Baptism Information & Requirements The Sacrament of Baptism Requirements for receiving the Sacrament of Baptism



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St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church

Baptism Information & Registration Packet



Table of Contents
  1. Baptism Information & Requirements

    1. The Sacrament of Baptism

    2. Requirements for receiving the Sacrament of Baptism

    3. Sponsor & Godparent Information

  2. Baptismal Seminar Information

    1. Baptismal Seminar Information

    2. Baptismal Seminar Schedule

    3. Registering for the Baptismal Seminar

  3. Registering & Scheduling a Baptism

    1. Registering for a Baptism

    2. Scheduling the Baptism

  4. Documents & Forms

    1. Baptismal Seminar Form

    2. Paternity Acknowledgement Form

    3. Sponsor Information Form #1

    4. Sponsor Information Form #2



Baptism Information & Requirements



The Sacrament of Baptism


Congratulations on the birth of your child! Now that you have brought your child into the world, it is time to bring them into the family of God so that they may begin their journey on a life of faith that is filled with God's grace and blessings. That journey begins with the Sacrament of Baptism.

What is the Sacrament of Baptism?

The first of all Sacraments, Baptism calls us into the family of God as His adopted sons and daughters, imparting upon those who are baptized the grace of being cleansed from original sin. In the dying and rising to new life that is the drama of Baptism, the individual is freed from the bonds of sin and death and given the promise of new life. Baptism forgives all sins that may have been committed prior to a person’s baptism, including original sin, mortal sin, and venial sin, and it relieves the punishment for those sins.



Who Can Receive the Sacrament of Baptism?

Anyone who has not already been baptized can receive the sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is able to be baptized,” (paragraph 1246). Baptism leaves an indelible (permanent) mark on the soul and there is no way nor any reason that one could be re-baptized. There are no age restrictions for baptism; you cannot be too old or too young to be baptized.



Who can perform the Sacrament of Baptism?

Anyone can perform a baptism, however this is typically done only in extreme cases in which someone’s life is in danger. The Catholic Church has ordinary ministers for sacraments and those are bishops, priests, and sometimes deacons. An ordinary minister is one who has been entrusted with the authority to perform the sacrament although the responsibility for performing a sacrament can usually be delegated. For example, a bishop is the ordinary minister for Confirmation, but can give permission to a priest to do a Confirmation; a priest does not have the authority to do a confirmation without the permission of his bishop. However, priests do have the authority to do baptisms without the permission of the bishop and sometimes delegate the responsibility to a deacon if one is available.

Most baptisms are done by a priest or deacon when the person is an infant, but there are extreme cases when even an unbaptized person can baptize someone. All that is required is “the will to do what the Church does when she baptizes, and to apply the Trinitarian Baptismal formula.” If this is done it is usually because someone is lying on his/her deathbed and they truly desire to become Christian. How is this type of Baptism valid you ask? Well, the Church believes in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation (1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:5).

Does the Catholic Church recognize baptisms from other churches?

Yes, the Catholic Church recognizes any baptism that uses water and in which the baptized was baptized was the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Some churches do not use the Trinitarian formula for baptism and thus their baptisms are not valid.


Baptism Information & Requirements (continued)



Requirements for Receiving the Sacrament of Baptism


General Requirements

  • Catholic parents must be registered and practicing members of St. Theresa Parish.

  • Parents must embrace the fullness of the faith proclaimed by the Church and truly make a serious effort to live a good moral life worth of imitation. They accept the responsibility of training their children in the practice of the faith. This includes active participation at mass on weekends and Holy Days of Obligation, as well as the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as needed.

  • Parents registered in another parish who wish to have their children baptized at St. Theresa Parish must seek the permission from the pastor of the church parish in which they are registered. They will be expected to complete a preparation program either in their home parish or with St. Theresa Parish.

St. Theresa Office Requirements

  • Both parents must attend the Baptismal Seminar (See Section 2 – Baptismal Seminar). Parents are encouraged to attend the seminary while they are expecting the child, but you may attend after the child is born.

