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What is Baptism?
Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation and the beginning and foundation of Christian sacramental life; it is the door which gives access to the other sacraments. The baptized is made a participant in the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace and is incorporated into Christ and his Church. Baptism provides the basis of communion with all Christians.
How soon should I have my child baptized?
Children should be baptized within the first weeks after birth. You are enthusiastically encouraged to participate in the baptismal preparation session and arrange a date for the baptism before your child is born!
Do I need to attend a baptism preparation session?
Yes, baptism preparation is held for all first-time mothers and fathers seeking to have their child baptized in the Catholic Church, providing “proper instruction on the meaning of the sacrament.”
This requirement is usually waived if you have attended a baptism preparation session within the past 5 years for another child.
When are the baptism preparation sessions offered?
The baptism preparation sessions are offered once per month. All sessions are from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Dominican Conference Room at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Parking is available in the parking lot across the street. There is no cost for the session. Parents will be registered for a session during the time of the initial meeting.
When do Baptisms occur at Prince of Peace Parish?
Baptisms are celebrated every weekend at the three churches of the parish. Parents may choose where they would like their child(ren) baptized:
2:30 PM: Holy Cross Church, (1080 Lisbon Street, Lewiston)
11:15 AM: Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (122 Ash Street, Lewiston)
12:00 PM: Holy Family Church (607 Sabattus Street, Lewiston)
Will the baptismal ceremony be for our family individually, or will the ceremony include several other children being baptized together?
Since Baptism is a celebration of the community of the Church, it would not be appropriate to separate ceremonies artificially, celebrating one individual Baptism after another. Since Prince of Peace Parish offers the Sacrament of Baptism every weekend, there is seldom more than one child being baptized before/after any particular Mass, so the ceremonies are in practice usually individual.
Must I be a member of Prince of Peace Parish to have my child baptized here?
Generally, yes. Every Catholic should be a registered member of the local parish where he or she regularly attends Mass; and that parish is the place where the members of your family should normally receive the Sacraments. If you are not currently registered, but regularly come to Mass at either of the parish churches: Holy Cross, Holy Family, or the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (or are beginning to do so), you will be encouraged to register in Prince of Peace Parish.
***Please note: there is occasionally a situation in which parents who live far from Lewiston want to have a child baptized here because the majority of their relatives live here. This is permitted, but the parents must (1) be registered members of their own local parish; (2) complete the baptismal preparation required by their home parish; and (3) obtain the permission of their pastor for the Baptism to occur here in Lewiston.
I am/We are not married. Can my child still be baptized?
Yes. A child may be baptized so long as there is a well-founded hope that he or she will be brought up in the practice of the Catholic Faith. This is present so long as one parent is willing to practice the Catholic Faith and share it with the child. A child is not penalized for having been born out of wedlock.
If the parents of a child are living together without benefit of marriage or in a civil marriage not recognized by the Church, they would be encouraged to regularize their situation so that they can fully practice the Faith they are called to share with their child. If the parents are willing to do what they can, there is never an insurmountable obstacle to the Baptism of a child.
Neither my spouse nor I is Catholic. Can our child(ren) be baptized Catholics?
Parents have the responsibility to raise their children in the Catholic Faith. In order to do so, at least one parent should be Catholic.
Who can be chosen as godparent(s) for my child?
The purpose of the godparent is to guide the child in the ways of the faith so that they might reach heaven. Only one godparent is required. If there are two godparents, one must be male and the other female. The relationship of two godparents emulates spiritually the parenthood of the biological parents.
The Church asks that godparents:
- Are at least 16 years of age
- Have received all of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, First Holy Communion)
- Are active Catholics attending Mass regularly
- And if married, the godparent must be married according to the laws of the Catholic Church.
May we take photographs or video during the Baptism?
Prospective godparents who are not registered parishioners of Prince of Peace Parish
will be asked to obtain a sponsor letter from their own pastor
stating that they fulfill the requirements listed above.
Yes – but anyone with an official role in the Baptism (parent, godparent or witness) should give their attention to that responsibility and not serve as a photographer during the ceremony itself.
Is there a fee for Baptism?
No. Since it is presumed that the parents belong to the parish and are regularly supporting the Church according to their ability, there is no fee for Baptism. The priest or deacon performing the Baptism is sometimes given a monetary gift as a token of appreciation, but this is at the discretion of the family. If the parents do live elsewhere and are celebrating the Baptism here for the convenience of the family, a donation to the parish would be very appropriate.
Helpful (short) videos to watch about the Sacrament of Baptism:
Sacraments 101: Baptism (why we baptize)
Bishop Robert Barron on the Sacrament of Baptism
What do I need to do next?
Please call the Prince of Peace Parish Office at 207-777-1200 x207 during regular business hours (Monday-Thursday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM) to set up an initial meeting with Father Steven Cartwright, Parochial Vicar.