“Thus by Baptism men are grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ;

they die with him, are buried with him, and rise with him” (LG 6).

What IS Baptism?

Baptism is a Sacrament. A Sacrament is a visible sign instituted by Christ to give Grace.[1] It makes visible the invisible for us.

God created us to be tangible people. Did you ever notice how in the Gospels Jesus is always using regular things to work miracles? He rubs dirt in the eyes of a blind man. He turns water into wine. He multiplies loaves of bread. He transubstantiates ordinary bread into His very own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

The sacraments often use “ordinary” things to accomplish the extra-ordinary. Water, bread, wine, oil…these every day ordinary things bring us the extraordinary realities of Baptism, anointing, and the Eucharist. Water is necessary for life. Without water the earth and all its living things would die. The story of Creation begins with water – and the Holy Spirit moving over the waters. So it is not a coincidence that our life in Christ, our Spiritual Life, begins with water too.

“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”’[2]

Just as a glass that is empty is not fulfilling its whole purpose, so too are we unable to reach our full potential, live out our mission in life, and experience the life we are meant for if we are not Baptized because before Baptism we are too are “empty” and not yet filled with the Grace of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is Baptism that restores us back the God’s originally intended relationship with us.

Baptism is a Love Story

The Father of the Prodigal son running to meet him. A personification of how Our Heavenly Father runs to meet us when we return to Him.

When Adam and Eve chose sin over the relationship with God for which they were created, a cascade of effects took hold. One of the results of the Fall in the Garden of Eden is that now each and every person born on this earth is born cut off from the life of Grace. This is the result of Original Sin. God loved His people so much that He allowed all of us to have free will to choose to love Him or to choose to reject Him. When Adam and Eve rejected Him, God put into motion a Plan that would ultimately lead to our Salvation. Our loving Father desires to restore us to the relationship for which we were created – a relationship full of His Grace and with the Holy Spirit alive within us. That is why He sent His Son to die for us; to conquer sin and death, and to found a Church responsible for administering and conferring the seven the Sacraments. The Sacrament of Baptism is the first – the gateway to all the others. And because of our Baptism we have access to the other Sacraments, like Reconciliation, which re-restores us to relationship with God as often as we need. You see, Baptism is really the beginning of a Love story – a Love story about a God Who will stop at nothing to save His people – to save YOU. We only need to respond to His love.

Choosing Baptism for yourself or your child is a response to God’s love for you.

The Effects of Baptism are:

  • We are cleansed of original (and all other) sin
  • The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us
  • We are incorporated into the life of the Church
  • We become partakers in the Mission of the Church

We would love to talk with you more about Baptism, either for you or for your child(ren). If you have questions, please email or call Ted Spinelli (; 540-662-5858).

The upcoming Baptism class schedule for 2024 is: 

Parents who have a child they would like to be Baptized are required to attend a Baptism preparation class. If you have attended a class previously, that satisfies the requirement.

**In order to attend a Baptism preparation class it is necessary to register. Please email with the names of the parents, the child’s name and age, and a phone number at which you can be reached in the event of inclement weather or an unexpected cancelation.**

April 20, 2024

No classes in May

June 22

July 20

Classes will be Saturday mornings after the 8:15am Mass (Approx 9:15am) in the Convent Office Building.

Requirements for Godparents/Sponsors:

In choosing a Godparent or Godparents for your child, there are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. There can only be one man and/or one woman chosen as Godparents
  2. They must have completed the sixteenth year of age.
  3. They must be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on. (This requirement means that the Godparent(s) must be striving to live their faith in accordance with the teachings of the Church. Therefore, if the Godparents are married, their marriage must be recognized as valid by the Catholic Church. If they are single, they cannot be co-habitating or living with a partner. )
  4. They must not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
  5. They cannot be the father or mother of the one to be baptized. [1]

So that we may be in accordance with Canons 872-874, we require each Godparent/Sponsor to submit a letter of good standing from their parish. If they are parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church they may call the parish office (540-662-5858) and ask when there will be a priest available to sign their Sponsor form.  If they are not parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church they must call their parish office and ask for a Letter of Good Standing to be sent to:

Attn:  Ted Spinelli
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
130 Keating Dr.
Winchester, VA 22601

These letters must be original copies with the parish seal and a signature on them.

If you have been asked to be a sponsor and you attend Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, it is our parish policy that Godparents must be registered members of the parish for at least 6 months before they may request to have Sponsor paperwork signed.

If you have additional questions about Baptism or need more information, please email Ted Spinelli at 


[1] Code of Canon Law 872-3

[1] Baltimore Catechism Lesson #3, Lesson 13, Q. 574.

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church Part 2, section 2, art. 1, 1213.


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