  • The Godparents of the child, or Baptismal Sponsors, are also required to attend the Baptismal Seminar. If the godparents are not from St. Theresa Parish, they may attend a seminar or formation program at their home parish.

  • If the Mother and Father are not married, proof of paternity is required. This can be the birth certificate of the child, or the Paternity Acknowledgement Form (See Section 5 – Documents and Forms – Paternity Acknowledgement Form).

  • All necessary documents and forms located in this information packet must be filled out, signed, and turned into the office two weeks prior to the Baptism.


Baptism Information & Requirements (continued)

Sponsor & Godparent Information


Every person baptized in the church should be represented by two sponsors or godparents. Below is a list of frequently asked questions, regarding sponsorship or acting as a godparent of a child to be baptized.

How many godparents should there be?

Church law only requires you to have one godparent; however, it has been tradition to have two.



Can the same godparents have responsibility for more than one child in the same family?

Yes, as long as they take seriously their responsibility and intention to help the children grow in faith.



What sex should the godparent be?

If you choose only one godparent, you are free to choose a male or a female. However, if you wish to have two godparents, there must be one male and one female.



Can a non-Catholic serve as a godparent?

While it is ideal for parents to select two Catholic godparents, the church only requires that there be one godparent. A baptized non-Catholic may serve as a Christian "witness" to the ceremony, as long as one Catholic godparent who fully meets all requirements of a godparent is present. The non-Catholic who is selected as a witness should be an active and participating member of his/her church community. During the Baptism, a non-Catholic witness may perform all the parts of the ceremony that a godparent does. His or her name will be entered into the Sacramental Record Book as a "witness," together with the name of the godparent.



What is the difference between a godparent and a witness?

Witness is the term that is only mentioned in the Code of Canon Law. Canon Law describes a witness as: “A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community.” A godparent is a confirmed practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church.



Can someone serve as godparent by proxy (stand-in) if they are unable to participate in the baptism ceremony?

If a godparent cannot attend the baptism ceremony, a proxy can stand in the place of the missing godparent. The name of the witness will be entered as proxy in the Sacramental Record Book along with the name of the missing godparent.



If your relationship with a godparent fades or sours after your child is baptized, can you have the record changed in the Sacramental Record Book?

No. The parish Sacramental Record Book is a record of what happened and godparents' names are a part of it. Baptism records cannot be changed.


Baptism Information & Requirements (continued)


Eligibility for Catholic Sponsorship (At least one godparent must be a Catholic)

  • At least 16 years old

  • Baptized, confirmed, and received the Eucharist

  • Living an upright Christian life

  • No penalties against the Church. A Catholic who has left the Catholic Church cannot be a sponsor, and cannot be a Christian Witness if they join under another Christian communion

  • Cannot be the parent

  • If godparents are from another parish, they must have a Certificate of Eligibility form signed by their pastor indicating that they are parishioners, practicing Catholics, and qualified to serve as a godparent.

Eligibility for Non-Catholic Sponsorship (Christian Witness)

  • At least 16 years old

  • Validly baptized Christian

  • Living an upright life

  • Cannot be the parent

  • Cannot be a Catholic who has left the Church.

  • Non-Catholics, Catholics with canonical impediments, or non-practicing Catholics are asked to meet with the pastor or the associate pastor of St. Theresa Parish prior to scheduling the baptism.


Baptismal Seminar Information



Baptismal Seminar Information


All members participating in the baptism must attend the Baptismal Seminar, including both parents as well as the godparents of the child. The Baptismal Seminar will be held after 6:00PM Mass on Thursday, once a month.

At the Seminar, parents and godparents will be given paperwork and instructions necessary to be filled out and signed by the pastor of the church to which they belong (if applicable).



At the seminar, you will be asked to fill out the Baptismal Seminar Information Form (see section 5 – Documents and Forms – Baptismal Seminar Information Form).

Baptismal Seminar Schedule


Below is the schedule of each Baptismal Seminar for 2015.

