To arrange for an infant Baptism, call the parish office (399-1062) to set up an appointment for a Baptism interview. There are multiple times available most weeks including Tuesday evenings, or Sunday mornings (before or after Mass). Information needed to complete the paperwork required for your child’s Baptism will be recorded. At the end of the interview, you will receive the booklet “Your Baby’s Baptism” to read and a worksheet of reflection questions to complete and bring with you to the Baptism Preparation Class. Baptisms are celebrated on the first and third Sundays of the month (except during Lent). Please give us two weeks’ notice of your choice of a date for baptism.
One of the questions that we have to field the most often is “What is required to be a godparent?” We are not surprised or distressed by the question. Most of us knew or were taught at one time or another, but like so much else, it can be a piece of information that just does not seem to stick until it has immediate relevance for us. At least when people ask we know that they presume that SOMETHING is required. The following instructions are taken from the introduction to the Catholic Baptism Ritual (the book the priest uses during a baptism):
Godparents are persons, other than the parents of candidates, who are designated by the candidates themselves or by a candidate’s parents or whoever stands in the place of parents. Each candidate may have either a godmother or a godfather or both a godmother and a godfather.
Those designated must have the capability and intention of carrying out the responsibility of a godparent and be mature enough to do so (minimally 16 years of age). Those designated as godparents must have received the three sacraments of initiation, baptism, confirmation, and eucharist, and be living a life consistent with faith and with the responsibility of a godparent.
Those designated as godparents must also be members of the Catholic Church and be canonically free to carry out this office. At the request of parents, a baptized and believing Christian not belonging to the Catholic Church may act as a Christian witness along with a Catholic godparent.
An obvious question of course is what does “living a life consistent with faith and with the responsibility of a godparent” mean. Basic decency is obviously presumed, but there are lots of decent people who claim no faith at all. For us Catholics there is nothing more primary to our identity than participation in Sunday Mass. The following is quoted from the latest edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.
The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.
Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.