Child Baptism Information

Infant Baptism

 

WHY BAPTISM?

As parents you have many hopes and dreams for your child. You have made special preparations to welcome your child into your home and family. Friends and other family members have congratulated you and sent you good wishes. Likewise, the Church of Saint Matthew’s congratulates you on the birth of your child and welcomes your child into the Church through the Rite of Baptism.

The baptism of infants is one of the oldest traditions of the Church. This wonderful ritual celebrates the child's capacity to live in relationship with God from the time of infancy. The sacrament of Baptism is an active and grace-filled source of life within the child, a dimension of faith that is beyond the limits of what our senses perceive.

As a parent, it is your privilege to pass on the gift of faith by simply being the best parent you can be. Your own faith will grow too in this process. You will notice things that you never noticed before, as you share the wonder of God through your child's eyes.

Preparing for Baptism is an opportunity to discuss the faith life of your entire family. If family members would like to have their marriage blessed, receive First Communion or Confirmation, or become a Catholic, our pastor would be happy to assist you with any of these needs or any other questions you may have.

This Section is meant to help answer some of the initial questions you might have as you prepare for your child's baptism.


HOW SOON SHOULD YOU HAVE YOUR CHILD BAPTIZED?

The Church encourages Catholic parents to have their children baptized as soon as is possible after birth. This is because of Christ teaching on the fundamental importance of baptism. If there is any danger of death, the baby should be baptized immediately. Note: There are several steps involved in preparing for you child’s baptism. Therefore, it is best to start the process by calling the parish office several months before your child is born.


WHEN DO BAPTISMS OCCUR AT ST. MATTHEW'S CHURCH?

At St. Matthew’s Church baptisms occur on:

  • The first Saturday of the month after the Vigil Mass
  • Third Sunday of the month after the 8:30 Mass
  • Sunday during the 12:15 Mass or
  • Sunday during the 1:45 Spanish Mass.

 THE PROCESS -

 

1. Call St. Matthew’s Parish Office

Begin the process by calling the parish office to request to have your child baptized.

Where our records indicate that you are:

New Parishioner: You will be invited to meet with a priest to discuss your current participation in the life of the parish and how the parish community can support you in raising your child in the Catholic faith.

An Active Member of Our Parish: you will be mailed a Baptism Registration form to be completed and returned to the parish office or you may complete the online form.

Inactive Parishioner: When we have no recent record of you participating in the life of the community (envelope frequency is the most common measure if we do not personally know you through Mass attendance and participation in parish life) you will be invited to meet with a priest to discuss your current involvement in the life of the parish and your commitment to raising your child in the Catholic faith.

2. Select Godparents

Select the Godparents and submit the appropriate paperwork from their parish confirming their eligibility to be Godparents. This should be included when you return your completed Baptism Registration form.


GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING GODPARENTS

The term “Godparent" is not an honorary title but a job description. Godparents are, along with you, a child's guide on the Christian life journey. They will help shape your little one’s faith by sharing their own in word and deed. You will therefore want to choose people whose own baptismal commitment is firm and whose love for God and neighbor is generous.

At least one Catholic godparent is needed for a child’s baptism. If the parents select two godparents, they must be one male and one female

Godparents must be selected by the parents or guardians of the child. They cannot be the mother or father of the child. They must be at least 16 years of age and fully initiated as a Catholic (Baptized, received Communion, and Confirmed).  A godparent should be a good role model and a practicing Catholic.

Non-Catholics Christians may serve as a Christian witness, provided they submit a letter from their respective clergy that states they are practicing members of their faith community.

3. Schedule Baptism Prep. Class

At St. Matthew’s church, baptism preparation classes are held on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 7:00 p.m.

Scheduling may occur anytime after the parish office has received all of the required paperwork (Registration form and certificate(s) of eligibility for Godparents ). You will be contacted to schedule your baptism preperation class after the parish office has received all of the required paperwork.


HOW MUCH DOES A BAPTISM COST?

Nothing, There is no charge for a baptism.  However, it is customary to make an offering to the priest and/or the parish. This is at the discretion of the family.


AFTER BAPTISM

During the rite of Baptism the celebrant will address the following words to the parents: “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 your child up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and your neighbor. Do you Clearly understand what you are undertaking?”

The seed of faith sown and watered in baptism needs your love and care if it is to flourish.

The way you live and love, your relationship as a couple, and your beliefs, will all contribute to your child's experience of what it means to be a Christian.

Come to Mass as a family every Sunday. Attending the Mass as a family will strengthen your family and your child will grow up learning that Church is something we do every Sunday and that Church and the Mass are a special time and place to pray.

Teach your child to pray. Help him or her to learn how to make the Sign of the Cross. Teach them to pray some of the most loved traditional payers of our faith, such as the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be. Take time to pray with your son or daughter before they go to bed and before they go to school. Once they enter kindergarten, enroll them in the parish Religious Education program. But most importantly, practice your faith as a family.


 

 

If you are interested in having your child baptized, please contact our Parish Office: 570-421-2342.

 

If you are an adult and have considered becoming a baptized member of the Church, please contact our pastor, Fr. Jerry: frjerry@ptd.net or call the Parish Office: 570-421-2342.

 

Baptisms at St. Matthew's Church are performed on:

  • First Saturday of month after Vigil Mass

  • Third Sunday of month after 8:30 a.m. Mass

  • Every Sunday at 12:15 p.m. Mass (not on holidays and limited to two baptisms per Mass

  • 1:45 p.m. Spanish Mass (not on holidays and limited to two baptisms per Mass)

"Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." (John 3:5)

 

 

 

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