A Pastoral Letter on Infant Baptism (under age 7)
PARENT GUIDELINES FOR INFANT BAPTISM [CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 7]
Thank you inquiring about infant baptism at St. Helen Roman Catholic Parish. Diocesan policy requires that a priest or a staff member of the Parish personally interviews both parents, and that all parents and godparents prepare themselves for their child's baptism by attending the Baptism Preparation Class[es].
Parents requesting infant baptism at St. Helen Roman Catholic Church are expected to be registered and active in the parish. Parish Registration forms are available in the parish office or through the New Member Meetings. If you are a member of another Catholic Parish, yet want your child baptized at St. Helen’s, you will need to obtain a letter of permission from your Pastor.
Before an infant can be lawfully baptized in the Catholic Church, there must be present the well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic faith. This hope is usually based on whether the Catholic parent is practicing his/her religion. In those cases where a Catholic parent has not been going to Church or receiving the sacraments, a child’s baptism presents the opportunity for a caring priest or a member of the Baptism Preparation Team to help them turn things around. Infant baptism carries with it the parental responsibility of training the child in the practice of the faith. Children learn best by example, so the faith practice of the parents is essential to a child’s spiritual growth.
St. Helen Parish Baptism Preparation classes are held monthly. You will be given a schedule of classes with dates, times and place. Parents and godparents are required to attend class. If schedule conflicts occur, or a godparent lives in a different locale, class certificates from other Catholic parishes are accepted. Using video and live presentation, the class familiarizes the participants with the meaning of baptism for a disciple of Jesus and with the baptismal ceremony itself, while encouraging active parish membership and active participation in the liturgy.
Our fee for the Baptism Preparation Class is $75.00 per child being baptized, to help defray the costs incurred by the parish for the class and materials.
Baptism brings new life in Jesus and fellowship into His Body, the Church. You are to be congratulated on the gift of your child. May God’s blessings be upon your family; may the love of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit lead you forth to the glory of His Kingdom. Amen.
Fr. John Ssegawa, A.J.
Pastor, St. Helen Roman Catholic Parish