Baptism


Baptism is necessary before one can receive any other sacrament. It is the first sacrament of Christian initiation which is completed with the sacraments of Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.  Baptism was instituted by Christ when he was baptized by St. John the Baptist and when he commanded his apostles to go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Baptism removes all sin: original sin and any other sins.  Baptism also makes us children of God, members of Christ, members of the Church, and heirs to the kingdom of heaven.  This means that: Baptism permanently relates us to God and is necessary for salvation and Baptism imprints an indelible character on the soul of the recipient and can be received only once.  These effects are the fruits of sanctifying grace which is conferred through Baptism.  For infants it is required that there be a reasonable hope that the parents or parent will bring the child up in the Catholic faith.

 A candidate for Baptism must have at least one sponsor, or godparent.  The godparent cannot be the mother or father of the one to be baptized.  The godparent must be at least sixteen, be a Catholic who has been confirmed, and has received the Holy Eucharist.  There can be two godparents, a man and a woman.  Non-Catholics cannot be godparents, but can be admitted as a witness to the Baptism.

 Godparents must be in good standing with the Catholic Church.  A sponsorship certificate is necessary from the registered parish of the Godparents.  This states that they meet the requirements in order to act as a sponsor.  Please read the form belowvbefore choosing your Godparents.


Regulations for Sponsors

of Candidates for Baptism and Confirmation


Who may be baptismal sponsor/godparent?  Insofar as possible, one to be baptized is to be assigned a sponsor.  In the case of an adult baptism, the sponsor’s role is to assist the person in Christian initiation.  In the case of an infant baptism, the role is, together with the parents, to present the child for baptism, and to help the child live a Christian life befitting of the baptized, and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in baptism. 

     One sponsor, male or female is sufficient but there may be two, one of each sex.  It is prohibited to have either two male or two female sponsors.  To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:

     Be appointed by the candidate for baptism, or by the parents, or by whoever stands in their place, or (if necessary) by the pastor, parish priest, or minister, and is to have the qualifications and the intention of fulfilling this role;

     Be not less than 16 years old;

     Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has receives the Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;

     Not to be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

     Not be either the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.  

 

N.B. These criteria are the same for those who would sponsor a candidate for confirmation.

     A baptized non-Catholic Christian,  i.e. a baptized non-Catholic Christian, may be a witness to the baptism only together with a Catholic sponsor.  Non-Catholics and non-Christians may not be sponsors for baptism and confirmation.

     Because the sponsor must be leading a life in harmony with the faith, the person, if married must be in a valid marriage recognized by the Church.

     A baptized Catholic who does not meet the above mentioned requirements may not act as a Christian witness.  A non-practicing Catholic (one who does not attend Mass, or has left the Catholic Church to practice another religion) may not serve as a Christian witness.

    One’s own pastor normally issues sponsor certificates to registered and active members of the parish. Normally, registered members of the parish receive Parish Offertory Envelopes.  The sponsor certificate becomes a declaration that one is fit to serve as a sponsor for a candidate for baptism and confirmation.  These are ordinarily presented to the Parish Office at least one week prior to the scheduled Baptism..