Baptism of Children
Baptism for children under 7
Baptisms for children under 7 years old are celebrated in St Mary’s Church on the second and fourth Sundays of every month at 12:00 noon.
(However, in 2017, there will be no baptisms on 24 September, 8 October or 24 December.)
To make a booking, parents must attend a Baptism Information Session. These are held on the first Thursday of every month, at 7:30 pm in St Mary’s Church. (There will be no session in October 2017.)
Baptism Information Sessions – First Thursday of every month, 7:30 pm
• It is not necessary to book for the Information Session itself – just turn up.
• If possible, both parents should attend. The presence of the baby is welcome but not required. Godparents are also welcome at the sessions, but this also is not a requirement.
• During the Information Session, we speak about the meaning of Baptism and the responsibilities parents undertake before God by requesting Baptism for their children. We also speak about the different parts of the Baptism ceremony. The Session runs for 50-60 minutes.
• Application forms for the Baptism ceremony are given at the Information Session.
• These application forms can be submitted immediately at the Information Session, or at the Parish Office any time up till the Friday prior to the desired date of Baptism.
• Once your form is completed and submitted, no further confirmation is normally given of the Baptism from the Parish Office: your child’s Baptism will proceed as booked – just turn up on the day.
• No limit is placed on the number of babies in a ceremony. In the unusual event that more than eight babies are anticipated, you will be given the option of moving to a 1:00 pm ceremony on the same day instead of 12:00 noon.
• However, it is important not to make bookings for baptism lunches, etc., until you have ascertained at the Information Session that your desired date of Baptism is in fact available in the first place (as various circumstances occasionally prevent Baptisms being scheduled.)
Families not resident in Ascot Vale Parish
• Families not resident in Ascot Vale Parish must also submit a permission letter from their parish of residence together with their application form.
• Boundaries of Ascot Vale Parish: On the east side of the Maribyrnong River – Ascot Vale Parish is bounded by Holmes Rd to the north, the Craigieburn Line railway and Ascot Vale Rd to the east, and the Showgrounds/Flemington Line railway to the south. On the west side of the Maribyrnong River – Ascot Vale Parish includes all of Maribyrnong north of Williamson Rd and Aquatic Dr, up to the Maribyrnong River.
• Since the primary role of a godparent in Catholic Baptism is to be a model and guide of Catholic faith and practice, there must be at least one Catholic godparent, male or female. However, there may be two, one of each sex. Godparents should be aged 16 or above, be confirmed and live a life of faith.
• Non-Catholic Christians can be accepted as witnesses alongside a Catholic godparent.
• If you wish to have more than two godparents, or more than one of the same sex, these also can be accepted as witnesses. Keep in mind however that multiplying godparents / witnesses dilutes the responsibility of each individual: the Church wisely limits official godparents to two.
Baptism for children aged 7 and over
Baptism of older children is conducted separately, by arrangement with the parish priest. Once a child has turned 7, Baptism is preceded by some religious instruction, of varying length depending on the age of the child.