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Thread: Catholics?

  1. #341
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    Default Baptism question...Hope someone can help

    DH and I were both raised Catholic and were married in the Catholic church. I am due to have our baby any day now And we want to have the baby baptised Catholic....a few problems though.

    We moved to FL almost 2 years ago, haven't gone to church here. Don't have anybody in mind to be the godparents, lots of Catholics in our family but most are like us and don't go to church actively. The only way I can even think we can get our baby baptised is if we do it at my church in Ohio. We aren't parrishoners here. I don't even know if I'm still considered a parrishoner at my church in Ohio....

    I'm just confused. What are the 'rules' regarding godparents. Also what about the fact that we haven't been to church in a long time...Thanks for any help.
    Ashley & Lou 5.24.03

    Owen Louis 6.13.06

  2. #342
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    First off, congrats on your baby!! You must be so excited!!

    As for baptism...I don't really know much about it (considering I don't remember mine ), but I'm sure it's like anything else and policies vary widely from archdiocese to archdiocese. I would do some searching on the Internet and find out which archdiocese you are located in, and call their main office and ask these very questions. They would best be able to direct you to Catholic churches nearest to you, and a priest who will be able to work with you.

    As for godparents (thanks, now I have the theme from the Godfather going through my head, lol!), I believe only one has to be Catholic (at least, in my archdiocese this is the case) - but as these will be the people responsible for the spiritual nurturing of your child in your absence, they will undoubtedly recommend that both godparents be Catholic.

    Best of luck to you!
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  3. #343
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    Congrats on your baby I agree with GeekGirl that your first step is to make some calls to find out what you must do. Some parishes require that parents be active, registered members of the parish before they can have their baby baptized, and some require parents (and sometimes even godparents) to attend a baptism prep class. Some are more lenient and will welcome anyone that wants to have their child baptized. It really varies from church to church, and diocese to diocese. It doesn't sound like you are an active member of any church right now so you could possibly face the same situation regardless of whether you stay in FL or return to OH for the baptism. Your church in OH may welcome you back for the baptism regardless of the fact that you haven't been there in a while, or they may require you to be an active member. Some churches define "active" member as one who attends church weekly and - yes - contributes financially to the parish. Again, it really varies from church to church. Bottom line is, you may not necessarily have to go to Ohio to have your baby baptized. A few calls around should be able to help you figure out what is required and how strict they are. (I have heard of some churches requiring the godparents to provide documentation that they are active members of a Catholic parish. My church did not do this when my DD was baptized - we just gave them the names of the godparents for the church records, and that was it. My DD's godparents also did not have to attend a required class, but at our new church, they do require godparents AND parents to attend a class.)

    GeekGirl is right that at least one of the godparents must be Catholic. They also must be confirmed members of the Catholic church, and I think the rule is that they must be at least 18 years old (but I'm not clear on the age requirements - anyone help me out here?) You can ask a non-Catholic to be a Christian witness but they would not be considered a godparent, as it's the godparents' role to help raise the child in the Catholic faith and a non-Catholic certainly can't promise to help the parents teach the Catholic faith to someone when they don't even live it or believe it themselves. But you definitely must have at least one confirmed Catholic godparent.

  4. #344
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    Thanks for the responses. I'll have to call around after the baby is born. Another problem is that we don't have family here in FL (well one cousin, but I'd never ask him to be a godparent) we have friends at work. But I'm not close enough to any of them to be comfortable with them as a godparent. So this is a problem. The few people that I can think of asking, live in Ohio. I guess I'll have to do a little bit of asking around. I think my church in Ohio might do it, I went there for grade school, communion, confirmation, marriage...lol. I'll just wait and see.

