Preparing for an Infant Baptism

Why Baptism . . .

Baptism into the Catholic Christian community enhances the faith of the parents, godparents, family and the parish community in which it is celebrated. As a Sacrament of the Church it is not a private christening; it belongs to the larger parish and the Catholic community throughout the world.

When parents present their child for Baptism, they are asking the church to receive their child as a member of the Body of Christ here on earth. They are also making a commitment to their child to help him or her to become a part of this community of faith.

During the Baptismal Rite the parents are instructed to: “make it their constant care to bring up their child in the practice of their faith.” In accordance with this, Church law requires that parents who wish to have their child baptized must be instructed in the meaning of the sacrament and the responsibilities associated with having their child baptized. (CC 851). This instruction gives the parents a clearer understanding of the meaning of the celebration and also enables them to participate more fully in the celebration.

All Hallows Parish offers you the following guidelines regarding the celebration of the Sacrament here in our church. You are encouraged to make plans for Baptism before the birth of your child in order to allow sufficient time for preparation.

Our requirements

Be an actively participating member of our parish community. If you are not a member here, you must arrange to have your baby baptized at All Hallows with the pastor or the Director of Catechetical Ministry, and you must have the permission of the pastor of the Church that you regularly attend.

Attend a parent preparation session. The schedule for these sessions will be given when you call to arrange the baptism.

For parents living out of town, pre-baptismal preparation may be scheduled through your local parish church. Proof of completion must be provided before the baptism will take place.

Baptisms are scheduled for Sundays after the 9:30 Mass. You may schedule the date of the Baptism beforehand, but the date cannot be confirmed until after the preparation class is completed.

What do I do first?

Call the All Hallows Parish Office and ask to speak with Catherine Adams at (858) 459-2975.  As our Director of Catechetical Ministry, she is your first stop.

What if?

You have already taken the preparation class.

If the preparation was completed here at All Hallows, no further classes are required. If the preparation was done at another parish, we ask that you provide documentation.

What if?

Your child is older.

According to Canon Law (CC852.1) a child older than six years will be enrolled in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Children. Along with attending School of Religion classes or Academy classes this will prepare them for their Baptism.

What about godparents….?

According to Canon Law (CC874), at least one of the godparents must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older.
  • Be a fully initiated, (that is: Baptized, Confirmed, and Eucharized Catholic,) who practices his or her faith.
  • If married, must be married in the Catholic Church.
  • A baptized person of another Christian denomination may act as a witness to the baptism, providing that there is a Catholic godparent.

Stipends

It is customary to make an offering to the church on the occasion of a Baptism. This offering is for the on-going work of the parish and to cover expenses.

  • A stipend for the priest or deacon is optional.
  • The Liturgical Calendar of the Church dictates the seasons
    when Baptism is administered.
  • For example, under normal circumstances, Baptism is not celebrated during the penitential season of Lent.
  • We also suggest that, if you live in the La Jolla area and are not already registered as a parishioner, that you consider doing so.
  • For registration information, call the parish office at (858) 459-2974.

Contacts

Catherine Adams, Director of Catechetical Ministry (858) 459-2975