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The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).

Regulations for Sponsors for Baptism

(sources: Code of Canon Law, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Who may be a baptismal sponsor/godparent?

Insofar as possible, one to be baptized is to be assigned a sponsor.  In the case of an adult baptism, the sponsor’s role is to assist the person in Christian initiation.  In the case of an infant baptism, the role is, together with the parents, to present the child for baptism, and to help the child live a Christian life befitting of the baptized, and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in baptism.

One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient, but there may be two, one of each sex.  It is prohibited to have either two male or two female sponsors.  To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:

  1. be appointed by the candidate for baptism, or by the parents, or by whoever stands in their place, of (if necessary) by the pastor, parish priest, or minister, and is to have the qualifications and the intention of fulfilling this role;
  2. be not less than 16 years old;
  3. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;
  4. not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
  5. not be either the father or the mother of the one to be baptized

A baptized non-Catholic Christian may be a witness to the baptism (a Christian Witness, not a Godparent), and only together with a Catholic sponsor (meaning one sponsor must be a qualified Catholic sponsor, meeting the above criteria).  Non-Catholics and non-Christians may not be sponsors (Godparents) for baptism.

Because the sponsor must be leading a life in harmony with the faith, the person, if married, must be in a valid marriage recognized by the Church.

A baptismal sponsor may act through a proxy.  One who is to act as a proxy for a sponsor must meet all of the same requirements the sponsor must meet.  The proxy must be the same gender as the official sponsor.  A parent or step-parent may not fulfill the role of proxy for the sponsor. 

A baptized Catholic who does not meet the above-mentioned requirements may not act as a Christian witness.  A non-practicing Catholic (one who does not attend Mass, or has left the Catholic Church to practice another religion) may not serve as a Christian witness.

Sponsor certificates, which declare that one is fit to serve as a sponsor for a candidate for baptism, are issued by one’s own parish/pastor (the parish where they are currently registered and attending, not the parish where they grew up or received sacraments).  Sponsor certificates should be presented to the priest or deacon administering the sacrament.

Guidelines for Sponsors 

Any Parishioner of Saint Lawrence who has been asked to act as a Godparent for the Sacrament of Baptism or a Sponsor for the Sacrament of Confirmation should contact the Rectory Office for a Sponsor Certificate. 

To obtain a Sponsor Certificate from St. Lawrence Parish you must:

  ~ Be an active, registered parishioner at St. Lawrence for at least a period of 6 months

  ~ Meet the criteria, dictated by Canon Law, listed above

Please note:  When requesting a Sponsor Certificate, please contact the Rectory Office at least 2 weeks in advance and allow up to 10 business days for processing.





Baptisms are by appointment only on scheduled Sundays
at 1:00 pm. 

Please call
the Rectory Office at
203-929-5355, ext 2,
to schedule a Baptism

Baptism Schedule


April 30th

May 7th

May 21st

June 11th

June 25th

July 2nd

July 23rd

August 6th

August 20th

September 3rd

September 17th

October 8th

October 22nd

November 5th

November 19th

December 3rd

First-time parents are required to attend a Pre-Baptismal Class before having their child baptized.

Pre-Baptismal Classes are held at 1:00 pm on the 1st Sunday of each month in the Parish Center.
(No class in July/August)
Registration is required

Call the Rectory Office
203-929-5355, ext. 2
for information or 
to register

Please Note that Sponsor Certificates are required for all Godparents.  If one or both Sponsors/Godparents are Parishioners at St. Lawrence, please notify the Rectory Office so we can verify their information, and a Sponsor Certificate will not be necessary.  If a Sponsor/Godparent is not a parishioner of St. Lawrence, they should contact the Parish they are currently registered at and attending to request a Sponsor Certificate.  Please submit Sponsor Certificates to the Rectory Office 2 weeks before the baptism.

Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)

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