- Baptism Overview
- Baptism Requirements
- Baptism of infants is arranged through the parish office. Parents of the infant should be members of St. Hedwig Parish or live within its boundaries.
- Parents and Godparents are required to attend one baptism preparation class which is held once per month
from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the parish lounge.
- You will be asked for a copy of your child's Birth Certificate and your parish Marriage Certificate.
- Infant baptism includes children from birth until their 6th birthday.
- Baptisms are held as a group on the last Saturday of each month at 10:00 am (except on Holy Days).
- Pre registration is necessary.
- Parents must register at the parish office Monday through Friday 9am to 5 pm The office is closed from 12pm to 1pm.
- Contact the rectory office at 562-296-9000.
A person may have one or two godparents (sponsors); if two are chosen, they must be a male and female. These are their requirements: 1) at least 16 years of age; 2) Confirmed and practicing the Catholic Faith 3) living in harmony with the Faith and can be a good role model for the one being Baptized. Furthermore, parents cannot be their own child’s godparents; also, you may choose a non-Catholic (but Baptized Christian) as a sponsor, as long as you have a Catholic sponsor who fits the above requirements as well. Godparents must attend the baptism preparation class.
You will be asked your marital status when you schedule the Baptism of your child, or when you are seeking Baptism for yourself. We will not deny Baptism of a child if the parents are unmarried or not married in the Catholic Church. However, there may be reason to postpone Baptism if parents are not practicing the Faith, or have no intention of living a Catholic life.
Danger of Death:
If your child is in danger of dying, or has been admitted to the hospital, please call the church office for emergency Baptism. No preparation is needed until after the child’s life has been saved. Although not encouraged, in danger of death and when a deacon or priest is not available quickly enough, a parent may baptize a child. Using water, pour it on the child's head and say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
REQUIREMENTS FOR SPONSORS OF:
BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, AND RCIA
There may be ONE or TWO sponsors. When there are TWO sponsors, one is male (godfather) and the other female (godmother).
- One sponsor must be Catholic
- Requirements for the Catholic
- At least sixteen years old and
- Baptized and confirmed and received the Eucharist
- Living an upright life
- No penalties (e.g., left the Church, etc.). Therefore, a Catholic who has left the Catholic Church cannot be a sponsor, and cannot be a “Christian witness” if they join another Christian communion.
- Cannot be either parent and must attend the baptism preparation class.
Age – Exception
- The pastor or the minister of baptism may admit a Catholic who is younger than sixteen.
- In this case, the Catholic who is younger than 16 must meet requirements above (i.e., full initiation, etc.).
baptized non-Catholic with Catholic sponsor
- The other may be a baptized Christian of a different denomination. This person is a “Christian witness” (and not a “sponsor”).
- The other witness with a Catholic sponsor may never be non-baptized. For example, Jewish or Muslim are not permitted by universal church law to be a godparent/witness.
- Requirements for the Christian Witness:
- at least sixteen years old
- a valid baptized Christian
- living an upright life
- cannot be either parent
- cannot be a Catholic who has left the Church
- is a member of a Christian community
- The notation “Christian witness” is placed under the name of the non-Catholic Christian witness in the baptismal register.
From the 1983 Code of Canon Law Canon 874, 1:
To be admitted to the role of sponsors, a person must:
- Be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the one who takes their place or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister and is to have the qualifications and intention of performing this role.
- Have completed their sixteenth year, unless a different age has been established by the diocesan bishop or it seems to the pastor or minister that an exception is to be made for a just cause;
- Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken;
- Not be bound by a canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared.
- Not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.