Baptism of Infants

Jesus said to his disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  (Mt. 28:19-20a)

Responding to Our Lord’s command, St. Mary’s Parish celebrates the sacrament of baptism for infants and children up to age 7 to incorporate them into Christ’s Church and to plant the seed of eternal life within them.

Baptisms are normally celebrated after the 11:00am Mass on the 3rd Sunday of the month. 
Baptisms for children whose parents are not registered parishioners of St. Mary’s must be approved by Fr. Bill and be accompanied by a letter from their pastor stating that they are baptized members in good standing and giving Fr. Bill delegation to celebrate the baptism (please see below).  There is no fee for baptisms. 

Baptism Classes

Parents are required to attend a baptism class for their first child, or if it has been more than 4 years since their most recent child was baptized.  Baptism Preparation is scheduled after completing the Pre-registration form. You will be contacted within one week of our receiving this paperwork to arrange Baptism Preparation.  You can register either online by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page or by calling the Parish Office at (616) 842-1702.  It is highly recommended but not mandatory that godparents attend as well. 


Every child to be baptized must have a godparent unless an emergency baptism is necessary.  The minimum requirement is for one Catholic godparent, but for infant baptisms it is often customary to have two. Canon law permits only one male and one female godparent – a godfather and a godmother. 

If there is only one godparent, a non-Catholic Christian can serve as a Christian witness, provided that that person be a baptized and practicing Christian in good standing with his or her faith community. 

The requirements for godparents are as follows:

  • For infant baptisms, godparents are normally chosen by the child’s parents, or by their guardians in the absence of the parents.  If need be, someone suitable can also be appointed by the parish. 
  • Godparents must be practicing and active Catholics; that is, regularly attending Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, who believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church and do their best to follow them.  They should also be registered members of a parish.
  • They must be willing to accept the responsibilities that come with being a godparent. No one should be forced to fill the role, even out of a sense of obligation, as they must be committed to fulfilling the duties of being a godparent.
  • They can not be a parent, step-parent, guardian, or spouse of the one being baptized.
  • They should themselves have already received all three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Holy Eucharist or Communion, and Confirmation.
  • They must be at least 16 years of age and have the maturity required to fulfill the role.
  • They must strive to live a life of faith in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church and to be a role model to the godchild.
  • They should not be estranged from the Catholic Church or in a state of excommunication from the Church.

What is the role of a godparent? 

The godparent ought to serve as a good spiritual example to his or her godchild; that is, one who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed to the Catholic Church, and who strives to live out those teachings.  The godparent also promises to raise the child in the Catholic faith if the parents of the baptized are unable to do so. 

Policy for Baptism of Non-Parishioners

All those who have a significant reason to request baptism shall be allowed to present a child for baptism at the regularly scheduled baptism times and in accordance with all the other practices of the parish, if they present the following:

  • Reason for desiring the Baptism at Saint Mary’s (e.g., family connections, etc.)
  • Signed notification of having received some formal baptismal preparation at a Catholic Parish, campus chapel, military base chapel, or the like.
  • Written permission from the pastor or associate pastor of the parent(s) of the child to celebrate the sacrament in his name.
  • Written statement from the pastor or associate pastor of the parents of the child that the parent(s) are Catholics in good standing in the Church and parish, are practicing the Faith and registered in that parish.

For a better idea of this sacrament please view the video below.