Your child’s Baptism is a time for celebration and joy. We want to help you plan and prepare for the baptism in the best possible way. Your Faith is Important. The very fact that you have asked to have your baby baptized shows that you recognize the importance of God in your life. From the earliest days children too young to answer for themselves have been baptized, usually as they accompanied their parents into the church. For the Church recognizes the desire of Christian parents to share the life of Christ with their children. Jesus Christ, like you, wants the best for your child.
Why Baptism Preparation?
Baptism Preparation is mandatory by Diocesan Policy in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. At the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption, this preparation consists of a one-night meeting that takes place at the Cathedral. Members of our Baptism Team offer true hospitality to parents asking for Baptism for their child, to accompany them, to evangelize and catechize them, as the need may be.
Preparing for Baptism
- Telephone the parish office (472-3970) and advise the parish secretary that you would like to have your child Baptized.
- Once the request is received and the necessary information is obtained, it will be handed to our Baptism Team who will contact you to let you know of the parish preparation program and how it works.
- A member of the Baptism Team will arrange a suitable time to visit with you to inform you about the preparation program and to leave some reading materials to help you prepare for such an important celebration.
- Dates for the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism will be offered to the parents at the end of the preparation program.
For first time parents, please watch the Sacraments 101 Video by Clicking HERE
Parents who do not live within the parish boundaries and are not attending church at the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption need to have a letter of permission from their proper parish for us to Baptize their child. This letter is not difficult to get. Call the closest Catholic Church to where you live and the secretary will type up the necessary letter.
Choosing Sponsors (Godparents):
Sponsors (commonly known as Godparents) are to be role models for the child to be Baptized. They promise to help the parents in their task as Christian mothers and fathers. What is important is not so much how closely they are related to the child as how closely they are related to the Lord. Since sponsors represent the best of the Christian family, they should live out its ideal in their daily lives in order to help the child live and learn the Catholic Faith as they grow to become adults.
You will be asked for your Sponsor’s Certificate of Baptism and Certificate of Confirmation.
Non-Baptized people can not be Godparents as they can not fulfill their responsibility of assisting parents in teaching and role modeling the Catholic Faith. A Proxy may be chosen to replace a Sponsor at the ceremony if the Sponsor cannot attend. They only act as an official witness that the sacrament occurred.
The Catholic Church requires the following of Sponsors/Godparents:
- They must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized child on the road of Christian life.
- They must be at least sixteen years of age.
- They must be Catholics who are Baptized and Confirmed, and have received First Communion.
- They must lead a life “in harmony with the faith.”
- They must be someone other than the child’s parents.
- There can be one or two Sponsors. If there are two Sponsors, one must be male and the other female.
- A non-Catholic who is a practicing baptized Christian may serve as an official Christian Witness to the baptism, along with a Catholic Godparent.
Once the Sacrament of Baptism has taken place, the godparent can never be changed. Choose wisely!
Role of the Parents
Being a parent is an awesome responsibility, for parents share in the work of God himself. Just as God’s work goes on long after he creates new life, so a parent’s task will last a whole lifetime. The infant you now hold in your arms or whose birth you anxiously await will need you for many years, as you perhaps still depend on your own parents in many ways.
From the beginning, parents are called upon to search for a balanced life-style for their children. The more deeply they care about Jesus and the community of the church, the more likely it is that they will discover practical, concrete answers to questions about everyday life-style.
All Christians know that parents cannot impose their own faith upon their children. Faith is a free gift from God. Both the Bible and the experience of generations of Christian people make this point clear. Yet parents do have a role in preparing their child to believe.
They help the child feel at home in the community of faith. As parents pray with the community, children sense that such prayer is a normal and a natural part of life. They imitate their parents’ prayer even when they do not understand it.