From the very beginning of the Church, baptism was the Sacred Sacrament that enabled people to become members of the Church – either as adults or children. To have a child baptised means that you wish them to belong to the Catholic Church. It is not simply a means by which you can send your child to a Catholic school! This means that as parents you have to ask yourselves some questions:
- Can you promise to do your best to teach your child about the Catholic Church?
- Will you give an example of belonging by taking part in the life of the Church yourselves?
If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ then you need to think again about baptism.
Conditions for Baptism:
To be baptised in the Catholic Church, a person must make a profession of faith and will promise to be part of the Catholic Church in the future. For children under the age of 7, their parents make this profession of faith on their behalf.
- In the case of a child, this means that at least one of the parents must be a baptised Roman Catholic (see below).
- A person must be baptised in the Parish where they live.
- A person being baptised must have at least one practising Roman Catholic Godparent.
Baptism Certificate for at least one of the Catholic Parents.
It is the responsibility of the Church to ensure that children being baptised will be brought up in the practices of the Catholic faith. Therefore we have to ensure that at least one parent is a baptised Catholic. Please produce a baptismal certificate for at least one parent. If you were baptised at St Michael’s or St Bernadette’s, we can check our registers for you. Please indicate on the enrollment form which church you were baptised at. If you were baptised in another Catholic Church and you haven’t got a baptismal certificate, please contact the church where you were baptised and ask for a copy of your baptismal certificate (if you include a stamped addressed envelope it will get back to you quicker!)
Who can be a godparent?
Only Catholics over the age of 16 may be godparents at catholic baptisms. Other Christians may stand as Christian witnesses (the equivalent of godparents) but must have been baptised themselves because they have to make the profession of faith as well.