Baptism for Infants

Infant Baptism

General Information

 

Dear Parents,

We are very happy to prepare your family for the celebration of Infant Baptism. For Catholic Christians, Baptism is the beginning of all Christian life. It is a free gift from our loving God. We do not deserve it, and yet He makes us His Children in baptism.  Through baptism every child becomes a members of the Body of Christ and members of the Catholic Church.

Why do we baptize? On the great Feast Day of Pentecost God poured out his Holy Spirit into the Church. On Pentecost, St. Peter preached to the multitudes: ”Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:37).  Whole families, parents and children, were baptized. Since then the ministers of the Church have offered this sacrament to all who asked for it.

Jesus instructs his disciples to: “baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).  The difficult work comes after Baptism, namely to teach a child all that Christ has taught us in what we do and what we say.  During Baptism, parents and godparents vow before God to teach their child the Catholic Christian faith so that when their child grows up, she/he can personally choose to follow Jesus Christ. Parents are the first educators of their children in knowing, loving, and serving Jesus Christ.



Who can be baptized as an infant?

 

Infant baptism includes all children age 7 and younger. Children older than 7 years of age need to be able to personally accept Jesus Christ as their savior, learn to pray, and know about the sacraments.

 

Who can be a godparent?

 

  • Please select people who will be Catholic role models for your child. Godparents are called to walk with your child throughout his/her life to pray for them, encourage, and when needed, give them advice. Ideally godparents will be present at their godchild's First Communion, Confirmation and wedding.
  • One godparent (male or female) is required who is an active, practicing and fully initiated member of the Roman Catholic Church. This means that he/she needs to have received the sacrament of Confirmation and, if married, be married in the Catholic Church.
  • A second godparent may be chosen. If there are two godparents, they must be a man and a woman.
  • Protestant Christians may be invited to be a godparent, with the exception of Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witness. The later do not believe in the Trinity, and thus, their baptisms are invalid. Our brothers in Christ are called Christian witnesses because they witness to Christ, the Bible and the importance of attending Church; whereas, godparents witness to the Christian faith as passed down by the Catholic Church, including the sacraments.
  • You may have only two godparents, or a godparent and a Christian witness. You may not have three godparents.
  • If the godparents are married, it must be within a marriage of the Catholic Church.  Civil ‘marriages’ are not sacramental.  In effect, you are cohabiting with another individual without formally inviting God into your marriage, and promising before God to be faithful, total, and fruitful in your marriage. 
  • Minimum age for godparent is 16 years.
  • Godparents may be prepared at their home parish and bring verification of that preparation not older than three years.

 

Do Christian witnesses need to take the Infant Baptism Class?

 

Would you make a vow before God without understanding what you are promising? We invite all Christian witnesses to take the Infant Baptism class so that they understand the commitment they are making before God. Christian witnesses are agreeing to help their godchild to grow in their Catholic faith. Hopefully they are there not only on the day of their Baptism but also present at their First Communion, Confirmation and Marriage.

 

What do I need to do to register to Baptize my child at St. Matthew?

 

  1. Be committed to praying with your child, attending Mass every Sunday, and being active Catholic Christians.
  2. Parents and godparents need to attend the Baptism Preparation class if you have not done so within the past two years. If childcare is difficult to find, parents can attend the class separately in different months.
  3. Pay $35 for the class. This covers the cost of two parents and two godparents taking the class.
  4. Paperwork needs to be filled out two weeks before the date of Baptism. Please bring all paperwork to the Infant Baptism class.
  • REGISTRATION FORM for a Baptism at St. Matthew
  • Bring a COPY OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE (not the original)
  • GODPARENT(S) ELIGIBILITY FORMS (available at Baptism Class). If your godparents are coming from another parish, they need an ELIGIBILITY LETTER and PROOF of the BAPTISM CLASS.

 

I want to Baptize my child at a different Catholic parish...

 

If you have not taken the Baptism Class in the past two years, you will need to do so. Please bring a Bible and the class fee of $35. At the class, you can obtain a Parent Letter.

 

I am going to be a godparent at a different parish...

 

If you have not taken the Baptism Class in the past two years, you will need to do so. Please bring a Bible, the name of your godchildren and the class fee of $35. At the class you can obtain a Godparent Letter. It may take up to a week to obtain the letter, depending on the time of year.

 

When are the Infant Baptism classes, and when are Baptisms celebrated?

 

Parents and Godparents need to attend Baptism Class from 7-9 p.m. in the Parish Hall room A-B.  Please come and pre-register at the parish office with the birth certificate and registration fee of $35 prior to class. Baptisms are celebrated once a month on Saturdays at 11 a.m. in the Parish.  Paper work must be completed three weeks before the desired date. The dates are as follows:

Class Dates 2016: Baptism celebrated on:
November  14 December  10
December  12 January 14, 2017
   
Class Date 2017: Baptism celebrated on:
 January    09  February  11
 February  06  March - no baptisms during Lent
 March       20  April         29
 April          24  May         13
 May          15  June        10
 June         12  July          08
 July           17  August     12
 August      14  

 

For more information please contact Adult Faith Coordinator Irma Vasquez at (503) 648-1998 Ext. 246 or email at IVasquez@stmatthewhillsboro.org.