We at St. Peter’s, St. Theresa’s, and St. John’s are so pleased that you desire to have your baby baptized! The baptism of your child provides an opportunity to renew your own Christian life and spirituality. In bringing your child to be baptized, you are saying that you want to share your living Catholic faith with your child; this is a serious commitment to raise your child within the community of believers and to educate them in the truths of the Catholic faith.
Baptism is the first sacrament celebrated in the process of becoming a full member of the Church community. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Baptism, like the other sacraments, is a community celebration. God alone is the source of all life and all love. He has blessed your child with the precious gift of life. God wants you, as parents, to help your child discover the gift of a loving relationship with God. The baptismal rite reminds the parents that they are the child’s first teachers. Your love, your teaching, and especially your good example will help your child to grow in faith and in their relationship with God.
Frequently asked questions prior to baptism:
How do I schedule a baptism and when are they held?
Simply call the parish office (402-626-7605) to begin the process. Baptisms are normally celebrated following the Sunday Masses at 1:00 P.M., however, if you would like to celebrate the baptism during the Mass that can be done as well. Arrangements are made on an individual basis.
How old should my child be before the baptism?
Under ordinary circumstances, parents should have their child baptized within the first few months of the child’s life.
What if my child is no longer an infant – does that change what we need to do?
A child under the age of seven is considered an “infant” as regards baptism within the Catholic Church. As long as your child is less than seven years of age, the process and requirements are the same. Depending on the understanding and maturity of your child, this might be a wonderful opportunity for them to share in the preparation for the sacrament. If your child is seven or older, the Church wants them involved in the process of preparing for the sacraments. Normally the parish would have the child participate in the RCIC and have them baptized, confirmed and receive Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
Must I be a registered member of St. Frances Cabrini Parish to have my child baptized here?
Yes, you must be a member of the parishes. To register in the parish simply contact the parish office. Baptisms are celebrations of the Catholic community where you worship – and so you should celebrate with your home parish. There are always special cases, and for good reason we are happy to work with nonmembers to provide the sacraments of the Church to their children. In the case of nonmembers, we ask for a letter of permission and delegation from the pastor of their home parish.
Are there baptismal preparation classes for parents?
Yes there are preparation classes. Please contact the parish office for upcoming classes.
Do both parents have to attend a baptismal preparation class?
Yes, both parents are encouraged to attend a baptism class if this is their first child being baptized. If both parents have attended the baptismal preparation class at some earlier time, we would welcome their participation but do not require that they attend again. Godparents are also welcomed to attend.
Are there requirements of the parents who want to have their child baptized?
Yes, at least one of the parents should be a practicing Catholic willing to commit to the task of rearing their child in the faith of the Church. Parents should accept that they are the first and the primary teachers of the faith.
What does it mean to be a “Practicing Catholic”?
It means that you hold true what the Church teaches, strive to put those teachings into practice and are active in worship. Oftentimes, children can be the motivation for a parent to make a greater commitment to the practice of the faith.
I am Catholic, but my spouse is not. May our child be baptized in the Catholic Church?
If one of the parents is a practicing Catholic, as long as the other parent is in agreement, the child can be baptized.
What is the role of the godparents?
They represent the larger church community. They, along with the priest and the parents, welcome the child to the community and signify that welcome by marking the child with the sign of the cross. As community, we are obliged to care for this new member, guiding, advising, and nurturing the child as he or she progresses in the understanding of their relationship to God. Godparents pledge to continually support the parents so that they can successfully raise the child in the practice of the faith. They pledge to the parents to help them in times of discouragement and to celebrate with them in times of joy. Godparents need to be actively involved as Catholic disciples because they serve as models and guides for the child and the parents.
What are the requirements to be a godparent?
In order to be Catholic godparents, a person must be:
- At least 16 years of age
- A practicing Catholic who is baptized and confirmed and has received First Holy Communion
- Someone other than the parents of the child to be baptized
- Leading a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and the role they are about to assume
How many godparents can I have?
It is only required that there be one godparent, so you must have at least one. It is customary to have two godparents – in this case one must be female and the other male. The Church does not make any provisions for more than two, but if the family wishes for more by family tradition, they are free to do so. Only two names will be entered into the parish records.
Do both godparents have to be Catholics?
One Catholic must serve in the role of godparent. A baptized Christian from another Christian denomination may serve as a “Christian witness.”