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Baptism Guide

St. Mary’s Church Baptism Guidlines for Parents & Godparents

Congratulations!  The baptism of a child is a very special and happy occasion when parents, grandparents, family and friends welcome your child into the Church to be a follower of Jesus. God bless you and your baby.

And the fact that you have asked to have your baby baptized shows that you recognize the importance of God in your lives.

With the birth of your child your lives are changed forever!

The first thing you do after your baby is born is to start loving your baby. You kiss your baby, you hug your baby, you feed your baby. Usually you hardly think about what you are doing. You simply love your child. And, as you do so, you help your baby to grow into a mature, loving adult – as one of the family.

There will come a day when you can talk to him or her almost as equal.

Questions people Ask

Who can be a godparent?

The person chosen to be a godparent should be a practicing Roman Catholic, someone who is baptized, confirmed and takes part on the Sunday Eucharist regularly.

A godparent should be over 16 years of age and willing, in whatever way he or she can, help the parents to bring up the child as a Catholic.

A person that is only Catholic by name, is away from the Church and does not practice the Catholic faith, cannot be a godparent. The same goes for unbelievers, because one cannot take the “god” out of “godparent”.

In the celebration of Baptism parents and godparents must declare their faith.  It’s all part of the package.  One should never stand in front of a church full of people and make promises that one has no intention of keeping.

My husband’s sister is not catholic. Can she be a godparent?

The Church requires that at least one godparent be a Catholic. So, it is allowable for someone who is not Catholic, but is a Christian, to act as a Christian Witness (C. W.) at the baptism of a child.

How many godparents can I have for my child?

Ideally it should be one godfather and one godmother. When not possible, one will do. But not two godfathers or two godmothers.

In some cultures, like in the Philippines, they often have four or five “honorary godfathers and godmothers”. These don’t enter into the parish record books.

I am a single parent. I want my baby baptized, but I am anxious about the kind of reception I will get.

Don’t worry. The priest will be happy to speak with you and arrange for the baptism of your child. The Church simply wants to be assured of your commitment to raise your child as a Catholic. However, it is important that the other parent knows about the planned baptism and has no valid objection to it. We cannot baptize a child if one of the parents opposes it.

Can a priest refuse to baptize my baby?

For pastoral reasons a priest may delay a baptism, but not deny it.

How soon should I have my baby baptized?

The Church encourages families to have their children baptized as soon as possible after birth. This means, a few weeks or months, but not several years.

In emergency who can baptize.

If there is any danger of death, the baby should be baptized immediately, and any baptized person can baptize. Pour water over the head of the baby saying the words: “Name… I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

 My husband is divorced, and we did not get married in the Church. Now we are having difficulty finding a church where we can baptize our child.

The fact that you did not gave up speaks for your desire to raise your child in the Catholic faith. Grandparents also have rights and can help requesting the baptism of their grandchild.

It is also a good time to ask yourself why you are not married in the Church. Talk to your priest and see what he can do to help you.

Where should I baptize my baby?

Baptism should always be in the parish where you live in and where you regularly attend Mass on Sundays. Saint Mary’s is not obliged to baptize children of parents that live, for example, in North York, Barrie or Mississauga.   Parishes have boundaries.  Any exceptions are left to the pastoral discretion of the pastor.

How much does a baptism cost?

There is no charge for a baptism, but an offering is appreciated. Churches have expenses and its maintenance depends entirely on the generous support of its parishioners.

Can we take pictures during baptism?

Yes. Pictures are part of everyday life and helps telling the story of your child.

At the end of baptism, you can always take more pictures with the whole family. We only request that, as a sign of respect, it not be done in front of the Blessed Sacrament altar.