Sacrament of Baptism

Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."

~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.1213

Who Can Be Baptized

Infants and children under the age of seven can be baptized when at least one of their parents is Catholic. At a baptism, parents make vows before God and the Church that they will make every effort to raise their child in the Catholic faith and in accordance with God’s laws.

Adults and children who have reached the age of seven, which the Church considers to be the age of reason, receive the sacrament of baptism together with the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. This typically happens at the Easter Vigil Mass and it follows a period of comprehensive formation that lasts from one to two years. Children complete most of their preparation through the parish’s faith formation programs and adults go through the RCIA program (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults).

Baptisms for non-parishioners are permitted when a family has a direct connection to the parish (such as if a couple’s wedding was once here or grandparents belong here) and the family has their own parish that they belong to. 

Choosing Godparents

Choosing godparents is a serious decision that requires prayer and reflection. A godparent, as the name itself suggests, has a sacred duty of being a role model of Catholic faith of their godchild, which entails that they possess an abiding love for God, an active presence in the Church that includes weekly Mass attendance, and a life that is in harmony with God’s commandments and Church teaching. Godparents must be willing to pray for their godchildren and to help and encourage them to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

A person receiving the sacrament of baptism is required to have a godparent. Two godparents can be chosen as long as one is male and one is female. Godparents must be practicing Catholics and must meet the criteria as set forth by the Church:

  • Must have completed the sixteenth year of age
  • Must have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function
  • Must be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on
  • Must not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized

You might have a close friend or family member who is either a non-Catholic or a Catholic who is not active in practicing their faith. Individuals in either case are not permitted to be Catholic godparents, but they are certainly encouraged to attend the baptism liturgy and witness to the sacred mysteries that will be celebrated.

St. Christopher’s Parish requires that godparents complete an affidavit form by which they declare their ability to fulfill the obligations of being a godparent. Their parish priest, or his delegate, must endorse this form. The completed form (if there are two godparents, then two separate forms are required) must be returned to the parish office before a baptism date can be finalized. We encourage you to have the godparent candidates complete and return this form as soon as possible.

The Godparent Form can be downloaded by clicking on the button below.

Required Formation Class

Parents who are having their first baptism at Saint Christopher Parish are required to complete our baptism formation class with Deacon Jim Daly. This class helps parents understand the powerful graces that God bestows upon their child in this great sacrament and the obligations that follow from having a child baptized into the Church. Godparents are not required to attend this class but it is certainly beneficial if they are interested in joining the parents. The parish office will help schedule your class.

Please call the parish office at (603) 882-0632 to inquire about a baptism.