A Guide to Catholic Baptism

Baptism is the first of seven sacraments and the way in which a person becomes a member of the Catholic Church.

Who can receive a Catholic baptism?

Anyone who has not already been baptized can receive the sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is able to be baptized,” (paragraph 1246). Baptism leaves an indelible (permanent) mark on the soul and there is no way nor any reason that one could be re-baptized.

     There are no age restrictions for baptism; you cannot be too old or too young to be baptized.

    Who can perform a Catholic baptism?

    Anyone can perform a baptism, however this is typically done only in extreme cases in which someone’s life is in danger. The Catholic Church has ordinary ministers for sacraments and those are bishops, priests, and sometimes deacons. An ordinary minister is one who has been entrusted with the authority to perform the sacrament although the responsibility for performing a sacrament can usually be delegated. For example, a bishop is the ordinary minister for Confirmation, but can give permission to a priest to do a Confirmation; a priest does not have the authority to do a confirmation without the permission of his bishop. However, priests do have the authority to do baptisms without the permission of the bishop and sometimes delegate the responsibility to a deacon if one is available.

    Most baptisms are done by a priest or deacon when the person is an infant, but there are extreme cases when even an unbaptized person can baptize someone. All that is required is “the will to do what the Church does when she baptizes, and to apply the Trinitarian Baptismal formula.” If this is done it is usaully because someone is lying on his/her deathbed and they truly desire to become Christian. How is this type of Baptism valid you ask? Well, the Church believes in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation (1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:5).

    Can someone be baptized twice?

    Baptizing someone twice is not necessary so long as the person was baptized using the Trinitarian formula described above. Some churches do not use the Trinitarian formula and therefore their baptisms are not valid and one would need to baptized again. It is not a sin to be baptized twice, but one need not be baptized twice in most cases.

    Does the Catholic Church accept baptisms from another church?

    Yes, the Catholic Church recognizes any baptism that uses water and in which the baptized was baptized was the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Some churches do not use the trinitarian formula for baptism and thus their baptisms are not valid.

    Why are children baptized?

    Children receive baptism primarily to remove original sin, but can serve as a great family tradition in which to inculturate one’s child into the faith of the family. Infant baptism has been debated for centuries. First, let us appeal to the Bible. John 3:5 says, “Jesus answered, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.’” Note that Jesus says “no one” can enter heaven in that passage. In the spirit of brevity here is the short answer straight from the Catechism:

    “The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized,” (Acts 16:15,33; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:16).
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1252)

    What does the Grace of Baptism accomplish?

    Catholic Baptism does five things specifically.

    1. It forgives all sins that may have been committed prior to a person’s baptism including original sin, mortal sins, and venial sins, and it relieves the punishment for those sins.
    2. It makes the newly baptized person “a new creature.”
    3. It turns the person into a newly adopted son of God and a member of Christ. Baptism incorporates one into the Church which is the body of Christ.
    4. It brings someone into the flock of the faithful and brings them to share in the royal priesthood of Christ (1 Pet. 2:9-10). Catholic baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers and it also brings about the sacramental bond of the unity of Christians. Paragraph 1271 of the Catechism says it best:

      Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: “For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn.”

    5. Last, but certainly not in the least, baptism leaves and indelible spiritual mark (character) of belonging to Christ on the soul. Nothing you can do will take away this mark even if you sin a million times. Those sins may not grant you salvation, but you will always carry the mark of a Christian on your soul, therefore making re-baptism impossible.

    Can someone receive the Grace of Baptism without being baptized?

    Yes, those who die for their faith but were never baptized receive the grace of baptism by blood. This is often called martyrdom – being killed for your faith and never, not even for a second, compromising it. Also, those truly seeking baptism, but are unable to receive it due to extenuating circumstances can receive it by desire. If the person has an explicit desire for baptism and is repentant of their sins then they will be “baptized.”

    What is the form and matter of Baptism?

    The form of a sacrament is the words that are said when performing or receiving the sacrament. In the case of Baptism this would be, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The matter of a sacrament is the physical signs that are present or used such as water and oil in the case of baptism.

    What is the role of Godparents?

    Godparents for Catholic Baptism are like sponsors for Confirmation. However, they take on a different role since usually only children have godparents for baptism. Their role is to take over or assist in the faith development of the person being baptized in the event that his/her parents cannot or if they neglect the child. This fulfills the baptismal promise of being raised in the Catholic faith.

    Comments

    1. Irene says

      Sorry I asked early if you can batize a baby if you are not married by church but, are married by court? We been married 12 yrs.

    2. brandon says

      hi, im twenty years old and have never been baptized, my family is Methodist but I would like to be baptized and join the catholic church, is it necessary to have godparents at my age?

      • says

        Hi Brandon. You would go through a process called RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). You wouldn’t have godparents per se, but rather someone acts as your sponsor to move through the process with you and fulfill much the same role in an adult format.

    3. Karina says

      Hello, My husband and I are married through Catholic Church, we wanted to baptize our son. We had asked my husband’s brother and wife. They are married but not through church, and he’s catholic but she’s Jehovah witness. Is it possible to baptize or no.

    4. Jessica says

      I have a question, My boyfriend was asked to baptize a child of his friends with another women. I find it to be very disrespectful. We are not married but we are three months pregnant. Can he even baptize the child while being with someone?

