The Sacrament of Baptism becomes the basis of our Christian life, the gateway to life in the Holy Spirit, and the door which allows us to experience the other sacraments of the church. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God. By being baptized, we become members of the Catholic Church and our parish family.
To celebrate your child's arrival among the community of the human family, and to prepare for his of her initiation in the Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Family of Faith at St. Peter's has designed a pastoral program of preparation for the sacrament of baptism.
A personal visit with the priest or deacon is the first step in our preparation process. During this comfortable and informal visit, you will be asked to reflect on your own personal faith journey and connection to the parish community, and to talk about your sense of the importance of the sacrament of baptism for the life of your child. There will also be a discussion on the practical information needed for the baptism to take place and be recorded properly. Finally, you will schedule the dates for the pre-baptism parent gathering (for first time parents), and the baptism itself.
Once a month, St. Peter's holds its Pre-Baptismal Preparation Class. This is required for first-time parents You should receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the class which may be returned to the rectory before the baptism.
A word about membership...
...The Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of His cross.
With these words, the priest or deacon welcomes the child to be baptized. Catholics are baptized in the local (i.e. parish) Church in whose territory they reside. Practically, this means being registered in one Church. If you are not already registered members of St. Peter of Alcantara Church, we will assist you in registering in the parish at the time of the initial visit.
Normally, Catholics who are registered in a Catholic Church other than St. Peter's have their children baptized in the Church of registration. For sufficient reasons, however, baptism may occur here.
Baptisms in English are celebrated on the 1st and 3rd Sundays at 1:00 p.m., with a 12:45 p.m. arrival time. Please call the rectory at 516-883-6675 to make arrangements.
Baptisms in Spanish are celebrated on the 2nd Sunday at 1:00 P.M. Please call Rev. Nestor Watin at 516-883-6675.
Congratulations on being chosen as a godparent. You are about to embark on a special relationship, that of godparent and godchild. There are several basic requirements that must be met for a person to qualify in the Catholic Church as a godparent (and a sponsor at confirmation).
You must be baptized and have received first Holy Communion and confirmation. This makes you a full member of the Catholic Church.
If you are married, the marriage must have taken place in a Catholic Church. If married elsewhere, the marriage must have been performed with the permission of the Catholic Church. Civil marriages are not recognized as valid.
You must be at least 16 years of age at the time of said baptism.
Christians from other denominations may be Christian witnesses, but not godparents.
Non-believers cannot be witnesses or sponsors since they are asked to profess faith in Jesus and the Church.
Catholics who have left the Catholic Church and joined another church may not be sponsors or witnesses.
You need to receive a letter of recommendation from the parish in which you currently reside (this is also called a sponsorship certificate or certificate of eligibility). This should be sent to St. Peter's prior to the baptism.
These are the basics, however it is hoped that your faith has deeper roots and is meaningful in your life. It is also hoped that you actively participate in the life of the Church, and that you attend Mass and receive the sacraments on a frequent basis. Your role is one of support for the parents, and being a good witness and example to the child. Is is more than an honor or a nice thing to do. It is a commitment to your faith and to the child. At baptism, you are the Church's witness.