Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It is a time of rebirth, the moment of new life in Christ, a beginning of a destiny that can only be fulfilled in eternity. The day of your child’s baptism is a day of hope, promise and joy for your family and the whole Christian community. Through Baptism your child begins to share the life of Christ with all other Christians. When you have your child baptized you are creating a Catholic family also called the “Domestic Church.” The goals of the Baptism Ministry here at St. Benedict the Abbot Church are to educate families about the Sacrament of Baptism, to introduce resources for Christian parenting and to support parents through the baptismal process.
A Baptism Preparation session is required for all parents seeking the Sacrament for their child. The next Baptism class is scheduled for Thursday, September 7 at 7:00 pm. Please sign up for this class by calling the parish office at 724.941.9406, ext. 100 or by emailing email@example.com. Prior to the class someone from our Baptism Ministry will contact you with further details.
If you are asked to be a godparent for a Baptism held in a different church, follow this link for information on obtaining a Sponsor Letter.
What Are the Qualifications to Be a Godparent?
A part of Catholic tradition is to have a godparent for the sacrament of baptism. The Church requires only one godparent and that person is to be a practicing Catholic, which means someone who can be a role model for the person being baptized.
This means, specifically, that the person has been fully initiated; that is, baptized, confirmed, and has received the Eucharist. It also means the person is not under any canonical impediment which would result from not marrying validly in the Church or according to the policies of the Church for marriage in another faith.
Someone, for example, who has gone through the pre-marriage preparation and received permission from the bishop to marry their Baptist fiancé in a Baptist church is considered married validly and according to the Church’s teaching. Someone who has married in another faith without the required instruction and permission is not. A Catholic who has married civilly cannot act as a godparent nor can a Catholic who has remarried after a divorce without an annulment. It also would seem that if someone does not attend Mass regularly or follow the precepts of the Church that he or she is not capable of fulfilling the role of godparent because the model for Catholic life is absent.
If a couple wishes to have a Christian witness in addition to a Catholic godparent, that is allowed. However, the witness has to be baptized and should be active in his or her own congregation. The same requirements for a godparent hold true for the sponsor at confirmation. It would be a good idea for anyone not married validly who hopes at act in this role someday to attend to the details of validating their marriage. Just call one of the priests.