The Sacrament of Baptism
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213
We are grateful that you are desiring to have your child baptized at Mary Star of the Sea Parish! After life itself, the gift of baptism is the greatest gift you can give to your child. Through baptism, your child receives sanctifying grace and becomes a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Thank you for desiring to give your child the greatest of all gifts!
In baptism, you, as parents, give your child the great gift of supernatural life, and you make the commitment of raising your child in the faith (see Code of Canon Law n. 868.1, n.1). Only parents or legal guardians may request baptism. In order to receive infant baptism, the child must be under the age of seven. If the child is above the age of seven, he or she may participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (contact person: Sister Mary Glynn, 310-833-3541, ext. 222).
It is the role of the godparents (also called sponsors) to help their godchild to grow in the faith, that is, to come to know the faith and to live it. The godparents assist you, the parents, in forming your child in the faith. The godparents are to be guides and models for your child. For this reason, Canon Law (that is, the law governing the Church) has specific requirements for the godparents. The godparent must:
- Be at least 16 years of age;
- Have received all the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist);
- Must be a practicing Catholic. A practicing Catholic is someone who attend Holy Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation; someone who, if married, is married in the Catholic Church, and lives in harmony with the teachings and practices of the Church.
A child may have at most two godparents: one godfather (patronus in Latin) and one godmother (matrina in Latin), that is, one man and one woman (they need not be married to one another). It is possible to have only one godparent, but there cannot be more than two.
Please make certain that your choice of godparents conforms to what is stated above and please be ready to speak about the godparents at the time of the visit with the Baptism Coordinator.
To prepare for the baptism of your child at our parish, please follow the steps below.
1. Please complete the attached Baptism Registration Form, printing legibly (or preferably typing), making certain that you fill it out completely and with the correct spelling of names.
2. Please make a photocopy of the child’s birth certificate or hospital paper with a seal (this copy is to be turned in together with the Baptism Registration form).
3. If you are not a registered parishioner of Mary Star of the Sea Parish, you need to provide a letter of permission from the Pastor of the parish at which you are registered to have your child baptized at Mary Star of the Sea Parish.
4. When the first two (or three, when applicable) items have been completed, please call the rectory at 310-833-3541 or write Lorena Gutierrez at
, to schedule a 15-30 minute visit. Both parents (and child!) are encouraged to participate in the visit, but at least one of the parents must come for the visit.
a. At the time of the visit, please be prepared to indicate the day on which you would like to attend the pre-baptismal class (please find the schedule of classes enclosed on a separate page). You are permitted to take the pre-baptism class at another parish. If you have taken a pre-baptismal class within the last two years, you do not need to repeat it (in that case, please present, at the time of the visit, the certificate from the class you took).
b. At the time of the visit, please be prepared to indicate the day on which you would like for the baptism to take place. Baptisms in English at Mary Star of the Sea are on the second (2nd) and fourth (4th) Saturdays of the month at 12:30 P.M. Baptisms in Spanish at Mary Star of the Sea are held on the third (3rd) Sunday of the month at 3:00 P.M. Up to six children can be baptized during a regularly scheduled ceremony. Please find a schedule of baptism in the link to the left.. Private baptism are an exception to the rule of the regularly scheduled baptism. If you desire a private baptism (at a different time and for your child alone), you may do so, but you are responsible to find a priest or deacon willing to perform the baptism and you need to arrange the day and time of the baptism with the secretary at the rectory.
5. The standard offering to the parish for a regularly scheduled baptism is $50.00. The standard offering to the parish for a private baptism is $150.00. A check may be made out to “Mary Star of the Sea Parish” (please indicate the purpose of the offering on the check). The offering may be presented at any time between the visit up to the time of the baptism itself. You can also bring or send the offering to the Rectory at any time.
If you have any questions about the process of preparing for baptism, please feel free to contact Lorena Gutierrez at 310-833-3541 or by e-mail at
. May God bless your family and may Our Lady Star of the Sea guide you always!
In the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Baptism Information for Parents (en Espanol)