Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”CCC 1213 Baptism at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish
Those wishing to have their child baptized should contact Father to discuss the process. Parents must be registered members of the parish.
Congratulations on the birth of your child! Such a wonder! Such joy!
We rejoice with you and are glad that you will be calling us soon to request the Baptism of your child. Baptism is like a second birth for your child – a spiritual birth. At Baptism God will give your child a share in His own Divine Life and your child will become the newest member of the Catholic Faith. We encourage you to baptize the child soon birth. Invite all the family and friends, your own godparents and the godparents of any of your older children, to come to participate in the Baptismal Celebration.
Requirements for Baptism:
The requirements for having your child baptized are simple: that at least one of you is in fact a practicing Catholic, and that you as parents have the honest intention and ability to raise your child as a practicing Catholic. It is the parents, not the Catholic Schools nor the Parish, who have the primary responsibility of educating and forming their child in the Catholic faith. Children learn primarily by your example.
If you, the parents, have been living a good moral life in accordance with the Scriptures and Church teaching and if you have been in the habit of taking some time each day for prayer and have been attending Mass each Sunday, then you are in a good position to hand on the faith to your child. If on the other hand you have neglected any of these areas, we warmly invite you to make a new start in your spiritual journey by coming to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and renewing your commitment to God.
For the Baptism, your child will require at least one Godparent. Traditionally, a man and a woman, often family members, are chosen. To be chosen Godparent is a special honor. The Godparent is entrusted with the responsibility of praying for your child and being a friend and a good example of Catholic faith to inspire your child. Therefore, the Godparent(s) must be Catholic, have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation, at least 16 years of age. They must be practicing Catholics, praying people who attend Mass each Sunday and live a good moral life. A non-Catholic cannot be a Godparent for a Catholic Baptism, but a baptized practicing Christian may act as a Christian witness. They will take a similar role in the baptismal ceremony.
Preparation for the Baptism:
Come to Mass regularly, and pray together for your family and for this child. Prepare to celebrate the Baptism by inviting family and friends to join you for the occasion. Include your own god-parents in the invitation to this celebration, if possible.
Scheduling the Baptism:
The actual date for the Baptism will be scheduled at the meeting with Father. Baptisms take place usually on the fourth Sunday of the Month. Since normally Baptisms are celebrated outside of the context of Mass, we encourage you to come to the Sunday Mass at 11:30 am.
Registering in St. Stephen of Hungary Parish:
If your child is being baptized in the parish, presumably you are in fact members of the parish. In this case, if you are NOT SURE that your registration is up-to-date, please fill out the Registration Form and bring it to the Parish office, or drop it into the Collection basket at mass, or give it directly to the priest after Mass. If you intend to use Church Contribution envelopes at the Sunday Masses, we will be happy to provide these for you upon your request. That way you will get an Income Tax receipt for your contributions. The normal place for Baptism is the parish in which you are registered and actively participating. Otherwise, you need permission from the pastor of your own parish for your child to be baptized here. At the Baptism, you will receive a simple certificate of Baptism.
We congratulate you on the miracle of the birth of your child and wish every blessing for you and your family.