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.
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 usually when infants are baptized they have two, one male and one female.
Canon law permits only one male and one female godparent – a godfather and a godmother. The requirements for godparents are as follows:
- Cannot be the parents of the child being baptized.
- At least 16 years of age.
- Be practicing Catholics who attend Sunday Mass weekly, are not invalidly married, and live a good Christian life.
- Have already been confirmed.
If you cannot find two practicing Catholics to be the godfather and godmother, then one can be Catholic and the other can be a Christian witness, provided that person be a baptized and practicing Christian in good standing.
Please note that being a godparent means actively striving to be a good Catholic Christian witness and example, role model, and one who supports the teachings of the Catholic faith and regularly and faithfully practices the faith. The godparent must also be a good spiritual example for your child, who will raise your child in the Catholic faith in the event that you 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.