If you wish to have your child baptised, we will be happy to speak to you about this. Baptisms are normally celebrated in St Alphonse on Saturdays at 11am or 2pm, or during Sunday Mass, but other times are possible by arrangement.
We celebrate numerous baptisms in our community so it’s advisable to make contact with the parish office well in advance of the date you are seeking, to check my availability and the availability of the church, to give us time to meet and discuss the baptism, and so that we can answer any questions you might have. Here are some of the questions often asked:
Q: Who can be a godparent?
A: A godparent makes promises to God to support parents in bringing up their child in the Catholic/Christian faith. In our parish, at least one godparent must be a practising Catholic — for obvious reasons! Additionally, one godparent must provide a copy of their certificate of Confirmation (available from the parish of Confirmation or Baptism). In theory, there is no limit to the number of godparents for a child, but practically speaking, these numbers must be kept reasonable!
Q: We have chosen godparents, but they can’t be present at the baptism as they live too far away. Can they still be godparents?
A: Yes. You can choose people to stand in for them, and make the promises on their behalf — but the godparents must be aware of the promises they are making to help you bring up your child in the faith, even though they can’t actually be physically present. They are ‘godparent’s by proxy’, but their names will be recorded in the baptismal register.
Q: What do I need for the Baptism?
A: In addition to yourselves and the godparents, simply a baptismal candle (we can provide these at the church or you may bring your own) and a white cloth/shawl/garment which is wrapped around the newly baptised child, symbolising their new life in Christ. That’s all!
Q: Is there a charge?
A: There is no charge whatsoever. If you wish to make a freewill donation to the church, you may do so.
Q: I/we don’t go to Mass very often. Can we still have our child baptised?
A: In principle, yes. But it’s important to think about what you are doing. A child brought up by non-practising parents is highly unlikely to grow up in the Catholic faith, so the Baptism loses much of its meaning. Equally parents, along with godparents, make public promises to bring up the child in the faith; this is not going to happen if the family does not practise the faith.
Q: What happens if we don’t baptise our baby?
A: Short answer, nothing! Your baby is already infinitely loved by God — God doesn’t love your baby more after baptism, and God won’t ‘blame’ or ‘punish’ your baby for not being baptised. But… if you don’t have your baby baptised, you are not formally introducing her/him into a life of faith, and they are less likely to learn about their loving God and develop a real relationship with God. There are other issues too, but we can talk with you about these if you wish.
For Saturday baptisms, there is usually parking in the garden of St. Alphonse, the entrance of which is on rue Willy Goergen.
Any more questions, just ask.
Fr Ed, for the Baptism Preparation Team