Infant and Youth Sacraments
Baptisms of Infants
Through baptism, we become part of the people of God and are called to lives of prayer and service. By having your child baptized, you are choosing to initiate them into the Christian way of life. Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation and formally brings a child into the embrace of the parish community.
Baptisms at Saint Cecilia
Baptism takes place once or twice a month on Saturday mornings at 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. and on Sunday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. We baptize a maximum of two children per rite. To reserve a date for your child’s baptism, please contact Mark Donohoe as soon as possible. We recommend that you inquire about booking at least four months in advance.
First-time parents/guardians are asked to participate in a baptismal preparation class to update their understanding of baptism and the significant responsibilities of Christian parenting. Baptismal preparation classes are held on the last Sunday of every month at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom.
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 Saturday of May. Children in the second grade are expected to attend weekly Faith Formation classes focused on preparing them to make these significant steps in growing their relationship with Jesus.
“The Good News is that God still loves the world through each one of you. You are God’s good news, you are God’s love in action.” – Mother Teresa
Along with baptism and Eucharist, the sacrament of confirmation is one of the three sacraments of initiation—confirmation completes and “confirms” the grace of baptism. At Saint Cecilia, confirmation is typically celebrated in the spring, with semi-monthly preparation classes for youth fourteen years of age and older. During confirmation, candidates are anointed with sacred chrism oil. This enriches them with the Holy Spirit and encourages them to go out into the world and spread the “Good News” of the Gospel walking with Jesus and his ethic of selfless love and goodness.
Please note: for adults who have not been confirmed, we offer a five-week Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) class that begins during Lent and culminates at our Easter Vigil. Please contact Scott MacDonald for more information about this class.
Children’s Faith Formation Coordinator
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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.
The church building 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).