INFANT BAPTISM

Congratulations! Either through birth or adoption you have been called to nurture a new life. We welcome your child into our community of faith in Jesus Christ and rejoice in your decision to present your child for Baptism. As your child has been born into the life of the human family, so, now through Baptism, he or she is reborn into the supernatural life of God and his Church.

The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation into Church. Through Baptism we participate in Christ's saving death and Resurrection, are freed from original sin and are incorporated into the community of the faithful. Baptism is the beginning of a lifetime journey of faith. To celebrate your child's arrival among the community of the faithful, the baptism ministry of St. Thomas the Apostle has designed a program of preparation for the sacrament.

Baptisms take place on the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 1:30 p.m. in the Main Church. We encourage you to invite family and friends to attend the celebration. In preparation parents must arrange at least six weeks in advance of their preferred baptism date to attend a baptism preparation class. Parents should call the rectory to enroll for this class. 

Baptism Preparation Class: At least six weeks in advance of their preferred baptism date, parents of ALL children to be baptized must attend a baptism preparation class unless they attended a class for another child within the last 3 years. The classes take place on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Center. Both parents should attend if at all possible and the godparents are invited. The class lasts an hour. There will be a video presentation explaining the celebration of the sacrament and time for questions and discussion. Parents will be asked to fill out a registration card, and they are to bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate which will be retained. The date of the baptism will be finalized and an envelope for a free-will offering for the baptism supplied. The amount of the offering is at the discretion of the parents.

To enroll for this class, parents should call the rectory (516-489-8585). 

Parents who are excused from the class because they attended one within the last 3 years should come to the rectory with copy of their child’s birth certificate and fill out the registration card.

Interview with celebrants: Parents will be contacted shortly before the date of their child's baptism to be interviewed by the priest/deacon who is celebrating their child's baptism. If parents are not registered parishioners, they will be given registration information at the interview.

Private Baptisms: Since the Sacrament of Baptism essentially involves initiation into the community of the Church, private baptisms are not allowed except for serious reasons with permission of the pastor. When permission has been given, the parents must attend the baptism preparation class and meet with the celebrant of the baptism if he is one of the parish priests/deacons or with the pastor if he is not.

Non-parish clergy: When parents request a non-parish priest/deacon to celebrate the baptism, he should write to the pastor for permission to do so. In the case of non-diocesan clergy, the priest/deacon must include a testimonial of a good standing from his diocese or religious superior.

Guidelines for the selection of godparents:  Parents are asked to select an individual or a couple to serve as sponsors or godparents for their child. Only one sponsor is required but two are traditional. Since the sponsor's role is to assist parents in bringing up a child in the Catholic faith, godparents must be practicing Catholics, at least 16 years of age and have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation. If two sponsors are chosen one must be a Godfather and the other a Godmother. If not St. Thomas parishioners, sponsors should obtain a statement of their suitability to serve as a sponsor from their own parish to be given to the celebrating priest/deacon at the interview.

A practicing baptized member of another Christian faith may serve as a Christian Witness to the baptism in place of a second godparent.