God bless you and your family for taking this important step. Every family is building towards the Kingdom of God. Baptism is the door to Heaven that Jesus Christ opened to all of us. Our families are linked through the generations through this great sacrament, a mystery instituted by Our Lord to bring all His children into His Kingdom. Come to the Word of God and the Sacraments with our parish community at Mass!
Please read the following information carefully and then afterwards please feel free to come visit our office or contact us at 520.836.0601.
Do I have to be registered at St. Anthony of Padua to have my child baptized there?
We strongly encourage all of our families to be registered participating members. If not registered here, you must live within our parish boundaries. Even if you are not registered, we know that you participate in our parish because you are in are school, or registered for religious education or have dropped a check in the parish collection. If you are not a participating parishioner yet, please come in and visit so that we can complete the registration of your family and your child for baptism.
Baptism is not a magical act but a profound mystery in which God begins to ready us for eternal life. Baptism makes us part of the Church and prepares us so that we might be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Certainly, it is not enough to just be baptized and then ignore the gospel and the sacraments. The promise of your Baptism must be fulfilled by your participation in the life of the Church. How important it is for parents to teach their children by example. If you don’t bring your children to Mass what are you really teaching them? Before you bring your child to be baptized, you must first promise God that you will live and practice the Faith of the Church.
Do I have to married in the Church to baptize my child in the church?
No! But it is very important that you bring your life to Christ for your own sake and that of the child entrusted to your care. Come to the parish office and make a time to see a parish priest or deacon to talk over your individual circumstance. We will baptize your child. We also want to help you walk the journey of faith with the Church.
Do I have to live within the boundaries of St. Anthony of Padua Parish to have my child baptized there?
Yes! Parents must reside within the boundaries of the St. Anthony of Padua Parish to have your child baptized here. If you do not reside within the parish boundaries a letter of permission is required from the pastor of the parish where you do reside before we can consider whether you can have your child baptized here. This is not so difficult. Just go to the parish pastor where you live and ask his permission to be baptized here.
How do I choose a date for Baptism?
Once you have filled out the Baptismal registration form and submitted all the required documents, you will be offered a choice of available dates for baptism.
What class do I need to take?
Parents are required to attend a Parent Baptism Preparation class. The preparation class needs to be taken the month prior to the preferred Baptism date. There is no point in taking the class prior to finishing the required paperwork.
If both parents have attended a Baptism preparation course at any Catholic Church in the past (3) three years, you may be excused from taking a class for this Baptism if you can provide a letter stating the date that you completed the class from the parish where the class was taken. The letter may be scanned and emailed, faxed or dropped off at the parish office. We can make a copy for our records here and you may keep the original.
At St. Anthony of Padua, Godparents are not required to attend the preparation course. However, we do strongly encourage them to attend, as they play a significant role in the faith life of your child.
How do I choose Godparents (Sponsors)?
The role of Godparent is vitally important in the life of the newly baptized. It is a role that is very misunderstood in our society and it is not just an honorary title. The singular role of the Godparent is to be a support to the parents and serve as good examples of living the Catholic way of life.
Godparents aid the parents in teaching the Catholic faith. They also help celebrate the important and sacred moments in the life of the child, such as the date of their Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation. It is very important that Godparents provide a good example of daily Catholic Christian living. Children learn by the example of the people they love, either good or bad.
It is essential, therefore, to take all of this into consideration when choosing a Godparent. The Church requires the following from every Godparent:
- Godparent must be baptized and confirmed Roman Catholics. If they are married, they must be married in the Church.
- Only one Godparent is required but must be not less than sixteen (16) years of age
- They cannot be the parents of the child
- If two (2) Godparents are chosen, there must be one (1) male and one (1) female
If the person you choose cannot be physically present at the baptism, please discuss this with our religious education office.
What if the person I want to be part of my child’s life as a godparent, does not meet the Church’s requirements?
They can be a Christian Witness. Sometimes, you have people in your family life that do not meet the above requirements to be a baptism sponsor and Godparent. Perhaps they are of anther Christian tradition or are Catholics who are not living a practicing Catholic life as described, sometimes out of personal tragedy. These wonderful Christian people are somewhere on the road to God along with your family and the Church. They cannot be entered into our parish records as a Baptismal sponsor, however, but only into the life of love and respect in your family.
These very important people, and we hope, are great Christian influences on your child and family. These people can be Christian witnesses at the baptism, but not entered into Church records as Baptism Sponsors as the Church requires. In your family life, you can call them aunt, uncle, friend, padrino, padrina and godparent. That is a beautiful and sacred part of your family life. To be entered into our records, however, the Church requires that at least one person fulfill the role of Baptism Sponsor and Godparent as described. There is no substitute for a devoutly lived Catholic life in union with the Church as an example in your family and to your child.
What is required?
Everything that is required by our religious education department will be discussed with you when you come to the office or will be emailed to you. For your information, the documents required will include,
- A copy of the child’s original birth certificate
- We will need proof that the Godparents have been confirmed as a Catholic and if married, are married in the Church. If Church records are not available to prove these sacraments, a written statement from their parents or family that can attest to their confirmation or marriage in the Church may be acceptable at the discretion of the Parish Director of Faith Formation.
If any of these documents are not in the child’s file by the due date stated in the reply email, we reserve the option to postpone the celebration of the sacrament until the file is complete.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
If we are not members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, can we have our child baptized in your parish?
It is customary for each parish to handle sacraments for their own parishioners. However, if there is a just reason for having your child baptized at our parish, please contact the religious education department to discuss the circumstances. Additional documents may be required.
What do we need to do if we wish to have our child baptized in another parish?
If you require a letter of permission in order to baptize in another parish, first contact the parish you wish to have your child baptized in to learn about their requirements. If you are an active and registered parishioner here at St. Anthony of Padua a letter can be obtained from the parish on behalf of the pastor, giving you permission to have your child baptized in another Catholic Church. Please contact the religious education department and allow five (5) business days to prepare the letter.
If we, as parents, do not meet all the requirements as expected of Godparents, can we still have our child baptized?
Yes, at your child’s Baptism you are stating publicly that you will raise your child in the Catholic faith. You may want to contact the parish to see what you need to do, as parents, to be in right relationship with the Catholic Church. This may be completing your sacraments, finding out about annulments, or taking care of any other issues. As your parish, we are here to help.
What if, later in our child’s life, the Godparents are no longer qualified as Godparents? Can we take them off the Baptismal certificate?
The certificate is a historical record of what took place so the information cannot be changed.
What if my child is seven years of age?
They can still be baptized, but must be enrolled in our parish religious education classes.