  • Thursday, February 5, 2015

  • Thursday, March 5, 2015

  • Thursday, May 7, 2015

  • Thursday, June 4, 2015

  • Thursday, July 2, 2015

  • Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • Thursday, September 3, 2015

  • Thursday, October 1, 2015

  • Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Thursday, December 3, 2015

Registering for the Baptismal Seminar


To register for the Baptismal Seminar, please call the parish office and have the following information ready.

  • Mother’s Full Name

  • Mother’s Phone Number

  • Father’s Full Name

  • Father’s Phone Number

  • Child’s Name (if known)

  • Date of the Baptismal Seminar you will be attending

If you have any questions about registering for the Baptismal Seminar, please contact Loretta Gayneaux at the St. Theresa office, at lgayneaux@diolaf.org or 337-893-5631

Registering & Scheduling a Baptism



Registering for a Baptism


In order to register for the Baptism to take place at St. Theresa Parish, you must complete the following steps.

  1. Attend the Baptismal Seminar

  2. Complete and sign documents and forms

    1. Baptismal Seminar Form

    2. Paternity Acknowledgement Form

    3. Sponsor Information Form #1

    4. Sponsor Information Form #2

Scheduling a Baptism


When you would like to schedule the date of the baptism, please follow the steps below.

  1. Submit paperwork to office

    1. Paperwork must be submitted at least 2 weeks before the baptism date, in order to check for correctness and validity.

  2. Schedule the date of the Baptism

If you have any questions about registering or scheduling the Baptism of your child, please contact Loretta Gayneaux at the St. Theresa office, at lgayneaux@diolaf.org or 337-893-5631

Documents and Forms



  1. Baptismal Seminar Form


This form is for general information regarding the parents, the godparents, and the child to be baptized. It is to be filled out and turned in for the Baptismal Seminar, to be filed with the parish office.
  1. Paternity Acknowledgement Form


This form is to be filled out by the father of the child stating that they are the paternal father of the child. It is to be filled out and signed by a notary, then turned into the parish office.
  1. Sponsor Information Form #1


This form is to be filled out by the first sponsor of the child to be baptized, regarding information about the sponsor and signed by their pastor, stating that they are a member of the parish, a practicing Catholic, and eligible to serve as a sponsor for Baptism.
  1. Sponsor Information Form #2


This form is to be filled out by the second sponsor of the child to be baptized, regarding information about the sponsor and signed by their pastor, stating that they are a member of the parish, a practicing Catholic, and eligible to serve as a sponsor for Baptism.

St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church

Baptismal Seminar Information Form



PLEASE PRINT
Child’s Information

CHILD’S COMPLETE NAME (IF BORN): _____________________________________

CHILD’S DATE OF BIRTH (IF BORN): _____________________________________

CHILD’S PLACE OF BIRTH (IF BORN): _____________________________________



Marriage Information

PARENTS MARRIED AT CHILD’S BIRTH?: YES NO

PARENTS MARRIED BY A PRIEST?: YES NO

* If parents were not married at the time of the child’s birth, the father must obtain notarized proof of paternity, otherwise only the mother’s name will be listed on the certificate of baptism.

Father’s Information

FATHER’S COMPLETE NAME: _____________________________________

FATHER’S PHONE (HOME): _____________________________________

FATHER’S PHONE (WORK): _____________________________________

FATHER’S PHONE (CELL): _____________________________________

FATHER’S ADDRESS: _____________________________________

_____________________________________

Mother’s Information

MOTHER’S COMPLETE NAME: _____________________________________

MOTHER’S PHONE (HOME – IF DIFFERENT): _____________________________________

MOTHER’S PHONE (WORK): _____________________________________

MOTHER’S PHONE (CELL): _____________________________________

MOTHER’S ADDRESS (IF DIFFERENT): _____________________________________

_____________________________________

Godparent Information

GODFATHER’S NAME: _____________________________________

CONFIRMED & PRACTICING CATHOLIC?: YES NO

GODMOTHER’S NAME: _____________________________________

CONFIRMED & PRACTICING CATHOLIC?: YES NO

Baptism Information

BAPTISMAL SEMINAR DATE: _____________________________________

PRIEST/DEACON ADMINISTERING BAPTISM: _____________________________________

BAPTISM DATE: _____________________________________


Paternity Acknowledgement Form


Be it known that I, _________________________________________________, residing at

