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Baptism at Old St. Mary’s 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 [children] of God, we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission. Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and the word.

©Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part 2, Section 2, Chapter 1, Article 1

We are excited to help you with the baptism of your child. Baptism brings new life into the Church and the parish. Below is a list of frequently asked questions to help you. If we did not address your specific question, please contact Maryellen Harrington at She will be able to assist you.


Frequently asked questions

1. How do I get my child Baptized?

To request baptism of your child(ren), please fill out the registration form at the bottom of this page.  We also have a booklet and paper application form for baptism that describes the basic obligations and requirements for Catholic Baptism.  You will find the booklet in the Parish Commons.  You can complete the paper form and return it to the Church.  Whichever form you use, online or paper, Maryellen Harrington will contact you about the required class for parents which takes place the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM.   The class for September 2019 is cancelled. If you need to attend a class before October, please contact Maryellen Harrington at or 312.922.3444, ext. 26.   Please note, it is not necessary to wait until your child is born to attend the class.

2. Where and when do Baptisms take place?

Baptisms are usually celebrated on the second, fourth and fifth Saturdays of the month. The Rite begins during the Saturday 5:00 PM Mass and is completed after Mass at the Baptism Font.
Please do not make travel arrangements for other family members or godparents before confirming the date of the baptism with us following completion of the class by the parents.

3. Can I schedule a private baptism or a date other than the regular schedule?

Yes. Once you’ve completed the Baptism preparation class, please speak to one of the priests about scheduling a date.

4. We have a new baby. We attended the Baptism Preparation Class at Old St. Mary’s when our older child was baptized. Do we need to attend the class again?

Depending on when you attended, you may not need to complete the class again. Please complete the Infant Baptism Request Form and Maryellen Harrington will contact you regarding the need to attend another class and scheduling a date for the Baptism of your child.

5. Who can be a Godparent?

Because of the importance of their role, baptismal godparents must be:

• Fully initiated Catholics (that is, they must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist),
• Be at least 16 years of age,
• Be practicing Catholics who lead a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken,
• If married, they should have been married in a Catholic ceremony. (The Code of Canon Law, c.874).

When choosing a godparent for your child, it may be helpful to consider the following:

• Is this person actively practicing his or her faith? Does he or she worship at Sunday Eucharist regularly? (This is the most important question to ask. If the person selected is not an active, practicing Catholic, he or she will not be able to fulfill effectively the role of godparent.)
• Does this person live close enough, or will this person have sufficiently frequent contact, to get to know your child and play an active role in your child’s faith life?
• Does this person know enough about the Catholic Church and Catholic faith to be able to teach your child about it?
• If something happened to you, would this person make sure your child was raised as an active member of the Catholic Community?

6. How many people can I name as Godparents for my child?

Only one godparent is required. However, if you wish two individuals to serve as godparents, one must be male and one female.

We understand, for a variety of reasons, new parents want to name multiple individuals as Godparents. Please know that if you desire to have multiple individuals serve as Godparents, only 2 names with be shown on the certificate, one male and one female. If multiple individuals are of the same sex, only 1 name will be shown on the certificate.

7. Can a non-Catholic be a Godparent?

A baptized non-Catholic is not eligible to serve as a baptismal godparent. However, he or she may serve as a Christian witness. The Christian witness participates in the celebration and stands alongside the godparent during the baptismal ceremony.

8. What if a Godparent cannot come to the actual celebration?

If a godparent is not able to be present, that godparent may request a proxy to stand in his/her place.

9. Can my child be baptized if my spouse and I were not married in the Church?

Parents who present a child for baptism should be active in the practice of their faith.
Your marriage is a tremendous example to your children. If you were married outside the Church, please speak to one of our Priests to have your marriage validated/blessed by the Church.

10. Who do I contact to obtain permission to schedule a baptism at Old St. Mary’s to be performed by a priest who is a relative/friend of the family?

If the priest is a priest in good standing with the Archdiocese of Chicago, then there is no additional paperwork. Please contact one of the priests to check date availability and make the arrangements for use of the Church.

If the priest is from another diocese, the process of approval could take a little longer as there are forms that need to go to the Archdiocese for approval before a priest outside the diocese can baptize within the Archdiocese of Chicago at Old St. Mary’s.

11. Is there a cost to have your child baptized?

It is traditional to give a stipend to the Church of $50-$100 according to one’s means for baptisms that take place at Old St. Mary’s. The donation should be made at the time of the class.

12. If I am not having my child baptized at Old St. Mary’s but want to take the Baptism class, is there a fee?

If parents are requesting this class for baptism elsewhere, there is a fee of $25 for the class. Checks should be made payable to Old St. Mary’s.

13. Do Godparents need to take the Baptism class?

Although we do not require that godparents attend this class, we are happy to welcome godparents who need this class for baptisms elsewhere. There is a fee of $25 payable at the time of the class. Checks should be made payable to Old St. Mary’s.

14. I have been asked to be a Godparent? Is there anything I need to do?

Contact the parish where the baptism will take place and ask what their requirements are. If you need to take a baptism class, you are welcome to come to Old St. Mary’s class on the first Wednesday of each month. Please complete the Pre-Registration Form below indicating the month you will attend. If there is paperwork that needs to be filled out by the pastor or his delegate, affirming that you have received all your sacraments and/or that you are a parishioner of Old St. Mary’s, please complete the Godparent/Sponsor Certificate Request Form. Click here to go to the form: Godparent/Sponsor Letter Form Request

15. I am an adult. What do I need to do if I want to be baptized?

The process for baptism for adults is through the Rite of Initiation for Adults (RCIA). You can find out more by visiting our
RCIA page.

16. If I am a registered parishioner at another Church, can my child be baptized at Old St. Mary’s.

If you are a registered parishioner at another Church, we would need an official letter granting permission for your child to be baptized outside of your own parish.

17. How early do I need to arrive on the day of the Baptism?

If the Baptism is taking place at the 5 PM Saturday Mass, we request that parents, the child and Godparents arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of Mass. In considering your travel time, please allow for traffic congestion because of football games in the fall, summer activities, and weather conditions. A hospitality minister will be in the Commons to greet you.

If the Baptism is on day and/or time other than at the Saturday Mass, parents, child and Godparents should arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled time for the Baptism. The same traffic congestion issues apply. The priest performing the Baptism will greet you.

Form: Pre-Registration

You may fill out a Pre-Registration baptismal form here. Someone will be in contact with you as soon as possible.