Baptismal Norms

A child should be baptized within a reasonable time after birth.

Determining the faith of parents and their serious desire to raise their child as a Roman Catholic Christian is the responsibility of the parish priest. "The preparation of parents, godparents and others for the Baptismal liturgy needs to be recognized as an especially opportune time and teachable moment to instruct, strengthen an reconcile them in living and practicing their faith."

If parents are divorced, parent must have legal custody to request Baptism. When one parent has legal custody, that parent determines the religious affiliation of the child. Where the court has granted joint custody, baptism is to be postponed until there is mutual agreement that the child will be raised Catholic. This is in the form of a written letter that is notarized that the Non-Catholic party gives permission for the Baptism.

A non-baptized child old enough to be confirmed should be prepared for Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation before receiving any of these sacraments. These are to be administered together during the same ceremony of initiation. The priest in this situation has the faculty to confirm.

Children between the customary ages of First Communion and Confirmation should receive the sacraments appropriate for their age.