“Let your baptism be your armor; your faith, your helmet; your love, your spear; your patient endurance, your panoply [splendor].”
Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Baptism marks the entry of the believer into the Christian community. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and joined with Christ, sharing in His divinity and destined for eternal life. Baptism leaves us permanently changed, no longer the person we once were, but a new person, dying to death and sin, and rising to new life in Christ. In the words of St. Paul, “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
The rite includes anointing the forehead with holy oil to indicate that, even as Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so does the candidate now share in His everlasting life, participating in His glory as a member of His body. Like Christ, who is the light of the world, the newly baptized Christian carries the light of Christ out into the world.
Contact: Parish Office • 858-653-3540 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Saint Gregory the Great would like to welcome your child to be baptized as soon after birth as possible. The process to prepare your child or infant for baptism involves three steps:
Registration: If you are new, please register with our parish by clicking here or visiting the parish office. Saint Gregory the Great parishioners who have been registered for at least six (6) months are eligible to request a baptism.
Baptism Seminar: Both parents and godparents must attend the pre-baptismal class. The purpose of this class is to gain a fuller appreciation of the sacrament of Baptism and what it means to raise a child in the Catholic faith. Class schedule and contact information are available by clicking here. Your seminar certificate is valid for five (5) years.
Schedule: Upon completion of the seminar, please visit the parish office to finalize paperwork, submit the seminar certificate, and schedule a date. A stipend (offering) for the Church is usually made to help offset the costs. The suggested stipend for baptism is $50.00.
A Baptism is a communal celebration and is often celebrated with two or three other parish families. At the baptism ceremony, your child will receive a baptismal candle and a certificate of baptism.
The process for an older child is evaluated on an individual basis and the needs of the family.
The sacramental process for children and teens between the ages of seven and seventeen is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) adapted for children and teens. Click here for more information.
Parent and godparent requirements and responsibilities are the same as they are for infants and young children.
If you are an adult seeking baptism, you are invited to join the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) to learn about the Catholic faith. Click here for more information.
Adults seeking baptism are accompanied on this journey by a sponsor. The sponsor must be a fully initiated practicing Catholic comparable to that of a godparent. If your selected sponsor is not a member of Saint Gregory the Great, they may be asked to provide a letter from their pastor to confirm that they are a participating member of a Catholic community.
If you do not have a sponsor, members of our team are available to assist in this role, as are willing members of our parish.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of a godparent? A godparent’s responsibility is to assist the parents in the child’s spiritual growth or to assume this role if the parents are unable to do so.
Who can be Godparents? It is customary for children to have two godparents. When there are two, one must be male and the other female. A single godparent is acceptable when two eligible godparents are not available. Each godparent must be a fully initiated practicing Catholic who is at least 16 years of age, and has received the Sacraments of Initiation; Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation. You may be asked to provide a letter from the prospective godparent’s pastor to confirm that he or she is a participating member of a Catholic community.
Can a non-Catholic be a Godparent? If there is only one fully initiated practicing Catholic godparent, Church law does permit the appointment of one ‘Christian witness’ to the baptism ceremony. The witness is someone who is baptized in another Trinitarian Christian faith.
Do the godparents need to be present? A proxy may stand in for a godparent if they are not able to attend the ceremony. (For example, a military godparent who is on deployment may have a proxy.)
Can non-parishioners request a baptism at Saint Gregory the Great? Baptism is available to registered parishioners after six months of membership. Non-parishioners may request a baptism at Saint Gregory the Great if a family member is a registered parishioner. In this circumstance, a permission letter must be provided from the pastor of the parish where they regularly attend Mass.
Can we request immersion? Your child may be baptized by pouring warm water while the child is fully dressed, or immersion without clothing. Pouring is common practice, but the parents may choose the method most meaningful to them.
What should the child wear? Traditional Baptismal garments are white, which represents “putting on Christ.”
Is there a fee for baptism? There is no fee. A stipend (offering) for the Church is usually made to help offset the costs. The suggested stipend for baptism is $50.00.
Do the parents need to be married? It is suggested that you make an appointment to talk to a priest or deacon before the baptism if you are not married. One parent must be a practicing Catholic to support the child’s spiritual growth in the Church.
Do the parents need to be married in the Catholic Church? It is suggested that you make an appointment to talk to a priest or deacon before the baptism if you are not married in the Catholic Church. One parent must be a practicing Catholic to support the child’s spiritual growth in the Church.