The Roman Catholic practice of baptizing infants goes back to the first century of the Church. The early Christians so valued their Faith that they wanted to share it with their children from their first moments. For this reason,the sacrament should not be delayed without compelling reasons.
Parents are the primary educators of their children in the ways of the Faith. In presenting a child for baptism,the parents are implicitly promising to raise the child in the Catholic Faith.
Parents who are not validly married in the Church or are cohabitating are, in general, welcome to have their child baptized, as long as they intend to raise the child Catholic.However, they must speak to the priest about their situation ahead of time. He can discuss with them the possibility of seeking an annulment if they have been previously married or, if cohabitating, moving to the Sacrament of Marriage at some future date.
A person who is to be baptized or confirmed is to have a godparent/ sponsor. While it has become a tradition to have two godparents at Baptism,having only one godparent is acceptable.No more than two godparents are permitted, and the two may not be of the same sex.
A godparent/sponsor should be a good role model in living out the Catholic faith. They should be able toreinforce and be supportive of the parents in raising the child in the Faith. They are there to help and guide the child by their good example by their lives.
A godparent/sponsor should be 16 years of age and have made the 3 sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist). If married, they should be validly married in the Catholic Church.Exceptions can be made if there is a just cause.Ask the potential godparent/sponsor to schedule an appointment with their parish priest. Please do not ask a cohabitating person to stand as a godparent/sponsor.
A godparent/sponsor should obtain a letter of eligibility from their parish.It states they are registered in their parish and a practicing member of the Catholic Faith. (If you have asked someone residing in St. Ephrem parish, they too must get a letter from one of the parish priests.)
A Catholic who has left the Church by a formal act may not be a Godparent/Sponsor.A non-practicing Catholic may be admitted as a sponsor only if the pastor or minister of the sacrament can determine that the person is in the process of returning to the regular practice of the faith. They are asked to meet with their parish priest to discuss the matter.
Only one godparent is necessary and they must be Catholic. In certain circumstances,a Christian Witness may stand with the Catholic godparent. This is a baptized Protestant person; if possible, they should get a letter of eligibility from their pastor or church. Please do not ask an un-baptized person to stand for your child.
In choosing a baptismal name for your child, the code of cannon law (#855) states, “take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment.”
Baptisms are held at 1:30pm every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month(with the possible exception of a holiday, e.g. Christmas).
Parents, please attend the monthly Pre-Jordan class.It is held on the 1st Monday of every month at 7:30pm in the Church. Godparents are welcome, but not required to attend. No pre-registration is required. If the 1st Monday falls on a holiday, e.g. Labor Day, please call the rectory to make sure the class has not been cancelled.
To schedule the Baptism, please call the rectory.The priest will explain how to do the required paperwork. 215-245-1698.