Baptism marks the beginning of a Christian’s faith journey. Through baptism, individuals become Children of God and are welcomed into the life of the Church. At St. Thomas More Parish, parents are welcome to present their children to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Regarding the uniqueness of each family and understanding how the lives of many are so busy, the process of preparing for Baptism is flexible. Most of the preparation is completed at home at whatever pace the parents feel comfortable with.
The preparation process begins with just two steps:
First, parents can let the parish priest know that they desire their child to be baptized by completing the Baptismal Information Form. Once completed, this form will be emailed to both you and the parish priest.
Second, parents should see the parish priest at one of the Sunday Masses to pick up a Baptismal Preparation package. If unable to attend any of the Sunday Masses, parents may email or call the parish to make alternative arrangements.
Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions about the Sacrament of Baptism as it is celebrated at St. Thomas More Parish.
Will the baptism take place within the Sunday Mass?
Generally, baptisms at St. Thomas More Parish are celebrated within the Sunday Mass so that the entire parish community can celebrate with the family and demonstrate support for the newly baptized child. However, exceptions are certainly made to accommodate unique needs or situations. Parents who seek to have their child baptized outside of the Mass may be asked to attend a Sunday Mass anytime before the Baptism to receive a blessing before the community.
What is involved in the preparation process?
Preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism at St. Thomas More Parish is focused on a video series called ‘Reborn’ found on formed.org. The videos are available online and will stream to most any computer or device. Parents and Godparents will be guided through the videos through a Parent Reflection Book and a Godparent Reflection Book. These two books outline all of the steps in the preparation process.
Accessing the preparation videos
While working through their respective Reflection books, both parents and godparents will be asked to watch three short videos. With an access password, these videos may be streamed online. Follow these steps to access the videos:
Step One – Open the videos
Step Two – Enter the password given to you in the preparation package
Step Three – Watch the videos.
Connecting with an ‘Ambassador to the Baptized’
To assist them through the preparation process, parents seeking the Sacrament of Baptism for their child may be paired up with a parish ‘Ambassador to the Baptized’. Finally, parents will meet with the parish priest to set a date for the baptism and to have any questions they may have answered.
Who may be Godparents?
The requirements for Godparents are:
- The child to be baptized must have only one Godfather or one Godmother or one of each.
- Godparents must be chosen by the one to be baptized or by the parents
- Godparents must be at least 16 years of age
- Godparents must be practicing Catholics leading lives in harmony with the Roman Catholic faith
- Godparents must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation within the Catholic Church
- Godparents must not be under any canonical penalty.
- Godparents cannot be a parent of the one to be baptized
- Godparents must be willing to make the promise found in the Baptismal Ritual; this promise can be found in both the Parent Reflection Book and the Godparent Reflection Book
When parents are considering who to select as Godparents for their child, sometimes they recognize qualities within a non-Catholic that would make for a good Godparent. A baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic Christian community may be included as a witness to a baptism so long as the one to be baptized also has a Catholic Godparent. This Christian Witness makes the same promises as a Godparent would, participates in the ritual in the same way as a Godparent and are recorded in the baptismal register along with the Godparent as a Christian Witness.