The process of baptisms in St Aloysius Parish has developed over the last few years, with the developments caused by COVID. Please read the information below carefully before making any plans for a baptism.
View the Schedule of available days for Welcome Sundays and Baptism Sundays for St Aloysius Cronulla, with both required. A Welcome Sunday needs to occur at specific Sunday Masses with the parents and child attending (and possibly the Godparents if able) at least one week prior to the Baptism Sunday.
Please do not confirm or make any arrangements with family or friends without first getting confirmation from the Parish Office that your anticipated dates for Welcome Sundays and Baptism Sundays are possible.
Up to 4 baptisms will be able to be scheduled at certain 5pm Saturday evening Masses and 10am Sunday Masses. If the number of guests will exceed 50, then only two baptisms will be able to occur during the Sunday Mass.
For infant baptism (children under the age of 3) there is a 3 step process in preparation for the baptism day
- Complete an On-line registration form
- Attend a baptism class – normally 1 month prior to the baptism – arranged by the Parish Office, typically with 1 other couple attending.
- Attend a Welcome to the Parish Sunday Mass – at least 1 week to 3 weeks prior to the baptism.
After completing the online form, the Parish Office will contact you to confirm the Welcome Date and the Date of Baptism. Sometimes the indicated date of the baptism may not be possible for the parish to fulfil, as the parish tries to baptise children of similar ages at the same ceremony, and once capacity is reached for a specific celebration, then we will unfortunately not be able to accept more baptisms at that celebration.
Baptism for Children of School-age
The Church encourages baptism of infants born of Catholic parents, as soon as possible after the birth of a child. When the parent/s and godparents profess the faith of the Catholic Church, then children may receive the grace of baptism. Baptism and Faith are some of the greatest gifts parents can give their child.
If a child is of school-age and has not been baptised yet, the Church joyfully welcomes these children for baptism. A short preparation program is coordinated with the Parish Evangelisation and Youth Formation Coordinator and then a special Welcome Mass and a special Baptism Mass occurs for children of school age. The ritual for children of school age is different to babies and infants, as children are able to respond, to give consent and to know what is occurring, unlike an infant child. The parish will arrange the baptism at specific times, so that it does not clash with the baptism of infants.
Contact the Parish Office to speak with the Parish Evangelisation and Youth Formation Coordinator.
To raise the child in the faith requires the cooperation of the parents. In order for baptism to occur, the consent of at least one of the parents who has the custody of the child is required. The consenting parent should be a Catholic. If one of the parents desires baptism and the other tolerates it, your child may be baptised.
Sometimes the child has only one parent. In such cases, the child will be baptised on the guarantee of that one parent’s faith. If there is a second parent, the parent is to be informed and even invited to participate, if possible.
The godparents play a significant role on the day of the baptism. The cultural expectation of the godparents varies from culture to culture. However, the Church’s expectation is that godparents represent the Catholic community and pledge their support in raising the child in the Catholic faith.
Eligibility for godparents:
Parents must designate them, and the godparents must be willing to help the child lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism and fulfil the obligations connected with it.
- They must be at least 16 years of age.
- They must be Catholics who have been Baptised, Confirmed, and have received First Communion.
- They must lead a life in harmony with the faith and must understand the role to be undertaken.
- They must not be bound by any imposed or declared penalty under Church law.
- They must be someone other than the child’s parents.
- Though it is not an obligation, the Church prefers that the godparent serve again as the sponsor at Confirmation.
Is the godparent expected to be a person who attends Church regularly?
It makes sense if they do so. After all, you are asking this person to assist you in bringing up your child within the Catholic faith community. It is desirable that they live what they say they believe.
How many godparents should there be?
You are only required to have one godparent. You may have two. In some cultures there is the tradition of having many sponsors present at the service. There is nothing wrong with many sponsors.
What gender should the godparent be?
If you choose only one godparent, you are free to choose a male or a female. The godparent need not be of the same sex as the child or vice versa. However if you wish to have two godparents, it is desirable to have them of different genders.
Can a non-Catholic serve as godparent?
For a Baptism in the Catholic Church, a Catholic or a member of one of the Orthodox Churches can be a godparent. However a member of a Protestant denomination may serve as a Christian witness to the ceremony. The name of the Christian witness may be entered into the parish register of baptism along with that of the godparent. A non-baptised person is not able to sponsor a child for Baptism.
Can the same godparents have responsibility for more than one child, especially in the same family?
As long as the godparents take seriously their responsibility and intention to help all the children grow in faith, then godparents may accept several children.
Does the godparent have to come from the family?
Not at all.
Can someone who lives far away be a godparent?
Yes. Though the Church presumes that the godparents participate in the Ritual of Baptism, when it is not practically possible someone may serve as a proxy. The proxy is to be selected by the godparent.
When are the Baptisms celebrated in St Aloysius Parish?
Baptisms are celebrated at 11am Sunday mornings, after 10am Sunday Mass in St Aloysius Cronulla.
If the life of the child is seriously threatened, he or she should be baptised without delay. If a priest is available, he will confirm the child as well, even if your child is only an infant. If neither a priest nor a deacon is available, anyone may baptise by immersing or pouring water on your child and reciting these words, “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The one baptising does not need to be a Catholic, or even a Christian, as long as he or she has the intent of the Church.
If the child recovers, organise with the parish office for the rest of the baptism ritual to occur – like anointing with Chrism, lighting of the candle, and so on. The office will also record the baptism in the parish records for future reference. Some children tragically lose their lives before their baptism can be celebrated. In such cases, our Church urges the parents not to despair, but to commend their child to the loving providence of God, who certainly can offer salvation even without baptism. In such trying situations of the Church.
Prayer Of Thanksgiving For A Newly Born Child Who Is Yet To Be Baptised
Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
Reader: A reading from the Gospel according to Mark. (Mark 10:13-16)
(After the Gospel Reading)
Source of all blessings, Protector of infants, look with favour on our child, (name).
Hold him/her gently in your hands.
When he/she is reborn of water and the Holy Spirit, bring him/her into the Church, there to share in your
Kingdom and with us to share your name for ever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.