Baptism Preparation FAQ

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

To baptize in the Catholic church, at least one parent needs to be Catholic. Baptisms during a St. Francis of Assisi Mass are open to registered St. Francis of Assisi parishioners. Communal Baptism ceremonies are also open to families from other parishes.

Parents are required to attend a Baptism Preparation session once before baptizing children, either here at St. Francis of Assisi or at another church. Parents who have attended Baptism Preparation before baptizing older children are encouraged to sign up for Baptism Preparation again, as how 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 for an older child’s baptism, click here to contact our ofice 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
  • Registered as an active member of a Catholic parish
  • Sixteen years old or older

When you ask someone to act as a Catholic Baptismal Sponsor, please have them contact their current parish and request a Godparent form or letter of good standing. This helps affirm that the Godparent has their church’s permission to do so, and meets the above guidelines for Catholic Godparents. This form or letter is required before a baptism will be scheduled. A physical copy of this form or letter should be mailed or dropped off to:

St. Francis of Assisi
Attn: Baptism Preparation
11401 Leesville Road
Raleigh, NC 27613

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.

A person who was baptized in the Catholic church and has decided to leave the Catholic church of their own is not considered a Christian Witness. However, your invitation to them could be an opportunity to invite them back to participation in the Catholic church.

Please contact Jason Lillis if you have further questions about Christian Witnesses.

Are all baptisms celebrated during the Sunday liturgies?

Families who are registered parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi have the option of having your child baptized at one of the Sunday Masses or during one of the communal celebrations, which are held monthly. Baptisms will not be held during Mass during the season of Lent, and certain liturgies throughout the year are reserved for other liturgical celebrations.

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

Beginning in January 2017, St. Francis of Assisi will be holding up to 3 baptisms per Mass one weekend per month. This schedule is made available to families who have completed the requirements for celebrating a baptism at St. Francis of Assisi.

We will continue holding Communal Baptisms at 11:00 AM on one Saturday per month (the schedule is below).

When will Baptisms be held during Mass?

Baptisms at Mass are available one weekend per month throughout the year, excluding the season of Lent. Up to three children can be baptized each of the weekend Mass times.

DO NOT make plans for participating in a baptism at Mass until you have received official confirmation from St. Francis of Assisi. No baptism will be scheduled until the requirements set by the Diocese of Raleigh have been met.

2017 Baptism at Mass

  • September 30 & October 1
  • November 4 & 5
  • December 9 & 10

2018 Baptism at Mass

  • January 6 & 7
  • February 3 & 4
  • April 14 & 15
  • May 12 & 13
  • June 16 & 17
When will Communal Baptisms be held?

Communal Baptisms are held in the Church at 11:00 AM on Saturday mornings throughout the year, and are also open to non-St. Francis of Assisi parishioners with the permission of your pastor. This ceremony does not include the celebration of the Eucharist.

DO NOT make plans for participating in a communal baptism until you have received official confirmation from St. Francis of Assisi. No baptism will be scheduled until the requirements set by the Riocese of Raleigh have been met.

Communal Baptism Dates

  • September 23, 2017
  • October 28, 2017
  • November 25, 2017
  • December 23, 2017
  • January 27, 2018
  • February 24, 2018
  • March 17, 2018
  • April 28, 2018
  • May 19, 2018
  • June 23, 2018

 

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.

St. Francis of Assisi Parishioners are permitted to baptize their children at the Saturday 5:30 PM Mass, at the Sunday 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, or 5:30 PM Masses, or at a Communal Baptism Liturgy.

If you are registered at another parish and provide the written permission of 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 two things:

  1. Your participation in a Baptism Preparation class, and
  2. The approval of our pastor, Rev. Steve Patti, OFM, to hold your baptism at another church

To obtain this form, please confirm with our Stewardship Office that you are officially registered here at our parish by calling 919-847-8205 x265. Otherwise our Pastor will not be able to complete this document for you. If you are not yet registered at St. Francis of Assisi, please complete our New Parishioner Registration Form.

Once you have confirmed your registration, please complete our Attendance Verification Form for Baptism Preparation Sessions (click here). This information will help us to complete 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 Sponsor Form for St. Francis of Assisi parishioners.