We strongly encourage you to plan to have your child baptized shortly after their birth. Church Law and teaching says:
Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it. If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptized without any delay. (Code of Canon Law 867 §1,§2)
The Catechism also states:
Parents deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer baptism shortly after birth. (CCC #1250)
Baptisms can be scheduled by calling the Rectory at 202-546-1885. You can also e-mail our Pastor, Msgr. Charles Pope: firstname.lastname@example.org . Some basic information will be requested and the Pastor will schedule the baptism. It will be requested that at least one parent attend a brief instruction on baptism if they have not done so prior to the baptism of their other children. The date and time of the instructional call will be determined once you register for the baptism. Sponsors are encouraged, though not required to attend the instructional class. The class is usually 1 hour in length and held at the rectory on a weekend.
CHOOSING SPONSORS (Godparents)
Please observe the following norms in the selection of sponsors (Godparents) for your child:
- The purpose of a sponsor (often call a Godparent) is to present an infant for baptism along with the parents and to help the child lead a Catholic Christian life in keeping with baptism and fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it. Parents ought to therefore chose godparents who are able to help in this regard and to see to the faith development of their child should they be unable to do so. (cf Canon 872; 874.1)
- There is to be only one male sponsor, or one female sponsor, or one of each. (Canon 873) Thus, having more than two sponsors, or two males or two females is not in accord with Church norms.
- A Sponsor must have completed the sixteenth year of age.
- A Sponsor must be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
- The father or mother of the one to be baptized cannot be the sponsor of that child.
- Non-Catholic Christians cannot be sponsors (godparents) but they can serve as a witness, provided the other sponsor is a Catholic.
Some Catechetical resources for Baptism:
Here is a helpful five-minute video