Baptism FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Baptism

How do I arrange a Baptism?

One or both parents should come to see the parish priest, medical Fr Ray after 10am Mass Tuesday-Saturday. You do not need to telephone or make an appointment.

How soon should I have my child baptised?

Children should be baptised within the first weeks after birth. You are very welcome to come and arrange a date for the Baptism before the child is born. (The priest will then also be able to give the blessing for an expectant mother and pray for the safe delivery of the child.) It is wrong to put off the Baptism simply in order to have a more elaborate celebration party afterwards. It is better to have the Baptism sooner and make the celebrations more simple. You could then always have a big party for the child’s first birthday if you wish.

I am not married. Can my child be baptised?

Yes. A child may be baptised so long as there is a well-founded hope that they will be brought up in the practice of the Catholic faith. If you have any questions about marriage in the Catholic Church, there please ask the priest because there are often misunderstandings in this area.

I do not live in the parish. Can I have my child baptised at St. Mary Magdalen?

Yes, if you regularly come to Mass here. If you are not coming to Mass, you need to decide which will be the Church you are going to start attending. It will usually be more appropriate (and more convenient) for you to start going to Mass at your local parish and to arrange the Baptism there.

How many Godparents should we have?

The Church’s Canon Law states that there should be one or two Godparents. If there are two, they should be a Godfather and a Godmother.

Who can be Godparents?

Godparents must be Catholics over 16 years of age who themselves regularly come to Mass.

What about non-Catholics?

Alongside the Catholic Godparent(s), a non-Catholic who is a baptised Christian may stand as a Christian witness, similar to a Godparent. The important thing to remember is that Godparents must be able to affirm the Creed. In other words, they state solemnly that they believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they believe that Jesus rose from the dead and they believe in the Catholic Church.

Neither I nor my spouse is Catholic. Can our child(ren) be baptised Catholics?

Only if one of the parents decides to become a Catholic themselves. This is a process which involves prayer, instruction and sharing in the life of the Catholic community over several months at least. (See: Becoming a Catholic.) The most appropriate conclusion to this process is for the family to be baptised together. Please ask the priest for further details.

Are there places in the Catholic school?

Catholic schools are often over-subscribed. Baptism alone will not be any guarantee of a place. First priority is always given to those who come regularly to Mass.

I had a child baptised but I never got a Baptism certificate. How can I get one?

Every parish keeps a Baptism register in its permanent archive. A certificate can always be provided for you by the parish where your child was Baptised. The easiest way to get one is to send a note to the Parish Priest. Give the child’s full name, date of birth and date of baptism and enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

Please note

  • If the name has changed, be sure to give both the present name and the name at the time of the baptism.
  • If you do not know the date of the Baptism, say roughly when it was, the year and, if possible, the month.
  • If the child was adopted, you will be referred to the Adopted Children’s Register which is held by the Archdiocese. But the Parish Priest may give a brief note to affirm that the child was baptised, if this is necessary for an application to a Catholic school.
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