St. Patrick Roman Catholic Parish
                                                                                                                        A Pennsylvania Charitable Trust

BAPTISM

What is Baptism?

 

Holy 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. “Baptism is the sacrament of the regeneration through water and in the word. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213

Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: “Therefore… we are members one of another.” Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal font is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races and sexes: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1267


                                                                          


 Saint Patrick Parish welcomes its families to celebrate with great faith and joy the baptism of their children. Parents
 should make every effort to have their child baptized as soon as possible after birth so that the life of grace can begin
 its work in your beloved son or daughter and family.

 It is the expectation that those presenting their children for baptism are full members of the parish community.
 Baptism should take place in the parish church where the parents are registered and actively participating.
 There are reasons why some parents might choose another church for the baptism of their child and we will try to
 honor those desires whenever possible, by providing a letter of membership and permission to another Catholic
 church. 

Baptism comes with responsibilities. Parents must make a faith commitment when they baptize their child, a commitment to see that the seeds of God’s life and faith that are planted in their child’s heart at baptism, will be nurtured and cared for so that initial faith can mature and flourish. This means that parents are attending Mass regularly and participating as fully as possible in the life of the parish, contributing time, talent and treasure in support of their parish community. If there are mitigating circumstances that prevent full participation in the sacramental life of the Church, for example an invalid marriage, the priest will make every effort to work pastorally with those involved to facilitate the baptism of the child and to help in any way possible to address the issues involved.

It is imperative that parents choose godparents for their children who are practicing Catholics in good standing with the Church (one male, one female). One godparent may be a Christian witness. This is someone who has been baptized and is currently registered and attending a Christian church. Being a godparent is not an honorary title; it carries with it significant responsibilities to witness the life of faith to the child for which you stand.


How do I get my child baptized?

The following policies apply for the Sacrament of Baptism at Saint Patrick Parish:

  • Any parent wishing to have their child baptized at St. Patrick Parish will need to register their child for the Sacrament of Baptism by calling the parish rectory at 724-745-6560 to make arrangements. If this is their first child, arrangements must be made for both parents to attend a Baptism Preparation session, thereby meeting with the pastor or parochial vicar of the parish to review all the necessary information concerning the family and the child to be baptized, to discuss the faith obligations that are necessary for the sacrament and to finalize the date for the baptism.

  • While a tentative date may be set following this meeting with one of the parish priests, the following documents must be completed and delivered to the parish office before the baptism can be finalized and take place:
    • sponsor certificates for each of the godparents
    • a copy of the child’s birth certificate
    • attendance at the Baptism Preparation session. There are regularly scheduled baptism preparation programs at    St. Patrick Parish and parents are expected to attend; godparents are encouraged to attend as well.
    • letter of permission from the proper pastor of a family who belong to another parish, indicating his permission for the baptism to take place at St. Patrick Parish.

  • Baptisms are celebrated on first Sundays of any given month following the 7:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 12:00 noon Mass. On the second and third Sundays of the month, typically beginning at 1:00 p.m. following the noon Mass. There may be some months where the baptisms will need to take place on a different Sunday due to special events.
Any exceptions to this policy are made only in extraordinary circumstances with the approval of the Pastor.

Baptismal Preparation for Parents & Godparents

Parents who are presenting a child for baptism for the first time are to attend a Baptism Preparation session.   
Godparents are also strongly encouraged to attend. Our gatherings take place in the parish rectory on a Thursday 
evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. After an explanation about the rite of baptism, there is a discussion on Catholic
aith and how parents are the first and best educators of their children in the way of faith. The responsibilities of     
      godparents are also discussed. 

      Upcoming dates are:

  • Thursday, July 11
  • Thursday, September 5
  • Thursday, November 7

       Please call the parish secretary at the parish office to register for this class: 724.745.6560, ext. 11.


What is needed to be a godparent or sponsor?

  • The person is baptized a Catholic or has been received into the Catholic Church.
  • The person has received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
  • The person has received Holy Eucharist and participates at Sunday Mass weekly.
  • The person must be 16 years of age or old.
  • If the person is married, the marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church as valid. Persons who cohabitate are not eligible to be sponsors.
  • The person must be registed and active in a parish community. If there is a desire for membership the priest can help to discuss and facilitate that when the desire is authentic.
  • The person supports their parish with time, talent and treasure, including the regular use of the Sunday envelopes.
  • Someone may “stand in” for a godparent on the day of Baptism (proxy). The proxy must be certified as described above. (The proxy may not be one of the parents. Parents may not be a sponsor or godparent for their own child.)
  • One Catholic godparent is required. If there are two godparents, there must be a man and a woman – a godfather and a godmother.
  • One godparent may be a Christian Witness. The Christian Witness must be baptized, currently registered and practicing their Christian faith.

 A sponsor certificate is required for each person wishing to be a godparent or sponsor at St. Patrick Parish or any other
 parish. A sponsor certificate is not simply a document that indicates you are registered in your parish or that you have
 been baptized a Catholic. A sponsor certificate can only be given to those who are Catholics in good standing and who
 regularly practice their faith. If the person is a member of St. Patrick Parish, they are to meet in person with one of the 
 parish priests to review the requirements and to receive a “sponsor certificate.” If the person is a member of another
 parish, he or she should contact their parish for a sponsor certificate.

In some circumstances for good reason, a person who was baptized as a Christian in a community of faith other than
the Catholic Church may stand as a “Christian witness” along with one Catholic. Christian Witnesses are also required
to
obtain a sponsor certificate from their parish.
      __________________________________________________________________________________________

How do I get baptized?

 Are you considering receiving the Sacrament of Baptism and becoming a Catholic Christian?

       Click here for more information about the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) 


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