The first of the seven sacraments, and the “door” which gives access to the other sacraments. Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification. Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist constitute the “sacraments of initiation” by which a believer receives the remission of original and personal sin, begins a new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit, and is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ.
- Parents must be willing to bring their child up in the Catholic Faith. Baptism is the beginning of supernatural life, but it must be nurtured throughout life.
- Parents must attend a baptism preparation class here or at their parish.
GODPARENTS / SPONSORS
- Must be good examples and sources of support for both the child and the parents and be fully initiated members of the Catholic church.
- Must be confirmed and at least 16 years old.
- Must either be living a chaste life as a single person or be married in a valid Catholic marriage.
- Must be actively living their faith, attend Mass and confession regularly.
- Must attend a baptism preparation class here or supply proof of attendance from their local parish.
- Only one Catholic godparent is required.
1. What do I need to do to have my child baptized?
The first step should be to contact your local parish. You will work with the parish to prepare for the sacrament, usually through a baptism class. The key requirement for baptism is that you agree that your child “will be brought up in the Catholic religion” (Canon 868). Your child should also be given a Christian name, after one of the saints or virtues (even if the name does not appear on the birth certificate). You will also have to choose godparents for your child to help you raise the child in the faith.
2. How should I pick godparents for my child?
A godparent is not an honorary role, but a role model and support for living the Christian life. There are certain requirements according to the Church’s law (The Code of Canon Law) for godparents: the godparent must be at least sixteen years old, have received the sacraments of initiation, be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church, and cannot be the parents.
3. If I am a godparent what do I need to do?
Parishes have different requirements for godparents. Some parishes require that godparents attend a preparation class alongside of the parents. Check with the parish where the baptism will take place for their requirements.
4. Can a non-Catholic serve as a godparent?
Someone who is a baptized Christian and who is not Catholic may not serve as a godparent but can be a Christian witness for the baptized, alongside of a godparent of the opposite sex who meets the requirements for godparents.
5. If I am an adult or I have a child above the age of seven requesting baptism, what do I need to do?
Adults and children seven and above go through the Rites of Christian Initiation to be baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass. Please contact your local parish for more information.