Infant and Youth Sacraments
Baptism of Infants
What is Baptism?
Through baptism, we become part of the royal, priestly people of God, called to holy lives of prayer and service. At Saint Cecilia, the sacrament of baptism is celebrated communally, in the context of the Sunday Eucharist.
Baptism is first and foremost a sacrament of initiation. By deciding to have your child baptized, you are choosing to initiate him or her into the Christian way of life. Baptism is the way that a Catholic Christian officially and formally brings a child into the embrace of the parish community. For this reason, it is fitting that baptism occurs in the presence of this community on the first Sunday of the month at the 9:30 and 11:15 liturgies.
Baptism for the children of currently active, registered parishioners takes place on the first Sunday of the month at the 9:30 and 11:15 liturgies (except during the season of Lent). We baptize a maximum of two children per Mass. Parishioners also have the option of baptizing their children at a communal celebration (outside of Mass) held on the first Sunday of the month at 1:15 p.m.
First-time parents/guardians are asked to participate in a baptismal preparation class to update their understanding of baptism and the important responsibilities of Christian parenting. To schedule an initial interview and reserve a date for your child’s baptism, please contact Mark Donohoe by email or by calling the Parish Office. In order to secure the date you wish, we recommend that you inquire about booking at least two months in advance in order to leave time for your baptismal preparation class prior to the date. Baptismal preparation classes are held on the last Sunday of every month at 1:00 p.m.
Commonly Asked Questions
Are there any requirements in order to have my child baptized at Saint Cecilia Church?
Parents/Guardians are required to be registered parishioners at Saint Cecilia. There are a number of other circumstances in which a baptism might possibly take place at Saint Cecilia. Perhaps you have recently moved to Boston or are a former parishioner with ties to the parish. Maybe you have parents who are registered parishioners here. Or perhaps Boston is a convenient central location for family and friends coming from many directions. We are open to trying to accommodate you in these unusual circumstances. However, it is vastly preferable that you baptize your child in your own parish church. As non-parishioners, you would not have your child baptized during a Sunday liturgy since you have no current connection to the parish community. As an alternative, we celebrate baptism on the first Sunday of every month (except during the season of Lent) at 1:15 p.m. A maximum of four infants are baptized at one celebration.
Who can be a godparent?
Church law requires that there is at least one godparent for the child baptized. Godparents need to be active, practicing, and confirmed Catholics at least sixteen years of age.
Can a non-Catholic be a godparent?
No, only a Catholic can be a godparent because they are asked to promise to help support raising the child in the Catholic faith. A non-Catholic Christian can witness the baptism as long as there is one Catholic godparent. A non-baptized person cannot be a godparent or witness.
What if the godparents can’t come to the actual celebration?
You can have a proxy stand-in for the godparent(s). It is important to know this so that we can record the name of the proxy on the certificate.
Can I schedule a private baptism?
No, unless there is an exceptional circumstance. Baptism celebrates the initiation of the child into the parish community and it is very important that the community is present at the time of the celebration. If exceptional circumstances warrant a private baptism, you must procure the services of your own priest or deacon. A priest or deacon from another diocese or from a religious congregation must provide us with documentation of his good standing from his bishop or religious superior.
What information does the parish need to schedule a baptism?
Baptisms are recorded in our sacramental register. The information that we need for this permanent record is as follows:
- Baby’s full name
- Date of birth
- Father’s full name
- Mother’s full maiden name
- Godfather’s name
- Godmother’s name
If you would like more information or would like to register for a baptismal preparation class, please contact Mark Donohoe.
First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation
First Reconciliation & First Communion
At about age, seven children can begin to prepare to celebrate the sacraments of reconciliation and First Holy Communion. First reconciliation occurs on a Saturday morning in February and First Communion is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
The sacrament of confirmation is, with baptism and Eucharist, one of the three sacraments of initiation; confirmation completes and “confirms” the grace of baptism. Through the anointing with the sacred Chrism the baptized person is “enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit,” and more than ever “obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed” (Catechism 1285). Confirmation is typically celebrated in the spring, with semi-monthly preparation classes for youth fourteen years of age and older. For adults who have not been confirmed, we offer a five-week class beginning during the Easter season. Please contact Scott MacDonald for more information about this class.
“Holy 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 a sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”
The church is fully accessible by elevator at both the street level entrance on Belvidere Street (at the front of the building), and at the entrance on the corner of St. Cecilia Street and Scotia Street (the left side of the building).