Mass Times: Saturday 4:30pm, Sunday 7:30am, 9am, 10:30am


Ministry of Deacon

Vocations: Exploring the Diaconate

The Office of the Permanent Diaconate together with the Team of Directors for the recently approved Deacon Formation Program will be holding a diocese wide informational meeting via ZOOM on Saturday, January 20, 2024 @ 3:00 PM. This is the first step in our publicity efforts announcing and explaining the beginning of our newly revised formation program expected to begin in September of 2024. The session will provide general information and a Q/A session for any interested Catholic man between the ages of 30 and 62 who currently possess a college undergraduate degree. Interested men and their wives wishing to experience a more directed inquiry and discernment of formation must attend both mandatory weekend inquiry sessions scheduled on March 9, 2024, and March 16, 2024, prior to the distribution of applications for admission. 

More about baptism in the Catholic Church

The first Christians accepted the faith as adults but were determined that their children should receive the new life which they themselves had embraced as soon as possible. In Catholic tradition therefore children are baptized soon after birth, ‘within the first few weeks’, to welcome them into the Church. Baptism is a Sacrament of great joy; it is our first encounter with the Lord.

Godparent Information


Infants should have a sponsor and may have two sponsors (one male, one female). The sponsor should not be less than 16 years old, and must be a baptised, confirmed and practising Catholic. The father or mother may not act as the child’s sponsor. If a child is the first to be born in a family, the parents and, desirably, the godparents will be invited to attend a session of Baptism Preparation.

More About Baptism

What is it?
Baptism serves as the first sacrament one receives when entering the Catholic Faith. It is a sacrament of initiation (which you can only receive one time), meaning once you received it, you officially enter into the body of Christ, the Catholic Church. The recipient receives justifying and sanctifying grace when baptized, and the Holy Spirit begins to dwell within them.
Form and Matter
Every sacrament requires two things, form and matter. The form of the sacrament is the words that are spoken and the matter is the physical substance used during the sacrament. For example, for baptism, the form is the baptismal formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The matter is the water poured over the head of the recipient. Traditionally, the one being baptized has water poured over them or is fully emerged in water three times. Additionally, the ceremony includes vows rejecting Satan, vows of the godparents, and the material symbols of the white gown and baptismal candle. These additional aspects are important, but not required for all baptisms, namely those in emergency situations.
Valid and Licit
Like any sacrament, baptisms must be both valid and licit to serve the individual as God intended. If a baptism is valid, then it is recognized as having been done using the correct form, matter, and structure that is needed for the sacrament. If a baptism is licit, meaning it’s legal, it is recognized as having been done in line with Canon Law.
It is impossible for a baptism to be invalid and licit, because all invalid baptisms are also illicit. However, a baptism can be valid and illicit. An example of this would be if a lay person baptized someone using the baptismal formula and pouring water over their head, but doing so without being in an emergency situation that requires such action. Another more specific example would be if the parents of the child being baptized said during the ceremony that they will raise the child in the Faith, but are lying and don’t actually intend to do so. It is very important for baptisms to be both valid and licit, making the form, matter, structure (baptismal promises, vows of the godparents, baptismal candle, etc.) and meaning (the “why” behind it all) of the sacrament of great significance.
What It Does

St. Paul describes baptism as the “first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:14). According to baptism does five things:

  • It forgives all sins that were committed before baptism including original, mortal, and venial sin.
  • It makes the baptized a new creature.
  • It turns the baptized into a newly adopted son or daughter of God and a member of the Church.
  • It brings them to share in the royal priesthood of Christ. (1 Peter 2:9)
  • It leaves a spiritual mark (or character) of belonging to Christ on the soul of the baptized.


It serves as the foundation of communion within the Church, and the initiation into Christ’s Body the Church. With this initiation comes a sort of seal, St. Augustine calls it a “character.” This character, which is the fifth thing that baptism does in the list above, is “like a brand imprinted on a soldier that cannot be removed.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks upon this character as well, saying:

“No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation … The baptismal seal enables and commits Christians to serve God by a vital participation in the holy liturgy of the Church and to exercise their baptismal priesthood by the witness of holy lives and practical charity” (CCC, 1272 and 1273).

Baptism orients the soul not only to worship God and serve him with their lives, but also to take part in his kingly, prophetic, and priestly offices.

Baptism Request Form

More about Baptism

Baptisms are a family affair, not just for the individual but for the Church as well! The baptism is usually attended by the recipient’s close family and friends, as well as those chosen to be their godparents, whom play a role in the ceremony. Today, most people are baptized as infants by a priest or deacon. The parents present the child for baptism while the godparents are present as witnesses. 

Ordinary Minister of the Sacrament

Although any lay person can baptize in certain emergency situations, it is preferred to have a priest administer the sacrament of baptism. In the Catholic Faith, priests act in persona Christi Capitis, which means “in the person of Christ the Head.” Pope Benedict XVI explains this in his letter, The Priest’s Three Duties, saying:

“The priest represents Christ. What is implied by ‘representing’ someone? In ordinary language it usually means being delegated by someone to be present in his place, to speak and act in his stead because the person he represents is absent from the practical action.”

This does not mean, however, that Christ is absent in the Church and in the roles of the priest. Instead, it infers that:

“The priest, who acts in persona Christi Capitis and representing the Lord, never acts in the name of someone who is absent but, rather, in the very Person of the Risen Christ, who makes himself present with his truly effective action … The Lord makes his own action present in the person who carries out these gestures.”

It is thus believed that the priest is the best member of the Church, given practical circumstances, to administer the sacrament of baptism. St. John the Baptist tells the people he is baptizing in Matthew 3:11:

“He who is coming … will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

It is because of Scripture and the role of the priest as persona Christi that we are baptized through priests. Through their hands, which are to represent the hands of Christ himself, we are brought into the body of the Catholic Church.


The role of the chosen godparents is twofold. First and foremost, they are to act as a source of prayer and example for the child being baptized. Secondly, they are expected to assist in the formation of the child’s faith throughout their life, and, if needed, are available to raise the child in the Faith if the parents cannot. This being said, the faith of the godparents is an extremely important factor in fulfilling the baptismal promise of being raised in the Catholic Faith.

Other Sacraments


We celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation each year with our bishop. We are inviting young people in grades 9-11 to consider getting confirmed.



We love celebrating the love between two people! Contact us to learn more about how the church supports strong and healthy marriages.



Children in third grade are usually prepared for First Holy Communion. Any child in third grade or older requesting first communion can be added to our preparation classes.


Church Office

Saint Jude the Apostle Parish
2801 W. 6th St.
Erie, PA 16505

Call Us

(814) 833-0927


Revealing Jesus to one another and the world.