After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17.
Our parish family here at Sacred Heart welcomes you and your child. Baptism marks a significant event in the life of your child, for through Baptism the child becomes a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. Moreover, the newly baptized is given the promise of the status of being an adopted child of God. Baptism also opens the doors to the other sacraments, which allows for spiritual growth and support.
We ask that you read the following guidelines carefully. If some questions should arise, please do not hesitate to contact us. We want your child’s Baptism to be a spiritual and memorable event. May God bless you as you prepare to begin the journey of faith with your child.
In order for a child to be baptized at Sacred Heart, the parents (at least one) must be registered members in good standing of Sacred Heart Church for at least three months.
The Baptismal program at Sacred Heart requires attendance at a Baptism class. These classes are usually offered once per month; the church office should be consulted for available dates. Attendance of the class is a requirement. Since both parents form the spiritual life of the child, even non-Catholic parents are required to attend. We can provide babysitting for toddlers and older children, but we must know in advance so that arrangements can be made. Infants may stay with their parents. Parents are encouraged to attend the class before the birth of the child, but that is not a requirement. The godparents are also invited, but not required, to attend the class.
Although the customary practice is to have both a godmother and a godfather, only one godparent is required. In order to serve as a godparent, a person must be an active participating Catholic, at least sixteen years old, who has received First Communion and Confirmation, and who is also registered in a parish. If married, the marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church. The godparent letter and godparent form (may be requested at the Church Office or downloaded below) are given to the godparents. The signed form is then returned to the parish office.
A baptized person of another faith cannot be a godparent. They are invited to be a Christian witness, and we welcome them, but they cannot be the godparent of record. The godparents represent the community of faith in which the child is being baptized; thus it is appropriate that only those who are practicing Catholics be godparents. In addition, the godparents are chosen to instill and support the faith of the community in which the child will one day receive the sacraments.
The celebration of the Sacrament is always communal in nature; therefore, private Baptisms are discouraged. Baptisms are scheduled on the second Sunday of each month following the 11:15 mass. If it is not possible for the family to baptize at this time, Baptism can be scheduled at other times, provided a priest or deacon is available. These arrangements must be made in advance through the church office.
In addition to attending the Baptism class, the parents must provide the church office with the following documentation (forms may be requested at the Church Office or downloaded below):
1) the completed Baptism application form
2) a copy of the regular birth certificate or a copy of the hospital document (Verification of Birth Facts) showing the name of the child, the date of birth, the place of birth and the name of both parents;
3) godparent(s) form(s)
Baptisms will not be scheduled until both parents have attended the baptism class and all these documents have been provided. Please note however, that scheduling of Baptism is not automatic; that is, Baptism is not automatically scheduled just because you have attended the class and submitted the required paperwork.
To schedule the Baptism you must either come to the church office, call the church office, or email the church office when you have completed all the requirements.
Please note that if you do not complete all the requirements and properly schedule the Baptism through the church office, a Baptismal certificate will not be prepared. Without that certificate, the priest/deacon will not be able to baptize your child.