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Baptism and Baptismal Preparation

What a wonderful time in your life, the celebration of God’s gift of a child and parenthood! Your decision to have your child baptized into the Catholic faith is very important to you, your child and the Catholic Church.

If this is your first child you are required to attend a Baptismal Preparation Session.  It is strongly recommended that both parents attend this session together. This process provides parents an opportunity for a better understanding of their own faith, traditions and practices. Baptism preparation is required for all first time parents prior to reception of the sacrament within the Diocese of Greensburg. Sessions last no more than one hour and a half and can be done in person or virtual to suit the schedule and needs of the parents.

Scheduling a Date for Baptism

Dates and times allotted for baptisms are as follows:

  • During a Saturday (4:30 PM) or Sunday (8:30 & 10:30 AM) liturgy
  • Sundays at Noon after the 10:30 AM Mass
  • Saturdays at 5:45 PM, after the 4:30 PM Mass

When calling to schedule your child’s baptism you will need the following information

  1. Child’s due date or date of birth
  2. City in which the child will be or was born
  3. The father’s full name and mother’s maiden name.
  4. Address and phone number
  5. Church and minister of marriage (if applicable)
  6. The sponsors’ (godparents and Christian witness) names and parish where registered.​

Choosing Your Child’s Godparents
The task of choosing a Catholic godparent is a significant one that parents should consider with care.  Far too many parents presume that godparenthood is a social honor that may be bestowed on people they have a great deal of affection for and would like to honor.  While there is nothing wrong with using this as a criteria when all of the canonical criteria for godparenthood are met by the pool of candidates, it cannot be substituted for the canonical criteria.  One of the purposes of godparents, as outlined in the Code of Canon Law (canon 872), is to assist the parents in teaching and modeling the Catholic faith to the child.  Therefore, Catholic godparents should be chosen based on their ability and commitment to assist parents in raising the child in the Catholic faith.

Sponsor Verification Requirement
If the Catholic godparent is not a member of Ascension or Sacred Heart:

  1. They must obtain a sponsor certificate of eligibility signed by the pastor from the parish where they are currently registered and active.
  2. This certificate is to be mailed directly to the Parish Office at 504 Cowan Avenue, Jeannette, 15644, at least one month prior to the scheduled baptism. Please indicate somewhere on the envelope or certificate the name of the child to be baptized. 

Christian witnesses must also forward to the attention of Deacon Bill Newhouse as described above with a letter or verification signed by the pastor from their church. 

Sponsor Qualifications

The church requires only one Catholic godparent, however generally two are chosen. If two are chosen, one must be male and one must be female. Please note, fully initiated Catholics who have left the Catholic faith are not eligible to be a Catholic godparent or a Christian witness. 

  1. ​Be designated by the candidate, by the parents or guardians, or the pastor.
  2. Have the qualifications and intention of performing the role of sponsor.
  3. Be at least 16 years old.
  4. Be a fully initiated Catholic (received baptism, confirmation and Eucharist).
  5. 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.).
  6. Not be bound by a canonical penalty.
  7. 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.

 The Number of Sponsors

  1. Only one sponsor is required for baptism.
  2. If, two sponsors are chosen one must be male and the other female.
  3. The second sponsor may be a Christian Witness (i.e., a non-Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.)
    • A Christian Witness cannot be someone who was baptized Catholic and is now practicing another faith.

The Day of Baptism

Upon arrival please meet the priest/deacon and/or pastoral associate in church or wherever prior arrangements were given. You will then be given instructions. You child is to come to church dressed in his/her white garment.

Suggested Offering for the Clergy
The clergy may accept an offering from the couple. The bishop has designated $25 as the suggested offering at baptism.​