


If you’re an adult that would like to be Baptized, please call the parish office to arrange a meeting to discuss the process of being brought into full Communion with the Catholic Church. This will typically include going through the Right of Christian Initiation, or RCIA for short. This is where you’ll learn more deeply about Christianity and the Catholic faith, while discerning your decision to be baptized. For more information on RCIA, please go to the Faith Formation/Religious ED/RCIA page.