Baptism of Children
The Christian Community
welcomes you with great joy!
In its name I claim you
for Christ our savior
by the sign of his cross.
A sacrament is an outward sign of God's presence and action in our lives. The Sacrament of Baptism (which means "immersion") is the Church's ritual through which God's presence and action in the life of the child to be baptized is celebrated and deepened! In Baptism, the sign of the pouring of the water signifies the child's "immersion" in the life of Christ and the Church. Parents, Godparents, and the whole parish community pledge to take on specific tasks of living and exemplifying the Catholic Christian faith for the newly-baptized child.
At St. Bernard's, Baptisms of children under seven years old are held an average of twice a month on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. (See link to schedule below.) Before the Baptism itself, there is a three-step preparation process designed to help parents reflect on the meaning of the upcoming Baptism for the life of their family, and to connect families more deeply with the larger family of St. Bernard's parish community:
- At-home reading and preparation by the parents
- An intake meeting and conversation with a member of our parish staff
- Participation with other parents in a Sunday morning gathering, which begins with celebrating together at our 9:00 am "family-friendly" Mass.
In order to insure there is enough time to complete the preparation process, we recommend beginning at least 3 months before an anticipated baptism - even before a new child is born!
For more information, and to begin the Baptism preparation process for children under 7 years old, please download and/or print the following:
- Claimed for Christ at-home Baptism preparation booklet
- Article: Parents - Baptism is Just the Beginning! (for parents to read in preparation for scheduling the Baptism)
- Article: Wanted: Godparent - Read the Job Description (to assist parents in choosing Godparents, and to be given to prospective Godparents to consider before accepting)
- Catholic Godparent Letter and Testimony(to be given to a prospective Catholic Godparent and returned by parent at initial meeting. This is required before a baptism can be scheduled.)
- Christian Witness Godparent Letter and Testimony (to be given to a Christian Godparent who is not Catholic, and returned by parent at initial meeting. This is required before a baptism can be scheduled.)
- Baptism Schedule for September 2018 - August 2019 (subject to change; please confirm dates with parish)
- Baptism Schedule for September 2019 - August 2020 (subject to change; please confirm dates with parish)
When you are finished reviewing all the above material, and when you have obtained fully completed Godparent testimony forms from prospective Godparents, please call or e-mail the parish office at 516-731-4220 or [email protected] to arrange an initial meeting with a member of our parish staff.
Other related Baptism materials:
- Sunday Pre-Baptism Mass and Gathering Information (given at intake meeting with parish staff member)
- Baptism Day Reminders (given at Sunday morning Pre-Baptism Gathering)
For Baptism of children 7 years of age or older, contact our Religious Education Office at 516-731-8511 or [email protected]. For Baptism of teenagers or adults, see our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) page.