Baptism Preparation FAQ

What is required of the parents who wish to have their child Baptized at St. Francis of Assisi?

COVID Update

To baptize in the Catholic church, at least one parent needs to be Catholic. Parents are required to attend a Baptism Preparation session once before baptizing children. Baptism Preparation sessions are currently in a digital format and registration is required. 

Parents who have attended Baptism Preparation previously are encouraged to sign up for Baptism Preparation again, as the way we celebrate Baptisms at St. Francis has recently changed and we want to help everyone to be prepared for this new form. 

Parents are required to provide appropriate documentation for the child’s Catholic godparent(s) before the baptism is scheduled. Information about the requirements for Godparents is available below and at the Baptism preparation session. 

Parents will receive information about how to schedule their child’s baptism after attending a Baptism Preparation Session. If you have attended baptism preparation at St. Francis within the last 5 years for an older child’s baptism, click here to contact our office for scheduling requests.

What is required of Catholic Godparents?

When you invite a person to serve as your child’s godparent, you are asking this individual to make a lifelong commitment to your child. The day of your child’s Baptism marks just the beginning of the godparent-godchild relationship. It is the hope of the church and the Catholic community that your child’s godparents will be lifelong companions who will nurture your child’s faith and help him or her become a true disciple of Christ. Only one Catholic godparent is required for a child to be baptized, but if two godparents are chosen one must be male and one must be female.

To serve as a Catholic godparent, an individual must be:

  • A baptized Catholic who has received the Sacrament of Confirmation and regularly participates in the Eucharist
  • An active member of a Catholic parish
  • Sixteen years old or older
  • If married, in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church
  • If unmarried, living a lifestyle consistent with Church teaching

You will receive documentation for Godparents after the Baptismal Preparation Session. The document needs to be signed by the Godparent and witnessed by a priest or a representative of the parish, and must include the parish seal

Any person who was baptized in the Catholic church who wishes to serve as a godparent must meet the above requirements.

If a Godparent cannot be physically present for the Baptism, a proxy may stand in their place by the Baptismal font. The proxy is not required to provide documentation from their church, as they are giving assent on behalf of the recorded Godparent.

Can I have a Godparent who is not Catholic?

At least one Catholic godparent is required. A non-Catholic person who was baptized in another Christian tradition may be invited to serve as a “Christian Witness.” This person will participate in the celebration and will stand alongside the Catholic godparent during the baptismal ceremony. If one Catholic Godparent and one Christian witness are chosen, one will be male and one will be female, per the Code of canon Law for the Catholic Church. Please contact Tim Hetzel if you have further questions about Christian Witnesses.

Are all baptisms celebrated during the Sunday liturgies?

COVID Update

During the Coronavirus pandemic we are not having baptisms during Sunday liturgies. We are celebrating the sacrament of baptism at a Communal Baptism Liturgy once a month on a designated Sunday afternoon. All COVID safety protocols are followed: A maximum of 200 people in the church, social distancing, mandated masks, and hand sanitizing. 

Do not send invitations to family or friends until you have received a confirmation notice for your child’s baptism date. 

This schedule is made available to families who have completed the requirements for celebrating a baptism at St. Francis of Assisi.

Do I have to be a registered member of the parish in order to have my child baptized?

You are required to be registered in a Catholic parish to baptize your child in the Catholic Church.

If you are registered at another parish, and provide the written permission from your pastor to our Baptism office, you are permitted to baptize your child at one of our Communal Baptism Liturgies

I'm registered at St. Francis - can my child be baptized at another church?

If you are registered as a St. Francis of Assisi Parishioner and you are holding your child’s baptism at another Catholic church (i.e., where you grew up, got married, etc.), that church will ask you to provide a form that affirms 3 things:

  1. That you are a registered parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi
  2. That you participated in a Baptism Preparation class, and
  3. The approval of our pastor, Monsignor Michael Clay, to hold your baptism at another church

To obtain this form, please complete our Attendance Verification Form for Baptism Preparation Sessions (click here). This information will help us to prepare the form for your child’s church of Baptism.

I'm registered at St. Francis - what form do I need to fill out to be a Godparent?

Please contact baptisms@stfrancisraleigh.org to request a copy of the Baptism Testimony Form for St. Francis of Assisi parishioners.

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