The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. . . . Jesus did not need to be baptized, because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.
In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ's call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.
(U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, USCCB) .... for more
Baptism is the foundation of the Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God. We become members of the one Body of Christ - the Church, the People of God - and the Church’s mission becomes our mission.
In Nelson Diocese, the local church provides preparation for infant Baptism at the request of the child's parents. Understanding how busy life becomes leading up to the birth of a child, parents are urged to contact their local church at least 3 - 6 months prior to their due date to inquire about when and where preparation for this happy event is available.
Adults and older children seeking initiation into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist can contact their local parish office to inquire about preparation appropriate to their needs. Adults will likely be directed to the local RCIA ministry (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) where they can begin a period of inquiry, followed by formation and a gradual entry into the fullness of the Catholic faith. ... for more information about Christian Initiation of Adults
Adoptive parents are encouraged to contact their local church for assistance to determine if Baptism is needed and/or to prepare to celebrate the arrival of their child either with the Rite of Baptism or, optionally, a Blessing of Parents and an Adopted Child.
Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift....We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus