FAQs for Infant Baptism
St. Margaret Mary Catholic Community
When will the Rite of Baptism be celebrated?
The sacrament of Baptism is celebrated the second Sunday of each month at 9:00 a.m. and on the last Sunday of the month after the noon Mass. You must call the Parish Office (502-426-1588) to schedule the Baptism of your child.
What preparation is required before my child is baptized?
If this is your first child you are required to attend the “Blest Be the Child” program. The program consists of two sessions of group discussion. A volunteer couple from the parish leads the group in their home. The program gives you the opportunity to meet other new parents in the parish. The program covers the sacrament, the symbols used during the sacrament, ways to establish traditions for expressing faith and your role as your child’s “first teacher” of the faith. Both parents should plan to attend the baptismal formation regardless of their faith. Godparents are not required to attend. If you are not a member of the parish and haven’t completed the St. Margaret Mary baptismal formation program you will need to complete the formation prior to your child’s baptism. If you are not a member and do not live in proximity to Louisville you will need to complete a baptismal formation program at your local Catholic parish and obtain a letter from your pastor or catechetical leader indicating you have completed the program and the pastor grants permission to baptize at another parish.
When do I need to contact the parish office to begin planning for baptism?
You should contact the parish office as early as possible in the pregnancy to obtain the schedule for the formation program. It is much easier to participate in the formation before the baby arrives.
Who can be a Godparent or a Witness?
You may have one godparent (sponsor) or two godparents (sponsors) for your child. Godparents will make a commitment to support the parents in their responsibility for the child’s religious upbringing. The godparents will serve as role models of the faith as they represent the larger church community. For this reason at least one godparent must be an active member of the Catholic faith. You may have one non-Catholic godparent but that person must be baptized in a Christian faith. It is important to note that while the godparents make a lifelong commitment to nurture the child’s relationship with the Lord, the Godparents are NOT legally responsible for the child if something happens to the parents. Separate legal arrangements must be made to establish guardians for the child in the event of the death of the parents. Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a godparent who together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it. Can. 872 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each. Can. 873 To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must: Can. 874 §1 1) be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function; 2) have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause; 3) be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on; 4) not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; 5) not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized. §2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.
What if the Godparents can’t actually attend the baptism?
If the Godparents will not be able to attend the baptism, a proxy may stand in.
What will I need for the baptism and how should I dress my child?
The church will provide everything needed for the baptism. You will be given a candle and a white bib. Traditionally, most families will choose to dress the child in a white garment.
Where will I go the day of my child’s baptism?
You need to attend the mass that takes place immediately before your child’s baptism so that immediately following mass the liturgy can begin. After you mass you will gather at the back of the church near the baptismal font and await instructions from the deacon or priest.
What should I wear for my child’s baptism?
Parish liturgies, whether during mass or outside of it, are similar to any other public activity where reverence and attention to our attire is required. We dress modestly and respectfully for liturgies not because of some dress code. We observe modesty because we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves or cause distraction. We are participating in a communal act of worship, not an individual display of style or uniqueness. In short, liturgy is not about individual preferences or tastes; it is about believers worshiping God as one body. Part of worshipping with one another means setting aside things that might divide us or highlight our individuality. We read from the letter to the Galatians, “for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” As with so many things common sense should prevail, with modesty as an aid.
Will I be allowed to take pictures or make a video recording of the baptism?
Yes, but please keep in mind that you should not be a distraction to the celebration of the sacrament. The parents and godparents will have an active role in the baptism and should designate a friend or family member to be in charge of photos or video recordings. Specific instructions about where you should stand will be given before the rite begins.
When will I receive the baptismal certificate?
The certificate will be mailed to you after the baptism. When you register for the baptism you will be asked to spell names and information will be verified. However, once you receive the certificate, it is important to notify the parish office if there are errors. This certificate will be required for application to a Catholic school. At the time of marriage, you will be asked to obtain a current Baptismal certificate. ALL sacramental records are kept at the church of Baptism.