As a child, Francis de Sales would arrange his playmates around the baptismal font and say to them:
This is the spot that ought to be dearest to you, for it was here that we were made children of God...
About the Sacrament of Baptism
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua) 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 regeneration through water in the word." CCC 1213
As a Sacrament of Initiation, this step of Baptism carries with it the commitment of the parents and sponsors (godparents) to share their faith. Faith that is actively lived and experienced will be more easily learned by the child as he/she sees it through the parent’s involvement and commitment.
Scheduling an Infant Baptism
First of all, congratulations on your new child! The Sacrament of Baptism is a tremendously important step in your child's life of faith, and the OLGC Community is here to support you and your child in the faith.
In order to have a Baptism at the Parish a few things are needed:
- A copy of the Child's Birth Certificate
- Attendance at a Baptismal Preparation Session (Within 3 years)
- If not registered at OLGC, a letter of permission from the home Parish
- A letter of good standing from the Parish at which they are registered.
The Baptismal Preparation Session
Though it is recommended to take it at OLGC, the class can be taken anywhere, but OLGC will require proof of attendance from the parish the class is taken at. OLGC has sessions on the last Monday of the month at 7:30 pm in the St. Joseph Center in English and Spanish. It usually last about an hour. Click button below to register for session.
Available Dates for Infant Baptism
When looking at possible Baptism Dates for you child it is important that you start planning a few months in advance especially if you have family members that are traveling from far away, as getting all the documents and requirements in line can take a few weeks. When all the documents are in the specific date will be discussed further with a parish staff member before scheduling a date. A date will only be scheduled after the documents have been received.
Baptisms are ordinarily celebrated on the first and third Saturdays of every month at 11:00 am. Baptisms can also be celebrated during a weekend Mass Saturday 5 pm, Sunday 9:30 am, 11:15 am, 1 pm en español or 5:30 pm. However during the seasons of Advents and Lent, baptisms are celebrated only on one Saturday and not during weekend Masses. Check church website calendar for available dates.
The sponsor's responsibility is to help the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it. Because of this the sponsor must be at least 16 years of age, a fully initiated Catholic (Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation), who is actively participating in the faith, and if married have their marriage recognized by the Catholic Church. There must be at least 1 sponsor for a Baptism.
If you are a parishioner and want to get a letter of good-standing you must come into the front office and sign it in the presence of the Pastor or one of his delegates.
Older Children and Adult Baptism
If a child ages 7-18 or an adult is seeking baptism you are invited to take part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or the RCIA adapted for Children.
How many sponsors can I have for the baptism?
Only one sponsor is required, but if there are going to be 2 sponsors they must be male and female, and there cannot be more than 2. This is not a policy that the parish or even the bishop makes, as it is governed by canon law. Canon 873 "There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each."
If my sponsors were sponsors at a previous baptism do they still need to get a letter of good standing?
Yes, each letter of good standing is only good for that baptism
Do the Godparents have to be physically present at the baptism in order to be Sponsors?
No, as long as they submit the letter of Good Standing they can be Sponsors. However there will need to be someone to stand in for them in the ceremony (a proxy).
I don't yet have the Birth Certificate for my child, what should I do?
A registration of birth or something similar from the hospital of birth will suffice. It has to show the legal names of the parents and child.
My child is adopted, does the Church need any special documents?
Yes, we absolutely have to have the legal adoption paper before scheduling a date.
I would like a visiting priest to come and baptize my child at OLGC, does he need to provide anything special?
Yes, if a visiting priest is going to baptize at OLGC we need a letter of good standing from the diocese or community which he is a part of before confirming a date.
Contact: Thomas Conroy Liturgy Assistant, 703.896.7418