Children’s Baptism FAQ
Q: What is the process to get my child baptized at St. Nicholas & St. William Catholic Parish?
A: Great question! Here are the steps:
Step 1: Please complete the online Baptismal Registration Form as fully as possible.
Step 2: Once the registration form has been completed, please email a copy of your child’s birth certificate to Deacon Charles Corbalis firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off/mail a copy to the parish office at 473 Lincoln Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022.
Step 3: Your registration form will be reviewed and, if needed, a member of the clergy will contact you to set up a face-to-face meeting. Parishioners come from many diverse backgrounds and the Sacrament of Baptism is a very important one for both the Church and the family. The clergy member will determine the best way to proceed from the face-to-face meeting.
Q: When can I schedule the baptism?
A: The parish performs baptism on the 2nd Saturdays of each month (except during Lent) or at any Sunday Mass. The time and date of your child’s baptism will be determined in the face-to-face meeting. Please expect a one to two-month period of preparation.
Q: Do I have to attend a baptism class?
A: Yes, if you have not attended one of our baptism retreats recently, you will need to do so. The clergy member you meet with at the face-to-face meeting will determine the best preparation approach for you and your child.
Q: Do I need to choose godparents? Who is allowed to be a godparent?
A: Yes, as the parent of a child under the “age of reason” you are responsible for choosing godparent(s) for your child. This is a very important role, one of great significance and responsibility. In the event of some, God forbid, catastrophe that leaves your child orphan, your child’s godparent(s) is/are responsible for his/her spiritual formation—insuring that he/she continues to be brought up in the faith of the Church. The godparent(s) join the parents in presenting the child for baptism and assisting the parents in passing the faith on to the child.
Typically, for children’s baptism, there are two godparents although only one is required. If there are two, one must be male and the other female.
The requirements for godparents are, they must be:
- a practicing Catholic
- at least 16 years old
- be fully initiated (e.g. has received Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion)
- and, if married, must have been married in the Catholic Church (or have had the wedding con-validated in the Church).
Provided one of the godparents meets the above criteria, the second godparent need only be Christian. If the godparents are not members of our parish then we will ask that they complete an affidavit attesting to the above requirements and have it witnessed at their local parish.
Q: How should the godparents prepare for the Baptism?
A: Usually the Godparents will be asked to join the parents in any preparation sessions. If the godparents do not live within our parish boundaries or are not registered at our parish, then they must submit an affidavit of suitability which should be witnessed by the pastor or delegate at their local parish. This letter should be emailed or mailed to Deacon Charles Corbalis email@example.com or 473 Lincoln Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022, respectively.
Q: Is Photography permitted at the Baptism?
Baptisms are not only a time of celebration, but more importantly a time of prayer. Photographs are permitted during the ceremony, but moderation is requested out of reverence for the Sacrament.
Q: How much does the Baptism cost?
A: There is no charge for receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, however, it is customary for parents or godparents to make a baptismal offering to the Parish. Please make checks payable to St. Nicholas & St. William and write the child’s name on the memo line.
Q: Will I receive a certificate for my child?
A: After the Baptism, the priest or deacon will sign and date a ceremonial baptism certificate and give it to either a parent or godparent. Typically, the certificate is available immediately after the ceremony, but occasionally we will need to mail it to you.
- Complete Baptismal Registration Form online
- Complete Family interview with a member of the parish clergy. He will contact you to schedule the interview once we receive your Registration Form (this requirement may be waived).
- Submit a copy of your child’s birth certificate in person, by mail, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Choose godparent(s) for your child.
- Complete preparation process determined by the clergy member.
- Affidavit of Suitability for Godparent(s) if they are not local or attending preparation at our parish.