    One more thing...does the baby have to be baptised by a certain age? Like what if we wait (because we think we might move back to Ohio within a year). Can he still be baptised after he is a year old?? I know adults can get baptised later on in life but not sure about a child. Sounds dumb but I'm not sure about it.
    Ashley & Lou 5.24.03

    Owen Louis 6.13.06

  5. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambam
    One more thing...does the baby have to be baptised by a certain age? Like what if we wait (because we think we might move back to Ohio within a year). Can he still be baptised after he is a year old?? I know adults can get baptised later on in life but not sure about a child. Sounds dumb but I'm not sure about it.
    There is no age requirement that I am aware of, but the Catholic church does strongly encourage (and teach) that babies be baptized as soon as possible after birth.
    Canon #867 states that, if an infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptized without any delay. Under ordinary circumstances, states Canon #867, parents are to see to the Baptisms of their infants within the first few weeks: "As soon as possible after birth, even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child and to be themselves prepared for it."
    My DD was baptized when she was 1 month old, and I have friends whose babies were 4-6 months old when they were baptized. However, if you start making plans for the baptism to occur in Ohio, I'm sure it would be fine to delay it until you can get up there although they might tell you that the sooner the better.

    ETA - Canon law stuff from this site http://www.americancatholic.org/Mess...Wiseman.asp#F4
    DD#1 12/17/03
    DD#2 1/23/07

  6. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeekGirl
    You know something that I'm running across more and more that annoys the living hell out of me? People who try to insinuate that Catholics aren't Christian.
    Um, yeah! My cousin, who was raised Catholic like I was, is now a born again, and keeps telling me how I'm going to hell. Interesting, she must have some inside knowledge the rest of us don't have.


    ambam~ Congrats on your baby! We just had DS baptized in May. He turned 5 months old later that week. Most of the babies there were about 3 months or so, but we put off DS's baptism for a bit because of the unpredictable winter weather here in New England. Ideally I would have liked to have done this around 3 months of age, but I didn't want to deal with driving in a snowstorm either! So we figured by May, we'd be safe from snow.

    Our church required BOTH godparents to be Catholic, and both had to provide proof (in the form of a letter), from their parish verifying that they were a practicing Catholic.

  7. #347
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    Since we're talking baptism here, I'll ask a question. DH and I are expecting this summer as well. But, as I've mentioned her before, I'm not Catholic (yet, I plan on started RCIA classes next go around). Is it appropriate to wait until after I've been through these classes, or since DH is already Catholic (baptized, raised and confirmed) to just contact the priest now about baptism. I know that they have classes (BIL/SIL are getting ready to baptize their baby girl), so I know we'll have to take those, but do I have to be all through the RCIA classes before we baptize our daughter?

    And, on to another question. DH will likely want his brother to be Godfather. But, I just found out that BIL was never confirmed - he was baptized, raised, took his first holy communion - but never confirmed, evidently when he was about to finish his classes the church decided to change it to finish after 10th grade (as opposed to the 8th grade that it had been) and he chose not to continue after that. Would he have to be confirmed in order to be Godfather? And what would that entail?
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  8. #348
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    jennylou I had DS in October of last year and was just starting the RCIA process. DH is a cradle Catholic. We had to take a baptism class and there wasn't any problem with the fact that I wasn't actually Catholic yet. Also, in my RCIA class, we had a man who went through everything but confirmation. In our diocese he had to attend RCIA just as I did to get confirmed. I would check with your parish to find out what their rules are. I would think that if one parent is a member of the church, they would allow you to baptize your baby. I would think your BIL would have to be confirmed to be godparent, otherwise he would be call something else (can't think of what it is called).

  9. #349
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    jennylou- I'm not sure about the answer to your first question. I would imagine you could ask whoever's conducting the RCIA class?

    As to your second question, I believe you do have to be confirmed in order to be a godparent. I'm godmother to my cousin's son, and her parish did say that was required.

    I took adult confirmation classes when I was in my 20's; I had postponed it during my high school years because my dad was seriously ill. Anyway, the adult classes entailed about 5 weekend classes. IIRC, they were about 2 hours for each class. The adult program, at least in my parish, was an abbreviated/condensed version of the young adult class. It wasn't bad at all, and I actually enjoyed it.

  10. #350
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    ambam - One of my cousins baptized all her kids at once, and the oldest was about six at the time. In her case, she wanted one of her sisters to be godmother, but neither of them attended church and so couldn't get the required letter. When her youngest sister got married in a Catholic ceremony, she joined a parish and started attending Mass, and so became eligible. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing things this way, but the point of the story is that the Church will definitely baptize an older child.

    jennylou - If your BIL isn't confirmed, he probably can only be a witness, not a godparent. Most churches require godparents to show proof of baptism and confirmation. However, I'm sure it won't matter that you're not Catholic yet.
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