Baptism marks the birth of any Christian as a Christian. Through this Sacrament we are cleansed of original sin, incorporated into the Body of Christ that is the Church, and begin our life anew as those transformed by the death and resurrection of Christ Himself. It is the role of the father and mother, accompanied by the godparents, to present the child to the Church for baptism.
With this in mind, we offer you some guidelines to help make the preparation for your child's baptism fruitful and joyful. Baptism arrangements, preparation, and scheduling are made by appointment only.
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments."
What obligations do parents take upon themselves when asking to have their baby baptized?In choosing to have your child baptized in the Catholic Church, you are accepting the responsibility of raising him or her in the practice of the Catholic Faith. The preparation process is conducted under the assumption that at least one of the parents is a believing and practicing Roman Catholic. It is an occasion to reflect on your faith, the faith of the Church, and how you live it out and hand it on in the life of your child. Whether you have been away for a while, or you have a pew at Church that practically has your name on it, your child’s baptism is an opportunity to rediscover and renew your commitment to your Faith in Christ by deeper engagement with the Church. It is as much a chance for a new beginning for you as it is for your child, as you introduce him or her to the full sweep and significance of the Gospel which, if it were all recounted, “the world itself could not contain all the books that would be written”. (John 21:25) For more information, use the 'Contact Us' button above.
How do I schedule a date and time?Baptisms at our parish are generally celebrated with each family individually. We try to meet the particular timeframe that is convenient for the family. Generally, baptisms are scheduled when there are no other liturgies taking place in the church, usually on Saturday mornings, Saturday afternoons, or occasionally Sundays; whether at St. Mary’s (5 Hillhouse Ave.) or St. Joseph's (129 Edwards St.) Church. Parents wishing to schedule a baptism or learn more should fill out the Inquiry Form, found on this page, or contact the parish office. For more information, use the 'Contact Us' button above.
Who will administer the Sacrament?Ordinarily, one of the parish priests or deacons will celebrate baptisms in the parish. If a family has a special relationship with a priest or deacon from outside the parish, he is most welcome to come and celebrate the baptism. If you are interested in having a particular priest from the parish baptize your child, feel free to let the Parish Staff know. Visiting priests or deacons must obtain the necessary permission from the parish to conduct the baptism. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.
How do I select a Godparent?Each child must have at least one, but may have two godparents or sponsors. If there are two godparents, they must be a godfather and godmother. One godparent must be a practicing and believing Roman Catholic who has received the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation, be at least 16 years old, and (if married) in a valid Catholic marriage recognized by the Church. Canon Law sets these expectations and expects godparents to be good witnesses of Catholic faith, because it is through baptism that one enters the Church. If someone close to the family is a great example of Christian faith, but is not Catholic, there is the possibility of having such a person act as a witness to the ceremony in a role similar to that of a godparent, but distinct from it. Godparents may be represented by proxies if they are unable to be present for the ceremony. Those serving as proxies must fulfill the same requirements as godparents. Catholics serving as godparents must contact their parish and obtain a sponsor letter or certificate. Please bring the letter or certificate to the baptism.
What is the offering cost?There is no set fee required to have your child baptized. If the family wishes to make an offering of any amount to the parish in thanksgiving for the baptism, it would be gratefully accepted.