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: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” CCC 1213
What do we need to do to have our baby baptized?
Pick-up information packet: Download Baptism Application to be completed by the parents and the Sponsor or Godparent to be signed in the sponsor’s own parish.
Pre-Baptism Class: Parents and Godparents must attend the Pre-Baptism class. Call the parish office to register for the class date you wish to attend! Classes may be taken at another parish, but a certificate of completion is necessary for paperwork.
Reserve a Date for the Baptism: As soon as your paperwork is completed take it to the parish office in order to reserve a baptismal date.
Why do the parents have to attend a preparation class?
Before the celebration of baptism, the Church expects the parents and sponsors to be formed in the meaning of the Sacrament as well as it’s responsibilities (Canon 851). Our Lady of the Assumption offers a Baptism Class the third Tuesday of each month at 7 PM in the New Church Children’s Room. This preparation session is facilitated by a team (usually a husband and wife), who make a presentation and lead discussion. Pre-registration is necessary to attend. For those parents who have already baptized another child in the parish within the previous two years, the preparation session may be waived, although the parents and sponsors are always encouraged to attend another session as a refresher. Please consult with the parish office.
What is the role of the Sponsors/Godparents?
The role of the sponsor or Godparent is, “together with the parents, to present an infant at baptism, and help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it.” (Canon 872) In the beginning of the Rite of Baptism of Children, the Godparents are asked if they are willing to help the parents of the one baptized in their duties as Christian parents. Thus, the function of the Godparents is not merely ceremonial or social but to assist the parents in raising their child in the practice of the faith.
Who may serve as a Sponsor or Godparent?
The Church has established the following norms governing the qualifications needed to be a sponsor or Godparent.
At least sixteen (16) years old;
“be a Catholic who has been Confirmed and has already received the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and role to be undertaken;”
“not be bound by any canonical penalty…;”
“not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.” (Canon 874,1)
What does it mean to lead a ‘life in harmony with the faith and role to be undertaken?’
In addition to being a fully initiated Catholic (i.e., having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) the sponsor must also be person of faith–one who regularly attends Sunday Mass, has been married according to the norms of the Catholic Church (if married), and strives to deepen his or her relationship with God through Jesus. A good question to ask is: “Does this person take care of their own faith… if not is he/she likely to help take care of my child’s?”
May a non-Catholic be a Sponsor/Godparent?
Because the child is being baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, “a baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may not be admitted except as a witness to baptism and together with a Catholic sponsor.” (Canon 874, 2). In other words, as long as there is one Catholic Godparent who meets all the requirements of the Church listed above, another baptized person, Catholic or non-Catholic, may be a witness to the baptism.
How many Godparents can a child have?
Only one Godfather and/or one Godmother can be baptismal sponsors (Canon 873) but additional Catholic persons may act as witnesses at the baptism.
Does the child have to have a saint’s name?
As a minimum, the Church requires that no name “foreign to a Christian mentality” be given to the child (Canon 855). Consider, however, choosing a name for the child from the rich tradition of models of the Christian life. In some cultures, the one is named after the saint whose feast day the child is born on or around. Then, as the child grows up, encourage him or her to learn about the patron, perhaps promoting a devotion to the child’s namesake.
Is there a charge for the baptism?
The Church never charges for the celebration of a Sacrament. Rather, Christians give out of gratitude for what they have received from God. A donation to the parish may be made after the celebration of the baptism. As this donation does not go to the priest, a separate gift may be given to him.
Can an adult be baptized?
If you are an adult seeking baptism as a Catholic please visit RCIA. Information can be found under ‘Programs and Groups.’