"Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
all that I have commanded you." Matthew 28: 19-20
Congratulations on choosing to have your child baptized here at St. Bernard's Parish. We welcome you and hope that this is a holy and happy experience for you and your entire family. We are excited that you are bringing your child here to St. Bernard's to receive his/her first sacrament.
Having your child baptized is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. The Catholic Church has always taught that "Parents are the primary educators in the faith. Together with them, especially in certain cultures, all members of the family play an active part in the education of the younger embers."
(General Directory for Catechesis, #255). Our baptismal preparation is designed to assist you, the parents and godparents, in raising your child in the Catholic Church.
To inquire about and register for Baptism, please contact the Parish Office at 299-9406.
The following guidelines apply for Baptism of children under the age of 7 at St. Bernard.
To have a child baptized:
- You must be a registered parishioner or the relative of a registered parishioner of St. Bernard's. Register here
- If you are a relative of a registered parishioner, you will be required to provide St. Bernard's with a letter of delegation from your home parish granting us permission to perform the baptism
- You will be required to attend a Baptism Information Session before the baptism. (If you are a relative of a parishioner, this can be done at your home parish, with proof of attendance given to us.)
- Baptism classes are conducted the fourth Thursday of odd numbered months (except November) at 7:00 p.m. in the community room.
- You are baptizing your child into a Faith Community, therefore Baptisms are not a private affair. As many as six children could be baptized at one celebration.
Call the Parish Office at 299-9406 for available Baptism dates.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BAPTISMS:
What are the requirements for Godparents?
- Catholic Godparents must be baptized, confirmed, practicing Catholics, and at least 16 years of age. At LEAST one Catholic Godparent is required. Additional Godparent(s) may be adult, practicing Christians of other faiths.
Can I have more than 2 Godparents?
- Yes, in several cultures the children have more than just two Godparents. Since it is the Godparent's role to help the parents through their prayers, actions and love, having more than just two Godparents looking out for the child is quite natural.
Must the Godparents be present at the Baptism?
- No, while it is ideal to have the Godparents present, in some situations it is not feasible. In this case the family can pick a proxy to stand in for the Godparent. If a family has no proxies available St. Bernard's will provide a proxy for you.
Must I have both a Godmother and Godfather?
- No, many families find they do not have appropriate role models of a certain gender and choose both Godparents from one gender. Also since only one person is required for a Baptism some children have just one Godparent.
Can I have a Non-Christian as a Godparent/sponsor?
- No, since it is the role of the godparent to help teach the child about Jesus Christ and non-Christians do not give witness to Jesus Christ, they cannot act as Catholic Godparents/ sponsors. They are certainly welcome to attend the baptism.
How old should my child be at their baptism?
- There is no set age for baptism in the Catholic Church. The age for baptism depends upon the family. Some families have the children baptized as soon as possible after the birth while others wait for various reasons. Quite often the family has to wait until Grandma/Grandpa and the godparents can all be here. Any child under the age of 7 will be initiated through our infant baptism program.
How is my child baptized?
- Through the waters of baptism your child will be initiated into the Catholic Faith in a ritual that has been performed for many centuries and was initiated by Jesus Christ himself. The Priest/ Deacon will baptize your child by a triple immersion/ pouring as he says "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Through this prayer the Priest/ Deacon brings about the death of sin and brings your child into the life of the Holy Trinity through the Paschal Mystery of Christ's life, death and resurrection.
What is an immersion?
- An immersion is the traditional method of baptism in the Catholic Church. Jesus was immersed in the river Jordan by John the Baptist at his own baptism and so St. Bernard's offers immersion as an option for baptism. The child is placed naked in our heated font and water is poured over the head as they are being baptized. (The child's head never goes under water - think bath time). This is a very beautiful and powerful way to baptize a child.
Must my child wear white?
- While white is the traditional color for baptism in the Catholic Churchthere is no requirement that the children wear white garments. Many of the children are dressed in white, but you will see some that are dressed in ther appropriate outfits. Please dress your child in whatever outfit you see fit. Your child will be presented with a white garment provided by the church to symbolize that they are "now being clothed in Christ." After a child is immersed they can be dressed in white outfit that is different from the outfit in which they were brought to the Church.
Can I have my uncle/grandfather/family friend who is a Priest/Deacon baptize
- Yes, St. Bernard's does allow outside clergy to baptize children. Please call to discuss the requirements.
How do I get my child baptized at a Sunday Mass?
- Please contact Msgr. Gaalaas at 299-9406 for scheduling.
What if I want my child baptized at another parish?
- St. Bernard's will grant delegation for you to have your child baptized at another Parish provided you are a registered St. Bernard's parishioner. You may need to attend a Baptismal preparation class here at St. Bernard's.