Baptism Guidelines

Congratulations!

God has blessed you with the gift of new life and now you are inquiring into baptizing your child in the Catholic Church. Your parish community celebrates with you and wants to help you prepare fully and well for this most important event in the life of your child and your family.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that: "Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated in the Church and made sharers in her mission?." [No. 1213]

So baptism is, then, first and most importantly one of the sacraments of initiation, whereby a person becomes a member of the Christian community. (The other two sacraments of initiation are confirmation and eucharist.) In baptism, your child becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ and a part of the body of Christ, the church. And the church, likewise, is enriched with the gift of a new believer.

Important Information about the Rite of Baptism for Children

Role of Parents

    • In the rite of baptism, parents are asked whether they understand that their role and their duty is to bring their child up to keep God's commandments as taught by Jesus Christ. This presumes that at least one parent is a registered and practicing member of the Catholic Church, regularly worshipping and receiving the eucharist, and committed to sharing that faith with the child to be baptized.

    • Requesting baptism for a child confers on the parents a serious responsibility to follow through in raising the child as a Catholic person, sharing their own faith, insuring that the sacraments of initiation (confirmation and eucharist) are received, and acting as good models of mature Catholic faith.

Role of Godparents

    • Ideally, godparents will play an important and life-long role in the life of the child. Therefore, they should be chosen with care. The church requires only one godparent of either gender. If two godparents are selected, they must be of different genders. Godparents must be baptized, confirmed Catholics who have received the eucharist. Godparents must be at least 16 years old and must lead a life "in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken." [Code of Canon Law, No. 874]

    • A baptized person not of the Catholic faith may act as a witness along with a Catholic godparent.

    • Ideally, the one who serves as a godparent at baptism will also act as the child's confirmation sponsor later on. This also suggests the importance of choosing godparents thoughtfully and prayerfully and with an eye toward the future.

Baptism of Older Children

    • The celebration of baptism for older children (who are no longer infants) is scheduled on a case-by-case basis, insuring proper catechesis for the child to be baptized, as well as parents and godparents.

    • For information, please call the Parish Office.

Parish Preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism

    • Because of the importance of the sacrament of baptism and the commitment it requires of parents, all parents are expected to participate in the baptism preparation program offered by Saint Joseph Parish. Godparents are welcome and encouraged to participate.

    • The program consists of one session, usually offered on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM.

    • Parents are strongly encouraged to participate early in the pregnancy; it is even possible to participate in the preparation program before pregnancy.

    • The evening of preparation will provide important formation and information on the sacraments, baptism, the rite of baptism and sharing faith with children.

Dates and Times for the Celebration

    • Infant baptism is normally celebrated at Saint Joseph Parish on the second and fourth Sundays of each month, following the Noon Mass. Because of holidays or occasional conflicts, the schedule may be adjusted. The Parish Office can confirm a date with you.

The Record of Baptism

    • The record of your child's baptism will be kept permanently at Saint Joseph Parish. In the future you may request a copy of the record for sacramental purposes by calling the Parish Office.

    • Subsequently received sacraments (First Communion, confirmation, marriage) are also recorded at the parish of baptism.

Making Changes in the Baptismal Register

    • In most cases changes may not be made to a baptismal (or other sacramental) record, such as a desire by parents to change the godparents at some time after the baptism. Sacramental records preserve and describe an event at a moment in time and ordinarily may not be altered in any way.

Stipends

    • No stipend or offering for the sacrament of baptism is required or expected.

Order of Service in the Rite of Baptism for Children

The celebration of infant baptism follows this order of service:

          Reception of the Children
          Celebration of God's Word
          Celebration of the Sacrament
          Blessing of the Baptismal Water
          Renunciation of Sin, Profession of Faith
          Baptism
          Anointing with Christ
          Clothing with the Baptismal Garment
          Lighting of the Baptismal Candle
          Prayer over the Ears and Mouth
          Conclusion of the Rite

At Saint Joseph Parish, the celebration begins in the church proper, moves to the gathering space around the baptismal font for the pouring of water and associated rites, and then returns to the church for the concluding rites. Family members and friends are encouraged to participate fully in the celebration of the sacrament by singing, making the responses and by being actively engaged in the rite.

Baptism and Marriage

The birth of a child and preparation for baptism is often a time when parents reflect on the deeper values in life. For couples who were married outside the church (whose marriages were not witnessed by a Catholic priest or deacon), the baptism of a child presents an opportunity to have their marriage convalidated (blessed) by the church. In some cases, an annulment for a previous marriage may be necessary before the convalidation can take place.

The Catholic Update is available from the Parish Office, entitled: Bringing Your Marriage Into the Church. It will provide you with excellent information and anticipate some of your questions.

A member of the parish staff will be happy to talk to you about your specific situation and help you with the process of convalidation (and an annulment, if necessary).

Mass Schedules

Weekend Mass
Saturday at 5:00 PM
Sunday at 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 Noon

Weekday Mass
Tuesday at 7:00 PM
Wednesday & Friday at 9:00 AM

Holy Day Mass as Published

Sacraments And Pastoral Concerns

Sacrament of Baptism
The sacrament of baptism is ordinarily celebrated on the second and fourth Sundays of the month following the 12:00 Noon Mass. Please call the Parish Office at 248-446-8700, at least two months in advance in order to make arrangements. There is a required Baptismal prep class which is normally offered on the second Monday of each month. Please call the Parish
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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
(RCIA) is the process whereby new members are initiated into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and eucharist, and baptized Catholics may complete their initiation. For information, call Cathy Borsh, Pastoral Associate, Ext. 109.
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Sacrament of Marriage
Please call the Parish Office at least 6 months before the proposed marriage dates in order to arrange for the necessary preparation. An appointment is necessary before a wedding date may be scheduled.
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Order of Christian Funerals
At the time of death, contact the funeral home of your choice. The funeral home will then contact
Saint Joseph Parish.
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Registration in the Parish:
You may come to the parish office or call 248-446-8700, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM.
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hearing

Interpeter for Hearing Impaired at 5:00 PM Mass on the third Saturday of each Month.