Baptism is one of three Sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church, the other two being Confirmation and Eucharist. Through the waters of Baptism the person enters into the life of God and he or she is dedicated to God and all that is good. It is a moment of celebration for the parish community into which the candidate is baptised.
Baptism is celebrated by an anointment of oil and the pouring of water with the words: “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
The first thing to do is to go and see your parish priest. He will probably want to chat with you to organise some instruction about raising a child within the Catholic community, and the opportunity to meet parishioners and other families with children for baptism. This enables those seeking baptism to feel part of the parish community and heightens the significance of the baptism being celebrated in the local parish.
If you want to have your child baptised in another parish you will need the consent of your own parish priest.
It is important that you do not make any event arrangements like booking venues for the reception or inviting guests from interstate or overseas until you have confirmed the date with your priest.
If your child is over 7 years (i.e. no longer an infant) the priest might suggest they undertake some age-appropriate instruction.
Remember that your child must have one godparent and may have two, ideally practising Catholics over the age of sixteen. Others may act as ‘Christian Witnesses’ if they have been baptised in non-Catholic churches. At least one of the child’s parents should be a Catholic.
If you are an adult wishing to be baptised, read more about becoming a Catholic here.