Baptism of Children

baptism-7-jpgWe are so excited to welcome your child into the Catholic faith.  In baptism the church welcomes with joy each new member of the Body of Christ.  At St. Mary’s Basilica the baptism of infants and young children (6 years and under) includes the following criteria for having a child baptized:

  • Parents are registered at St. Mary’s Basilica or attend on a regular basis.
    • Or, parents who are looking for a spiritual home. (Will need to register)  There will be a three month waiting period before the baptism is scheduled.
    • Or, parents have a historical relationship to St. Mary’s Basilica.
      • Example: Parents baptized at St. Mary’s Basilica or were married here.
      • Example: A connection to the Franciscan friars.
      • Note: We are required to receive permission to baptize your child from your registered parish.  We must have this permission before a baptism can be scheduled.
  • The sincere desire to raise the child in the Catholic Christian faith.
  • Registering and attending the baptismal preparation session.
  • Selecting godparent(s) based on Canon Law.
Age of Children to be Baptized
  • Children will be baptized from infancy to 3 years during mass.
  • Children 4 years and 5 years old will be scheduled privately.
  • Children 6 years old will be enrolled in the religious education program in the parish and will be baptized sometime during the year.
  • Children 7 years old and older–The church requires them to be a part of the Children’s Catechumenate Program.  They will be placed in the regular Sunday religious education classes, given extra instruction and then receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.  Information on this program can be obtained by contacting Theresa Losada at tlosada@smbphx.org.
Baptismal Celebration

Because of the communal, public nature of baptism, all baptisms are celebrated during the regularly-scheduled weekend liturgies on the third weekend of the month at the Saturday 5 PM Mass or the Sunday 11 AM Mass. An exception is made for cases of emergency.  Because of the Spiritual nature of Advent and Lent and the emphasis on prayerful renewal and preparation for Christmas and Easter, Sacraments, including Baptism, are not celebrated until the Christmas, Easter or Ordinary Time.

Baptismal Class

Baptismal preparation classes are typically held on the third Saturday of the month, the same weekend of the Baptism.  Classes are from 9 to 11:30 AM.  It is essential that parents and godparents attend the class.  Please note:  Parents and godparents not attending this class must attend another class before the baptism and must provide written confirmation from the parish attended.

Selection of Godparents

In the baptism of infants and young children parents take responsibility for choosing a godparent(s) who will serve as a good example for living the Catholic way of life.  Listed below are the criteria for the selection of godparents required by Canon Law:

  • It is customary to have two godparents, however only one is required for baptism.
  • A godparent may be either male or female. If two godparents are chosen, one must be male and one female.
  • A godparent must be a fully initiated Roman Catholic, (baptized, confirmed and receiving the Eucharist), at least sixteen years of age and are a practicing Catholics since they are to be a role model for the newly baptized.
  • Parents (biological or adoptive) of the person to be baptized may not serve as godparents.
  • A baptized non-Catholic may be chosen as a Christian Witness provided there is at least one Catholic godparent who meets the above criteria.  A Christian Witness is allowed whereby they are from another Christian community and practice there faith.  The Christian Witness needs to provide a letter from their pastor confirming they are active in their Church.  However, before selecting a Christian Witness contact Fr. Micah to see who is considered a Christian Witness.
  • In addition, a written letter/document from each of the godparent’s registered parish stating they are in good standing (not under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared) must be provided to St. Mary’s Basilica.  Letters will need to be received by the 1st week of the month before the schedule baptism.  If they are a registered parishioner at St. Mary’s Basilica we will not need a letter/document.
Frequently Asked Questions

What should my child wear?
It is appropriate to dress the child in a white baptismal gown; however any formal church attire is appropriate.
A symbolic white stole will be provided by the church as part of the rite of baptism.

Do I need to provide a baptismal candle?
A baptismal candle will be provided by St. Mary’s Basilica.

What if the godparent or Christian witness cannot be present?
A proxy may stand in on the day of baptism for either a godparent or a Christian witness, but it is required that they attend a baptismal class before the baptism as well.  The godparent or Christian witness, not the name of the proxy, is listed on the baptismal certificate.

What if the Godparent(s) or Christian witness cannot attend the Baptismal Class?
If a godparent or Christian witness is unable to attend this class due to travel conflicts they must take a baptismal preparation class at another parish and then provide a written confirmation from that parish to St. Mary’s Basilica.

Do we need to arrive early to reserve seats on the day of Baptism?
St. Mary’s Basilica will reserve seats before Mass for all families and godparents celebrating the Rite of Baptism.  Parents and godparents are required to arrive at the Church a half hour before the beginning of Mass.

To Register for Baptismal Preparation:

Download the registration form St Mary’s Baptismal Registration: St-Marys-Baptismal-Registration
and return to:

Parochial Vicar and Baptism Coordinator
Fr. Edward Sarrazin, OFM

St. Mary’s Basilica
231 N 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone:  602-354-2062
Email: esarrazin@smbphx.org