The Sacrament of Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door way to the other sacraments. Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ’s mystical body the Church, and participants in her mission. (Cf. CCC #1213).
Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have the possibility of asking for the sacrament. (Cf. Jn 3:5, Mt 28:19-20, Mk 16:16, CCC #1257).
For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises, (CCC 1254).
The Role of Godparents
The role of the godfather and godmother is to be able and ready to help the newly baptized on the road to Christian life in order for the grace of Baptism to unfold. For this reason they must be firm believers (Cf. CCC #1255).
Requirements for Godparents
One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex, (Cf. Canon 873). The godparent must be not less than sixteen years of age, be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken, not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared, and may not be a parent of the person to be baptized, (Cf. Canon 874, §1).
A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a Catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the baptism. (Canon 874, §2).
Baptism of Infants, 6 years of age and younger
Due to original sin, which is inherited - not committed, we are born with a fallen human nature, therefore children also have the need of the new birth in Baptism to be free from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of God’s children. This practice stretches back to apostolic preaching (Cf. Acts 16:15, Acts 18:8, & 1 Cor. 1:16). The Church and parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth, (Cf. CCC #1250).
This practice also accords Christian parents with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them, (Cf. CCC 1251). Therefore a Family must be registered members of the Parish and participate in the sacramental life of the parish. Also, the parents are required to attend the Baptismal Preparation class before registering for Baptism, (Must register in the office, 770-867-4876).
Normally both a godmother and godfather are selected. If the godparents do not attend St. Matthew, then they are required to present a letter attesting to their suitability as a godparent from their parish. This is a standard form letter and is easily obtained from one's own parish. St. Matthew must receive this sponsor letter at least two weeks prior to the date of the baptism requested by the parents.
* For the next Baptism Preparation class contact the parish office.
Documents Required: Birth Certificate & Sponsor Letter (for those from another parish).
Baptism of adults, 7 years of age and older
From the very day of Pentecost the Church has celebrated and administered holy Baptism, (Cf. CCC 1226). From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. Certain elements are essential including proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, and the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharistic communion, (Cf. CCC #1229).
For this reason our RCIA and RCIC process will include a time of inquiry, a long period of catechumenate, and a series of preparatory rites culminating in the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation at the Easter Vigil, (Cf. CCC #1230).
RCIC students who are already baptized will receive first Reconciliation and First Holy Communion with the second grade students, usually in May of each year.
RCIC and RCIA will consist of a two-part preparation. Adults and Children will be dismissed from the 10:30 AM Mass in English and children from the 12:30 PM Mass in Spanish for Breaking Open the Word. This is an opportunity to feast on the Word of God. This is a brief session that concludes at the end of the Mass. The systematic catechesis on the Catholic faith will be on Tuesday from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
Normally a single sponsor, a godmother or godfather, is selected. If the godparent/sponsor does not attend St. Matthew, then they are required to present a letter attesting to their suitability as a godparent from their parish. This is a standard form letter and is easily obtained from one's own parish.
According to the policy of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia, a couple planning to be married should make arrangements with the church at least six (6) months in advance. They should check on available dates for the church before making any firm commitments or other arrangement for the wedding.
Couples are required to meet periodically with the priest or the deacon they have chosen to officiate at their wedding.
Any question concerning the church’s rules and regulations on marriage should be directed only to a priest or deacon of the parish so as to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.
If you are interested in getting married at our parish, contact the parish office for more information.