We believe that every child is a precious gift of God. It is truly wonderful that you wish to share your faith with your child, for Jesus Himself said: “Let the children come to me.” As you begin the difficult task of bringing up your child in the Catholic Church, you undoubtedly have many questions and concerns. We would like to share with you the rich depth and beauty of what it means to be a Catholic parent. Below are a few steps to help you begin the planning your child’s Baptism.
We invite you to read carefully the following information which describes in part the perspective and teaching of the Catholic Church in regard to the celebration of Baptism. After having read and reflected upon this information, if you have any questions, or if you are prepared to formally inquire about the possibility of celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism here, please contact the Parish office at 618-465-4284.
Step 1: Reflect on the importance of faith in your life.
In preparing for your child’s Baptism, you should ask yourselves some questions: “What place does God have in our lives?” “What place does the Church have in our lives?” “Are we striving to practice our faith?” “What sort of faith do we want for our children?” “Where do we intend to go to church?”
Your answers to these questions should directly affect where and when you choose to celebrate your child’s Baptism. For a Catholic, the desire to have a child baptized should indicate an acceptance of the teaching of Jesus Christ as handed on to us by the Church. The Church urges all Catholics to practice their faith in a particular parish family.
Step 2: Make a decision about where you are in your faith, and where you want to be... and ACT on it!
For those who accept God’s invitation, faith promises Eternal Life! During the Baptism ceremony the parents are asked to affirm their faith. The desire of parents to have a child baptized is a witness to their love for the child. It should also give witness to their acceptance and living of the teaching of Jesus Christ as handed on to us by the Church. We will urge you to participate in Mass each week at your parish, and to lead your child to Jesus by word and example.
Step 3: Choose a Christian name for your child
The Church does not want your child’s name to be inappropriate for a Christian. It is best if the child’s first or middle name is shared by someone famous for Christian faith and goodness. Choosing a saint’s name gives your child a hero to imitate, and a helper in prayer.
Step 4: Choose good godparents.
Your child must have at least one godparent, who is at least 16 years old, and a fully-initiated (confirmed) and practicing Catholic in good standing. We ask that the godparents obtain a letter from their pastor attesting to these things. A godparent should be chosen because he/she is someone who will pray for your child, and who can help you to teach your child to be a good Catholic by word and example. If there are to be two godparents, one must be a man, and the other a woman.
Step 5: Contact the Church
If you feel ready to accept the responsibility of raising your child in the Catholic Faith, contact the parish church where you worship to become a registered member and to inquire about Baptism Preparation classes.
What Do We Do Now?
We want our child baptized. What do we do next?
- If you are a registered and practicing member of St. Mary's, please call to schedule your baptismal preparation class.
- If you are a registered and practicing member of another parish, contact your pastor first. It may be possible, with proper delegation and preparation, to have your child baptized here at St.Mary's.
- If you have not been a part of a parish and are not registered anywhere, please feel free to contact us. Even if it’s best to delay your child’s baptism for a time, we would like to share with you our Faith!
Begin by contacting the parish church where you are a registered member. For a just cause, the priest may give permission for your child to be baptized here at St. Mary's. We cannot baptize your child without written delegation from him.
What if we’re not registered?
Every Catholic is called upon to assume an active and supportive role in a specific parish community. If you worship with us regularly, but have not yet registered, please contact the parish office.
What is a practicing Catholic?
A practicing Catholic is someone who accepts and strives to live the teaching and Commandments of Jesus Christ as handed on to us by the Catholic Church, and who regularly participates in the worship of the Church. A practicing Catholic receives the Sacraments regularly, and supports the Church financially.
What if we’re not practicing?
NOW, is the time to begin. Register at a parish and start attending Mass. Seeking Baptism for your child presumes that you are striving to live your faith.
What if one of us is not Catholic?
At least one parent of the child must be willing to guarantee that the child will be brought up in the practice of the Catholic Faith. A grandparent or legal guardian may also make this guarantee, provided that the parent is not opposed to the Baptism.
What if I’m single, divorced, or remarried?
Jesus says: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” We urge parents, as the first teachers of their children, to live holy lives. If your current situation prevents you from participating fully in the life of the Church, we want to help you to return to full communion. Your situation, however, will not prevent your child from being baptized, as long as you guarantee that you will do all in your power to properly form your child in the Faith.
What if my child is over 7 years old?
If your child has already reached the age of reason, it is important that he/she know what Baptism is, and consent to it. Such a child should participate in R.C.I.C. classes. Please contact the Parish Office.
Do you offer private baptisms?
Baptism is NOT a private event, but the welcoming of a new member into the family of the Church. We celebrate Infant Baptism every Sunday after the 11 AM Mass.
Can a non-Catholic be a godparent?
A Non-Catholic can be an official witness to your child’s Baptism, but there must be at least one godparent who is a fully-initiated and practicing Catholic in good standing.
How many godparents can I have for my child?
There may be two; one man and one woman.
Is there anything else I need to do?
You and the godparents will need to attend a baptismal preparation class, after which you may schedule the date of your child’s baptism. The Class is held every 1st Sunday in the Parish office, at Noon, (after the 11 am Mass).
For more information on the sacrament please go to the following link: