Choose a topic from Part 3a:

67. The Minister of Baptism

1. One who confects or confers a sacrament is called itsminister. In solemn or ceremonious baptism, the priest isthe ordinary minister. (In the older practice of theChurch, a deacon was not permitted to baptize solemnly "exceptin cases of extreme urgency." In modern days, a deacon maybaptize solemnly if there be a good reason, and the pastor or thebishop authorize the action). A deacon who baptizes solemnly, iscalled an extraordinary minister of baptism.

2. It belongs to the special office of priests (and, ofcourse, bishops) to baptize.

3. Because of the necessity of this sacrament, it wasordained that it is to be conferred with matter easily available,namely water, and that in case of necessity when solemn orceremonious baptism is out of question, it can be conferred byanyone who has the use of reason, and who uses the water rightly,and says the required words, and intends to baptize.

4. Women as well as men can validly baptize, youths aswell as adults.

5. Even a non-baptized person can confer this sacramentvalidly on others.

6. Several people cannot concur in baptizing, one sayingthe words of the form, another or others applying thematter. The minister of baptism takes the place of Christ;there is only one Christ; there should be only one minister of anyone baptism. If several were to concur in baptizing, applying thematter and saying the form, the first to utter the form wouldactually confer the sacrament. And if all spoke absolutelytogether, since each one would have the intention of baptizing, thebaptism would be valid, but the several ministers would be guiltyof improperly treating a sacrament.

7. The priest, after baptizing solemnly, turns over thenewly baptized person to "his sponsor and guide." Thesponsor is thus said, in an ancient phrase, "to raise thebaptized person from the sacred font." That is, the sponsorreceives the newly baptized person for the purpose of instructinghim, and guiding him in the way of life which he takes up by beingbaptized.

8. The duty of sponsors is a real obligation laid uponthem. St. Augustine (Serm. 168) says: "I admonishyou, both men and women, who have raised children (that is, whohave stood sponsor) in baptism, that you stand before God assureties for those whom you have been seen to raise from the sacredfont."

"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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