Statements from Bishop John Quinn Concerning our Diocese and COVID-19


Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation. By it, we are cleansed of all sin, both original and actual, filled with Sanctifying Grace, and made part of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. It leaves an indelible mark on our soul, marking us for eternity as sons and daughters of God. It can be received only once.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Baptism cost?

There is no cost for a Baptism. It is customary to make an offering to the Church but this is not required.

How soon should my baby be baptized?

The Church encourages parents to have their children Baptized as soon as possible after birth.

I haven’t been to church for many years and my six-year-old has never been baptized. Can they be baptized?

Yes, though an older child will be given some instruction about Baptism so they understand what is going on during the ceremony. There is no age too late to be baptized!

My spouse is not Catholic but they would like their non-Catholic family member to be a godparent. Is this allowed?

The Church requires at least one confirmed Catholic godparent in order to support the parents when bringing up the child in the Church. Other baptized people can serve as Christian Witnesses of Baptism. All Christian Witnesses are required to be baptized and at least 16.

I am a single parent. I’d like my baby to be baptized but I am anxious about the reaction I’ll get from the priest.

There is no need to be anxious or worried. You will be given a friendly reception by the priest or parish office staff member that will be happy to make arrangements and answer your questions. All that matters is that the child will be brought up and taught about their Catholic faith.

My spouse is a protestant Christian and would like their minister to take part in the baptism. Do you allow this?

Your spouse’s minister or pastor is welcome to come and can at certain points share a prayer, but the baptism must be done by only one person. The priest will be happy to discuss and explain what is customary in these situations.

My spouse feels unsure and anxious about the ceremony and what will be required of us as parents during the Baptism.

Let us assure you that there is not need to be worried. The priest or deacon leading the ceremony will guide you through the service step-by-step. During your preparation do not hesitate to mention any point or action that might worry either of you. We want you to enjoy the occasion and celebrate!

My baby was baptized at birth because of illness. Can they be rebaptized in church?

Baptism is the sacrament of becoming a Christian, and the baptism at birth was a true baptism. Although the baptism will not be repeated, you can have a celebration in church and share in the other prayers and blessings which are part of the baptismal ceremony. You can also appoint godparents at this time.

Role of Godparents

To be chosen as a godparent is a special honor. You have been entrusted with the responsibility to participate in this child’s Christian life and education. This privilege offers you the opportunity to develop a mutually enriching spiritual relationship - one that will last throughout this life and beyond. There are many ways you can nurture this spiritual relationship and become a special friend to your godchild. Among them are:

  • Celebrate the anniversary of this holy day of baptism each year with a visit, a call, or a card.
  • As your godchild grows, listen to and share in the struggles and triumphs of living a Christian life, and keep yourself informed on Christian doctrine and values, to be able to answer questions as they arise.
  • Encourage a consistent life of faith through special cards, letters of advice, or religious gifts to celebrate holy events.
  • Participate in by your presence or through prayer as your godchild receives the other sacraments, particularly First Communion and Confirmation, which complete initiation into the Church community.
  • Be supportive of your godchild’s parents in their role as the primary religious educators of their child.
  • And most importantly, become a model of Christian living for your godchild, through daily prayer, virtue and active participation in parish life and liturgy.

By living a Christian life in partnership with your godchild, both of you will experience the great joy of sharing a life of faith.

Congratulations, and may God bless you!