The Church welcomes new members through the Sacrament of Baptism. This section pertains to the Baptism of children. For information on the baptism of adults, please go to the R.C.I.A. sections of our website.
A child’s baptism is not only a joyous occasion for a family, it is also a joyous occasion for the parish as we welcome a new member into the life of the Church. Parents who are preparing to have their child baptized are asked to visit the Parish Office to provide some basic information (name, address, date of birth, parents’ names and select a date for the Baptism on either the second or fourth Sundays of the month at 2:00 PM. Parents are also asked to attend a Baptismal Preparation Evening which is held at 7:30 PM on the first Tuesday of the month in the Marian Room located on the lower level of the Church.
Baptism is not simply a “naming ceremony” or even a blessing for a new baby. It is the beginning of the Christian life and the gateway to eternal life. Because of this, the sacrament is taken very seriously in the Church.
We believe that Baptism is a sacrament, an action of Jesus Christ in His Church.
WHAT BAPTISM DOES FOR YOU CHILD
In this sacrament of the Church
- original sin is forgiven and the gates of heaven are opened for us
- we are welcomed into the Church
- we are made sons and daughters of God and temples of the Holy Spirit
While “the faith required for (an adult) Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith”, it is “a beginning of faith that is called to develop.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1253) Parents who bring their children for Baptism need a faith, which is mature enough to pass their faith on to their children. It is expected that they learn about God and be taught to pray at an early age. When they are old enough, parents are expected to take their children Mass each Sunday. In grade school they should receive formation in the Catholic faith in a Catholic school, or in an after school Faith Formation Program. For infant baptism, there must be “a realistic hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith. If such hope is lacking, the baptism is to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.” (Code of Canon Law)
Godparents “must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly-baptized – child or adult – on the road of Christian life (Catechism #1255) Only “a catholic who has been confirmed and received the blessed Eucharist and who lives a life of faith befitting the role to be undertaken” (Code of Canon Law #874) (read a practicing Catholic) and has been confirmed may be admitted as a godparent.
A baptized member of a non-catholic community (e.g. Lutheran, Episcopalian, other Christian denomination) may not be a godparent, but may be a Christian witness as long as there is a Catholic godparent. Only one godparent is required for Baptism.
THE BAPTISM SERVICE
Since Baptism is never a private affair, but entry into the family of the Church, your child will most likely be baptized with other children. Baptisms are held at 2:00 PM on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. If some reason, you would like to schedule your child’s Baptism at a different time you are asked provide your own priest or deacon.
Everyone is welcome to the Baptism. If you have non-Catholic family or friends you might want to remind them of the sacredness of the Sacrament and our Catholic practice of quiet in Church.
There is a custom of parents giving the Church a donation on the occasion of their child’s baptism. There is no set amount of the gift.
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW SOON SHOULD I HAVE MY CHILD BAPTIZED?
Children should be baptized within the first weeks after birth. Arrangements may be made before the child is born. Baptism should not be put off simply in order to have an elaborate celebration party afterward.
I (WE) AM NOT MARRIED. CAN MY CHILD BE BAPTIZED?
Yes, a child may be baptized as long as there is a reasonable, well-founded hope that they will be brought up in the Catholic faith. If you are not married in the Church, this might be time to consider doing so. Please speak to one of the priests about this.
HOW MANY GODPARENTS?
Canon Law says that there should be one or two godparents. If there are two, they should be male and female. Two godparents of the same sex are not allowed.
WE ARE NOT CATHOLIC. CAN OUR CHILD BE BAPTIZED CATHOLIC?
Yes, a child can be baptized a Catholic, but only if one of the parents becomes Catholic. This takes several months. Please speak to one of the priests for further details.