Sponsors & Godparents
If you are 18 years of age or older and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church, you must register with the Parish Office as an adult. If you are married, your marriage must be valid in the Roman Catholic Church. This is especially important if you are asked to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation.
It takes 6 months of regular Mass attendance to be eligible for both these privileges.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baptism
1. How old should my child be to be baptized?
Any child at any age is always welcomed for baptism given a commitment to raising the child according to the Roman Catholic faith. Although the Church recommends that a child be baptized within a few weeks after birth, factors such as the health and well-being of the mother and/or of the child, the time it takes for preparing and planning the baptismal celebration, allowing the parents and other family members time to adjust to the new arrival, and scheduling the participation of extended family and friends who may have to travel some distance, are also factors that need to be taken into account.
If there is any question about baptism for your child, especially if you are in a special situation of some sort, please contact Sr. Angelina Giramma, M.P.F. at 401-942-1616 or email@example.com so that we may do all we can to help you.
2. Can we have our child baptized if we are not married, or were married outside the Church, or if I am a single-parent?
Your child is always welcome to baptism, given a commitment to raising him/her according to the Roman Catholic faith, and we welcome your entire family to our parish community. The Church recognizes that, for whatever the reason, people will make choices in life that lead them in many different directions. The fact that you are here, reading this website, demonstrates that God is at work in your life. We would be most pleased to have the opportunity to discuss with you how we may be of assistance in facilitating your child's baptism and if there are other ways in which we may help bring God's love to you and your child.
3. Whom should I choose to be godparents for my child?
Whether you select very close friends or family members as godparents for your child is a very personal decision. The Church does, however, expect that a person chosen to be a godparent will support you spiritually (by prayer) and morally (by their example of word and deed) in your duty as Christian mothers and fathers as you raise your child in the Roman Catholic Church. As such, the Church places the following eligibility requirements on persons desiring to be godparents:
a. they must be at least 16 years of age;
b. they must be Roman Catholics who are baptized, have received First Holy Communion, and are Confirmed;
c. they must be someone other than the parents of the child to be baptized;
d. they must be leading a life in harmony with the Roman Catholic faith and the role they are about to assume;
e. if they are married, it must be a valid marriage in the Roman Catholic Church
4. How many godparents may I have or must I have?
Strictly speaking, you are required to have only one, who must be Catholic (see question #3). As is the current custom, most people have two, who must be of different sexes (i.e. one godfather and one godmother.) The Church offers no provision for more than two.
5. Must I attend a Baptism Preparation Program?
We, as a parish community, believe it is our duty to offer you, as parents and godparents, the opportunity to fully understand the commitment you are undertaking for your child, yourselves, and godchild through the Sacrament of Baptism. Attendance at the baptism preparation program for parents and godparents is also an excellent time for you to ask any questions you may have and to discuss any special circumstances surrounding the child's baptism. It is our sincerest hope that you will find the baptism preparation program meaningful and that it will put you into a more relaxed and prayerful state of mind as the baptism day approaches.
6. When is the Baptism Preparation Program offered?
The baptism preparation program is offered and scheduled once the baptism arrangements have been made. Please contact Sr. Angelina Giramma, M.P.F. to register and confirm the date and time. Sr. Angelina can be reached at 401-942-1616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. At this program the godparents are asked to provide a sponsor certificate from their parish. The parents are asked to provide either the child's original birth certificate or a copy so that all records are accurately recorded for the Sacrament.
7. Is there anything that I need to bring for the Baptism?
Other than the child who will be baptized, no. St. Mark Parish will provide the "white garment" which is placed over the christening garment and the "baptismal candle" for the ceremony.
8. Is there a fee for the Baptism?
There is no fee for the Baptism, but a free-will offering should be made to the parish. It can be $25/$50 or whatever you are comfortable with. The offering goes toward the expenses of the parish. If you would like to give the priest a stipend that should be done separately.
The above are given as a helpful guide to you. Please contact Sr. Angelina Giramma M.P.F. before the child is born to discuss any questions and upcoming dates of baptisms. Sr. Angelina can be reached at 401-942-1616 or email@example.com. Generally, baptisms are celebrated after the 11:00 AM Mass on the first Sunday of the month.