Baptism in the Catholic Church

"Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission."

- Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213

  • A one-hour Baptism class is required for the parents of children to be baptized. The class includes an overview of what Baptism, what it does, how God and the Church want to help parents, preparation for the actual ceremony and a review of what is required. Parents are encouraged to attend the class as soon as possible. To register, call the Rectory Office at 716-625-8594.
  • Deacon Steve celebrates Baptisms usually on Saturday at 11:00 AM. There are exceptions to this depending on the circumstances of the family.
  • If you are interested in having your child baptized at Good Shepherd Church; Pendleton or Clarence Center site, please contact Anne Whitehead in the parish office at 716-625-8594.

Requirements of Canon Law for being a Godparent in the Catholic Church

Canon Law #874, to be admitted to the role of godparent, a person must:

  1. be designated by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the priest or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
  2. have completed their 16th year;
  3. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken;
  4. not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; (This means that if the intended sponsor is married, this marriage must be a recognized valid marriage in the Catholic Church. Catholics who are either civilly married, married by common law or living together are not in a valid Church marriage, and thus, by law, have a canonical penalty imposed upon them. The penalty is that the person may not participate in the full sacramental life of the Church. Specifically, they may not receive communion, nor may they act as a godparent at Baptism.)
  5. Not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.
  6. There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.
  7. God parents need to send Good Shepherd a letter of recommendation from the parish they are registered at. The letter must be received at least one week before the scheduled baptism and can be sent through the mail, email, fax, dropped off in person, or dropped in the Sunday collection basket. If the selected godparents are members of Good Shepherd, a phone call should be made to Anne in the parish to confirm that they meet the requirements. For more information you can read "The Role of Godparents" (catholic

Requirements for Parents

  1. Baptism is perhaps the greatest gift parents can offer their child. In order for a child to be baptized Canon Law instucts that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion. Therefore, both parents should consent to the baptism according to the ritual. If such hope about a child being raised in the faith is truly lacking the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this. In the circumstance that the parents are not married in the Catholic Church, Canon Law provides further instruction: "That the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent." (CIC 868)
  2. Baptizing a baby whose family is from outside the parish: They must meet all of the above requirements. They must have a letter giving them permission from their parish to baptize their child at Good Shepherd.

Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church 716-625-8594