“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
-Matthew 28:19

The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Through Baptism a person receives forgiveness of original sin as well as personal sins. The newly baptized person receives sanctifying grace and is sealed with a permanent spiritual mark and is officially called a child (son/daughter) of God. This is why Baptism can be celebrated only once. The one who is to be baptized also becomes a new member of the Body of Christ and the Universal Catholic Church. We extend a special welcome to you if you are trying to find out more about Baptism for yourself, your child or a loved one. Every person is a gift from God and we always thank God for the gift of new life!

If you are an adult who is seeking more information on how to become a member of the Catholic Church, please refer to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions to help you understand the process of having your child baptized. To register your son/daughter for baptism and set up an appointment with one of the priests, or if you have any further questions, please contact the parish office directly – 905.945.2661 or via email at sjrc.grimsby@cogeco.net.

Sacraments 101: Baptism (why we baptize)

The celebration of the sacraments are communal events and our community is a parish family where we live.  If you are a Catholic parent and are living within the geographic boundaries of St. Joseph’s Parish, or live outside the Parish boundaries but are registered and supporting the parish, you may have your child baptized here.  If you live in another part of the Diocese of St. Catharines, Diocese of Hamilton or in another area altogether, but would like to have your child baptized here for special reasons, please contact the parish office at sjrcgrimsby@cogeco.net.

Baptisms take place outside of Mass, on most Sundays of the month at 1:30pm. For special pastoral reasons, your child could be baptized at another time with the approval of one of the priests. The celebration of the Rite of Baptism normally takes about one hour. Please contact the parish office for the upcoming baptismal schedule.

Here at St. Joseph’s Parish, we require that each set of parents is to set a personal meeting with one of the parish priests. In meeting with the priest, he will teach you about the sacrament itself, go over the baptismal rite, answer any questions you may have and also gather information for the baptismal certificate. The priest will also discuss with you many ways to further incorporate the faith into your family life.

Every person being baptized, whether a child or an adult, must have a godparent. The minimum requirement is one godparent, but usually when infants are baptized, they may have two godparents, one of each gender. Canon Law (Church law) permits that only ONE godparent of each gender – a godmother and a godfather. The role of the godparent(s) is to assist the parents in raising the child in the way of faith. By modeling their own lives and prayer practices, the godparent serves as a role model to enhance the child’s opportunity to grow in God’s grace and mature on the path to holiness.

To be a godparent, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age or older
  • Have received Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation in the Catholic Church
  • Be a practicing Catholic and be registered at a Catholic parish
  • Not be the parent of the one being baptized

If you wish, along with the Catholic godparent, one godparent may be a baptized Christian in good standing with their Church. They would be known as a Christian Witness. Before asking someone to be a godparent for your child, please first speak to the priest.

If you are not married (single parent), or have had children outside of marriage, your child is still welcome to be baptized and you are encouraged to contact the parish office to set up a meeting with the priest. In the meeting, the priest will walk with you in your current life situation and discuss the responsibilities to raise your child in the faith. Do not be afraid – the baptism of you child is very important – please contact the parish office.

If you are living together (common law), or were married in another denomination, outside of a church, or civilly, you will be asked to meet with the priest to discuss the sacramental validation of your marriage. Each parent will be making a promise to God to raise the child according to the faith, a faith that they themselves are practicing. That is difficult to do when the marriage is not a sacramental one.

Jesus gave us His sacraments to confer grace upon us. It is this grace that strengthens us to live according to His Commandments. This includes all of His sacraments.

While you may already have committed to each other in a civil marriage, we would like to discuss the benefits to you and your relationship of inviting God into your life together by having your marriage “blessed” in the Church. Every situation is a little different, so once again this can be discussed in the meeting with the priest.

There is no cost to have your child baptized. Donations made to the Church are always appreciated. It is acceptable to show your appreciation to the Church with an honorarium within your means.