Sacrament of Baptism
So, you have decided to have your child baptised! Naturally, we think that is a great idea. By reason of your child’s Baptism, he or she enters into a specifically Christian relationship with God who already loves him or her as an utterly unique individual made in His image and likeness. Your child will baptised into the life of God; it is our prayer that he or she will come to know God as our Heavenly Father, the creator and sustainer of the universe, as his beloved Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour, teacher, brother, and friend, and as the Holy Spirit, who dwells within each one of us and draws us by the power of love into the life of the Holy Trinity.
It is also our prayer that your child, inspired by your own example, will live out this relationship in the company of all of his or her new brothers and sisters in Christ, who are the Church, the community in which we learn the love of God and the love of neighbour.
So, Baptism is something which is the beginning of something very big, at least, it can be, if we allow God to work within us.
Role of Parents in the Sacrament of Baptism of their Children
The child is Baptised in the faith of their Parents, Godparents and of the Church. Parents are responsible for bringing their child to the Sacrament of Baptism as soon as possible, after birth. Except in case of necessity, the church is the usual place of Baptism.
Role of the Godparents
Godparents are chosen by the parents to assist in helping the child to live up to his or her baptismal dignity. A Baptismal candidate may only have one or two godparents (also called sponsors).
if two are chosen, they must be one male and one female.
In order for someone to be eligible as a Godparent, they must;
- be chosen by the parent/s
- have the ability and the intention to fulfil the role
- be at least 16 years of age
- be a practising Catholic,
- be a good role model for the one being Baptised
- be neither the father nor the mother of the child.
A Baptised person who belongs to another Christian community may be a “Christian witness” provided that there is at least one Catholic Godparent who fulfils the above criteria.
An unbaptised person cannot be a witness (Code of Canon Law, cc. 872-874; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255).
Both parents (together with the Godparents) present their child for this Sacrament in the ceremony.
Times for Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is usually celebrated on a Sunday but may, for a good reason, be celebrated on another day. While a Baptism may be celebrated during a scheduled public Mass, it is more usual for the Baptism ceremony or liturgy to involve just the family and their relations and friends. The most popular times are Sunday at noon or in the afternoon, but no later than 4 p.m.
Applying to have your child baptised
The usual procedure is for you to contact the Parish Office by attending personally at 3 Jane Street (or coming through the Easton Street entrance by the side of the church) or by telephone or by email. The Parish Secretary will arrange a time for you to meet our Priest, Fr Richard Waddell, and will give or send you an Application for Baptism Form.
Interviews are usually scheduled for Tuesday evenings between 6 and 9 or Saturdays between 10-12 and 2-4. Another time or a home visit can be arranged if it is more suitable. The purpose of the interview is for the Priest to meet the parents (and the baby, if convenient), to talk briefly about the significance of Baptism, to answer any of your questions, and to settle the date and time of the Baptism and other necessary details.
If you would like to make an offering at the time of your child’s Baptism it would be gratefully received. Your offering is not retained by the Priest or the Parish but forwarded to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Revenue Fund which supports all the clergy, active and retired, of the Archdiocese. It can be paid by credit card via the link to the left of this page (Make your Payment or Donation), or by delivering the offering in an envelope to the Priest at the time of the Baptism or the Parish Secretary at any other time (marked with your child’s name).
It may be possible to book the parish hall for an after-ceremony function. Please contact the Parish Office on (02) 9810 1157, for further information about the booking.