    5. APA says

      Bible says “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 6:16-18). How can a baby believes? will a baby confess or repent?, u cannot give a baby for marriage, a baby cannot receive all sacraments of catholic church in the baby stage itself. If that so, then how baptism for babies can be given, if u can give baptism for a baby why can’t all sacraments cannot be given to baby stage itself?.

    6. grace says

      PHi,I have very important,question,we have plan to get married.nxt year,but I just know now that I’m not baptist yet.
      And I’m twenty one years old now,can I get baptist and wedding on same day,I been church ,attend mass.receive bread frm god,but I did not know,before,that I’m not baptist ,I just know,now that prepared for plan to get married,I
      .thank you,I asked if it is allow if I do that baptist same day to our wedding,is that ok.thank you.I ll wait the answer

    7. Ron says

      Does the Catholic church accept the baptism of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons)? According to your explanation above it does because of the prayer they use when baptizing.I have a friend who is Catholic but his wife is Mormon. Will she be saved with her churches Baptism or will she need to be re-baptized ? I enjoy your web sight and look forward to your answer.

      Thanks

      Ron

    8. Ima says

      Ok so my husband and I baptized my daughter in the lutheran church September 1,2013. His family and him are catholic and now want to baptize her again in the catholic church but from what I have heard from many is no you cant if baptized once and in a different religion. A child should not be baptized again unless the childs life is in danger right?

    9. Diana says

      I have a serious question I had a baby with a guy we are not married but are in court status he dosen’t want me to baptize our son nd our son is 8 months already I want him baptize but the father dosent we do have a temporary domestic order nd says do not change childs religion doctor and so forth would that prevent a baptism from happening we are not changing the religion cuz his father is catholic too?? I need to know asap

    10. Erin says

      I have a question, my fiancee was raised Catholic and I am in the process of completing my RCIA classes to become a Catholic as well. I was previously married and have a 10 year old son of that marraige. My son’s biological father will not consent to me having my son Baptized as he does not believe in church, is there anyway I can have the ceromony completed without his approval? My son spends 90% of his time with myself and my fiancee and we plan to raise him in the Catholic faith and would like him to be baptized. At what age can he consent to the Baptism on his own?
      (I am in the process of having my previous marraige nullified so we may proceed to marry in a Catholic church as a side note)

      • says

        Hi Erin. Welcome to the Catholic Church! I hope you are looking forward to full communion at the Easter Vigil. I believe your son could seek baptism on his own as he is beyond the age of reason (7 years old). Parental consent is typically desirable, but I don’t know that he would need the support of both parents. You would need to find godparents who are willing to be a part of the process. God bless.

    11. Rochella Morris says

      Hi there,

      I am catholic and my husband Anglican.
      We were married in a Catholic Church. We now have a 3month old daughter and are torn as to which way to go with baptism. My husband feels the catholic do not accept other Christianity’s such as having communion ( as he could not have this at our catholic wedding reception) whilst in an Anglican chili rich anybody who has had holy communion from whatever church can. So my husband feels he will not be able to choose godparents in a catholic baptism as none of his friends/ family are.

      Please can you advise me

      • says

        Hi Rochella. For me the choice is simple: baptism in the church established by Jesus Christ, or baptism in a church that split away from the Catholic church by decree of an English king? Communion in the Catholic Church is the true body and blood of our Lord, something no other church can claim. To receive communion means that you believe and accept everything that church teaches. Catholics should not receive communion in other churches and the opposite is true as well because of what it signifies. When baptizing a young child the parents are making a pledge of faith on behalf of the child; if you are baptizing the child Catholic then you are pledging to raise that child as a Catholic. Knowing this, it follows that the Church requires the godparents to be Catholic. I will pray for you and your husband as you make your decision.

    12. James Patrick says

      Hi Sir Jon!

      Can one still be a godfather without being physically present during the baptism? my sister had her baby and i was wondering if i can still be its godfather even though im not there at the time of his baptism. thank you!

    13. Ricardo says

      I would like to know if I can be baptized in the Philippines. My father was a Roman Catholic, but he died when I was very young and as a result of this I was never baptized. I am now nearly 62 years. My girlfriend lives in Cebu in the Philippines and she would have liked for me to get baptized while I was visiting her. But apparently it would seem to be a complicated procedure, by some rules that say I have to reside their for six months. If there are such rules, then these rules are made by men and not God. I would have thought that God was a mercy full God and considering the Holy Catholic Church is a universal church, what difference would it make where I come from? But I suppose if I was to donate money to the church in question, it would be accepted and borders and origins would be forgotten.

    14. Alejandra says

      Me and my ex boyfriend baptis our daughter when she was 3 months and I was mostly not into the whole spiritual and didn’t really fully understand the whole point of baptizing our daughter. I went along with mostly because I just wanted to please him. And because he said as a mexican it was a tradition. As for the godparents they jut baptised and showed up 2-3 times and that was it.
      I remarried and both me and my husband are attending church every Sunday . Nobody force me into any religion, i went by choice ,And honestly ,i never felt more closer to god. Iam pregnant with my second child I want to baptis both of them at the same time. Can I ? Even though my oldest daughter is already baptis ?
      Thank you.

