WHAT IS BAPTISM?
In the Catholic tradition, baptism is one of the seven sacraments we celebrate, 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 (vitae spiritualis ianua), 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, it is expected that you take your duty to raise your child up in the Catholic faith seriously. We, the church parish, will help you as much as we can throughout this lifelong journey.
As a pastoral note, it's best not to coincide your child's baptism celebration with their birthday celebration, to conflate the two occasions together. Baptism, as a new birth into the divine life of God, should be celebrated separately on it's own right. As St Paul exclaims: 'So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!' (2 Cor 5:17).
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/outreach, etc. 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: Read all the information on this page.
Step 2: Book a date and time for the baptism ceremony.
An infant baptism usually takes about 30 minutes. Baptisms may be booked for Saturdays, either 11am or 12 noon. Baptisms can be celebrated at other times, but subject to the church’s availability. Please check with Toby the availability of your proposed date and time.
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 3: Collect and email a copy of the following documents to Toby.
A letter verifying one or both parent’s full initiation with the Catholic Church, i.e. has received the sacraments of (1) baptism, (2) first communion, and (3) confirmation. Alternatively, you could also provide the relevant certificates, i.e. a Baptism certificate, a first Communion certificate, and a confirmation certificate. These documents can be easily obtained by contacting the parish where you had these sacraments originally done. If you had these sacraments done at Sts Peter and Paul, then you don't need to provide these documents.
If you are not a current parishioner at Sts Peter and Paul: a letter from your current parish pastor granting permission for your child to be baptised at Sts Peter and Paul. Contact them and they will understand what you need.
Step 4: Attend a baptism information session.
Information sessions are run every 1st Tuesday of the month at 10am, in the church. It is highly recommended that both parents can make it, in order to adequately prepare for one of your child's most important days together. If not, then one parent is ok.
Please let Toby know which session date you are planning on attending.
Step 5: Attend and present your child at a Presentation Mass.
The Presentation Mass happens at every 2nd Sunday 10am Mass of the month. Your child will be welcomed by the parish community, along with all the other children who will be baptised in the following weeks.
On the day, please arrive at least 10 minutes early to notify Fr Dean that you've arrived. Please also let Toby know which Mass date you plan to attend.
Step 6: 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 7: Attend the baptism day.
Step 1: Read all the information on this page.
Step 2: Collect a copy of the following documents (and give it to the parents).
A letter verifying the godparent’s full initiation with the Catholic Church, i.e. has received the sacraments of (1) baptism, (2) first communion, and (3) confirmation. Alternatively, you could also provide the relevant certificates, i.e. a Baptism certificate, a first Communion certificate, and a confirmation certificate. These documents can be easily obtained by contacting the parish where you had these sacraments originally done. If you had these sacraments done at Sts Peter and Paul, then you don't need to provide these documents.
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 Toby know which dates you plan to attend.
Step 4: Attend the baptism day.