"As a pastor, I continue to encounter parents who did not have their children baptized as infants, either because the parents have been away from the Church and are coming back, or for some other reason. Do I really have to wait for the Easter Vigil to baptize these children who, through no fault of their own, have not been baptized? It seems like such a long time for them to wait."

When the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) was promulgated, it included a special section dealing with unbaptized children of catechetical age (over age 7). There is the expectation that these rites will be used with those who come to us seeking baptism.

Someone in the parish should be responsible for meeting with parents who want their children who are over the age of seven baptized. The parish coordinator should meet with parents and explain the process the children will follow. There should be catechetical components, as well as breaking open the word and opportunities for prayer and sharing of faith with the children. This is a conversion process for them, but the whole family must be taken into consideration. Depending on the needs of the children, the process can take anywhere from a few months to two or more years. When the children are baptized, they also receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation, since they are to be fully initiated.