Contact the Parish Office (724.479.3881) prior to the child's birth to begin the baptismal preparation process. Children from Birth to age 6 are considered "infants" when preparing for Baptism. Children 7 or older and all adults can receive Baptism (along with Confirmation and first Eucharist) through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. . . . Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.
In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ's call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
The role of a Godparent (also called Baptism Sponsor) is considered an Ecclesial Office--an official role within the Church. For this reason, the Diocese of Greensburg has official qualifications of baptism sponsors, as well as the appropriate number of sponsors required.
Qualifications of Baptism Sponsors
- Be designated by the candidate, by the parents or guardians, or the pastor.
- Have the qualifications and intention of performing the role of sponsor.
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Be a fully initiated Catholic (received baptism, confirmation and Eucharist).
- 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.).
- Not be bound by a canonical penalty.
- 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. Please allow sufficient time for this information to be sent from the sponsor's parish to Church of the Good Shepherd.
The Number of Sponsors
- Only one sponsor is required for baptism.
- If two sponsors are chosen one must be male and the other female.
- The second sponsor may be a Christian Witness (i.e., a non-Catholic Christian may fulfill this role); This is an Ecumenical consideration, so non-practicing Catholics who attend a non-Catholic church may not serve as a Christian Witness.
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.