General Information for Baptism
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), 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 into the Church and made sharers in her mission: 'Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.' " (CCC 1213)
Baptism is the beginning of a faith journey and we congratulate you for choosing this beautiful gift for your child.
What is required to have my child baptized?
Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong faith journey for your child. At the Sacrament of Baptism your child is welcomed into the church family. Generally parents are registered members of the parish and practicing their faith.
If you wish to register as a member at St. Mary Help of Christians Church in Briggsville, please call the parish office in Briggsville at 981-2282.
If you wish to register as a member at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Portage, please call the parish office at 742-6998 or a registration form is available here.
Preparation for Baptism
If you want your child to be baptized, we want you to be prepared in every way. To answer any questions you may have and to provide the best possible welcome into the church for your child, we offer a Baptism preparation meeting for all parents. (This meeting is offered for parents of children baptized at either St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception and St. Mary Help of Christians Parishes.) This class is generally offered the third Tuesday of every month at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish office at 6:00PM. You must register by calling the parish office in Portage 742-6998.
- Baptism of Infants: Infant Baptism is for children generally younger than one year old. Parents and Godparents commit to raise him/her in the faith. You will need to attend a meeting to prepare for this commitment. Godparents are strongly encouraged to attend as well.
- Baptism of Young Children: Ordinarily, for children older than one year of age, parents should attend a Baptism meeting and also meet with the Director or Religious Education to help prepare your child for the Sacrament of Baptism.
- Baptism of Teens and Adults: Older teens and adults seeking Baptism are invited to the RCIA process (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). RCIA provides a format for discerning God’s call to Catholicism and responding to it with an open heart. RCIA,
Picking A Baptism Date
At St. Mary Help of Christians Parish in Briggsville, Baptisms are generally celebrated at the 8:00 am Mass on most Sunday mornings. (except during Lent)
At St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Portage, infant Baptisms are generally celebrated at most weekend Masses (expect during Lent) or can be done following the last Sunday Mass at approximately 12:00 pm.
Note: Adult baptisms are celebrated at the Easter Vigil Mass upon completion of the RCIA program. For further information on RCIA, please email Deacon Dennis Sutter at [email protected]
Guidelines for selecting Godparents:
Godparents are an integral part of the Sacrament of Baptism. The church places great value on their role; as such, please select people who will be good Catholic role models for your children, people who will pray for them and encourage them throughout their lives.
- Each person must have one Catholic Godparent; if there are two godparents, they must be a man and a woman
- The Catholic Godparent must have received Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation, be at least 16-years old, and living their lives in communion with the teachings of the church.
- If a person is a Christian, but not Catholic, they must accept the full responsibilities of a godparent.
Godparents are welcome and encouraged to attend the Baptism Class, as well, to learn more about their role.
Baptisms in other parishes or parishioners of other parishes
Perhaps you grew up here and have since moved away, but your family is a member, we will gladly baptize your child here. Please call the parish office for information. If you are a member here but wish to have your child baptized at another parish, please contact the pastor for direction.
The church does not charge for Sacraments, so there is no “fee”. Expenses for baptismal candles, garments, etc. are covered through your regular contributions to the parish. If you wish to offer a further stipend to the priest or deacon, please know that it is received with gratitude.
Bishop Barron on the Sacrament of Baptism
Sacrament of Baptism explained for young children