Guidelines for Baptism

Baptism of Infants
Baptismal preparation classes at St. John’s are held in the church on the First Sunday of every month at 12:15 p.m. Both the parents who wish to have their child baptized, as well as the godparents, are asked to attend a baptismal preparation class.

The appropriate location for baptism is in the Church, unless in the case of an emergency.

Basic Requirements for Parents

  • Parents need to demonstrate the importance of their faith by making a point to attend Mass regularly.
  • Baptisms ordinarily take place at the parish the household (family) belong to. 
  • If parents belong to another parish (meaning they live in another parish boundaries or are active registered parishioners at another parish), they will need to obtain a letter of permission from their pastor to baptize their child at St. John’s.
  • If parents attend a class elsewhere, a letter verifying class attendance should be presented prior to the baptism.   Classes are valid for 2 years with certificate of completion.   
  • Parents need to submit an official state Birth Certificate (issued by State, County or City) no hospital certificates are accepted.
  • Parents must also bring identification (Drivers' License). 
  • Only the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may present children for baptism.  Grandparents and other relatives cannot present children for baptism without expressed written permission from parents who are otherwise not able to do so. 

Requirements for Godparents

  • It is a serious responsibility to choose a godparent(s) well. It is a decision worth much thought, prayer and discussion. 
  • Godparents are to be Catholic.  A child may have one godparent (male or female) or two godparents (one male and one female).   Godparents may be as young as 16 years old.  NO Non-Catholics (especially non-Christians) or those who object to the faith by claiming to be Agnostic or Atheist) may serve as Godparents.
  • Must be attending Mass on Sundays on a regular basis and be registered in a parish.
  • Must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist.
  • If married, godparents must be married in the Catholic Church and not practice contraception (since contraception is an immoral practice contrary to Church teaching).
  • If single, must not be living with someone with whom they are not married (heterosexual or homosexual relationship). 
  • Must be in good standing with the Church(Examples of not being in good standing with the Church: living outside the state of matrimony, cohabiting couples "living together", public rejection of the faith, membership or regular practice of another non-Catholic faith, the practice of the black arts or having received a formal declaration of excommunication)
  • Must not be involved in behaviors or in careers contrary to Catholic Morality.  (i.e. worker at Planned Parenthood, worker or owner of an immoral establishment, an abortion practicioner, ect...)
  • Must attend baptismal instruction class prior to the baptism.
  • If from another parish, godparents should bring a letter from their pastor verifying their suitability to serve as godparents as well as a letter verifying that they have attended baptismal classes if they do not attend class at St. John‘s.

Please contact the parish office to register by the noon of the first Thursday of the month.   No one may simply walk into a baptismal class and expect to receive credit for attending.    There is a fee for baptism and it must be taken care of with the parish office by noon of the Thursday before the baptism.  

Classes are offered for those parents and godparents preparing for baptism at St. John's.   There is a $25.00 fee for those needing baptismal class only (baptizing outside of St. John's).  

**No baptism will take place unless all paper work is submitted.

When should parents contact the parish about Baptism for their children?

The sooner the better, even during the pregnancy, before the child is born is appropriate. Baptism should take place as soon as the mother and child are ready to come to the church.

Are parents required to attend Baptismal preparation sessions before their children are baptized?

The Church is clear when in her laws expect that "parents must be properly prepared for both living out the commitment they are making and celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism "with understanding".

Are "sponsors" or "godparents" required to be Catholic?

Absolutely! Not only must they be fully initiated Catholics (that is having been baptized, made their first communion and been confirmed) but they also must be Catholics in good standing. Catholics are married outside the Church (without the Church's blessing) are not "in good standing" and therefore cannot be sponsors org godparents. Godparents must also not have incurred excommunication for offenses like abortion or participation in abortion without having already confessed this sin.

Who can validly baptize a child?

The Church requires a validly ordained minister (Bishop, Priest or Deacon) to be the ordinary minister of baptism. In case of danger of death circumstance, then a non-ordained Christian may baptize using the proper formula (water and "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"

Must parents give consent for baptism of a minor (infant)?

Yes, one parent must give consent for the baptism of their child. Grandparents or relatives may not impose baptism without consent.