    15. crystal says

      Hello,

      I just recently baptized my 2 year old. The godparents that I had chosen for my child have recently went through divorce and the godfather has gone down a very dark path. I fear that my child may not have a very strong faithful path if I were to pass, and her godmother be the only one left to guide her. Can i re baptize with new godparents or what would be the correct steps?

      • says

        Hi there. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s godfather. Her baptism is not affected by this and so there would be no need to re-baptize her. I urge you to pray for the godfather and keep praying. While I cannot give official legal advice, I recommend that you draw up legal papers (a will or a trust, etc.) that specify where your child will be placed if you pass away. Select close friends or relatives that also have a good Catholic household and that share your values in order to provide a good faith background for your child in the event that you cannot.

    16. L Martinez says

      hello there i have a quick question we have baptized my oldest daughter now we are in the process of baptizing our second daughter my husband was chosen to be the godfather of my nephew along wit me we are married but not threw church he was baptized and did his communion however he hasnt done his confirmation, we are doing the baptism in puerto rico as this is where my family is at he might not be able to be present for the baptism is there a way a proxy can stand for him, also he cannot find his communion information as we have moved so many times that alot of our papers have been lost how can he become the godfather with no issues here in puerto rico they are so strict with what they want however we baptized our first daughter in the catholic faith already

    17. Alicia says

      My boyfriend and I have a 15 month old son & would love to baptize him, but we are not married & I’m not baptized but he is. Can we still baptize him?

    18. Venkat says

      Jon, I am originally a Indian citizen and a Hindu by birth, currently working in the US on a work permit visa, I have been exploring the Christian way for over a year now and would like to convert into a Catholic Christian. I would really appreciate if you have any insights on if it will be possible for me to get baptized in a church in the US though I am not an US citizen. Please let me know – Venkat

      • Sarah says

        As far as I know, you do not have to be a citizen in order to be baptized into the Catholic Church. The Church is often referred to as “universal,” and the religion of course transcends national borders. I’d suggest going to your local church and inquiring there, but I don’t think you should have any problem getting baptized, regardless of citizenship. The only potential hurdle would be if you plan not to be in the United States much longer – occasionally adults converting are told to take a class prior to baptism and if you aren’t around long enough to enroll and complete the class that might be an issue. Good luck and God Bless!

    19. Teresa says

      Hello,
      I have a quick question, I want to have my 3 year old son baptized this year by my sister and her husband. My sister is catholic and she is baptized by the Catholic Church but she had not done her confirmation. I heard from my mother in law that someone might be able to stand in for her who meets all the requirements but she would still be the godmother. Is this possible ? Can someone who meets all the requirements vouche for her, while my sister is the godmother?

    20. Greg says

      Hello,

      Neither I nor my wife are Catholic, (we are Apostolic Christians) but we would like our daughter to be baptized in a Catholic Church.

      I have two questing and would greatly appreciate it if someone can clarify this for us.

      Since we don’t have any close Catholic friend nor relatives, we would like to know if it’s absolutely necessary to have godparents in order to be baptized in Catholic Church?

      And my second questions is, if indeed its absolutely necessary to have godparents in order to be baptized in Catholic Church, do future godparents have to be Catholic, or as long as they are Christian that would be acceptable.

      Thank you!

      • Ivy Harrell says

        I don’t understand this…if you are Apostolic, then why would you want your daughter to be baptized in a Catholic Church? The Apostolic doctrine (teaching) is how Jesus taught His disciples, why would you deviate from that? Please re-read the Acts of the Apostles, especially Acts 2:38, the foundational scripture that Jesus intended for us all.

    21. tanya says

      I have been baptized catholic so has my other half. We are not married. I don’t attend church but would like to get my daughter baptized. Is it possible?

    22. Christina says

      I would like to baptize my daughter she’s five years old. My question is can I baptize my daughter even though her dad is not a part of our lives and the people I picked to be her godparents have not done there confirmation and neither have I? ??

    23. marco says

      Could you please tell me what the requirements are for godparents in the catholic church. Can we have three godparents and do the godparents have to be baptized catholic and have done their first communion ? thanks

    24. Lillian says

      Im trying to get my son baptise. the godparents that I want are my brother and sister-in-law, they are both married but not through the catholic church. How can I go abouts getting my son baptise by them.

    25. Faith sacayanan says

      My husband and i were filipino but our baby was born here in canada so he is a citizen,is it ok if he will be baptize in philippines?

    26. says

      Jon,

      My wife and I are going to Atlanta in a week to visit our daughter and her husband and soon to be 2 year old grandson. While raised Catholic, My daughter has stopped practicing her faith. She married a non catholic in a civil ceremony, and has no plans to baptize her son, as she feels he can decide for himself as he gets older. I spoke to my parish priest, and told him that when we are there, we plan to baptize him ourselves when they go out for a movie. I was told we need to just say the words 3 time for it to be valid. While I don’t like doing this behind her back in secret, I feel the benefits are too great to not do it. Any comments or suggestions?

      Peter

      • says

        Hi Peter. I understand your dilemma and it is a tough situation. I also recognize your love for Jesus and your grandchild hence the desire for his baptism. I’m not in favor of this method of baptism in part because it can create complications for the child later in life. There is no sacramental record in a baptism such as this. When baptizing a young child it is the parents who are making a promise on behalf of the child and will raise their child in the Catholic faith. At least he will be baptized, but he won’t have much else of a Catholic upbringing. If there is no grave danger of death, I see no reason to baptize the child under these circumstances in this way. It may be more fruitful in the long run to pray for the return of your daughter to the faith and that she and her husband will make the arrangements for baptism.

