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Baptism

What are the Requirements for Baptism?

For a child to be baptized in the Catholic Church there must be a basis for hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith. In practice, this generally means that at least one parent is Catholic.   Our Archdiocese requires parents to participate in Baptism preparation before the baptism of their children.  We offer Baptism classes. Each child brought forward for baptism must also have at least one godparent who is a confirmed, practicing Catholic age 16 or older.

At what age are children usually baptized?

Infants are generally baptized between three and six months old.
An infant/toddler must be baptized before the Age of Reason at 7 years old.
Once a child reaches the age of 7 years old must enroll in Faith Formation Baptisms for Children over 7 years. Call Office to request more information.

What happens if my child reaches the age of 7 years old?

Once a child reaches the age of 7 years old must enroll in Faith Formation. The child is considered a RCIA Student.  Children start First Holy Communion at the age of 7yrs old, and must now be prepared for the “Sacraments of Initiation.” (Two years of preparation)

What about single parents or parents who weren’t married in the church?

St. Margaret Mary welcomes every parent to bring your child forward for baptism, no matter what your circumstances may be.

What are the requirements for godparents?

We hope that parents choose godparents who will take an active role in the faith formation of their child.

  • The church requires at least one godparent who is a practicing, confirmed Catholic age 16 or older. That godparent’s name is entered into the parish record book as the “official” godparent or sponsor for baptism.
  • In order to be a godparent, a person must be a practicing Catholic who has received the sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation; if married, they must have been married in the Catholic Church. One godparent is required, male or female.
  • If you choose more than two godparents, one or two may have their names entered into the book as “official” godparents, and the others can be “honorary/Christian Witness” godparents.
  • People who are not baptized Christians cannot be sponsors for baptism, since they themselves are not baptized. However, you may certainly invite non-Christian friends or relatives to attend the celebration and to have a special place in your child’s life, sharing with your child their own faith traditions.

Lighting-candleWhen will we receive the baptism certificate?

After the baptism, we will present you with a baptism certificate with the parents’ names.  If your child ever needs a copy of their baptism certificate later, perhaps for school registration or for marriage, you can contact the parish office.

Is there a fee?

No fee is required, but many parents choose to make a donation at the time of the child’s baptism. These generous donations help fund the baptism preparation program and supplies involved.  If you would like to make an offering you may bring it to the baptism or mail or drop it off in the parish office. This offering goes to the Church and not to the celebrant of the sacrament.

What happens during baptism classes?

Our baptism classes are designed to help the Parent and Godparent reflect spiritually on being new parents and recognize that baptism is the beginning of a lifelong commitment.  We will discuss the theology of the sacrament of baptism, as well as practical aspects of the ceremony itself. It is a great way to meet other parents in the parish and to answer any questions you may have.

What should the baby wear for the baptism?

A white garment is an ancient sign of the newly baptized Christian’s new life in Christ. Your child’s baptismal garment need not be a traditional baptismal or christening gown; it can be any clothing that is mainly white.