Baptism

Baptism

Dear Parents

On behalf of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, welcome and congratulations on the birth of your child.

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. (The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213)

Your child will learn about life, love, God and our Catholic faith from you. By your example and life, your child will learn about your values and beliefs.

A decision to have your child baptized is serious. Baptism is the Sacrament in which Christ Himself purifies, justifies and sanctifies (cf. 1 Peter 1:23) your child for eternal life. This decision means that you are choosing to accept responsibility for your child’s early faith formation.

To assist you we have established the following program.

Please read the guidelines carefully to facilitate your celebration.

General Requirement for Parents:

  1. One parent must be a Baptized Catholic. If neither parent is baptized, please speak to the parish priest to determine if an exception applies (for example a parent is a candidate for initiation).
  2. If you are a registered member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, then there are no further permissions necessary. If you are registered at another parish, you need to obtain permission from your parish priest. Permission can be granted by your parish priest by his own letter or by completing the Request Form of Parents for Permission for Baptism.

Steps in Preparation:

Parents:

Make an appointment with the parish priest before the first preparation session. Bring the completed Baptism Application form to the appointment.

  1. Godparents:

Prayerfully choose godparents for your child, inform godparents of the following requirements.

1.1 To be qualified to serve as a godparent, a person must follow these guidelines:

  • Fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. This means that they should have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. This person should be willing and able to help the child develop and grow in the Catholic faith. They should also be practicing and in good standing.
  • If married, they must be in a valid marriage recognized by the Church.
  • There must be at least one godparent. In the case where there are two godparents, one must be male and the other female.
  • The minimum age for a fully initiated Catholic to be a godparent is sixteen (16) years of age.
  • A baptized Christian, non-Catholic, may not be a godparent, but may act as a Christian witness along with a Catholic godparent.
  • Non-baptized persons may not officially act as a godparent or a witness to a baptism of a child in the Catholic faith.
  • Parents of the child being baptized may not serve as a godparent or Christian witness.

1.2. Christian Witness: (Canon Law #874)

If you are having a Christian witness for your child, inform this person of the requirements.

  • Because the godparents are required to help the child live out the Catholic faith, non-Catholics are not permitted to be godparents. If a family wishes to have a non-Catholic participate in the Rite, it is required that the person be a baptized Christian and can be designated as a Christian witness. He/she will be recorded as “Christian witness” in the official records.

1.3 Proxies:

If the godparents cannot be present at the Baptism, proxies can be designated to answer the parts of the godparents during the ceremony itself. They should meet the same qualifications as godparents. They will be listed in the baptismal record as “proxies”.

  1. Attend the Ceremony: On the date of the Baptism, please arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the Rite. If the godparents cannot attend the actual Baptism ceremony, proxies may be used.

Fees: There are no fees for having your child baptized. Often a family will choose to make a gift to the parish to help with the costs associated with your celebration and to assist with the ministry of the parish.

If you would like to offer a gift specifically to the celebrant of the Sacrament, please designate your offering for him.

If you have any other questions concerning the Sacrament of Baptism, please contact Father Ivanhoe or Lynette Petersen 072 6017688.

Parish Priest:  Father Ivanhoe Allies

Coordinator:  Lynette Petersen


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