        • says

          Am in canada on vacation an would love to baptize my daughter i was also baptized in the cathloic church when i was young an would like to know were can i go to have it perform please thank you.

    27. jose says

      I have a quick question. Can you Baptist a child too a couple that isn’t married yet and I would be the God father and the mother in law would be a stranger to me but a friend of the mother?

    28. Jessica says

      Hello ;

      I’m 20 years old and I never been baptized my patents aren’t together anymore and my best friend for 20 years ask me to be the god mother of her child , how can I get baptized and where can I go cause I need my cefricate quick

      • says

        Hello, Jessica. It is clear that you feel honored by your best friend to be asked to be the godmother of her child by your desire to be baptized. Baptism is the first step in becoming a full Catholic Christian. As an adult the process typically takes many months during which you take classes culminating in your baptism, first communion, and confirmation at the Easter Vigil Mass. However, there are always exceptions, and the priest in your nearby parish, after meeting with you, might determine that you are fit for baptism. Baptism isn’t something that should be treated lightly to quickly get done so that you can move on to others things. Getting baptized is an acceptance of the entire Catholic faith and becoming a child of God. It’s a pretty big deal!

    29. Angie says

      I have a sister that’s catholic and she was baptize and first comformation. Can she still be a Godparent.

      • says

        Hi Angie. Did you mean first communion or confirmation? If she has not been confirmed she would typically not be a godparent, but it may still be possible. Please speak with your parish priest or staff for a better understanding.

    30. Alexis says

      Okay, I was born at 24 weeks. Because I was so premature, I had to be incubated and attached to several machines. I was in decline and about to die, so my Grandma baptized me with her holy water of Lourdes. Does this count as baptism? Would there be a certificate of this? I am told I need it to be married…does my baptism count?

    31. Tiannah says

      I have a 3week old son, I would love to get him baptized but I have been told I can’t because of the father nor I have been baptized, do I and the father have to be baptized before our son?

      And what’s a naming ceremony ??
      Thank you

    32. Pansy says

      Hi, I’m inquiring as to wether or not my daughter can be baptized. I’m a non-denominational christian and her father and I have never been married (we share custody) he and his family are Catholic and they are worried about original sin and if something should happen to her. She’s 6 now and has never been baptized. Can she be baptized in the Catholic church?

    33. Dcn. Tim O'Callaghan says

      Jon,
      I noticed under the section of who can perform a Baptism you state “Bishops, Priest and sometimes Deacons”, perhaps, it’s the diocese however in our diocese our deacons baptize on a regular basis, even inside of Mass.
      In His Service,
      Deacon Tim

      • says

        Thanks, Deacon! I updated the article to better explain the context. I was attempting to explain ordinary ministers, but in my conciseness I caused confusion. I have updated it to better explain the concept of an “ordinary minister” and to also emphasize that deacons often perform baptisms.

    34. Nichole says

      Quick Question. IF me And my husband were to ever bapitize a child would we have to do it as a couple or say the parents pick him only and not me his wife. As the god mother is that ok or do we have to do it together as a couple because we are married?

    35. Claudia says

      My husband and I are both Catholics but are not married through the church yet due to the fact that he is in the military. Is it possible for either or both of us to be godparents even though we aren’t married through the church yet?!

    36. Debra says

      I fell madly and deeply in love with the Catholic Church. Without going in to great detail I’m unable to get an annulment. I have never been baptized. Now I have just been diagnosed with terminal cancer with 3 or 4 months to live. Can I be baptized in the Catholic Church now? God Bless

    37. Patty says

      My husband is Coptic orthodox Christian and I am catholic. We were married in the Coptic Orthodox Church. We want to baptize our daughter in both the Coptic church and Catholic Church. Is that possible?
      Thanks!
      Patty

      • says

        Hi Patty. The baptism is valid in either church so you will have to pick one since baptism is to be done only once. The Coptic church, like our Orthodox brothers and sisters, has valid sacraments because they have valid apostolic succession. There are a few theological differences and the position of the Catholic Church is that it holds the fullness of the faith taught by Jesus Christ and handed down by his disciples. Whichever you choose, your child will be validly baptized and a member of the Christian family.

    38. Pauline Docherty says

      Hi,

      My mum was roman catholic (now deceased) I was never baptised due to my father’s religious beliefes. I ahve a 2 year old daughter and am currently seperated from my fiance. Can I get baptised into the Catholic faith? I have speant many years considering religion an dthe Catholic one feels to give me the most comfort. I am also planning to have my daughter baptised but have already been told that won’t be an issue.

    39. yazmin de la torre says

      hi. i’m 20 but haven’t done my confirmation. i was asked to be a godparent. i’m i still allowed to take the prebaptism classes and to be a godmother?

    40. John G says

      My best friend had a baby girl back in January and he chose me and somebody else to serve as godparents. The problem is neither of us (me and the godmother) have been baptized catholic. What is the best solution to this dilemma?

