“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission”
[Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213]
We welcome you to baptize your child here at St. Francis Xavier church. Parents have a serious obligation to baptize their children as early as possible. Baptism is an important part of their duty to raise the children in the faith handed down by Jesus in the Catholic Church. Our parish is happy to support families and parents in this important task.
Baptism is the most important spiritual event in a person’s life. By Baptism, a child is freed from sin, filled with the Holy Spirit and becomes a member of the wider Body of Christ, the Church. By this sacrament the child becomes consecrated and holy, belonging to God and now has the right to enjoy the spiritual promises given by Christ to believers, namely, eternal life.
We recommend that parents and godparents prepare for the baptism as early as possible – even before the child is born. This enables the preparation to be more relaxed and meaningful.
Note 1: Families are advised not to make any arrangements (asking for time off, booking a reception, sending invitations, etc.) for the baptism until the date is booked and confirmed with Fr. Healy, to avoid any disappointments.
Note 2: If your child is very sick/about to undergo a serious medical procedure/other emergency situation, contact the parish priest as soon as possible. In cases of extreme emergency or near death, anyone including parents may baptize the child without a priest.
Ordinarily, the parents of the child to be baptized (or at least one) are practicing members of St. Francis Xavier Parish, meaning they attend Mass weekly here and support the parish. If you are not attending and live in the area, you are asked to register and become active in our parish family prior to the baptism. Becoming a registered parishioner means you are making your spiritual home here at St. Francis Xavier. To register in the parish, you can complete the form online HERE or pick one up from the church office during regular office hours. If you live elsewhere and wish to have your child baptized here, we need a letter of permission from your home parish.
If the parents of the child to be baptized are currently not married or were married outside of the Catholic Church, we would be happy to discuss the process with you of receiving the Sacrament of Marriage here.
You will need to select at least one qualified godparent or sponsor. There are normally two godparents, one man and one woman. The godparent promises to support and assist the parents in raising the child in the Catholic faith, and be a mentor and example to the child in the Catholic faith.
Godparents must be baptized Catholics, at least 16 years of age, who have received the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation, and, if currently married, married in the Catholic Church or had their marriage blessed by the Catholic Church. If they are not married and are in a relationship, they should not be cohabitating with their partner. They must have an active affiliation with a parish and must obtain a “sponsor’s certificate” from the church they currently are registered with. If they are not registered at a parish, they must obtain the “sponsor’s certificate” from the church at which they regularly attend Sunday Mass.
It is possible to have one “Catholic Sponsor” and one “Christian Witness.” A Christian witness is a person who is baptized in another Christian denomination.
A close friend or family member who is not baptized does not qualify to be a godparent. This applies also for a Catholic who is not confirmed or one who is currently in a marriage not recognized by the Catholic Church.
If a godparent cannot attend the baptism ceremony, a proxy can stand in the place of the missing godparent. The name of that person will be entered as a proxy in the Sacramental Record Book, along with the name of the missing godparent.
STEPS TO SCHEDULING A BAPTISM
To schedule the baptism of your child:
- If you are not registered or not active here, please register as parishioners in the parish and begin to attend weekly Mass as a family prior to initiating the process for baptism. Introduce yourselves to Fr. Ryan and Deacon David so they may get to know your family personally.
- Complete the online baptism registration form HERE.
- Secure the Sponsor Certificates for the godparents/sponsors you have selected and a copy of your child’s birth certificate. Once you have these, contact Fr. Ryan (email@example.com) to schedule a meeting or Zoom to discuss baptismal preparation and hand in the necessary paperwork.
- To better understand the Sacrament of Baptism and your role as a Catholic parent, you are asked to watch at home the 3-part video series Reborn found online at formed.org and complete the online questionnaire HERE.
- To access the videos:
- Go to formed.org
- If you do not have an account, select “get an individual subscription.” (There is a 7 day free trial.)
- Under “The Sacraments”, watch Episodes 1, 2 & 3 of Reborn: You, Your Child, and the Heart of Baptism (about 90 minutes in total)
- Optional video: Reborn: The Mission to Love: 7 Keys to Catholic Parenting (about 1 hour)
- Encouraged videos for godparents: 1) Episode 2 of Reborn and 2) Reborn: The Gift of Godparents: More than Cards and Presents (about 40 minutes)
- To access the videos:
- After completing the videos and questionnaire, reach out to Deacon David Pepin (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a one-hour meeting to discuss the ceremony and schedule the baptism. It will only be at this appointment that the determination will be made as to the date of the baptism.
- Baptism. We ask that if a baptism occurs after a Sunday Mass, that not only the parents and godparents, but the entire family that will be in attendance at the baptism also be present at the Holy Mass preceding the baptism. In this way the family is well prepared spiritually for the baptism and the parish community can give a proper welcome to the child and his or her family.
There is no fee for a baptism. If you would like to make a donation to the parish, place it in an envelope with the child’s name on it and give it to the priest or deacon on the day of the baptism.