|If I want to arrange to have
my baby baptized, how would I start?
||Arranging for the baptism of a child begins
with the involvement of the parent or guardian in the faith life of the parish
community. If you are not a registered member of a Catholic parish, find a
parish you want to make your spiritual home. Register in that parish and become
If you are already a registered member of the parish, make
sure that your own faith life is being nourished and growing and that you are an
active part of the community into which your child will be baptized.
Registered and active members of a catholic parish can begin
the process of formally arranging for the baptism of their child by calling
their parish office.
Members of the faith family at Our Lady of Mercy can call
899-5342. The parish secretary, will be glad to answer initial
questions, and when appropriate, direct you to other staff members who can
provide further support.
|How far in advance does a
baptism have to be scheduled?
||Because parents/guardians and godparents
are expected to attend a special preparation session, which we conduct
semi-annually here at Our Lady of Mercy, you will need to give yourself a bit of
time. More importantly, celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism with your child is
a significant moment in his or her life and the life of the entire family. This
is not something you will want to rush into. You will want to carefully select
godparents, ensure that family and friends can share the day and prepare your
own hearts. So, as soon as you are aware that you desire to celebrate this
sacrament with your child, whether it is during your pregnancy or any time after
birth, begin to plan by calling your parish. Members of Our Lady of Mercy can
call our parish office at 899-5342.
|If I want to have my baby
baptized at Our Lady of Mercy, who do I call?
||Call the parish office at 899-5342.
|Does a person have to be a
member of the parish in order to have their child baptized at this church?
||It is normal to celebrate the Sacrament of
Baptism in the parish community in which the parents or guardians are active
members. The community with which you share this ritual moment of welcome should
be the community that surrounds this child with loving faith and consistent
witness in the unfolding years. During the ritual, those gathered are asked to
pledge their ongoing support of this child and these parents as they grow in
their response to Christ. Only a community who will come to know this maturing
child through regular contact can fulfill this pledge. This is why the Sacrament
is commonly celebrated during the Sunday liturgy.
|Do parents and or godparents
have to attend special classes before having their child baptized?
||Parents or guardians are expected to attend
a special session as part of their preparation for this Sacrament. These
sessions are held semi-annually on a Sunday afternoon, once in September and
once in March. Similar sessions are held at Catholic parishes throughout the
diocese and parents or guardians may choose to attend a Baptismal Preparation
session at another parish if it better fits their schedule. God parents are also
highly encouraged to attend these sessions.
|Who can serve as a
godparent? Do you have to have two godparents, one male and one female?
||A godparent must be a Confirmed, practicing
Catholic in good standing. In other words, in order to fulfill this very
important ministry of supporting the developing faith life of a child, an
individual must be a full member of the Catholic Church themselves, having
themselves celebrated the Catholic Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and
Eucharist. Furthermore, they must be actively living out their Catholic faith,
registered and active in a Catholic parish and living by the teachings of the
Catholic Church. A godparent must be at least 16 years of age.
Although it has become customary to invite two people, one of
each gender, to serve as godmother and godfather, this is not required. Only one
baptismal sponsor is needed and that person can be of either gender, (not
necessarily that of the child).
|The person I would like to
be godparent to my child is a good Christian, very active in their Protestant
church, but they are not Catholic. Can I ask this person to be godparent?
||The person described would be welcome to be
part of your child’s Baptism. However, the title of “godparent” refers
specifically to an active Catholic as described in the question above. A
baptized, faith-filled, Protestant actively living out the Gospel is given the
title “Christian Witness”. Although you may invite someone to accept the
role of Christian Witness at your child’s Baptism, you will also need at least
one Catholic godparent who can witness to the unique way that our Christian
tradition embodies Christian discipleship.
|If a baptized Protestant can
serve as a godparent, then can I invite a non-practicing Catholic to assume this
role? If I can, this would eliminate the hassle of having to get a “sponsor
certificate” from some parish.
||Christian Witness is a title reserved for a
baptized, faith-filled Protestant who serves to sponsor this child into the life
of Christian discipleship. Godparent is a title reserved for Catholics, who by
their active life of fidelity to the Gospel and the Church, can witness to
Christian discipleship. So, a Catholic is never a Christian Witness. Whether
godparent or Christian Witness, this person is accepting responsibility to
support this child on his or her journey of faith. Only someone who is actively
practicing and growing in their own faith can begin to fulfill such an awesome
|Does a child have to be
baptized by a certain age?
||No, Faith is a very personal and very
important element of family life. The decision to celebrate the Sacrament of
Baptism with a child should be made when parents are willing to accept the
tremendous responsibilities of fostering the life of Christian discipleship in
|If my child is more than a
year old, can I still have my child baptized?
||Absolutely, there is no limit to the age at
which a person can celebrate Baptism. Whether a person is one month or 100 years
old, they are welcomed to the new life in Christ, the cleansing waters of the
font, the family of Christ gathered in joyful gratitude.
|The journey of Christian
discipleship is an awesome undertaking. The road is full of surprises. You
travel in the company of fantastic people of faith. The Guide has never lead
anyone astray and has been known to carry those who weary. And the destination
is out of this world. Come and join us on this journey of Christian
|To learn more about celebrating
the Sacrament of Baptism with your child, call the parish office at 899-5342.