The Church, following the clear indications of Sacred Scripture and immemorial Tradition, teaches that baptism is ordinarily necessary for salvation, and that parents are to have their children baptized within “the first few weeks” after birth (Code of Canon Law, canon 867 § 1). In view of the seriousness of this matter, even during this present COVID-19 crisis, Father Jerabek is continuing to offer the Sacrament of Baptism at the Cathedral, keeping in mind the following conditions:
- With lockdown restrictions being lifted now, crowd size will no longer be limited to 10 or less; all will be encouraged to maintain social distance.
- Social distancing will be observed to the extent reasonably possible; the one holding the baby and the priest will obviously have to get closer just briefly at a few moments — for the anointings and for the actual baptism.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for those who wish to use it after entering the church.
- Fr. Jerabek will disinfect the holy water font, wiping down all surfaces, and fill it with fresh water before the ceremony. After the ceremony, he will remove the water from the font and clean it again.
- It is permitted to use a video camera or cell phone to film the baptism or even “livestream” it for those who cannot be present.
We are rightfully taking many precautions at this time to protect physical health. However, we must not neglect spiritual health, which, in the end, is more important, since it affects our eternal destiny more directly.
Any Catholic families who have recently celebrated the birth of a child or who otherwise have an unbaptized child and would like to seek baptism for them under these conditions are encouraged to contact Father Jerabek to plan things right away. Call him at (205) 774-0558 and leave a message, or email him at email@example.com.