Requirements for the Baptism of Children
Parents need to request baptism at least one month before they wish to have their child baptized. See the English-speaking priest in the sacristy after the English Mass, or contact him by phone or email.
Parents (and godparents) are required to attend a baptism seminar. Usually the seminar takes place a week or more before the baptism, depending on circumstances.
Parents must select one or two Catholics who are in good standing with the Church and their parish church to serve as the child’s godparent(s). Godparents should be at least 16 years old.
Godparents should not be chosen just out of family expectations or pressures. Since the role of the godparents is to be a presence — specifically a spiritual presence — in a child’s life, then some considerations must be made:
- Is the person likely to remain in contact with you and/or your child, to the best of your knowledge?
- Will this person be a good example to your child?
- Does this person practice faith?
If you choose to have two godparents, one must be male and the other female.
Only a Catholic can be a godparent helping parents raise their child in the Catholic Faith. Exceptions to this rule must be discussed with the priest when you meet with him to request baptism.
Additional requirements of Godparents
Godparents must be practicing Catholics, fully initiated into the Catholic Church (through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and first communion), and must be Catholics in good standing. (For an excellent and thorough discussion of the seriousness of the role of godparent, both parents and prospective godparents should read this page and discuss it. Are both the parents and the godparents in agreement about the seriousness of their commitment to baptism and to the upbringing of the child in the faith?) Thus we may request:
- Copies of their baptism certificates with all notations of sacraments received to date.
- A letter from their pastor(s) stating that they are in good standing and active in their parish church(es).