Children or infants are those who have not yet reached the age of discernment (8 Years of age) and therefore cannot have or profess personal faith. From the earliest times, the Church, to which the mission of preaching the Gospel and of baptizing was entrusted, has baptized children as well as adults. Our Lord said: "Unless a man is reborn in water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5).
This faith is proclaimed for them by their Parents and Godparents, who represent both the local Church and the whole society of saints and believers: "The Church is at once the mother of all and the mother of each." (St. Augustine)
Because of the natural relationship, parents have a more important ministry and role in the Baptism of infants than the godparents. A child may have a Godfather and a Godmother. A Baptism may occur with only one Godparent. That Godparent must be practicing and a fully initiated Catholic.
Information needed for the interview:
Preparation for your child's Baptism may be made before the birth. Once the County issued Birth Certificate has been obtained and all preparation has been completed, then a date may be set.
Godparents who are from another Parish must complete a "Sponsor for Baptism Form". This form will need to be filled out, signed by the Pastor, have the Parish Seal, and then returned to us. If the interview and Baptismal Preparation Class take place before the birth of the child, a copy of the County issued Birth Certificate must be obtained and submitted to the Parish Office before the date of the Baptism can be set.
The role of the Godparent is to help their Godchild lead a Christian life. Also, if the Parents are not be able to fulfill their responsibility any longer, the Godparents will ensure the Christian upbringing of the Child.
Requirements for being a Godparent:
If the Godparent is not married and has a live-in partner, such a person is not acceptable for the role of a Godparent! If a person is a Christian, but not a Catholic, he/she can only be a Christian Witness to the Baptism, but not a Godparent! (please note that a Baptized Catholic, not practicing the Catholic Faith does not qualify as a Christian Witness). Non-baptized persons cannot be either a Godparent or a Christian Witness. None the less, there must be at least one Catholic Godparent.
Once the requirements are met, the date for Baptism will be scheduled. Baptism are community affairs - there are no private Baptisms!
Registered Parishioners of St. Bernard’s who wish to have a Baptism or be a Godparent in another Parish, must call the Parish Office to schedule an interview appointment.
Please take a moment to review the Day of Baptism Reminders.
Contact the Parish Office at 209-835-4560 if you have any questions.