St. Teresa of the Child Jesus
A Roman Catholic Faith Community
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God.
Thank you for your interest in celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism for your child. As you might know, this is the Sacrament of entry into the Catholic Community. In our Catholic faith we baptize children due to the promise of faith and commitment by the adults, the parents. With this in mind I ask you to continue to reflect on the importance of faith and community in your own lives and be committed to it so that you can share it with your child.
Let The Children Come.
Are You Parishioners?
A basic presumption is that your family is registered and active in our worshiping community. If you are not, then you will need to register with the parish. If you are a registered member of another parish, and with permission of the Parish Priests/Deacons, wish to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism with our parish family, you will need to obtain a letter of permission from the pastor of your home parish giving us permission to Baptize your child(ren). Your baptism registration information was taken when you called the Parish Office. If this has not been completed, this will need to be done by calling/stopping by the Parish Office. Please include a copy of your son/daughter Birth Certificate for accurate spelling and documentation.
For Infants: The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of each month after the 11:30 AM mass. Call Sue Levesque for an appointment 722-8650 to register your child.
The name of a child is to have Christian origins, or a Christian name added to the birth name. The name can be neutral but cannot be offensive to Christian belief or practice. Canon 855
When to Baptize
Canon 867 indicates that parents are obligated to see to it that infants are Baptized within the first weeks after birth.
Requirements for Infant Baptism
Canon 868- The parents or at least one of them or the person who lawfully takes their place gives consent. That there be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such a hope is altogether lacking, the Baptism is to be put off according to the prescriptions of particular law and the parents are to be informed of the reason.
Required Documents-Sponsor Forms
Please give the intended Godparents the Sponsor Forms for completion. Please return the sponsor forms at least one week prior to the baptism, so that we may prepare for all the families and prepare necessary certificates. Registered members of this parish who are chosen as sponsors still need to return the sponsor forms. If we do not have all the necessary paperwork prior to the baptism, we have the right to defer the baptism until all documents have been submitted for your child.
Part of the excitement surrounding an infant’s baptism is deciding on a godmother and godfather. In various cultures, the role of the godparent has taken on many appearances. For some, there is a deep, life-long bond formed as the godparents become a real part of the family. For others, it is merely a passing honor, a tribute to a dear friend or relative but with no lasting significance.
In the Roman Catholic rite of baptism, until the late l960’s, there was much for the godparents to do within the ceremony. Now, it is usually the parents who hold the baby and answer the questions and clothe the child in the baptismal garment. But the godparents, though they may not be at the center of things any longer, still have their part in the rite:
-at the very beginning, they are asked by the priest or deacon if they are ready to help you in your duty as Christian parents;
-with you, the godparents renounce sin and evil and profess their faith in God;
-they assist in lighting the baptismal candle;
The introduction to the rite of baptism says this of the godparents: “In the baptism of children too, the godparents should be present to be added spiritually to the immediate family of the one to be baptized and to represent Mother Church. As occasion offers, the godparent will be ready to help the parents bring up their child to profess the faith and to show this by living it.”
What is important here?
First, Godparents must mimic natural parenthood and therefore be a male and female. According to Church law, a candidate for membership in the community of the Baptized can only be sponsored by one who is already a “fully initiated” member of the community. This means that the person must be baptized, at least 16 years of age, Confirmed and has received Eucharist. Beyond this it is required that the person be a regular member of a worshiping Catholic community and is committed to our Faith. According to Church law only one “sponsor” is required. Therefore, as a second “Godparent” you could have a Baptized non-Catholic act in the role of a “Christian Witness”, however a Catholic can never be put into this category. A Jewish person, a Muslim or an un-baptized person cannot be a witness. A sponsor cannot be divorced and remarried OUTSIDE the Catholic Church; cannot be one of the parents of the candidates;
Secondly, that the godparents be present at the rite so that they can make their commitment publicly, although, because of extenuating circumstance, they can be represented by proxy if the godparent is unable to be in attendance.
Thirdly, that the church continues to understand that the bond between the godparent and the family is very close, and to ask that the godparent not only be ready to help the parents, when appropriate, in the Christian formation of their child, but even more that the godparent be an example to the child of what a Christian is. Finally, that the godparents speak not only for themselves, but for the church.
In deciding on a godparent or godparents, then, you have some important directions set for you by this brief paragraph from the ritual. There. is everything to suggest that it is a serious responsibility to choose well; it is a decision worth much thought, prayer and discussion. When you have decided, it is appropriate that you tell the godparent-to-be what led you to your decision. There is a great honor involved, but also a great responsibility.
You are looking, certainly, for a mature member of the Catholic Church, one who has received the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation and Eucharist). You are looking for someone who can share with you the task of handing on a faith, whose life shows that faith in great and small ways of everyday living. You are looking for someone who knows that being a Catholic has to do with prayer, with justice toward the poor, with kindness even for friends and strangers, with many things that are not so popular or common in our own society.
You are welcome to take pictures during the Baptismal Rite as long as this does not distract from the sacredness of the Sacramental celebration. If you wish, feel free to return to the front of the church for pictures after the Baptismal celebration. NO bright lights or flash photography are to be used during the Baptism. Please do not enter the Sanctuary to take pictures of without permission.
Other Priests and Other Non-Catholic Clergy
We are happy to allow a relative or close friend who is a priest or deacon to celebrate your child’s Baptism.
Offering To The Parish
The suggested donation to the Parish will be given during the initial meeting.
Before the Baptism
Each family will have a reserved pew for the parents and godparents and the baby. In the pew, you will find a completed church Baptismal certificate and a candle and candle box that the Godparents present to be lighted during the Baptismal rite. After the Baptism, please keep the candle in the box and light it annually on the anniversary of Baptism, like a birthday, this day is also a day to celebrate new birth.
Cancellation or Change of Address or Phone
Should there be a change of plans, please be sure to notify the Church as soon as possible
Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus
358 Newport Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02861-4130
Parish Phone (401) 722-4470
Parish Fax (401) 722-2958
Religious Education (401) 722-8650
School (401) 726-1414