Sacrament of Baptism



“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.  ~Mark 10:14-16

Dear Parents,
Congratulations! We rejoice with you as you look forward to and plan for your child’s Baptism. It is natural for you to want to give the very best to your child, and we are glad that providing for your child includes a deep concern for his/her spiritual life. The joy and peace that comes from a relationship with God is the best gift that your child could ever receive. Your child is fortunate to have you plan for his/her spiritual growth by making these preparations for Baptism. Baptism is considered the single most important religious moment in the life of a person. Our parish community wants your child to have a close relationship with God and we are committed to offering you all the help we can give. Our prayers are with your family.

“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.'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213)

When an adult is baptized, Baptism follows a rigorous period of instruction. In contrast, when a child is baptized, the Baptism precedes instruction. In light of this, the Church requires that parents give the assurance that, upon the child’s Baptism, the child will be given every benefit of Christian and Catholic upbringing. The primary responsibility of raising a child in the ways of faith rests with the parents. This obligation begins with Baptism and extends all the way into adulthood. Our parish is always happy to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children in the ways of faith.
If parents are not able to give this assurance or make this solemn commitment to the Church, they should consider delaying Baptism until they are prepared to make a serious commitment to undertake these responsibilities.

1. Church law permits priests to baptize the children of parents who are full time or part time residents of their parish. Except in an emergency, the Rite of Baptism can only be celebrated in a Catholic church building.
2. Infants from outside the parish may be baptized at St. Patrick Parish with the written permission of their pastor. Parents are responsible to make arrangements for us to receive this letter one month before the Baptism. Parents may be asked to attend formation programs in their home parishes before permission is granted.

1. Godparents should be chosen by parents primarily to be good religious examples to their child and not because they want to bestow a family/social honor. Godparents will be asked to assist parents in teaching the child about the Christian faith and are required to provide an example of the Christian life. As representatives of the Christian community, Godparents give witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, in word and example.
2. The parish is responsible to make parents aware of the requirements concerning Godparents:
(A) Only one male Godfather and one female Godmother should be chosen.
(B) At least one Godparent must be a practicing Catholic (which means that he/she must have been baptized, received their Confirmation and First Communion and must be actively practicing their Catholic religion).
(C) The birth mother or the father of a child are not permitted to serve as a Godparent.
(D) Parents may choose one Godparent (Christian Witness) that is of another CHRISTIAN religion whom they determine will be a good example of Christian living for their child. (Canon Laws 872-874)

Typically Baptisms are scheduled on Sunday at noon. See below for the schedule. They also can be celebrated during one of the weekend Masses.  Other arrangments can be made with the Pastor, if these are not convenient.
Arrangements should be made by calling the parish office.
Catholic clergymen (in good standing with the Church) who are a family member or a friend are welcomed to celebrate an individual baptism ceremony at St. Patrick. Arrangements need to be made with the Pastor well in advance. All baptisms must take place inside of the Church building.

Many parents and godparents inquire about a donation to the Church on the occasion of a child’s Baptism. Although there is no stipend requested, donations are gratefully accepted.

Call the parish office 603-635-3525 between the hours of 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM, or e-mail to begin the preparation process and to provide information concerning the child. This will include an informal meeting with the Pastor to take down information, get a copy of the Birth Certificate, and schedule the baptism.  First time baptism parents will also be asked to take a Baptism Instruction course.

Please call if you have any questions!