WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is one of the seven sacraments, instituted by Christ himself. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is the 'basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments (n. 1213).
Through baptism we are:
regenerated from the stains of original sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God,
grafted into the mystical body of Christ,
become members of the Church body (and can then receive the other sacraments), and
made sharers in the Church's mission to live and share the Gospel.
As parents and godparents of a baptised child, you take on the responsibility of raising your child in the Catholic faith. We, your Catholic parish, will help you as much as we can throughout this lifelong journey.
Every baptised child must be given at least one godparent. A godparent's role is to support the child in the development of the Catholic faith. He or she is responsible for teaching and setting a good and holy example for the child on how to live the Catholic faith. Therefore, at least one godparent must be a Catholic who has been baptised and confirmed, and ideally currently practising, i.e. regularly attending Mass and receiving the other sacraments, involved in a Catholic community. Non-Catholic Christians who serve as an important support to the faith life of the child may be considered as Christian witnesses. Regardless, at least one godparent must be Catholic. If a godparent is not able to be present at the baptism for whatever reason, then someone else may stand in as a proxy witness during the ceremony.
WHAT TO DO
Step 1: Book a date and time for the baptism ceremony.
Infant baptisms may be booked for Saturdays, either 11am or 12 noon.
When you have confirmed an available date and time, please fill out this short form to complete the booking: https://goo.gl/forms/yd9N0TyZydV81FIh1
Step 2: Collect and email a copy of the following documents to the parish secretrary.
At least one parent's baptism certificate. Or alternatively: a letter verifying the parent was baptised. These are easily obtained by contacting the parish where the parent was baptised. If the parent was baptised at Sts Peter and Paul, South Melbourne, then please let office know.
And if you are not a current parishioner at Sts Peter and Paul: a letter from your current parish priest granting permission for your child to be baptised here at Sts Peter and Paul. Contact your parish for this.
Step 3: Attend a baptism information session.
Information sessions are run every 1st Monday of the month at 10am, in the church (except for January 2021). It is highly recommended that both parents make it, in order to adequately prepare for one of your child's most important days together. If not, one parent is ok.
The dates for 2021 will be:
1st Feb, 1st Mar, 12th Apr, 3rd May, 7th Jun, 5th Jul, 2nd Aug, 6th Sept, 4th Oct, 8th Nov, 6th Dec.
Please let the parish secretary know which session date you plan to attend.
Step 4: Attend and present your child at a Presentation Mass. (This is currently suspended due to Covid)
The Presentation Mass happens at every 2nd Sunday of the month at 10am. Your child will be welcomed by the parish community, along with all the other children who will be baptised in the following weeks.
The dates for 2021 will be:
On the day, please arrive at least 10 minutes early to notify Fr John that you've arrived. Please also let parish secretary know which Mass date you plan to attend.
Step 5: Obtain the following items (to bring on the day of the baptism).
A baptism candle, which is sometimes decorated with the name of the child and the date of baptism. The candle signifies the light of faith which will illumine the child throughout his or her life.
A white garment. After baptism, the child is clothed in a white garment to signify spiritual purification. Many families have a baptismal garment heirloom, which is used generation after generation. Alternatively, some families provide a baptismal stole, unique to the occasion.
If you're not sure where to get the candle, we recommend a good friend of ours:
Candles and stoles can also be purchased at the Central Catholic Bookshop in the city:
Step 1: Read all the information on this page.
Step 2: Collect a copy of the following documents (and give it to the parents).
At least one godparent's baptism certificate. Or alternatively: a letter verifying the godparent was baptised. These are easily obtained by contacting the parish where the godparent was baptised. If the godparent was baptised at Sts Peter and Paul, South Melbourne, then please let office know.
Step 3: Attend both the information session and Presentation Mass (optional, but preferable).
If you could attend both of these events, that would be great, but not mandatory. See the parent's step 4 and 5 above. If you could attend any, please let office know which dates you plan to attend.
Step 4: Attend the baptism day.