Having a baby? It is most appropriate to provide children with the grace of the Sacrament of Baptism and to welcome them into the community of faith. This is usually done within six months of birth. For first time parents, formation is required regarding Christian parenting and the teaching of the Church.
Baptisms at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish are scheduled, usually, on the last Sunday of the month - but we can be flexible for good reasons. If you would like more information or to schedule a baptism please email the parish office or call (09) 534 8710 for more information.
It is traditional to have two “godparents”. Godparents are sponsors, religious mentors for the child. Actually only one is required but two are common. These people are representatives of the wider Catholic Church who will help you in your role of Catholic parents.
In this country we do not require that Godparents get a certificate from their church attesting to their suitability. We want you though, to ask people who have these qualifications to be the Godparents.
• That the person be Catholic who has received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
• That they be at least sixteen years of age.
• That they are trying to follow the Lord in the way that they treat others,
• They should attend weekly Mass
In addition to the qualifications spelled out by the Church, it is important that you choose someone who is likely to have some contact with your child and influence his life so that they truly can be a mentor to your child.
We hope the idea that a Godparent is a religious mentor and the qualifications listed above will help you choose a good Godparent for your child. Some find it difficult to find two practising Catholics to choose as Godparents. In that case, one Catholic Godparent is sufficient, and one or more Christian Witnesses may be chosen. A Christian Witness is someone of another denomination (Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, etc) who practices that faith. A non-practising Catholic does not qualify for being a Christian Witness or a Godparent.
Since they are called Godparents it is traditional to have one man and one woman as Godparents.
It is a tradition in the Catholic Church that at least one of their given names be that of a Saint. Choose one whom you think would be a good role model for your child. Some look at the Saint whose feast day coincides with the child's birthday. There are many lists of Saints with short biographies on the Internet.
Baptism of older children
The Baptism of older children - 7 years old or more - will be different. It will probably be done as part of the other Sacramental programme (Reconciliation/ Confession, Confirmation, First Communion). By now the child should be starting to be part of the Parish Community. This means going to Mass on Sundays and learning the common Catholic prayers. They should be introduced to some of the important Bible stories.
The Sacramental programme usually begins in November (First Reconciliation) and ends in the first half of the following year with Confirmation and then First Communion. It is well publicised in the Parish newsletter from the beginning of October.
If you have an un-Baptised child to enrol you should contact the Parish Priest some time before this.