BAPTISM FOR INFANTS

“Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”
- JOHN 3:5

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, we are honored that you have chosen to have your child baptized here with us and in allowing us to help them start their journey of faith. Through Baptism, your child will be incorporated into the Church, in union with the Body of Christ.

Infant baptisms are for children up to six years of age. Children that have already celebrated their seventh birthday are invited to prepare for their Sacrament of Baptism through our RCIC program (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children).

If you are an unbaptized adult, we invite you to contact the Religious Education office and ask about our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program.

“Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism”

- CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (1277)

Registration

To begin the baptismal process, please submit the online Baptism Request form. You will receive information on the dates for the next available baptismal class along with the required Parent and Godparent baptismal registration forms.

Complete Baptism Request Form

If you or the godparents have not completed a baptismal preparation class in the last 3 years, you must register and complete a class either here with us or at a different Catholic church.

You may bring all the required documents and forms in person to the church during regular office hours. Otherwise you can submit them by emailing them to .

For all email correspondence, please include the child’s name in the subject line. You may complete STEP 2 and STEP 3 at the same time.

Once we have received and processed all your documents, and the parents and godparents have completed the baptismal preparation class, we will contact you to schedule the date for the baptism.

Please do not make any plans for travel or the celebration until you have scheduled your date with us, and you have received an email confirmation with the date and instructions for the day of the baptism.

Note: We are not able to schedule baptisms during the Lenten Season beginning on Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday.

Requirements

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS PRIOR TO SCHEDULING

  1. PARENT baptismal registration form (will be emailed to the family after the BAPTISM REQUEST has been received). Only one PARENT form is required for each child being baptized.
  2. GODPARENT baptismal registration form (will be emailed to the family after the online BAPTISM REQUEST has been received). Each of the godparents will be required to complete and sign a separate form for each child.
  3. BIRTH CERTIFICATE or hospital verification of birth of your child.
  4. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION for the baptism classes (if taken elsewhere other than at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton).
  5. If the parents are not registered parishioners here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, we will require them to submit a letter of permission from the Catholic church of registration or the church based on where the parents reside and its boundaries. (Please contact our office if you have any questions)

GODPARENT REQUIREMENTS

Choosing the correct godparents will play an important role in the faith journey of your child. The godparents should be a role model for your child on how to live his or her Catholic faith and must be willing to walk with the child on his or her journey.

The parents of the child may select the godparents based on the following requirements (that must be met by all godparents):

  1. The parents of the child are not permitted to act as a godparent for their child’s baptism. However, the child’s Grandparents are eligible (if they meet all the other requirements).
  2. Godparents must be at least 16 years old.
  3. Must be a practicing Catholic and be fully initiated into the Catholic church by having received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. A practicing Catholic implies that they attend Sunday Mass and they participate regularly in receiving the Eucharist and Reconciliation sacraments. An unbaptized or non-Catholic may not be a godparent for Baptism.
  4. If married, the godparent’s marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church. If they are married civilly or in another Christian tradition, they are not eligible to serve as a godparent until their marriage is recognized.

NOTES ABOUT GODPARENTS:

  1. It is recommended that the parents select two godparents for your child. However, you may baptize with one godparent. If you decide on having two godparents, one must be female and the other male.
  2. A baptized Christian, non-Catholic, may serve as a Christian Witness when accompanied by a Catholic Godparent (one must be female and the other male).
  3. If a godparent is unable to be present at the baptism ceremony, the parents may opt to have a proxy to stand in place of the godparent. However, the original godparent’s name will still appear on the baptismal record and not the proxy.

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

We recognize that not everyone's faith journey looks the same. So, whatever the situation, we are here to assist each family on their unique journey. If you have questions or concerns about the process, just let us know.

FAQ

WHEN TO REGISTER TO BAPTIZE?

The Church recommends that the baptism take place shortly after the birth of a baby. Parents may register for Baptism preparation during pregnancy and to sign up at least three months before the desired baptism date.

WHO MUST ATTEND THE BAPTISMAL PREPARATION CLASS?

Both parents and godparents are required to attend the class. If possible, we encourage godparents to participate, and accompany the parents, to the same preparation classes.

HOW OFTEN DO WE NEED TO COMPLETE THE BAPTISMAL CLASS?

Both Parents and Godparents are required to complete the baptismal class at least every three years. If you completed the class here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton or at another Catholic church within the last 3 years, you are not required to take them again. If you completed the class here with us, please let us know that we already have a record of your attendance. Otherwise, we will require a letter or certificate of completion from the parish indicating the date you completed the classes.

HOW MANY GODPARENTS DO I NEED?

It is recommended that the parents select two godparents for your child. However, you may baptize with one godparent. If you decide on having two godparents, one must be female and the other male.

WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN WITNESS?

A baptized Christian, non-Catholic, may serve as a Christian Witness when accompanied by a Catholic Godparent (one must be female and the other male). The Christian witness must submit a letter or certificate of their baptism from their Christian church of baptism.

WHAT IF A GODPARENT CAN’T BE PRESENT AT THE BAPTISM?

If a godparent is unable to be present at the baptism ceremony, the parents may opt to have a proxy to stand in place of the godparent. However, the original godparent’s name will still appear on the baptismal record and not the proxy. If you have selected two godparents but one of the two cannot be at the ceremony, you may also baptize with just that one godparent and opt to not use a proxy for the other one.

WHAT IF I HAVE TO RESCHEDULE?

Contact the Liturgy office to let us know of the need to reschedule. You will not be required to resubmit the Baptism Request or the documentation.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BAPTIZE?

There is no cost to Baptize at our church or to complete the classes. The family does have the option to provide a stipend to the priest or deacon performing the baptism in gratitude of their time and effort. However, that is not a requirement to baptize.