Infant Baptism at Saint Thomas
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Congratulations on the birth of your child! Your give your children many things – food, shelter, clothing, education, a loving home, and a caring family. But it all begins with the gift of faith. Through baptism, your child will belong to Christ forever.
Infant Baptism requires that the Church have a “well-founded hope” that the infant being baptized will be raised in the practice of the Catholic faith. Whereas adults freely choose to accept Christ in the Baptismal waters, infants obviously cannot make such a conscious choice. Since ancient times, however, the Church has recognized the earnest desire of parents to spiritually anchor their infants to Christ. She therefore baptizes infants or very young children, provided that the parents make a solemn commitment to God that they will raise the child in the faith into which they are being baptized.
In practical terms this means that the parents promise to:
- Bring the child to Sunday Mass each week starting the Sunday after Baptism.
- Bring the child to Religious Education starting no later than first grade and continuing through Confirmation.
- Teach the child by word and example at home to love God and neighbor as Jesus taught.
- The promise to raise their child in the practice of the faith is made aloud by the parents as part of the Baptism Ceremony. The Godparents also promise to assist the parents in this important work.
To begin the process of having your child baptized at Saint Thomas the Apostle, we ask that you attend a class to prepare for this moment in your child’s life. Classes are held the 4th Wednesday of the month from 6pm-8pm and are conducted by our Deacon. We encourage your Godparents to also attend a class whether here at Saint Thomas or at their own parish.
To aid in planning for your child’s baptism, we have included the Diocese of Phoenix requirements for Infant Baptism and a brief overview of the Saint Thomas process below.
We look forward to celebrating this first sacrament with your family!
Scheduling the Baptism
- If the parents are registered Saint Thomas the Apostle parishioners, please register for a Baptism Class.
- If the parents are not registered members of Saint Thomas the Apostle, we invite you to join our community and register online.
- In both cases the parents must be registered parishioners for at least 3 months before the Sacrament of Baptism can be requested.
- If the parents are registered in another parish, but requesting baptism at Saint Thomas the Apostle, please provide a “letter of permission” from the parish of registration.
- Attend the Baptism Preparation Class lead by our Deacon where you will learn the theology of infant baptism, fellowship with other parents, and ensure the Baptism documentation is completed.
- Parents must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate and Godparent certification before Saint Thomas can schedule the Baptism date.
Godparents are chosen for their faithful commitment for their ability to assist the Godchild and parents on their faith journey. Only one Godparent is required for baptism, either male or female. If two Godparents are selected, then one must be male and the other female. Parents may not serve as Godparents to their own child. Each proposed Godparent needs to be certified by their own parish as meeting the requirements for Godparents.
- Godparents must be at least 16 years of age. This requirement may be waived by the pastor only if the prospective Godparent has already been Confirmed and meets all other qualifications.
- Godparents must be Catholics who have received all three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist. Before Confirmation, a Catholic has not been fully initiated into the Church, and cannot therefore sponsor a new member to join the Church at Baptism. Only a fully initiated Catholic has this privilege.
- Godparents must be practicing Catholics in good standing whose lifestyle is in harmony with the teachings of the Catholic faith. Minimally, this means that they should be attending Sunday Mass on a weekly basis and are living a life in harmony with the faith.
- If married, they must be validly, sacramentally married in the Catholic Church. If unmarried, they must be living a chaste single life.
- A proposed Godparent who is a parishioner of Saint Thomas the Apostle is required to be registered for 3 months and attend the Baptism Preparation Class.
Day of Baptism
Baptisms are celebrated once per month immediately following the 11:00am Sunday Mass. Parents, family, and friends are invited and encouraged to attend Mass prior to prepare for the Rite of Baptism, which begins immediately after Mass has ended. Please contact our Infant Baptism Coordinator for additional information.