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Home > Sacraments

 Baptism

What a wonderful time in your life, the celebration of God's gift of a child and parenthood!  Your decision to have your child baptized into the Catholic faith is very important to you, your child and the Catholic Church.

If this is your first child you are required to attend a Baptismal Preparation class.  It is strongly recommended that both parents attend this class. This process provides parents an opportunity for a better understanding of their own faith, traditions and practices. Baptism preparation is required for all first time parents prior to reception of the sacrament.

Baptism Preparation Classes are held on the fourth Monday of January, March, May, July, September and November. Please contact the Parish Formation Office at 724-744-7474 (ext. 104) to register for a class. A class must be completed before a baptismal date can be secured.

 Scheduling a Date for Baptism

​Dates and times allotted for baptisms are as follows:
  • Second Sunday of each month after 10:30 a.m. Mass.
  • Fourth Sunday of each month during 10:30 a.m. Mass

When calling to schedule your child's baptism you will need the following information

  1. Child's due date or date of birth
  2. City in which the child will be or was born
  3. The father's full name and mother's maiden name.
  4. Address and phone number
  5. The sponsors' (godparents and Christian witness) names, addresses and parish where registered.
Choosing Your Child's Godparents
The task of choosing a Catholic godparent is a significant one that parents should consider with care.  Far too many parents presume that godparenthood is a social honor that may be bestowed on people they have a great deal of affection for and would like to honor.  While there is nothing wrong with using this as a criteria when all of the canonical criteria for godparenthood are met by the pool of candidates, it cannot be substituted for the canonical criteria.  One of the purposes of godparents, as outlined in the  Code of Canon Law (canon 872), is to assist the parents in teaching and modeling the Catholic faith to the child.  Therefore, Catholic godparents should be chosen based on their ability and commitment to assist parents in raising the child in the Catholic faith.
 
Sponsor Verification Requirement
If the Catholic godparent is not a member of St. Barbara:
  1. They must obtain a sponsor certificate of eligibility signed by the pastor from the parish where they are currently registered and active.
  2. This certificate is to be mailed directly to our office at least one month prior to the scheduled baptism.  Please indicate somewhere on the envelope or certificate the name of the child to be baptized. 

Christian witnesses must also forward to Saint Barbara as described above a sponsor certificate of eligibility/letter or verification signed by the pastor from their church. 

 Sponsor Qualifications

The church requires only one Catholic godparent, however generally two are chosen. If two are chosen, one must be male and one must be female. Please note, fully initiated Catholics who have left the Catholic faith are not eligible to be a Catholic godparent or a Christian witness. 

  1. ​Be designated by the candidate, by the parents or guardians, or the pastor.
  2. Have the qualifications and intention of performing the role of sponsor.
  3. Be at least 16 years old.
  4. Be a fully initiated Catholic (received baptism, confirmation and Eucharist).
  5. Lead a life in harmony with the faith and role of a sponsor (i.e., be a member of a parish, attend Mass on Sundays and holy days, not be in an irregular marriage, etc.).
  6. Not be bound by a canonical penalty.
  7. Not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

Our diocese continues the practice of requiring proof of eligibility for sponsorship (in accord with the qualifications above) from the parish in which the sponsor is registered.

 The Number of Sponsors

  1. Only one sponsor is required for baptism.
  2. If, two sponsors are chosen one must be male and the other female.
  3. The second sponsor may be a Christian Witness (i.e., a non-Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.)
    • A Christian Witness cannot be someone who was baptized Catholic and is now practicing another faith.

In the event that neither the candidate, nor the parents or guardians select a sponsor, pastors may appoint a member of the parish community to fill the role of sponsor. Many parents are often concerned that they cannot find a suitable sponsor for a variety of reasons (i.e., unavailability of family members, being new to the area or unfamiliar with parishioners, etc.). 

In such cases, pastors have the responsibility of assisting parents and candidates in the selection of a parishioner to be a sponsor.

 The Day of Baptism

​If you are baptizing after Mass, please be present in the Narthex of the church no later than 11:30 a.m.

If you are baptizing during Mass, please be present no later than 10:10 a.m.  Please report to the Sacristy and let the priest know you are present.  You will then be given instructions.

You child is to come to church dressed in his/her white garment.  After the Baptism, a white blanket from the Saint Barbara Church will be presented along with the Baptismal certificate and candle.

The Priest's Stipend
The priest may accept an offering or a stipend from the couple. The bishop has designated $25 as the suggested offering at baptism.​