Hoboken is filled with many couples who have been blessed by God with pregnancy and new and growing families. These little ones among us are reminders to us all of God’s presence and action here in our world and in our Mile Square City .
The family is the fundamental unit in society and parents are the first educators of their children in the ways of the Catholic faith. In the baptismal rite the priest prays over the parents saying, May you always be the best of teachers bearing witness by what you say and what you do.
The Sacrament of Baptism has been understood to have these primary effects:
1. Becoming a part of the Church, the community of faith here
2. The removal of the guilt of both Original Sin and personal
3. The infusion of grace in the form of sanctifying grace (the
life of God within us);
4. Becoming a part of Christ;
5. Enabling participation in the sacraments, as baptism is the
“door to the other sacraments”.
As you can imagine, many new families come to Ss. Peter and Paul seeking baptism of these little ones and we are only too happy to oblige. However, there are some “pre-requisites”
in order to preserve the dignity of the sacrament and ensure that these little ones will indeed, be raised in the ways of the Catholic faith and truly enjoy the effects of baptism in the context of their personal and parish family.
The Church teaches that parents of an infant who is to be baptized and likewise those who are to undertake the role of Sponsor (Godparent) are to be properly instructed in the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations which are attached to it. Pastors are to see to it that the parents are properly “formed” by pastoral directions and by common prayer.
In order to achieve that here in our parish, we ask every family seeking baptism first and foremost to be registered. In asking that a child be baptized, parents are asking us to welcome this little one to our community of faith. Parents then, must also be a part of our community. In addition to being registered, we ask that parents attend and celebrate their faith and the sacraments with us regularly. If parents are to be the first and best teachers of these little ones in the ways of the faith, they too must have an active and vibrant faith, practiced weekly in this community. Along with that, we ask all families to be involved and financially support our parish. If our Church is to survive well into the future for the benefit of these little ones, we all must invest our time, talent and treasure into the parish TODAY. To that end, we ask every family to do their part.
Families are also invited to meet the pastor and then attend a group “baptismal class” where the particulars of the sacrament are discussed and questions are answered. It also affords our new parents a chance to meet the parish staff and get to know one another as well. In this way, the parish becomes more “familiar” and people really start to see one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
We ask the intercession of the patron saints for babies, Brigid of Ireland, Holy Innocents, Nicholas of Tolentino, Philip of Zell, Philomena, Raymond Nonnatus, and Zeno of Verona to pray for us and all those expecting the blessing of a new child.