Congratulations on the birth of your child! Or, if you are new to the Church, welcome to a faith-filled community that eagerly anticipates your communion with the Catholic Church.
What happens in baptism? What do we hope for from baptism? You have given a response on the threshold of this chapel: We hope for eternal life for our children. This is the purpose of baptism. But how can it be obtained? How can baptism offer eternal life? What is eternal life? Find a reflection on these questions and the Sacrament of Baptism in a homily delivered by Pope Benedict XI on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord during the baptism of children. Click here: Pope Benedict XI’s homily delivered in the Sistine Chapel at a celebration of Baptisms – January 8, 2006
Baptism Preparation Class
We ask that you contact us before the birth of your child. All parents and godparents are required to attend Sacramental Preparation Classes to be scheduled with the Parish Deacon.
At least one godparent is required. There may be two, but they must be one man and one woman.
“For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult – on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255)
Most people have a false understanding of what a godparent truly is. I am sure you have heard it said, that if anything happens to the parents, the godparents will raise the child. But is that what being a godparent is all about? No, in fact, the role of the godparent is to be much more than someone to take care of the children if something happens. In fact, that may not even be their role.
So what is a godparent? A godparent is to be a witness, an inspiration, a rock solid example of what it means to be a Roman Catholic in today’s world. That means that the person must be a Catholic not only in name but by the life they lead each and every day.
Most people do not know the Church’s requirements for a person who is to undertake the role of godmother or godfather. In the Code of Canon Law, a book with the laws that govern and guide the life of the Catholic Church, there are specific regulations regarding sponsors (godparents) for the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation.
The requirements for godparents are:
- be not less than sixteen years of age.
- be a Catholic who has received the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
- be registered and active members of their parish.
- be living in conformity with Catholic morals and in good standing with the Catholic Church (if married, married according to the laws of the Church).
- may not be the mother or father of the person to be baptized.
- Finally, they must obtain a Sponsor Certificate, attesting to their fulfilling the stated requirements, from the parish in which they are a registered member.
Before asking someone to take on the role of a sponsor, please be sure they fulfill the requirements of the Church. This will save the person from embarrassment and the family from being disappointed. The Priest has a responsibility before God and in justice to be sure these requirements are fulfilled! Click here to read a column by Bishop Tobin about the important role Godparent’s play in the formation of young people.
Please contact the parish at 401.942.1492 to inquire about this Sacrament through St. Mary’s Parish.