Q: Up until a few months ago in our parish, deacons were baptizing children up to the age of 14 yrs. The practice of deacons baptizing children ages 7 and above stopped when we became aware that a priest should be baptizing these folks. However, at this time, we do not yet have an RCIA process adapted for children, therefore, all children age 4 and above are referred to children’s faith formation. Our current practice is that children 7 years and above are being baptized by one of our priests (as soon as they and their parents and godparents attend a baptism class), however these “young” adults are not receiving/will not receive their other sacraments of initiation until months or years later.
On a side note, we are getting a new pastor, and I am not sure at this time what his experience is with Christian initiation. What advice can you offer?
Thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide. God bless you and those of us you shepherd.
A: You are not alone. It’s estimated that over 50% of unbaptized children of catechetical age in the United States are not receiving confirmation with their baptism as canons 883/2 and 885/2 require.
This is a good time for your parish to talk through the options with your new pastor. If you have religious education for children, you should be able to manage the catechumenate for children.