Celebrating Baptisms FAQs
Many first time parents have a host of questions about celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism for their child. We hope your questions are answered here below. If you have additional questions, please feel welcomed to call the parish office and speak with one of the parish staff about your particular question!
ust I be a registered member of St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in order to have your child baptized here?
Yes, you must be a member of the parish. Baptisms are celebrations of the Catholic community where you worship – and so you should celebrate with your home parish. In the case of nonmembers, we ask for a letter of permission from the pastor of their home parish.
2) We are not currently registered at any parish. May we register at St Mark the Evangelist and have our child baptized?
If you are drawn to worshiping with our community and have a desire to be a part of our faith community, you are welcome to register with us. To register with the parish click
. After you register, you will be invited to attend a
. Remember that active participation within Mass is vital to fulfill the role as primary educators of your children in the ways of our Catholic faith. If parents are not able to give this assurance or make this solemn commitment to the Church, they should consider delaying Baptism until they are prepared to make a serious commitment to undertake these responsibilities.
3) I have already taken a baptism preparation class, do we need to attend one again?
If you took the class more than three years from the date of the new baptism, you will need to take a class again. If the class was taken at St. Mark the Evangelist, please add the approximate date of class to the notes section in the Baptism Packet (available at the Parish Office). If it was taken at another parish we will need the certificate from the parish.
4) Do we have to register for the baptismal preparation class, or can we just show up?
Pre-Registration is required as classes can be filled to capacity. You can register by contacting the parish office at 907-7746.
5) Do we have to complete the baptismal preparation class before we can set the date for the celebration of baptism?
Yes, after completing the class bring the certificate and the documents listed in the Baptism Packet (available at the Parish Office). to set and confirm the date. You can also take the class if you are unsure of when you would like to have the child baptized.
6) Are there requirements of the parents who want to have their child baptized?
Yes, at least one of the parents should be a practicing Catholic willing to commit to the task of rearing their child in the faith of the Church. Parents should accept that they are the first and foremost teachers of the faith, and be prepared to commit to that responsibility by practicing their faith through regular Mass attendance and regular participation in the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. It also means the practicing Catholic should hold true to all the Church teaches and proclaims. Oftentimes the baptism of the child can be the tipping point to move a parent to a greater commitment to the practice and growth of the faith. If a parent is not able to give this assurance or make this solemn commitment to the Church, they should consider delaying Baptism until they are prepared to make a serious commitment to undertake these responsibilities.
7) I am Catholic, but my spouse is not. May our child be baptized in the Catholic Church?
If one of the parents is a practicing Catholic, as long as the other parent is in agreement, the child can be baptized. There must also be a well-founded expectation that the child will be brought up in the Catholic tradition.
8) What is the role of the Godparents?
They represent the larger Catholic Church community. They, along with the priest and the parents, welcome the child to the community and signify that welcome by marking the child with the sign of the cross. As such Godparents should be chosen by parents primarily to be good religious examples to their child and not because they want to bestow a family/social honor. Godparents will be asked to assist parents in teaching the child about the Catholic faith and are required to provide an example of the Christian life. This is why it is vital for the Godparent(s) to be active, fully initiated Catholics.
9) Whom should I choose as godparents for my child’s baptism?
Whether you select very close friends or family members as godparents for your child, it is a very personal decision. However, the Church does ask that certain requirements be met.
10) What are the requirements to be a godparent?
In order to be a Catholic godparents, a person must be
1) Be a practicing registered Catholic who is at least 16 years of age, has received the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation), and receives the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation regularly.
2) They are leading a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and the role they are about to assume.
3) If married, be validly married in the Catholic Faith and not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; Catholics publicly living in an invalid marriage (not according to the Church regulations) and those who are cohabitating (living together without marriage) are ineligible.
4) The mother or the father of a child is not permitted to serve as a Godparent. .
11) What kind of letter does a Godparent need to obtain from their parish?
They will need to request a Sponsor Eligibility Letter to their home parish. Their home parish needs to sign and seal the letter. Then, bring the original letter for our records. If the Godparent(s) is/are member(s) of St. Mark the Evangelist, then they need to complete and sign our
and bring it to the parish office for verification.
12) How many godparents can (must) I have?
There should be at least one godparent. But, it is customary to have two godparents – in this case one must be female and the other male. The Church does not make any provisions for more than two.
13) Do both godparents have to be Catholics?
Yes, a godparent, by definition of their role to represent the Catholic community and helping to pass on their Catholic Faith, it is necessarily they are Catholic. But remember that only one godparent is required. A baptized non Catholic who is a practicing member of another Christian community may serve along with a godparent. As a non-Catholic, this person cannot fulfill the first role as godparent but will be noted as a Christian Witness and may still participate in the ceremony. Non-practicing catholics do not qualify as Christian Witnesses.