BAPTISM OF INFANTS AND CHILDREN

The Sacrament of Baptism for infants and children is administered on the first and third Sundays of each month immediately after the 11am Mass. Parents are required to attend a Baptism class. Godparents who do not belong to St. Philip Parish need a sponsor's certificate from the parish in which they are registered. Please call the Religious Education Office at 412-922-6388 to arrange the baptism and to receive further information.

ADULT BAPTISM

Adults normally are required to attend classes in our parish RCIA program. Baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil the evening before Easter Sunday.

SPONSOR CERTIFICATES

This is just a reminder that to be eligible to be a Godparent/Sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation you must be at least sixteen years of age and an active member of the parish. An active member is defined as one who is registered, attends Mass and is financially supportive of the parish and its programs, is confirmed and if married, is living in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.

GUIDELINES FOR CATHOLIC GODPARENTS/SPONSORS

When choosing godparents or sponsors for Baptism or Confirmation, please keep in mind the following:  Godparents/Sponsors must be at least 16 years of age, and be a baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic. They must lead a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith (including valid Catholic marriage). The mother or father cannot be the godparent/sponsor. 

For the Sacrament of Baptism: A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community (Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, etc.) may be admitted only as a Christian Witness (not a godparent) provided there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness (Code of Canon Law, cc.872-874).

Q: Why do Catholics baptize infants?

UNDERSTANDING OUR FAITH

A:  Fundamentalists believe that baptism is only a symbolic washing signifying that a person has accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. According to them, since an infant cannot accept Jesus as Lord and Savior (because the do not have the use of reason), baptism is meaningless for them. However, Jesus requires baptism for entering heaven (Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16). St. Paul tells us that all are born with Adam’s sin and thus need baptism (Rom 5:18-19). Jesus makes clear that children are not to be kept away from Him (Mk 10:14). The Apostles baptized entire households (Acts 16:15, 33; 1 Cor 1:16). This would include infants. No Bible passage prohibits infant baptism. The early Church Fathers were clear that the baptizing of infants was a practice that came from the Apostles themselves. That infants lack the use of reason does not prevent them from becoming part of the New Covenant through circumcision. This was done eight days after birth, long before the child could choose for himself or herself whether or not to be part of the Chosen People. Just as parents in the Old Testament supplied the decision for the child’s circumcision until he could confirm this decision at the age of reason, so in the New Testament parents stand in for the child at his baptism until they can confirm this decision at the age of reason.