    41. Jennifer Lee says

      I am a practicing Roman Catholic. My son was just born & I have a couple in mind to be his godparents. They are devout practicing Roman Catholics as well. The problem comes in though that I go to a church affiliate with the fraternity of St. Peter. His potential godparents go to a church affiliated with the society of st. Pius X. The priest at my church would not allow them to be my daughter’s godparents saying they couldn’t because the hitch they attend isn’t valid. I went along with it against my intuition & picked other people to be her godparents, however, I am back to having to pick godparents & they are the people I really feel are best suited for the job. My uncle happens to be a priest who used to be with the society, but is now Independant. Would it be wrong to ask him to do the baptism so I can tilt pick who I feel I want his godparents to be?

    42. Liz Parga says

      my cousin & her fiancée ( then ) baptized my daughter a year ago & recently they separater . My cousin come around every day to visit my kid so she can knoe who her godmother is but it wasn’t the same for her godfather . We no longer speak to him or hear anything from him , so with that being said my question was if its possible for my daughter to be re-baptized by her uncle ( my brother in law )

    43. Wendy says

      Hi last year my cousin became my son’s godparents. They asked us if we could be their kids godparents too, but recently our family told us that it was impossible because its seems like we were returning the favor to them. I really love my niece and would love to be her godmother but if its not possible i would like to know before I get my hopes up.
      Thank you

    44. Chantal says

      Hi Jon,

      I am baptized anglican, my adoptive father is catholic and my birth mother is anglican. It was too much work for them 20 years ago to baptize me catholic so they went anglican. I was baptized at age 12 Anglican. My son will be 3 and he is not baptized yet. We attend a Christian bible church every Sunday, however I would like my son to be baptized catholic. I would like him to be educated in the catholic school system and learn about our Lord and be guided by the principles and values of the catholic church. I have sole custody of my son, his father has zero rights to him as he signed off on them. My question is if my boyfriend who is catholic adopts my son, (which he plans on doing as he has been his father since he was practically born) Can i then baptize my son catholic as his adoptive father would be catholic? I just don’t have time to complete the RCIA course with 3 jobs at the moment but I do have intentions on converting to Catholicism myself in the future. Your response would be appreciated. Thanks :)

    45. estella gonzales says

      More than 20 years I baptized my niece. I’m proud to be her godmother and have always tried to guide her especially after her mother died. Now she’s going to another churchand just found out she got baptized again . Is her first baptisim still valid or is it the secon? Or both? It really bothered s. Me that she strayed from being catholic but she’s an adult and her decisions are hers . I’m trying to be repectful to her wishes but it really bothers me

      • says

        Only the first baptism, so long as the baptizer says “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” is valid. The other church may choose to baptize again because of their own beliefs about baptism, but it is not valid and has no effect on the first one so long as the first one is valid.

    46. Sasha says

      My sister and her boyfriend are planning on baptizing their daughter as a Catholic. They want myself and my boyfriend to be the godparents, but we are both Anglicans. Would this be an issue and would we still be able to be the godparents?

    47. Leticia Lucio says

      Question. My husband & I are still legally married through civil court. We are both Catholic, but, currently separated due to irreconcilable differences. He has a girlfriend & they are planning on baptisizing her sister’s daughter in the Catholic church we both used to attend. I feel they are making a mockery of not only the church, but, of me as well. Should I go & speak to someone at the parrish & make them aware of the situation or is that something that is condoned by the church since we are separated?

      • says

        Hi Leticia. It sounds like you are in a difficult position. It would be beneficial, at least for you, to discuss the matter with your parish priest. He will be able to provide proper guidance. I’ll say a prayer for you.

    48. mireya says

      My daughter is 8 months and I want my brother to baptize her but he has not done his confirmation he has everything else .. will he still be able to be my daughters godparent if her godmother will only be considered as a witness because she is a Christian? ?

    49. Donna ciano says

      My son in law has attended church with us for years and wishes to be baptized in the catholic faith(he has never been baptized). Does he have to take RCIA classes and wait till next Easter. He wishes to be baptized now. As we are a catholic family that had our babies baptized, made first communion in 4th grade and confirmation at the end of 8th grade(all attended parochial school) I am embarrassed to say, I do not know.

      • says

        He would not have to go through RCIA necessarily. The pastor has the discretion as to whether someone is prepared to receive a sacrament. Your son-in-law should contact his parish to discuss his options with the pastor. He could very well be baptized within a few weeks.

    50. pau says

      Hello Jon,
      My husband and I are both Catholics. My husband is very religious. I usually do not attend church but I have faith. He is American and I am Argentinean.
      He was previously married and got an annulment. Then we got married, but only legally, not religious.
      I didn’t have the confimation (I am baptised and had first communion)
      We are having a child and it is important for him to have the baptism in USA in the presence of his family. I would like to have a baptism in my country of origin as well, with with the presence of my relatives. My question is, if it is possible to have two baptisms, and if not, what would you suggest. And second, if the baptism is possible at all despite the facts I mention above (my lack of confirmation, religious marriage, etc.
      Thank you and havea nice day!

    51. Rick says

      I have a 9 year-old son that I would like to see baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. I was baptized in the Byzantine Catholic Church, attended a RC high school but that was pretty much the extent of my involvement with the Church. My wife is an itinerant Protestant, attending variety of churches but isn’t a member of any particular one. We were not married in a church.

