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 typically take place on the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 1:30pm in the Main Church. No more than four children are scheduled for each baptism. We encourage you to invite your family and friends to attend the celebration. There is no limit on the number of guests you may invite, but you might be asked to provide an approximate headcount so that seating can be prepared.
Parents should call the rectory office at 516-489-8585 to schedule your child’s baptism and sign up for a baptism preparation class.
Baptism Preparation Class: Parents of ALL children to be baptized must attend a baptism preparation class unless you attended a class for another child within the last 3 years. The classes take place on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30pm in the Parish Center. Both parents should attend if at all possible, and the godparents are invited. The class lasts an hour. It includes a video presentation explaining the celebration of the sacrament and time for questions and discussion.
Guidelines for the Selection of Godparents: Parents select an individual or a couple to serve as sponsors or godparents for your child. Since the sponsor's role is to assist parents in bringing up your child in the Catholic faith, all godparents must:
- be practicing Catholics who are leading a Catholic life;
- be at least 16 years of age;
- have already received the Sacrament of Confirmation;
- obtain from the parish where they currently live a certificate of their suitability to serve as a sponsor.
Only one sponsor is required but two are traditional. If two sponsors are chosen, one must be a Godfather and the other a Godmother.
A practicing baptized non-Catholic may serve as a “Christian Witness” to the baptism along with a qualified Catholic sponsor. Christian Witnesses are listed as such in the baptismal register.
Other Preparations: Parents may fill out a baptism registration card online by clicking here.
You must also provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate which will be retained. Please submit this, along with the sponsor certificates for your child’s godparents, at least ten days prior to the baptism. You may bring them to the rectory office, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 516-292-2651.
An envelope for a free-will offering for the baptism will be provided. The amount of the offering is at the discretion of the parents. We depend upon your generosity.
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. St. Thomas priests and deacons are not conducting private baptisms in the parish for now. The visiting priest/deacon celebrating the baptism should write to the pastor for permission to do so. In the case of a priest or deacon who is not from this diocese, he must provide in advance a testimonial of good standing from his diocese or religious community.
An offering of $200 is requested for private baptisms. Parents should call the rectory office to schedule a date and sign up for the baptism preparation class.
The priests and deacons, along with the lay members of our baptism team, look forward to the joy of celebrating with your family the rebirth of your children by water and the Holy Spirit into the family of the Church!
Click here to fill out the baptism registration card online.