The Domestic Church calls the Christian home a place where the child begins to experience life as part of a collection of families called the Church. At Baptism, the parents and sponsors along with the whole Christian community take upon themselves the responsibility to make the Church and the world a place that will offer the newly baptized the love and support needed to grow to full Christian Adulthood.
Step 1. Register in the Parish:
Parents of the child to be baptized should be registered members of St. Joseph Parish or be from a family registered in the Parish before scheduling a baptism. If you are not already registered you may do so by contacting the Parish Center at 410-683-0600, by attending the Fellowship After Mass event after each Mass on the last Sunday of each month, in the Parish Center or by picking up a form in the back of the Church. The completed form should be taken to the Parish Center.
Step 2. Contact the Celebrant:
Call St. Joseph Parish at 410-683-0600 to register and schedule an interview with a Priest.
Step 3. Baptism Preparation:
A baptismal preparation class for first-time parents and godparents takes place on the First Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Center for English-language speakers and every first Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. This class can be scheduled by calling the Parish Center noted above. If the parents have taken a baptismal class at another parish or have not taken a class, we ask you to take this class. If you have already taken the class before at St. Joseph, you don’t have to take the class again for five years.
Step 4. The Baptismal Celebration:
Baptism for the newborn or other children is regularly scheduled on the first three Sundays of the month at 1:30 p.m. for English-language baptisms. The fourth Sunday of the month is reserved for Spanish-language baptisms.
For special circumstances, the Baptism may be scheduled at another time.
Step 5. Selecting Godparents:
Godparents should play a very important role in your child’s spiritual life. They should serve as role models of the faith.
The Church has three requirements for Roman Catholic godparents:
- A child must have one practicing Roman Catholic godparent in good standing with the Church. This Catholic godparent must be at least 16 years old and be mature enough to understand, accept and carry out the duties of a godparent.
- A godparent must have received the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. If two godparents are chosen, they may not be of the same gender.
- A non-Catholic, baptized Christian may be chosen as a Christian Witness (C/W), as long as one godparent is Catholic.
Step 6. Naming Your Child:
The name you select in addition to your family name will provide your child with a unique identity.
The long-standing tradition of the Church has been to give at least one name of a saint or person from our Biblical tradition.
A Christian name will provide your child with a model for Christ-centered living.
Step 7. Pictures at the Baptism:
Photographs and videos are encouraged at the baptism ceremony.
These are excellent means of sharing the memory of this joyous and special day with your child as he or she grows in age and faith.
Step 8. Clothing and Candle:
A white Christening gown is customary but not required. If a hat is worn, it should be removed for the baptism.
A white Baptismal bib can be supplied by the family or the Parish.
A Baptismal candle will be supplied by the Church.
Step 9. Family Donation:
There are no fees for baptisms. However, if you wish, a donation to the Church may be made and is appreciated.
Step 10. Your Baptismal Records and Certificate:
The record of the baptism is kept in the permanent records of St. Joseph Parish.
Therefore, please be sure of the accuracy of information and the spelling of names. If a baptismal certificate is needed at a later date, notify the Church where the Baptism took place and a certificate will be mailed to you.