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.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1213
Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation and Belonging (the others being Confirmation and Eucharist). It is the basis of the whole Christian life for through this Sacrament we become members of the Body of Christ.
As Catholics – we recognise as true and valid all Christian baptism administered by immersion or the pouring-on of water three times with the words, “I baptise you in the Name of the Father… and of the Son… and of the Holy Spirit”. Although usually administered by a bishop, priest or deacon, in urgent situations (usually where there is an immediate risk of death) anyone, whether Christian or non-Christian, can – with good conscience – validly administer Baptism.
The waters of Baptism signify immersion into the Paschal Mystery (the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ): in Christ we die to sin and are born to new life.
The following books may be of interest if you would like to learn more: