Sacraments‎ > ‎

Baptism FAQ's

Must both parents be Catholic?

No. We simply ask that the parents agree that it is their intention to raise the child as a Catholic.

What if we’re not married?

That won’t stop the baptism. All parents are required to have a meeting with one of our parish ministers. It is almost certain we will, at that meeting, talk with you about your plans and the Church’s teachings about marriage.

I’m a single mom (or dad). Does that make a difference?

We certainly want to baptize your baby if you want to! When we meet, we will talk about the issues in your particular situation. If there is a need to settle legal custody, and both parents are not in agreement about the baptism, we may have to delay it until custody is clearly documented.

Must godparents be Catholic?

Only one godparent is required, and, yes, that person must be Catholic and must be confirmed. A second, non-Catholic sponsor, called a Christian witness, may be appointed. This person must be Christian, as s/he will be asked to make a statement of faith in Jesus Christ during the baptism. Catholics who have not been confirmed may not be godparents. (If you think you may be asked to be a godparent in the future, and you have not been confirmed, consider taking part in our RCIA process now!) Questions and special situations can be discussed at your pastoral meeting.

We don’t live in the parish (or in Staten Island) anymore. Can we baptize our baby at St. Clare’s?

While a baby is normally baptized in the parish where you are currently living and attending Mass, there are legitimate reasons for wanting the baptism to take place at St. Clare’s. We will need a letter of permission from your current pastor (the parish where you live or are registered) and a letter testifying that you have gone to a baptism class there, if you do not come to St. Clare’s class.

Can we have a specific date?

Baptisms are celebrated most, but not all, Sundays, each service limited to no more than ten children. Most of the time, you can choose any week we have baptisms. But at times, especially in the weeks following Easter, there may not be room on the date you prefer. Please do not make travel arrangements or other reservations until after you have met with a parish minister and confirmed the date.