What is Baptism?
“Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.”–Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213
In Baptism, we are marked as a child of God and offered the gift of salvation, initiation into the Christian community, and the beginning of life in Jesus Christ. Baptism opens the door to the other sacraments, with Eucharist and Confirmation completing the initiation process.
How do I have my child baptized at St. Matthew?
Begin by filling out the Baptism Form, then read further down this page for scheduling information. Once we receive this form, we can follow up with specific instructions for your family, some of which are listed below.
Non-parishioners? If you are a parishioner at another parish, we need a signed letter with a parish seal from that pastor granting permission for your child to be baptized at St. Matthew. If you live within the parish bounds and want to baptize your child and start living out your Catholic faith here, please register as parishioners.
Never attended a baptism class? You must attend a Baptism Preparation Session with Deacon Joe Meyer.
Already attended a baptism class? You do not need to attend the class again; you will do some in-home preparation and then follow up with parish staff.
When are Baptisms Celebrated?
Baptisms cannot be scheduled until preparation is completed or scheduled and Godparents forms are turned into the parish office. Please read further down the page to understand selection of Godparents and their completion of forms
In general, baptisms are celebrated on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month immediately after the noon Mass. Baptisms are not celebrated during the last few weeks of Lent but are celebrated on Easter Sunday during the noon Mass or at the Easter Vigil.
Why do I have to attend a baptism preparation session?
In the Baptismal Rite, the priest asks the child’s parents this question: “You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training your child in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”
The responsibility of teaching a child about Christ and the Church belongs primarily to the parents and is a lifelong commitment. The goal of the Baptism Preparation Session is to empower parents to grow in their own faith life. It is difficult to pass on a faith that was learned as a child but not lived as an adult.
When are Baptism Preparations Sessions held?
Baptism Preparation Sessions are offered monthly on the first Wednesday from 7-8:30 pm in the undercroft of the Church. Due to All Souls Day in 2016, class will be the second Wednesday from 7-8:30 pm. Both parents are expected to attend the session and babies are welcome to attend with parents. You will select the best date for you on the Baptism Form.
Who may serve as Godparents for my child?
It is very important when you are selecting godparents that you select individuals who are at least 16 years of age and one godparent must be a baptized and confirmed Catholic and currently active in the Catholic faith.
Please note: Because the Catholic sponsor/godparent is one who leads a life in harmony with the faith and represents the Catholic community, former Catholics who have joined other Christian Churches, Catholics who no longer practice their Catholic faith or those who have been baptized Catholic but have not received Eucharist and/or Confirmation cannot serve as either a sponsor/godparent or Christian witness.
The Pastor reserves the right to postpone the baptism if a family presents godparents who do not fulfill these criteria until such godparents are found. If you are choosing two godparents, one must be male and the other female. If you are choosing only one godparent, you may have either gender. Catholic godparents are to complete the Godparent form, have the form signed by their parish priest, and return the form to the St. Matthew Parish office. The child’s Baptism will NOT be scheduled until the godparent forms are received.
Oftentimes a family requests a person who is a member in good standing in a Christian Church to serve as a godparent. The person serves as a Christian witness along with the Catholic sponsor.
Is there a fee to have my child Baptized?
There is not a fee but many parents make a free will gift to the priest or deacon for his services.
When will I receive the Baptism Certificate for my child?
The parish office will mail the Baptism certificate to you within a few weeks after the Baptism. If your child ever needs a copy of their baptism certificate later, perhaps for school registration or for marriage, you can contact the parish office.
What should my child wear for Baptism?
A white garment is an ancient sign of the newly baptized Christian’s new life in Christ. Your child’s baptismal garment need not be a traditional baptismal or christening gown; it can be any clothing that is predominately white.