      My initial inquiries were met with a response that my son would have to undergo the Rite of Christian Initiation because he is over 7 years-old and rules relating to Infant Baptism no longer apply. Can that possibly be correct? I thought, in error apparently, that the Rite of Christian Initiation was for adult conversions to Catholicism. I’m only questioning the response because I was also told that I should check with the local Byzantine Catholic diocese (Eparchy of Passaic) and see if they could accomodate my request. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive but I felt like I was being brushed off. I appreciate any insight you may be able to offer. Thanks.

    52. Angela says

      I have been attending RCIA classes to become catholic at Easter. I am married to a catholic but not in the church. Our marriage is going through some issues and we are not ready to be married in the church. Because of this the church has told me I will not be baptized, receive the Eucharist, or be confirmed (welcomed into the church) unless my marriage is validated in the church or I have a finally divorce decree. Is this right? It sounds very predjuice. Because my marriage I will not be welcomed. What happen to free will of becoming a catholic?

    53. Miss H.K. says

      Hi! I have just decided to convert to Catholicism last year (I used to be a freethinker) and have not been baptised even though I already starting going for Masses. Should I abstain from meat and fast during this period of lent?
      If yes, then what if I ate meat on one of the Fridays? My mum bought a drumstick today and I was afraid of making my mum angry, yet again I am afraid I have committed a sin.. I found out on a website that one may be excused from abstaining from meat when one is guest “at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offence or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.” I really really did not want to eat the drumstick but there’s no one else in the family who would since my dad is a vegetarian. My mum is someone who would takes offence very easily. I know I wasn’t exactly a guest since I was eating at home and there would be no lifelong enmity between parents and child, but if I had avoided offending my mum, am I still wrong? I feel really guilty..

    54. Valerie says

      I have two kids. My husband is Catholic. We have been talking for about 3 years, to get our son baptized, now that we have another child, we want to get them both baptized together. What are the requirements? I was baptized Jehovah Witness when I was 5 and I practiced that religion until i was 11 years old. I have not participated in that church after, because my father is Catholic, and my mother had us all baptized without his knowledge or consent. Can my childern still be baptized Catholic? Could I convert and become Catholic, and be baptized as well or no?

      • KERRIE says

        Hi, I have 4 children, I am not married to their father he is a non believer and we are no longer together. I was not baptised because of there being many fractions of christianity in my family, my mothers mother was Catholic, my grandfather was Methodist, as both came from strictly religious backgrounds, but did not want to cause offense to the elder generations, my mother was not baptised, my father is Church of England. I decided I wanted my children to be Catholic, and that I would join them. I attended Mass and spoke to the priest afterwards. He gave me the baptism forms for my children immediatley and they were baptised a few months later, I have been meeting the priest weekly since then and tonight will recieve the three sacrements together. In his words he will not say who can and who cannot be a Catholic as it is the Holy Sprit who has brought the person to him. Therefore if you want to become catholic and for your children to become Catholic I can see no reason why you shouldn’t be ‘allowed’. I have been seeing him weekly for just over a year, and am involved in the parish I help to clean the church and with counting the offatory. So I can safely say I have been accepted into the community and if you truely want it, there is no reason why you shouldnt be able to become catholic, also I didnt get the childrens fathers permission if that answers a question you were pondering. Good luck and God bless. x

    55. Elizabeth says

      I am in a bind, my husband and I are about to have our first child and we would like for him to be baptized in the church but the Godparents we have in mind are not Catholic. We actually don’t have any Catholic friends or family that we would want as Godparents. We know that the Godparents we have in mind would raise our boy in the Catholic faith if we asked and would guide him through life with respect and understanding towards God. Is there any advice or guidance you can offer?

      • Jim says

        Jon can correct me if things have changed, but the Godparents are preferred to be Catholic but need not be Catholic just so long as they make certain the child or children receive Catholic education in the event the parents are unable to fulfill due to death, etc….

        • says

          Some bishops, such as mine, require that the godparents be Catholic. One would need to speak to their parish priest to determine what to do if one does not know any Catholic persons for the role of godparents.

      • KERRIE says

        I didnt have any Catholic friends or Family either. I spoke to the Priest and he asked me if there was anyone within the parish community I would like, you can still have a ‘set’ of non catholic Godparents, but I was required to have Catholic ones as well, I asked the Priest to be Godfather as he is an amazing man and i asked if a woman from a particular family would be Godmother, I also had no one to sponser me, so he asked a few members of the parish who i had established a relationship with from attending mass, therfore i wouldent worry overly about not knowing any catholics, if you attend mass regularly you will get to know catholics and if all else fails you can speak to the priest and he will make suggestions and in my case ask the people for you to avoid any awkward feelings. x

    56. Julie says

      Please can you help can my 3 year old be baptised catholic if we his parents are Church of England. I myself always wanted to be a catholic from a young age I even attended catholic school my best friend of 30years is catholic. And as children we always went to church. I now attend church meeting on a Thursday every week for the past year.which I really enjoy . And I have always believed in Christ our lord..and I wish more than anything in life I could of had the choice myself to choose my faith. And I would be totally deverstated if my son cannot be baptised catholic. Can you helpme please

      • Jim says

        Jon, correct me if I’m wrong, but anyone can be baptized Catholic. You can do it yourself as I have done for my children to protect them until the church could schedule a baptism. (I like the Church ceremony but protected my children in advance.) Just so you’re aware, I’ve spoken with a Catholic Priest and Monsignor concerning my actions and they were in complete agreement that I performed the ritual correctly. Take your child to a sink with running water, fill a cup, and pour the water down the back of the child’s head while praying “I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…” Thats all it takes and your child will be protected… Have someone hold your child for you as you baptize the baby so that it’s easier and safer for the child…

        Jim

        • says

          Hi Jim. A baptism is a baptism regardless of the church so long as it is done properly. The Catholic Church recognizes the baptism of anyone who was baptized with the following words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” whether by immersion or the pouring of water. Baptizing “in the name of Jesus Christ” is not a valid baptism.

