Sacraments

Baptism

“Go forth and baptize all the nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” So said our Lord and the Church has been doing it ever since. The Sacrament of Baptism, subject to the requirement of Canon Law, is open to all adults (see Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults – R.C.I.A.) and to children who have at least one practicing Roman Catholic parent.


The following applies to child's baptisms:
Both parents (whether married or not) have to consent to the child’s baptism. One of the parents, at least, must be a practicing Roman Catholic.

If the parents are separated or divorced, both have to give consent to the baptism, unless just one has full and singular legal custody (court order). A guardian having full legal custody (court order) may apply to have a child baptized if one of its biological parents or the guardian is Roman Catholic.

There has to be a godfather and a godmother (or at least one of them). One at least has to be Roman Catholic, the other, if from another denomination can be a Christian witness. In the event the godparents cannot attend the baptism, the parents may appoint proxies (one of whom at least shall be Roman Catholic). Godparents shall be at least 16 years of age.

Parents who have not previously done so (e.g., this is their first child) are required to attend a Baptismal Preparation Class and will also receive a home visit at a convenient time.

Parents residing in another parish (whether within the Diocese of London or another Diocese) would need to have some good reason to wishing to have their child baptized in Stratford (e.g. grew up here, married here) and are required to provide a letter of permission from the pastor of the parish within which they currently reside and to undertake whatever preparation course/class  is required there.

Older children who have reached the age of reason, may, at the Pastor’s discretion, be directed to the R.C.I.A. process.

Baptisms are scheduled once a month, usually the third Sunday of the month at 12:45 p.m.  and are held alternatively at St. Joseph’s and Immaculate Conception Churches; odd months at St. Joseph’s, even months at Immaculate Conception. Our practice is to limit the number of baptisms to six at each ceremony, so it is good to book early if you have a particular month or church in mind. Baptism preparation classes are usually held once a month on the second Tuesday starting at 7:40 p.m. and last for about an hour. They are in the meeting room of the same church being used that month for baptisms.

Applications:
To arrange for the baptism of a child the application should be made either in person at St. Joseph’s Church office or by phoning the Church Secretary at 519-271-6722 extension 0 during office hours.