___________________________________________________________________________

do hereby declare that I am the Father of the child born to _______________________________________

on ________________________________ in ___________________________________________________

Whose birth name was recorded as _________________________________________________, and should

now be _________________________________________________. This statement was made in the

presence of the undersigned witness(s) on this ______ day of _______________, ________, here in

__________________________________________.

_______________________________________ ______________________________________

Witness Father

_______________________________________ ______________________________________

Witness Mother

Sworn to and subscribed before me this _______ day of _____________________ , __________

_________________________________________________

NOTARY PUBLIC

St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church

Baptism Sponsor – Certificate of Eligibility


Church Law (Canons 872 and 874) lists the requirements of those who serve as sponsors (Godparents) for Baptism as follows:

  1. Must be mature enough to undertake the responsibility (at least 16 years old).

  2. Must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.

  3. Must believe all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches, and truly make a serious effort to live a good moral life worthy of imitation; and sees to the religious instruction of his/her family.

  4. Must be an actively practicing Catholic who attends weekly Mass and makes regular use of Confession.

  5. Must be canonically free to carry out this office. (This means that Catholics publicly living in an invalid marriage and those that are cohabitating [living together without marriage] cannot serve as a sponsor).

CHILD’S COMPLETE NAME (IF BORN): _______________________________________

COMPLETE NAME: _______________________________________

DATE OF BIRTH: _______________________________________

PHONE NUMBER: _______________________________________

ADDRESS: _______________________________________

_______________________________________

CHURCH & CITY OF BAPTISM: _______________________________________

CHURCH & CITY OF CONFIRMATION: _______________________________________

CHURCH ATTENDED BY SPONSOR: _______________________________________

CHURCH ADDRESS: _______________________________________

_______________________________________

CHURCH PHONE NUMBER: _______________________________________


I declare that I am a registered member of the parish listed below and that I meet all the requirements listed above to be a sponsor and Godparent,

SIGNATURE _______________________________________



(To be completed by your pastor)

I hereby certify that _______________________________________ is a registered member of this parish, is a practicing Catholic, and is eligible to serve as a sponsor for Baptism.

Parish: _______________________________________

Date: _______________________________________

Pastor: _______________________________________

Pastor’s Signature: _______________________________________


St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church

Baptism Sponsor – Certificate of Eligibility


Church Law (Canons 872 and 874) lists the requirements of those who serve as sponsors (Godparents) for Baptism as follows:

  1. Must be mature enough to undertake the responsibility (at least 16 years old).

  2. Must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.

  3. Must believe all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches, and truly make a serious effort to live a good moral life worthy of imitation; and sees to the religious instruction of his/her family.

  4. Must be an actively practicing Catholic who attends weekly Mass and makes regular use of Confession.

  5. Must be canonically free to carry out this office. (This means that Catholics publicly living in an invalid marriage and those that are cohabitating [living together without marriage] cannot serve as a sponsor).

CHILD’S COMPLETE NAME (IF BORN): _______________________________________

COMPLETE NAME: _______________________________________

DATE OF BIRTH: _______________________________________

PHONE NUMBER: _______________________________________

ADDRESS: _______________________________________

_______________________________________

CHURCH & CITY OF BAPTISM: _______________________________________

CHURCH & CITY OF CONFIRMATION: _______________________________________

CHURCH ATTENDED BY SPONSOR: _______________________________________

CHURCH ADDRESS: _______________________________________

_______________________________________

CHURCH PHONE NUMBER: _______________________________________


I declare that I am a registered member of the parish listed below and that I meet all the requirements listed above to be a sponsor and Godparent,

SIGNATURE _______________________________________



(To be completed by your pastor)

I hereby certify that _______________________________________ is a registered member of this parish, is a practicing Catholic, and is eligible to serve as a sponsor for Baptism.

Parish: _______________________________________

Date: _______________________________________



Pastor: _______________________________________

Pastor’s Signature: _______________________________________


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