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Baptism marks the birth of any Christian as a Christian. Through this Sacrament we are cleansed of original sin, incorporated into the Body of Christ that is the Church, and begin our life anew as those transformed by the death and resurrection of Christ Himself. It is the role of the father and mother, accompanied by the godparents, to present the child to the Church for baptism.


With this in mind, we offer you some guidelines to help make the preparation for your child's baptism fruitful and joyful. Baptism arrangements, preparation and scheduling are made by appointment only.

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.


Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213

Frequently asked questions

Preparation and Requirements

In choosing to have your child baptized in the Catholic Church, you are accepting the responsibility of raising him or her in the practice of the Catholic Faith. The preparation process is conducted under the assumption that at least one of the parents is a believing and practicing Roman Catholic. It is an occasion to reflect on your faith, the faith of the Church, and how you live it out and hand it on in the life of your child.Whether you have been away for a while, or you have a pew at Church that practically has your name on it, your child’s baptism is an opportunity to rediscover and renew your commitment to your Faith in Christ by deeper engagement with the Church. It is a much a chance for a new beginning for you as it is for your child, as you introduce him or her to the full sweep and significance of the Gospel which, if it were all recounted, “the world itself could not contain all the books that would be written”. (John 21:25) For more information, use the 'Contact Us' button above.

Scheduling of Date and Time

Baptisms at our parish are generally celebrated with each family individually. We try to meet the particular timeframe that is convenient for the family. Generally, this means Saturdays and Sundays, as organized around what other services may be taking place that day, whether at St. Mary’s (5 Hillhouse Ave.) or St. Joseph's (129 Edwards St.) Church. Expectant parents fill out the Registration form on this page to make the necessary arrangements and to participate in our baptismal preparation program. For more information, use the 'Contact Us' button above.

Who will administer the Sacrament?

Ordinarily, one of the parish priests will celebrate baptisms in the parish. If a family has a special relationship with a priest or deacon from outside the parish he is most welcome to come and celebrate the baptism. If you are interested in having a particular priest from the parish baptize your child, feel free to let the Parish Staff know. Visiting priests or deacons must obtain the necessary permission from the parish to conduct the baptism. We will do our best to accomidate your requests.


Each child must have at least one, but may have two godparents or sponsors. If there are two godparents, they must be a godfather and godmother. One godparent must be a practicing and believing Roman Catholic who has received the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation, be at least 16 years old, and (if married) in a valid Catholic marriage recognized by the Church. Canon Law sets these expectations, and expects godparents to be good witnesses of Catholic faith, because it is through baptism that one enters the Church. If someone close to the family is a great example of Christian faith, but is not catholic, there is the possibility of having such a person act as a witness to the ceremony in a role similar to that of a godparent, but distinct from it. Godparents may be represented by proxies if they are unable to be present for the ceremony. Those serving as proxies must fulfill the same requirements as godparents. Catholics serving as godparents must contact their parish and obtain a sponsor letter or certificate. Please bring the letter or certificate to the baptism.

Celebration of the Rite

As baptism serves as the first sacrament, the gateway to the sacramental life of the Church, the baptismal register of each parish records the sacramental life of each person baptized there. This is why the parish where your child is baptized will be indispensable in the coming years of your child, for those times when it will be necessary to provide a new certificate of baptism in preparation for other sacraments. This certificate can be obtained by contacting the Parish of St. Mary. In turn, any other parish that serves as a site for your child’s sacraments (such as Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders) will send a notification to the Parish of St. Mary to be entered in the baptismal registry. For the convenience of all involved, everyone should be on time for the ceremony. That way, there will be no need to rush through your celebration on such an important day. Other parish liturgies may well follow yours and it will be necessary to begin those celebrations on time.

What is the offering cost?

Families are wlecome to make a donation at the Baptism.

St. Mary Parish  | 5 Hillhouse Ave New Haven, CT 06511 | (203) 562-6193 | church@stmarysnewhaven.org

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