Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Baptism
What steps need to be taken to have our child Baptized?
Parents are required to take a Baptismal Preparation course, before having their child baptized. Our Baptismal program recognizes that parents are the primary religious educators of their children, therefore, all parents are required to attend a Baptism Preparation class. The purpose of the class is to deepen the parents' understanding of the sacrament of Baptism, to help the parents begin the process of faith sharing with their child, and to strengthen the family's sense of commitment to the church
This course is offered at St. Vincent de Paul approximately four times a year and is held on a Saturday morning from 9 - 12. Please call the office to inquire about dates for preparation classes and baptism dates and to register.
What if we’re not practicing?
NOW, is the time to begin :). Why not 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 and is supportive.
My spouse is not Catholic.
Does he/she have to attend the class? Yes! We ask that both parents attend the session for your child’s Baptism preparation regardless of church affiliation. It will be an opportunity for your spouse to learn more about the sacrament of Baptism and how we celebrate it in the Catholic tradition. Baptism is the one sacrament recognized by all Christian churches as a sign of God's love for us. Both parents share this blessing from God by their love for their child and Christ. As parents you are the first teachers of God's love, and having both parents parents in attendance is by all means the best interests of your child.
My Spouse works weekends, is it necessary for he / she to attend the class?
Yes! We offer 4 classes throughout the year, we would encourage you to choose a date that your spouse has off or to make arrangements to book that day off, please keep in mind that you are welcome to attend the class before the arrival of baby.
What about single parents or parents who weren't married in the church?
St. Vincent de Paul welcomes every parent to bring your child forward for baptism, no matter what your circumstances may be. Parents who were not married in the Roman Catholic Church might consider the possibility of having your marriage convalidated in the church; if you have questions regarding this, please call Fr. Gerry and he will gladly assist you in that process. It is not necessary for baptizing your child.
What are the Guidelines to consider when choosing Godparents?
Your child must have at least one godparent, who is at least 16 years old, and a fully-initiated (confirmed) and practicing Catholic. 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.
Can someone Baptized in another religion be a Godparent?
A Baptized non-Catholic can be a Christian witness to your child’s Baptism, but there must be at least one Godparent who is a fully-initiated and practicing Catholic. If you are choosing a non-Catholic we will need to know the denomination of that Godparent when you call the church office to register.
Can someone that has not been Baptized be a Godparent?
No, since it is the role of the godparent to help teach the child about Jesus Christ and non-Christians do not give witness to Jesus Christ, they cannot act as Catholic Godparents, nor a Christian witness, they would simply be considered a witness.
Can we have the baptism celebrated in another Catholic church but do the preparation here?
That can certainly be done; it just calls for a little simple paperwork, primarily from the parish office. Be sure to check with the other parish for their requirements, and let us know the other parish's mailing address so we can send the official letter (it states that you have participated in preparation and we offer jurisdiction for the baptism to be celebrated elsewhere). Please let us know the baby's name, gender, date of birth, and date of baptism, so we can add it to your family's records here at St. Vincent de Paul.
We are members of a Catholic church in another community, but would like to have our child baptized at St. Vincent de Paul, is that possible?
Yes – you are required to contact your parish and take the required preparation courses there as well as request permission from your parish priest to have your child baptized here, once he has given your written permission, arrangement can proceed for having your child baptized here.
Is there a fee?
No fee is required, but we suggest an offering of whatever amount you are comfortable with. Your contributions help fund the preparation program. You may bring your offering the day of the Baptism, place it in an envelope and label it Baptism donation, being sure to include your name and address, drop it in the collection basket. You will be issued an income tax receipt for your donation.