July 30, 2020
 
Dear Parents,
 
     We are once again scheduling baptisms. I tell you this with great joy. The crisis we have been going through has kept you, the Catholic faithful, from receiving our parish's usual pastoral care and your priests and deacons from providing it. The experience has been painful for us both.
 
     We have been especially cautious about the Sacrament of Baptism because of the vulnerability of infants. However, we believe that time has come once again to celebrate this sacrament.
 
     That's the good news. The less good news is that we are resuming baptisms with restrictions to allow for social distancing to protect the health of the infants and their families. The restrictions are as follows:
 
*4 FAMILIES PER SESSION;
*EACH FAMILY IS LIMITED TO THE PARENTS, GODPARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS FOR A MAXIMUM OF 8 ADULTS (WE WISH TO KEEP ALL FAMILIES IN THE FRONT PART OF THE CHURCH WHILE ALSO ALLOWING FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING);
*ADULTS AND CHILDREN OLDER THAN 2 MUST WEAR MASKS.
 
     Baptisms are scheduled for 1:30 pm on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month with additional sessions on August 30 and November 29 since both months have five Sundays. The schedule for the rest of the year is as follows:

AUGUST 9, 23, 30
SEPTEMBER 13, 27
OCTOBER 11, 25
NOVEMBER 8, 22, 29
DECEMBER 13, 27.
 
     A private baptism may be scheduled at another time if there is a visiting priest or deacon. If he is not from this diocese, he must provide in advance a testimonial of good standing from his diocese or religious community. To maintain our safety precautions and to be fair to all our parishioners, private baptisms are also limited to a maximum of 8 adults, not counting the priest or deacon celebrant. Parish priests and deacons will not be conducting private baptisms in the parish for now.
 
     Please email the parish office at staparishoffice@gmail.com with at least two choices of date, indicating first and second choice. Dates will be assigned based on three criteria: the date of your original request for baptism, the date of your response to this message and special circumstances affecting your family such as plans to move out of the area.
 
     If you haven't filled out a baptismal registration card, you may do so online by clicking here.
 
     With regard to sponsors/godparents:

*ALL SPONSORS MUST BE CATHOLIC, AT LEAST 16 YEARS OF AGE, CONFIRMED AND LEADING A CATHOLIC LIFE;
*SPONSORS SHOULD OBTAIN FROM THEIR OWN PARISH A CERTIFICATE OF SUITABILITY TO BE A SPONSOR;
*ONLY ONE SPONSOR IS REQUIRED;
*IF THERE ARE TWO, THEY MUST BE A GODFATHER AND GODMOTHER;
*A BAPTIZED NON-CATHOLIC MAY BE A ‘CHRISTIAN WITNESS’ ALONG WITH A QUALIFIED CATHOLIC SPONSOR AND WILL BE LISTED AS SUCH IN THE BAPTISMAL REGISTER, NOT AS A SPONSOR OR GODPARENT.

     Please email a copy of your child's birth certificate to staparishoffice@gmail.com or fax it to 516-292-2651 at least a week in advance of the baptism.

     As of now, there is no interview required with the priest or deacon who will be celebrating the baptism. If you haven't attended a baptismal class you may do so on our web site www.stthomasapostle.org beginning August 5th. 
 
     There is no set offering for regularly scheduled baptisms. We depend on your generosity. An offering of $200 is requested for private baptisms.

     We priests and deacons, along with the lay volunteers in our baptism program, 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.

     With prayers and best wishes, I am,
 
Sincerely yours in Christ,

Msgr Francis J Maniscalco
Pastor