Baptism is the beginning of a process of belonging to the Church. We know that children need time to grow and develop. The Catholic Church spaces the process of Christian Initiation over many years. The Church is also conscious that your child will one day need to own for themselves’ what you do for them at Baptism. Christian Initiation for children begins with the celebration of Baptism. Over the next eleven years your child will also celebrate First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation which completes initiation into the Catholic Church. Like all sacraments of the Church, baptism is a celebration for all, not just those immediately known to the candidate. Baptism is not a private family affair. It is the very business of the worshipping community which receives the newly-baptised person into its midst. It is in this community that your child will grow in and develop his or her relationship with God and celebrate the other sacraments which will complete his or her initiation into the Catholic Church (reconciliation, eucharist and confirmation). When Are Baptisms Held? Baptism is normally celebrated during Mass on the first Sunday of the month during any of the Sunday Masses at St. Benedict’s Church Smithfield (6pm Saturday Vigil, 10:30 am and 6pm Sunday) or St. Theresa’s Fairfield West (7:30am and 9am Sunday) and on third Sunday of the month at 12:00 noon outside of mass at St Benedict’s Church, Smithfield. These dates may be changed due to parish or liturgical celebrations. Please contact the Parish Office to check the exact dates and availability before making family arrangements, booking reception venues, etc. Please note that we are not able to change dates to fit in with reception venue availability. Baptisms are not celebrated during Lent, the Church’s season of preparation for Easter. Normally there are increased opportunities to celebrate Baptism on Easter Sunday and the four Sundays after Easter. Parents and Godparents need to attend a Baptism Preparation session before the Baptism of their child can take place. This session looks at what the sacrament of Baptism is, the roles of parents, Godparents and the Christian community and how the sacrament will be celebrated during Mass. Please contact the Parish Office at least two months in advance for bookings and further information. Sacrament of Baptism Information Sheet updated 2016 Videos on Baptism During the baptism preparation meetings we often like to show two short videos. If some one is unable to come they can watch them below.