          Sacraments, by their nature, are public events. Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation and thus is a welcoming into the Church. Doing it privately in one’s sink, while acceptable, is not preferred.

      • KERRIE says

        I come frome a mixed christian background and had no problems, my children are all catholic and i will recieve all 3 sacrements myself tonight. Attend mass and ask to speak with the priest. he will advise you of the nessasary steps to take. When I saw father the first time he immediatley gave me forms to fill in, i have met with him weekly for a year and now am to become a full member of the Catholic church, my children were baptised within a couple of months of our first meeting. My priest’s view is that it takes great currage to enter a catholic church in the first place, he says it is the Holy spirit that brings you there in the first place so who is he to turn you or your family away. Hope this helps.x

      • Jim says

        Sure… Just be certain that if anything happens and the parents can’t fulfill their obligation to educate the child as a Catholic, you will see the child at least goes to Catholic Sunday School…

    57. Rosemary says

      My daughter is twelve years old and her father and I are not married , her father is not catholic but I was raised catholic but sadly I’ve strayed in these past few years. Can I have her baptized or would there be any issues ? Also if she can can she do her First Communion at the same time ? I only ask because when I was a kid my friend from communion class got baptized and did her communion the same day.

    58. Jerica says

      I am not baptized catholic but my fiancée is and we r getting married in a Catholic Church but need his baptism paper. We cannot find it nor know which church and even province he was baptized in. Does anyone know how to help?? Wedding is in may and need it ASAP!! Thank you all and god bless

      • Robert says

        He can’t have lived in that many provinces/cities as a child. You should contact the archdiocese of each of the cities he lived in, starting with the most likely to least. The archdiocese will offer a historical records search of all the parishes in their domain, and will be able to tell you if he was baptized within the diocese, and if so, at which church.

        You can then contact the parish, and request a copy of the certificate.

        Note: there will likely be fees to perform the search at the diocese, and another fee to get a copy of the certificate, however – these fees are usually small (in Winnipeg diocese its $15 for a search, and most parishes charge $15 for a certificate).

        Good luck!

    59. Joann says

      Catholics believe baptism is necessary for salvation. yep.
      VATICAN II declared this in #7 of it’s decree Ad Gentes:
      “Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door. Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.” (Dogmatic constitution by Vatican II: Lumen Gentium 14) Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6), yet a necessity lies upon the Church (1 Cor. 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel. And hence missionary activity today as always retains its power and necessity.”

    60. Maria says

      My daughter and her husband are expecting their first child. My daughter had asked her sister to be one of the godparents as soon as she found out she was pregnant. All our children were raised Catholic, so she was baptized and confirmed Catholic, but now does not regularly attend Sunday Mass. My daughter’s husband’s family does not think that she therefore is fit to be a godparent and my daughter was told to tell her sister that two of their relatives would be instead. My daughter who was told she couldn’t be a godparent is Christian, hardworking, kind, caring; she lives a Christian life. She would support the baby and his following Christ’s teachings. We are devastated to be excluded from this special event. I am Catholic; I am struggling with this. Will you comment please?

    61. marian says

      I have question that i think i already know the answer to but I would like it verified. My Auntie is an extremely devout catholic and she has baptised my son, she had witness’ , oils and did the same ritual a priest would do. She now claims that he is offically baptised and a part of God’s family, which i have no problem with. I am just wondering is she right or do i still need to bring him to a priest for it to be official. My son is in fine health and this was not an emergency baptisim, she did this when he was five days old as she feels a baby should not wait months before he is baptised. All answers appriecated. P.S. excuse my speling :)

    62. James says

      My granddaughter was baptized by her Catholic father under crisis circumstances. He used the Catechism and followed the formula given; after that he told his priest, who completed the Baptism in church later. I was not sure the form was perfect, as I recall he poured the water, then made the sign of the cross on her forehead while saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But because he poured the water first then followed with the prayer, I worried that she is not baptized. So I did it again quite a while after the priest completed the Sacrament.

      I knew this might be a mortal sin, but I did it anyway.

      Did I sin?

      Thank you.

    63. Jenna says

      Is it possible for an adult to be Baptized without going through the entire RCIA program? My oldest son is baptized and I have gone through the RCIA classes in my teens. This spring I will be getting my daughter who is 1 yr old baptized with my son who is due in a couple weeks. My husband is not baptized and would like to be baptized along with my 2 children but hasn’t begun any RCIA classes.

      • says

        Hi Jenna. Yes, it is possible. You would need to discuss this with your pastor at your parish. He would meet with you to discern if you are ready to receive the sacrament. Technically this is all that is required to receive sacraments. The elaborate programs at parishes are a way to ensure that people have received the adequate preparation to receive the sacrament. Peace.

