St Michael's Parish, bell Park. Incorporating the churches of Holy Family Bell Park, Ss Peter & Paul Geelong West and Holy Spirit Manifold Heights

Infant / Preschool Baptism

Dear Parent,

“Congratulations and welcome to the family of God - the Church.”
 
This sentiment is at the heart of the baptism of your child.  In the celebration of Baptism, we use different symbols, prayers and readings to emphasise that your child is being welcomed and initiated into the Christian life.  As one writer said, Baptism is like the entrance gate or foundation of the Christian life.

Life’s a journey, so too the Christian life.  Presenting your child for Baptism, you are saying that you want your child to be part of the Christian journey which is to have the opportunity to know and love Jesus Christ, to follow His teachings and be part of the Church.  Committing to the Christian life is, at times, not easy, but we have Jesus’ word that it is well worthwhile.

To you and your family, the Parish Community says ‘Welcome!’

THE PROCEDURE FOR BAPTISMS

The Baptism Enquiry &  Booking:

This is simple and easy. All you need to do is contact the parish office on 52781343. Once you have called the necessary details for your child’s baptism will be taken and the three tier procedure for baptism in the parish will be outlined.

They are:

  • Baptism Preparation Meeting
  • Welcome Ceremony
  • The Baptism

The time and dates for each of the above will be organised with you over the phone.

Once you have booked the baptism a photo copy of your booking form will be sent to you to ensure that we have correctly recorded your details. Also a small package with other information will be sent to you.

Baptism Preparation Meeting:

Next, we invite you to a one-off Baptism Preparation Meeting. At this meeting, which is friendly and informal, our Baptism Presenter will outline the Baptism Ceremony and its meaning, as well as other related topics. These meetings are generally held every fourth Monday evening from 7.00pm - 8.30pm

Welcome Ceremony:

Once you have attended the Baptism Preparation Meeting, you are invited to one of the Sunday Masses where your child will be welcomed by the parishioners.  This welcome is important, because Baptism is an incorporation into the Parish Community.  Most parents find the Welcome Ceremony a delightful experience.   We ask you to arrive at the Mass ten minutes early so you can be briefed about the Ceremony by the Priest.  As part of the Welcome Ceremony, you will receive a plain stole and a plain candle, which will be used at the Baptism.  If you wish to decorate the stole and/or candle, you are free to do so.

The Baptism:

The time and availability for each Church is outlined below:

  • Ss Peter & Paul’s: 12.30pm - second and fourth Sundays of each month
  • Holy Spirit: 12noon - first and third Sundays of each month
  • Holy Family: 2.00pm - second and fourth Sunday of each month

Normally, there will be other children being baptised with your child.  We have a limit of four children being baptised at once. 

Some Commonly Asked Questions:

About Godparents
The role of the Godparent is to be a support person to the parents in helping them bring up the child in the Christian faith.

At least one of the Godparents must be Catholic and all the Godparents must be at least sixteen years of age.  In some cultures the custom is to have more than two Godparents.  If you wish to have more than two Godparents, you can do so.  Normally, there is a Godmother and Godfather, but it may be more appropriate in your situation to have two Godmothers or two Godfathers. If Godparents wish to attend the Preparation evening they are most welcome.

Offering
Your offering will assist with the costs involved in  Baptism Administration, Baptism Preparation Evening, Baptism certificate, stole and candle and most importantly the upkeep of the Church. The offering is $100.00 per family. Please make payment either by cash or a cheque payable to St Michael's Parish and present it at the Baptism Preparation Evening or to the Parish office prior to your Baptism date. The fee includes the the services of the Priest.

If you live outside the Parish
Because Baptism is about belonging to a faith community, we request that your first consideration be to have your child baptized in the parish where you live. The people among whom your child will grow and attend school should be the ones to welcome your child into the Church. However, if you and your family has strong links to our Church, you are welcome to have your child baptized in this parish. As a matter of courtesy to your parish and  Parish Priest, please discuss your wishes with him and obtain a Letter of Permission for your child’s baptism in this parish.

Together we will make your child’s baptism a joy-filled experience as they begin their faith life’s journey.

____________________________________
Fr Prakash Cutinha