The Baptism ministry serves to welcome and educate new parents in the role and responsibility of teachers of our faith to their child or children. In some cases, our ministry serves as the first step back to the church for young people ho may have not remained active until the birth of a child.
Scheduling a Baptism
New parents should call Linda Amitrano at the parish office at 973-538-1358, ext. 100 to register for a Baptism. For questions about the sacrament or the Baptismal Rite, call Deacon Ron or Linda Forino at 973-887-2963 or email Ron at RonForino@aol.com.
Team schedule: For couples supporting the Baptism program, please click here to access the 2012 coordinators' schedule. Note that the meetings are held off-site. Specific time and location will be provided to Baptismal parents when they register.
In Preparation for Baptism:
Parents are asked to do the following arrangements will be made when you register:
- Register their child for the sacrament of Baptism. Generally, Baptism can be scheduled most Saturday and Sundays.
- Select one or two God Parents. Requirements are provided below.
- Parents going through the Baptism process for the first time are required to attend a Baptism Preparation class prior to the Baptism. The parish office will be able to make arrangements for the class.
- Receive a parental blessing at the designated Mass prior to the Baptism.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon should I have my child baptized?
New parents should not delay in getting their child baptized. Every effort should be made to have your child baptized within the first weeks or months following the birth. You are encouraged to arrange a date for the Baptism as soon as possible.
Is there a fee for Baptism?
No. We presume that the parents belong to the parish and support Notre Dame on a regular basis, so there is no fee for Baptism.
Must our child be baptized with the name of a saint?
Your child’s name will be the name we and our Lord knows your child through all eternity. It is also an opportunity to provide your child a link with a saintly role-model or inspirational theme. The actual requirement is quite minimal. You are only obliged to avoid names that are “foreign to a Christian mentality,” but it is highly recommended that either the first or middle name of the child be that of a saint or of other Christian significance.
Check the Catholicity site for an exhaustive list of suggested names.
Questions about Parents and Godparents
Must I be a member of the parish?
Generally, yes. Every Catholic should be a registered member of the local parish where he or she regularly attends Mass and that parish is the place where the members of your family should normally receive the Sacraments.
If you are not currently registered, but regularly come to Mass at Notre Dame (or are beginning to do so), you will be encouraged to register here. There is occasionally a situation in which parents who live far from Cedar Knolls want to have a child baptized here because the majority of their relatives live here. This is permitted, but the parents must (1) be registered members of their own local parish; (2) complete the baptismal preparation required by their home parish; and (3) obtain the permission of their pastor for the Baptism to occur here.
I am not married. Can my child be baptized?
Yes. A child may be baptized as long as there is a well-founded hope that he or she will be brought up in the practice of the Faith. This is present so long as one parent is willing to practice the Catholic Faith and share it with the child.
Questions about specific situations should be discussed with our pastor, Fr. Jude, our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Justin, or Deacon Ron Forino.
Neither my spouse nor I are Catholic. Can our child be baptized?
Parents have the responsibility to raise their children in the Catholic Faith. In order to do so, at least one parent should be Catholic.
If you are not currently Catholic but wish to enter the Church yourself in conjunction with the Baptism of your child, we would be happy to make the arrangements to do so. This process would involve prayer, instruction and sharing in the life of the Catholic community. Please see the details on our RCIA program.
How many Godparents should we have?
The Church's Canon Law states that there should be one or two Godparents. If there are two, they should be a Godfather and a Godmother.
Can we have more than two sponsors (Godparents) for our child?
No. The Church does not want the responsibility of sponsors to be diluted. The maximum number of sponsors is two. If there are two, it is recommended that one be male and one female.
Who can be Godparents?Godparents should be Catholics over 16 years of age who themselves regularly come to Mass.
Can a non-Catholic be a sponsor?
No. In order to sponsor someone to become a member of the Catholic Church, one must be a Catholic.
If a child has only one sponsor, a non-Catholic Christian may serve as an additional witness of the Baptism and be recorded as such. The rules about gender do not apply to a witness. For example, a child may have a female sponsor and a female witness. Nor is there any requirement that a witness be an active member of his or her denomination.
Questions about The Baptism Service
Is it possible to have a Baptism on a day other than Sunday (so that relatives from out of town can be present, for example)?
Yes. We will do everything we can to accommodate such family considerations. Generally two times are offered each Saturday and Sunday.
Will there be a baptismal ceremony for our family individually, or will the ceremony include several children being baptized together?
While many services are privately done for a single child, scheduling sometimes requires more than one Baptism within a single service. Every effort is made to limit the service to only two families. The priest or deacon will conduct the service in a way that will give each child individual prayer and attention during the service
May we bring guests to the service?
Absolutely. Your child’s entrance into the Catholic community should be witnessed and celebrated by Catholic community. Your family and friends, Catholics and non-Catholics, are encouraged to attend.
How long is the Baptism Service?
The Baptism service usually takes about 30 minutes.
May we take photographs or video during the Baptism?
Yes – we encourage guests to take plenty of pictures. However, anyone with an official role in the Baptism (parent, sponsor or witness) should give their full attention to their role in the service.
Suggested Baptismal Names
Diocese of Paterson, Office of Family LifeFaith & Family Life Center
Focus on the Family
United States Conference of Bishops, Marriage & Family Life
Catholic News Agency: Family Strength through Family Meals