    64. lucie says

      hi jon, can i get my baby christened in any catholic churches that i chose? or does it have to be the local parish church near where we live? i am not a member of any catholic churches here yet as i have recently moved here (Hertfordshire).

      • says

        It has been my experience that you can have your child baptized at any Catholic church, but each one may have different stipulations. For instance some require that you become a registered member of the church, others may require that you live within its boundaries (technically parishes are geographical territories in which there is a parish church). Typically a person would be baptized at the parish church within whose boundaries one resides, but today’s people are mobile and will sometimes choose a parish that one prefers over one that is geographically the closest. You are best contacting your Catholic church of choice to learn the options to make a decision. God bless.

    65. yanin says

      I Want to baptize my daughter for her 2 nd birthday next month but. None of the Catholic. Churches around. Have classes until four more months .. can any praticing Catholic. Baptize her and be valid?

      • says

        Hello. Yes, technically any person could baptize another, but you would have to have a good reason to do it. I don’t know your circumstances yet in most cases it is best to wait until the next available time. The parish in which you reside would need record of the baptism.

    66. Tania says

      I was very close to finishing the RCIA program this year so that I could be baptised in Easter as a Catholic. However, just recently I was told that this would not be possible as I am in a relationship that is not a marriage. The relationship is a very strong and loyal one which has spanned over a decade. I was hoping after my baptism to get married in a Catholic church. Can you please advise if this is indeed Catholic Church Law and what I do from here in regards to my faith?

    67. ELW-CMM-GJM says

      I was told that in order to be baptized in a Catholic church, you have to take caticism classes..is this true.?

      How many classes are there to complete?

      Thank you kindly

      • says

        If you are having your infant child baptized the parish usually has a brief class to teach the parents more about the sacraments of baptism and the parent’s responsibility to the child as Christian parents. If you are an adult seeking baptism you must attend classes instructing you in the Catholic faith. The process is usually called R.C.I.A. which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The number of classes varies by parish, but usually is a weekly program from September to May.

    68. Joy gomez says

      I want my son to be baptized,i am catholic as well as the father of my child..he was born out of wedlock..we asked local church in Baguio City,Philippines if they could baptize my son(3weeks old) but then they refused..they said that it has been their policy that basic requirement for a child to be baptized is marriage certificate..is this legal?it is not even the child’s fault..

      • says

        I cannot speak to that particular parish, but it has been my experience that a parish will perform a baptism even if the parents are not married. Baptism is not restricted to children of married parents in the Catholic Church.

    69. Jemimary says

      May a priest baptize an adult
      in private? I am asking as I would
      like to participate in Mass properly.
      My mother was from Poland and she
      did not want to baptize me when I was
      a child because of her experience with a
      bad step mother and the WWII.

    70. Jim says

      Neither my wife nor I is religious. However, we want our 7-year old adopted daughter to have the opportunity to follow her own heart in this matter as she gets older. As she is Guatemalan, Catholicism is strongly rooted in her national experience. Would it be advisable and/or acceptable to have her baptized at this point so that she will not resent having not been baptized when she is older? Does she need to have godparents?

      • Peggy says

        My daughter (Catholic) married to (Methodist) and by a Methodist minister. They now have a son and want to have him baptized in both churches (with a minister and a priest. Is this possible? She spoke with a new priest at the school where she works (which is a different state than she lives) and he told her she has to prove her marriage and also have a “recent” baptismal certificate of her own. Then get permission from the church she attends in her town to have him baptized in the state where she works. Why does the Catholic church make things so difficult? Do different states have different rules?

        • says

          It’s hard for me to comment on a situation I am not directly involved in, especially when I am hearing of it secondhand. Baptism, is baptism so long as water is used and so long as the person performing it says “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” No need to be baptized twice or to have two different people do it. Catholics and Methodists are both Christian and the child would be baptized into Christ. Different dioceses may require different things as far as where a baptism is performed. It sounds like your daughter should seek clarification from the priest she spoke to.

    71. Jan says

      Our close friends have asked us to be godparents to their new son. We were baptized in the United Church of Canada, according to the Trinitarian baptismal formula and into the Holy Catholic Church, but not into the Roman Catholic Church. Can we stand as godparents?

    72. Anne says

      Due to my husband’s job, we live abroad. I want to have my baby baptized at my hometown parish when I am there this summer. Unfortunately, my husband cannot make the trip home with us. Can I still have her baptized even though he cannot attend? While he is not Catholic, we were married in the church and he supports me raising our child in the Catholic faith.

    73. Nancy says

      Can a practicing Catholic grandmother baptize her infant grandson through prayer without the parents knowledge because the parents are away from the church and are not currently practicing Catholics although they were raised Catholic?

      • says

        Nancy,
        Baptizing in this way, while well-intentioned, is a last-case scenario. Baptism should be done with the knowledge of the parents and through the ordinary means (i.e. by a priest or deacon at a church). Baptism is a sacrament and sacraments are public events to be witnessed by others in the community of faith.

        God bless.

    74. Kathryn Dedda says

      My son is getting baptised this Sunday. I was wondering if you had any nice examples of prayers of the faithful that could be read out at the mass.
      Thank you

    75. Cameron says

      Is it possible for a muslim man and a catholic woman to marry in a roman catholic church?

      Also, is it possible to baptize the children if he remains muslim but allows it?

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