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Baptism - St. Joseph Catholic Church

Baptism

St. Joseph Parishioner Requirements for Baptism of Children:

For parents – Before the Baptism:

  • Parents need to be registered and active parishioners for at least two months before attending baptism seminar.
  • Parents are required to attend the baptism seminar at St. Joseph, whether the child is to be baptized at another church or by another priest. They must attend the seminar at least one month before the baptism. A certificate of attendance is needed.
  • Parents select one or two Catholics in good standing with the church and their parish church to serve as the child’s godparent(s).
    • If you choose to have two godparents/sponsors, one must be male and the other female.
    • Only a catholic can be a godparent sponsoring a child into the Catholic Church. As an exception, if the parents cannot designate a catholic for this important role, one non-catholic who is baptized Christian can be a “Christian witness.” (Note: Only the names of godparents are included in the church’s official records.)

For Godparents – Before the baptism:

  • Sponsors / Godparents must be practicing Catholics and in good standing. Thus we need:
    • Copies of their baptism certificate with all notations of sacraments received (confirmation and marriage).
    • A letter from their pastor stating that he/she is in good standing and active in their parish church.
    • Written proof stating they have been to a baptism seminar (usually a certificate issued by church where the seminar took place).
  • Sponsors / Godparents are required to attend the baptism seminar, preferably with the parents of the child, or in one’s home parish.
  • “Christian witnesses” need to provide the following:
    • Proof of baptism.
    • Letter from their pastor stating they are in good standing and active in their church.
    • Proof of baptism seminar (usually a certificate issued by church where the seminar took place).

Note: if you are going to have you child baptized at another church, you will need all of the above items, plus a letter from your pastor giving permission to have your baby baptized in another parish.

These papers need to be turned in to Dotye Sue Stanford, no less than two weeks before the baptism.


Non St. Joseph Parishioner Requirements for Baptism of Children:

For parents coming from another Catholic Church before the baptism of your child:

  • Parents need to provide the pastor of St. Joseph (or his delegate):
    • Letter from their pastor stating the parents are active and in good standing with the church in which the pastor gives permission that the child can be baptized in another parish.
    • Written proof (usually a certificate) stating that the parents have been to a Baptism Seminar (usually at one’s own parish — you are welcome to attend the Baptism Seminar at St. Joseph).
    • If you have asked your pastor to perform the baptism, your pastor must make the request (in writing) to baptize your child at St. Joseph.

For Godparents – Before the Baptism

  • Sponsors / Godparents must be practicing Catholics and in good standing. Thus we need:
    • Copies of their Baptism Certificate with notation of First Communion and Confirmation.
    • A letter from their pastor stating that he/she is in good standing and active in their parish church.
    • Written proof stating they have been to a Baptism Seminar.
  • Sponsors / Godparents are required to attend the Baptism Seminar.
  • Only a Catholic can be a Godparent sponsoring a child into the Catholic Church. As an exception, if the parents cannot designate a Catholic for this important role, one non-Catholic who is baptized Christian can be a “Christian witness.” (Note: only the names of Godparents are included in the church’s official records.). Christian witnesses need to provide the following:
    • Proof of Baptism.
    • Letter from their pastor stating they are in good standing and active in their church.
    • Proof of Baptism Seminar.

These papers need to be turned in to Dotye no later than two weeks before the baptism.


The role of Godparents:

Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments in the life of the Catholic Church. As such, it is the gateway into the Christian life. This sacrament can only be celebrated once in a person’s life, making it a day to be remembered.

Godparents are a very important part of this sacrament. In the sacrament, parents accept a commission to bring up their child in faith, or to know God. The Godparents are there to fulfill two duties:

  • To accept the responsibility to help the parents to raise the child in faith.
  • As representative of the entire Church. Since every Christian cannot attend the baptism of every child, Godparents become the special emissaries of the whole church to that one, particular child.

Choosing Godparents can be tricky. People’s feelings can be hurt and there may be a sense of obligation to fulfill. For example, if you were asked to be a godchild to a niece or nephew, there may be an unspoken expectation there for the favor to be returned.

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?
  • Is the person living a life you can respect?
  • Will this person be a good example to your child?
  • Does this person practice faith?

These are certainly questions that should be asked, and answered. However, there are other rules that must be followed as well. The Church itself has guidelines for godparents. These are not a judgment on other people, but rather a way to ensure that a child baptized into the Catholic Church has a godparent who can relate to their faith and help to pass it on.

Godparents should

  • be at least 16 years old
  • be fully initiated into Catholic Church (have received sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist)
  • not be the child’s mother or father
  • be in good standing with the Catholic Church; if married, then married in a Catholic ceremony or else have received a blessing of the marriage from the Church
  • one godparent is acceptable; if two godparents, then one should be male and one female
  • As long as there is one Catholic godparent, there can be a non-Catholic, baptized godparent, who will be known as a “Christian Witness”

Church Law Regarding Baptism:

  • Infant Baptism: according to the laws of the universal Church, a minor child under the age of seven is considered as an infant (Canon 97.1) as well as those who habitually lack the use of reason. (Canon 99).
  • For an infant to be licitly baptized, it is necessary that:
    • at least one of the parents consents to it (or the person that lawfully takes the parents place) and;
    • there is a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Church. For example: formation and continued education in the faith, and participation in the spiritual life of the church community… (Canons 868-869)
  • There should be one (1) Godparent for the person to be baptized (who is not the father or mother of the one to be baptized). (Canons 873, 874.1)
  • IF there are to be two Godparents, they must be of the opposite sex (male and female). (Canon 873)
  • Qualifications of acceptable Godparent (who sponsors the child into the Catholic Church).
    • that he/she be designated by the parents of the person to be baptized; if this designation is lacking, the Pastor or Minister of the Sacrament may designate.
    • that he/she has an intention to carry out the duty;
    • that he/she be at least 16 years of age;
    • that he/she be a Roman Catholic of the Latin Rite (Eastern Rite Catholics are allowed);
    • that he/she has received the Sacrament of Confirmation;
    • that he/she has received the Sacrament of Holy Communion;
    • that he/she be a practicing Catholic leading a life of faith in harmony with the Church;
    • that he/she not be under a lawfully imposed or declared canonical penalty.
  • If there is only one Godparent (who must be Catholic) a “Christian Witness” (Non-Catholic) may also be chosen for the one to be baptized:
    • A baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic ecclesial community ‘may be’ admitted as a “witness” to baptism (the formal title is Christian Witness, not “Godparent.” (Canon 874.2)
    • This privilege applies only to a Non-Catholic belonging to an ecclesial community i.e. Mainline Protestant Church, Greek Orthodox, and other Churches with valid baptisms. A Catholic cannot be a Witness. A non-Christian cannot be a Witness.

Rite of Christian Initiation

A program setup for those interested in the Catholic faith is called RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation). RCIA classes are offered Tuesday evening to prepare those to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion (Eucharist) and/or Confirmation. For more information about joining the church, please contact the church office.

 


Mass Times

Weekdays
Mon - Sat / 8:15 am
Mon - Fri / 5:45 pm

Weekends
Saturday Vigil
4 pm (CST) / 5 pm (DST)

Sunday
8 am, 9:30 am, 12 pm, & 6 pm

Confessions

First Saturday
Following 8:15 am Mass

Saturday
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm (CST)
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm (DST)

Also by Appointment