The celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism is the initial step a family takes toward the richness of God’s unconditional love to walk with them as they journey to their ultimate goal of eternal life. It is, therefore, the obligation of the parents and godparents to assist the newly baptized in developing a sound moral and spiritual conscience that will strengthen said child in the weakest circumstances of life. The reality of the Sacrament must be lived to the fullest as the child becomes a new creation, a child of God and accepts the call to build up the Kingdom of God on earth. To fulfill these obligations it is imperative that appropriate instructions be given to both parents and godparents. By delving into the theology, signs and symbols of the Sacrament both parties are impacted with the grace to live out their obligations more completely.
At the Shrine of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina we offer instructions at the convenience of the parents and godparents. If the godparents are not of this parish or out of town they must take the prescribed classes as implemented in their parish. Once this class, or classes, as the case may be, is fulfilled, a certificate of completion must be brought to the baptism on the day of baptism. The other option is to mail the certificate ahead of time.
The question is often asked in reference to the status of the godparents. First, if they are married, the Church asks that they be married by the Church not by a civil judge. The basic reasoning behind this is that they are called to demonstrate their faith as an example for the child. Thus parents are asked to seek out godparents who can be a living example of the Catholic faith as the child matures and gains wisdom in the life of the Church. Second, the godparents should be Catholic. This is the ideal and suggested guideline of the Church. However, there can be the exception as the Church permits a baptized non-Catholic to stand in as a WITNESS rather than a godparent. This is a technicality yet it carries the same obligation of a godparent.
At the present time we celebrate baptism during a Sunday liturgy. This affords the entire parish the opportunity to be prayerfully supportive of the newest member of the parish. Private baptisms are not encouraged as they fail to reflect the communal participation of the faithful. You may call the church office 210- 497-6101 for more Information.