Baptism

How to have your child baptized at St. Joseph's

Step 1 - Schedule the Baptism

All baptisms st St. Joseph’s are scheduled first come first serve by calling the parish office during normal business hours (Mon-Fri 8:30-3:30). Baptisms are scheduled one family at a time on Sunday’s at 1:30pm or 2:30pm.  Saturdays can be scheduled at various times as well if needed.

To schedule you will need the following information:

  • Parent’s and child’s names
  • Child’s birth date (and a copy of the birth/adoption certificate if the parents are not married.)
  • Parents address, phone number, email, etc.
  • Parent’s religion
  • Number of people you expect to attend (including photographers, etc.)
  • If the child is adopted, a copy of the adoption certificate is required.
Step 2 - Register with FORMED

Baptism preparation is now conducted predominantly on-line.  To access the preparation videos you must register with Formed.  This is entirely free and only required your name and email for access.

  • Go to FORMED.org
  • Click the “Sign In” button
  • Click “I belong to a parish or organization”.
  • Enter our zip-code (08244) in the parish field.
  • Select our church and click “Next”
  • Enter your name and email and click “Sign Up”

When you complete registration, the following videos will be accessible (plus many more you may be interested in).

Step 3 - Complete Baptism Preparation

Parents should watch the three videos above.  (They are also available in Spanish here.)

As you watch the videos please jot down any questions you have and send them in an email to baptism@stjosephsomerspoint.org and our deacon will get back to you.

Ideally both parents should watch the videos.  We recommend that godparents watch the videos as well.  For those unable to watch the videos for some reason, you may schedule an in-person session with our deacon at baptism@stjosephsomerspoint.org as well.

Step 4 - Choose Godparents

You should choose your child’s godparents carefully.  They will be asked  to make a promise to help you (the parents) raise your child in the Catholic Faith.  We try to respect family preferences but need to keep in mind this primary role of godparents. For this reason the church has a number of requirements for selecting godparents.  A person may only have one or two godparents (also called sponsors); if two are chosen, they must be male and female.

A godparent must be:

  • chosen by the parents,
  • have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role of godparent,
  • be at least 16 years of age, 
  • be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist, and
  • be neither the father nor the mother of the child.

A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided that there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness.  Questions should be directed to our deacon at baptism@stjosephsomerspoint.org.

Step 5 - Safety and Sanitizing Procedures

We hope to start the ceremony on time to prevent delays for families that may be following yours so please have all those attending be on time.  Enter through the main doors on Shore Road and look for the sign directing you to the side of the church you should sit on.  Please do not sit on the other side of the church so sanitizing procedures can go as planned.

The church is sanitized after each mass and after the baptisms.  The early baptism uses one side of the church and the late baptism uses the other.  By separating families by side of the church we reduce the opportunity for contamination from one baptism to the next.

Fresh water is used for each baptism and the celebrant uses hand sanitizer when contacting the child (for example, anointing with oil or positioning the child for baptism.)  Please bring a clean towel to dry your child’s head after baptism.  The celebrant will wear a mask when the ceremony requires him to be near or contact the child.