At St. Mary's Church, the Sacrament of Baptism is typically celebrated in English on the second Sunday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the church.
In accord with the Catholic understanding of the Sacraments, any unbaptized child 7 years of age (the age of reason) and older must be enrolled in the two-year sacramental preparation program through our parish religious education program.
Godparents from outside of the parish are required to attain a "Letter of Eligibility" from their home parish pastor attesting to their suitability in serving as a godparent. Parents and godparents (if they reside locally) are required to attend a Baptismal class, which is held the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Seton Room of the school.
Pre-registration for the class as well as for the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism are required. Please call the parish office at (717) 845-7620 in order to register.
To learn more about the Sacrament of Baptism or to find out how to have a child who is over the age of 7 registered for Baptism, please click here.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Sacrament of Baptism:
Q. How many godparents may our child have?
A. Church law requires at least one godparent to serve as a support and moral guide, to assist the parents of the child in rearing the child in the knowledge and practice of the faith. If two godparents are chosen, they must be of different sexes in order to mirror the human family in which the child is raised.
Q. Must our godparents be Catholic?
A. If there is only one godparent, he/she must be Catholic; while it is preferable that both godparents be Catholic, a second sponsor may be a "Christian Witness" to the Baptism, together with the Catholic godparent. Whether a Catholic godparent or a Christian Witness, the sponsors for Baptism must be active and practical Christians, regularly assisting in the worship life if his/her parish or congregation, and living a moral life in harmony with the Gospel of Christ.
Q. What are the other qualification of a Catholic godparent?
A. According to Church Law, godparents must be of at least 16 years of age and have received all three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist. If in the married state, the godparents must be married through the auspices of the Catholic Church (not through a Magisterial District Justice or through another Christian denomination). If single or divorced, the prospective godparent must be living a life of chastity (not cohabiting). The prospective godparent should not be involved in any form of public scandal, which would hinder the spiritual development of the child or parents which the godparent is to assist.
Q. May a child of unmarried parents be baptized?
A. Yes. The sole criterion of the baptism of a child is the well-founded hope that the child will be raised in the practice of the Catholic Faith.
Q. Must the child be named after a saint?
A. The Church's own law merely states that a name not contrary to Christian sensibilities should be chosen (we should avoid names of pagan gods or of the fallen angels, etc.). Yet on a pastoral level there is a profound spiritual good for the child to have a patron saint to invoke: it is praiseworthy to have a saint's name used as part of the child's given name!
ALL PAPERWORK MUST BE COMPLETE, SPONSORSHIP LETTERS RECEIVED AND CLASS ATTENDED
BEFORE THE BAPTISM CAN BE SCHEDULED.
To register for the class or for more information, please call the parish office (717) 845-7629.