Baptism...The sacrament of welcome and belonging
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact:
Mrs. Lisa Feliciano, Baptism Coordinator
818-340-6020, ext. 1020 or via Email
Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation in which parents present their child to become a member of the Catholic faith. We, the parish community of St. Mel, welcome your child into the family of God and into our parish family. We look forward to celebrating this special sacrament with you and your family.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED?
Any child may be baptized as long as there is a well-founded commitment by the parents that that child will be raised in the Catholic faith. Minimally, to be raised in the faith, means that your child should be afforded the opportunity to prepare and receive the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation as they mature. However, being a Catholic is much more than that. In order for your child to fully appreciate the meaning of these sacraments in his/her daily life, it is critically important for you, as parents, to model your own Catholic faith through prayer, regular attendance at Mass, reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, and Christian example. Your children are our future and are always welcome at St. Mel.
WHERE SHOULD I HAVE MY CHILD BAPTIZED?
Baptisms normally take place in the parish church of the parents. This is why we ask you to be formally registered members and active participants of St. Mel’s Parish at the time of your child’s baptism.
WHEN CAN I HAVE MY CHILD BAPTIZED?
Baptisms for children are typically held at St. Mel Parish on the third or fourth Sunday of each month at 1:00 pm. Parents are asked to contact Lisa Feliciano a minimum of two months in advance of the desired date of Baptism, and before family travel and reception plans are made for a particular date. A copy of the child’s birth certificate must be provided with the completed registration forms. Upon completion of all adult Baptism Preparation class requirements for parents and godparents, the date of Baptism will be confirmed. A Baptism class certification is valid for twenty-four months from the date of the class.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR GODPARENTS?
The role of the godparent is to help you, the parents, in witnessing to the integrity of the Catholic faith and to support the child in living that faith. Choose godparents who will be a real and long-lasting help in the Catholic formation of your child. Although godparents do not have any legal obligation, they do have a moral obligation for the child's spiritual welfare. Traditionally, there are two Catholic godparents, a godfather and a godmother, who are active in the faith and have fulfilled their own sacraments. In selecting Godparents, at least one of the two godparents must be a practicing Catholic, while the other may be a Christian witness -- someone who actively models a Christian lifestyle. To be a practicing Catholic means that one has received the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation in the Catholic Church, and currently practices their Catholic faith on a regular basis. Only one Catholic godparent is required by the Church in order to baptize a child. Godparents must be at least 16 years of age.
WHEN ARE THE REQUIRED BAPTISM CLASSES FOR PARENTS AND GODPARENTS?
St. Mel Parish requires that parents and godparents attend one baptism preparation class. Our baptism class takes place in the St. Mel Parish Center once a month from 7:00-8:30pm, prior to the celebration of the Sunday baptisms. The purpose of the baptism class is to afford you, the parents and godparents, a brief opportunity to reflect on your own faith as you prepare to celebrate the sacrament of Baptism for your child or godchild. Please note that childcare is not provided during the class. Baptism Preparation Classes are typically offered on the first or second Monday of each month.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHY WE BAPTIZE TAKE A LOOK AT THIS INFORMATIONAL VIDEO: