Congratulations to the Parents!
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to the life of Spirit, and the door which allows access to the other sacraments.
God has chosen you to be co-creators with HIM in bringing new life into the world. And what a great blessing and privilege this is.
More wonderful still, through baptism, your infant will become a child of God and will begin a new life also in the Catholic community. To prepare for this joyous moment in your child’s life, it is important that you examine your own faith.
Just as a baby is born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms, so too will your child grow up with your faith. That is why when you approach the priest or deacon regarding your infant’s baptism, he will encourage you to live your faith to the fullest. As a parent, you will be the primary educator of your child’s faith. Baptism is only the first stage of your child’s initiation into the believing community. With your guidance and demonstration of faith, along with help from the parish religious formation program, your child will continue their journey and initiation into the Catholic community in the coming years.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism - Parish policy for Holy Baptism
Since we must not sacramentalized without proper and adequate evangelizing, to assure that these conditions are met, the following policies will need to be honored:
* According to the Code of Canon of Law, only parents and legal guardians can request baptism for their child.
* Those seeking to have their child baptized must demonstrate that they actively practice their faith regularly, and they should be in good standing with the church (sacramentally married in the church if they are married). Furthermore, in order to administer Holy Baptism, the pastor must have a moral certainty that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith – therefore those seeking baptism for their child will be required to be registered, active, participating and financially supporting member of this parish, St. Louise de Marillac, for a period of 6 months prior to scheduling baptism.
An exception to this rule will be made if the family is new to the area - meaning (moved in within the past 30 days), and can provide a letter of transfer from their previous parish. This letter shall clearly state that the family has been registered, active and participating at their former parish up until the move. This letter needs to be signed directly by the Pastor and not by any other staff person.
PLEASE NOTE: When the letter of transfer is presented, reviewed and approved by the Pastor the Holy Baptism Prep will be scheduled immediately.
* Parents who seek Holy Baptism for their child, as well as the godparents chosen by the parents – will be required to attend the Baptismal Prep Program at our parish. This program is comprised of two sessions, each lasting approximately 1:45 minutes. Baptismal Prep will be done by the Deacon or by the Pastor himself, and it will be based on the BELONGING Program by Ascension Press. Parents and Godparents are expected to attend both sessions unless an exception is granted by the Pastor for specific pastoral reasons.
* Those seeking to have their child baptized at SLDM and are not a member of the parish, but have a connection with the parish through their previous membership and/or immediate family being active here, will be required to meet with the Pastor first. At that meeting, they will be required to produce a letter indicating their active membership at their current parish. This is the letter described earlier. Their current parish will be responsible for the sacramental prep, and the Pastor of that parish should issue a formal letter indicating explicitly that all necessary preparation has been successfully completed. And that he, as the Pastor, approves of the Holy Baptism taking place at SLDM.
* The Sacrament of Holy Baptism will be celebrated within the regular Sunday Mass. Exact time and date will be decided upon during one of the initial meetings.
* If the marriage situation is not what it should be, we will need to address that issue with the couple prior to scheduling the date for the baptism.
* After the baptismal registration form is completed, the Pastor will review the form and possibly meet with the parents who are seeking to have their child baptized.
* Please be advised that the two Godparents are required to be (Male and Female) and having their names registered as part of the sacramental record. At least one of Godparents MUST BE a fully initiated practicing Catholic, in good standing, and at least 16 years of age. Ideally, both Godparents will meet this established criterion. Godparents will be required to provide a letter of suitability signed by their respective pastors.