OUR BAPTISM PROCESS FOR CHILDREN
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213
The baptism process begins with completing our Baptism Inquiry Form. This form will get initial information from you about you and your child, as well as give you information about the next steps you need to take.
“The Christian Community welcomes you with great joy!”
In the Rite of Baptism, these very words are proclaimed! And it is with GREAT JOY that the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist walks along side of you as preparations begin for the Baptism of your child.
It is surely a sacred and bold move you make by bringing your child forward to the Sacrament of Baptism! Your choice declares that you are seeking to make a permanent connection between your child and Jesus Christ within the Christian Community. What a consolation to know that no matter how close or distant your own personal relationship is with God, the new life of your child has stirred a desire in you to seek Baptism for him or her. As your pastor, I am filled with JOY BEYOND WORDS for the gift you are giving your child.
Please know that in the Sacrament of Baptism the Catholic Community promises to walk beside you in nurturing the faith of your child. So, let us begin the process now. Carefully read all of the information provided. You will discover another message from me in the section on Selecting Godparents/Sponsors – such an important part of your child’s Baptism.
Know that I am praying for you and your family daily.
-Fr. Chester Arceneaux
While this information provides much, there is so much more to learn about this beautiful sacrament. If after reading the Q & A you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
BAPTISM: Information & Frequently Asked Questions
How do I begin the Process?
You can begin the process by filling out the Baptism Inquiry Form at the top of this page, or by calling the Parish Office (337-232-1322) and asking for Mrs. Brittany Primeaux. You will be expected to make an appointment to discuss the Baptism policies if you have not had a child baptized here since 2010 or if this is the first time you have a child baptized here at Cathedral.
What if I am not a registered parishioner of St. John Cathedral Parish, can I still have my child baptized here?
Canon Law states that sacraments are to be administered in one’s home Church Parish. Therefore, if you are not officially registered as a parishioner of St. John Cathedral, you must provide a written Letter of Permission, from your Pastor of the Church Parish where you are registered, stating the following:
Declaring that you are an active, registered parishioner with your parish Church;
That you are in good standing with the Catholic Church;
That the Pastor gives permission for your child to receive the Sacrament of Baptism here at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
This must be provided BEFORE a Baptism can be scheduled
How do I know what Catholic Church Parish I belong to?
Your physical home address constitutes the Church Parish you should register with. However, you can choose to register with a Catholic Church Parish outside of your geographical area. In order to be considered a Catholic in good standing you must be committed to a Catholic Church Parish so as to ensure that you and your family members are both sharing and benefiting from reception of the Sacrament and overall life of the Church Community.
If you are new to Lafayette and would like to find out which Catholic Church is located in your geographical boundaries you can call any local Catholic Church or go to diolaf.org and click on “PARISHES” and then on “PARISH FINDER”.
When and where do Baptisms take place?
Baptisms are normally held on Saturdays (following the 4:00PM Mass) and Sundays (following the 11AM Mass). Baptisms are held in the Cathedral. Due to space constraints, only two children can be baptized at one time.
Who celebrates the Baptism?
A Cathedral Parish priest or deacon celebrates the Baptism. If you request a priest or deacon whose assignment is not in the Diocese of Lafayette, a Letter of Suitability for the priest of deacon is required from the Bishop of that celebrant’s diocese stating that the celebrant is in good standing. It is the responsibility of parents to obtain and present this letter to St. John Cathedral no later than two weeks before the Baptism.
Who is required to take the Sacrament of Baptism Preparation Class?
Both parents and both godparents are required to attend when they are first-time parents or godparents. Classes are the Second Monday of each month in the Cathedral Center, and preregistration is required. If you are unable to attend the class here at the Cathedral, it is the responsibility of the parent/godparent to arrange to attend a class at another Catholic Church Parish. A signed official certificate of attendance from the parish where the class was taken must be turned in two weeks prior to the scheduled Baptism.
What if one parent is not a Catholic?
In the event of a mixed religion marriage, the non-Catholic party must remember his/her commitment made to the Church at their wedding ceremony in promising to raise the children as Catholic. One parent must be a baptized Catholic.
What if the parents are not legally married?
If the parents are unmarried, we will not be able to list the name of the father of the child unless we receive either 1)a copy of the State Certificate of Live Birth listing the father’s name, or 2) a legal copy defined by Canon Lawy 877, which reads: the name of the father is to be entered if his paternity is established either by some public document or by his own declaration in the presence of the parish priest and two witnesses. This sworn statement must be notarized. Either one of the public documents must be provided at least two weeks prior to the Baptism taking place.
CHOOSING A GODPARENT/SPONSOR
Parents, please take the selection of your child’s sponsor to prayer and understand the role that they are playing in your child’s life.
Godparents/Sponsors: Information & Frequently Asked Questions
How many godparents can I have or do I need?
According to Canon Law, you re required to have at least one active, confirmed Roman Catholic Godparent who is in good standing with the Church.
What are the requirements for someone to be allowed to serve as a godparent/sponsor?
Someone over 16 years of age who is in good standing with the Church. This means that they have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation. If they are married, that must have a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.
Their pastor signs the Godparent Certification Form validating that they are registered in a Catholic Church Parish and actively participating in the Sacraments. The certification form must be completed and turned in two weeks before the Baptism.
Must have attended a baptismal preparation program.
If there are two godparents, they must be of the opposite sex.
If someone was ever baptized as a Catholic and currently claims to “have left the Catholic Church”, then he/she cannot be a godparent or a Christian Witness.