What is Baptism in the Catholic Church?

Jesus instituted Baptism as the sacrament of regeneration and initiation into the church. It was Jesus who accepted Baptism from St. John the Baptist and who 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, 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 an 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.

The Priest or Deacon uses nothing but pure natural water in the rite, and Baptism must be conferred, as Jesus taught, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A priest or deacon usually confers Baptism, but the Roman Catholic Church accepts Baptism conferred in an emergency by anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, who has 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 you or your child will receive, which is why we want to ensure that you receive it in all its richness and beauty.

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is usually scheduled for the third weekend of each month on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Baptismal Preparation Classes are typically scheduled for the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. 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 accordingly. 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 who are Baptism candidates need to be registered and actively participating members of the parish for at least four months before arranging the Baptism. If the child is the first to receive the Sacrament, the parents or guardians must attend a Baptism preparation class here at the parish.

It’s important to note that for sponsors, being married in the Catholic Church is a requirement. This underscores the significance of the Sacrament of marriage within the Catholic faith.


If you’re an adult who 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 process typically includes going through the Rite of Christian Initiation, or RCIA for short. In RCIA, you’ll learn more deeply about Christianity and the Catholic faith while discerning your decision to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.. For more information on RCIA, please go to the Faith Formation/Religious ED/RCIA page.