Is Your Child’s Baptism Valid?

There was attention on local and national news that a priest was doing baptisms improperly, saying, “We baptize you…” instead of “I baptize you…”. Baptisms performed by the Rev. Andres Arango were declared invalid by the Catholic Church. But don’t worry, as far as we know, none of the baptisms performed here at St. Catherine Labouré were done invalidly.

This is a teaching moment: priests must follow the guidelines given, especially when performing the sacraments. This is because priests act in the person of Christ (Latin: in persona Cristi) and so are not free to change the wording or make up their own formulas (not even to foster a sense that all are participating). When the priest says, “I baptize you”, it is actually Christ baptizing the person; just as when the priest says the words of Consecration during the Mass, it is Christ saying through the priest, “This is my Body…”, This is my Blood…”