Baptism - Infants

FontInfant Baptisms are celebrated in both Churches in the parish:

St Kieran's Manly Vale: By appointment
St Cecilia's Balgowlah: By appointment

Booking Your Baby's Baptism
If this is your first child or you are yet to attend a Baptism Preparation Course, please ring the Parish office on 9949 4455 or email
Baptism Preparation Courses are held regularly at St Kieran’s Church after 9.30am Sunday Mass.

If you have previously completed a Baptism Preparation Course simply ring or email the Parish Office organise a date for your child's Baptism.

In our Diocese of Broken Bay the Sacrament of Baptism involves:

Baptism Preparation Course
Parents attending the course prior to the day of Baptism. 
This is a one off course, free of charge and runs for approximately 90 minutes.  This is not necessary if you have attended a course for an older sibling.

Welcoming & Presentation
Parents attend a weekend Mass, generally one to two weeks before the Baptism date, for a welcoming/presentation ceremony for your child.
This brief ceremony happens just after the Homily.

Day of Baptism
On the day of Baptism, we ask parents to dress their child in white and to bring a white candle.  You may bring your own candle or purchase a decorated one from the parish office for $15
It is customary to make a donation to the Priest on the day of Baptism, this is voluntary and at your discretion.

If your family reside in another parish, you are asked to have your local Parish Priest sign a Local Parish Permission Form

Choosing Godparents
"Parents and Godparents, keep the flame of faith alive in the heart of your child and when the Lord comes, may you go out to meet Him."
(Final exhortation in the Rite of Baptism)Understanding Christian Baptism

 For some, it is a deep and life-long bond, for others merely a passing honour. During the ceremony, the Godparents are asked: "Are you ready to help these parents in their duties as Christian parents?" No shallow question ... no small responsibility. In choosing, you are looking for a mature member of the Catholic Church, one who has received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) and has attained the age of 16 years.

Please ensure:
1. that at least one Godparent has received Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, is a practicing Catholic and is over the age of 16 years.
2. that the Godparent(s) be present so that they can make their commitment publicly.
3. that they be examples to the child of what Christian life is.

The word 'Baptism' comes from a Greek word that means to 'plunge' or 'immerse'. To 'plunge' someone in water represents the person dying, being buried and resurrecting with Christ as a 'new creature.' (C.C.C. # 1214) Some call this Sacrament 'the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit' because Baptism results in a new birth of water and the Spirit. Without it, no one can enter the Kingdom of God. [Jn. 3:5] (C.C.C. # 1215)

Infant Baptisms
From the earliest times, the Church, to which the mission of preaching the gospel and of baptising was entrusted, has baptised children as well as adults. Our Lord said: "Unless a person is reborn in water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." The Church has always understood these words to mean that children should not be deprived of baptism, because they are baptised in the faith of the Church. This faith is proclaimed for them by their parents and godparents, who represent both the local church and the whole society of saints and believers. As parents, you rightly rejoice in the birth of your child. God has blessed you with the precious gift of a child and now you want nothing short of the best for him or her. In requesting your child for Baptism, you are formally requesting his/her entry into God's family. The local Christian community or parish is God's family as far as each of us is concerned. Hence, it is fitting that the baptism of your child should take place in your own parish church with as many people as possible present to welcome the new Christian. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, your child will become a child of God and a sharer in God's life.

Baptism marks the beginning of this new life. It is the first step. At the very beginning of the ceremony, you will be addressed as follows: "Parents, you have asked to have your child baptised. In doing so, you are accepting a responsibility for training this child in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring the child up to keep God's commandments, as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour.

Do you understand clearly what you are undertaking?" The decision to have your baby baptised must come only after serious consideration. Why?

* Baptism does not end once the celebration is over.
* Nor is Baptism something which pertains to the child alone: the parents are involved.
* It is through the parents that the child will come to know the love of God.
* It is through the parents that the child will learn to go beyond the family circle and become involved with the larger community.

Further Reading:

Preparing for Baptism (PDF 48.3KB)
Being a Godparent (PDF 54.3KB)
Celebrating a Baptism (PDF 45.5KB)