The following comes from a March 12 Inland Catholic Byte article by Andres Rivera:
FONTANA/RIALTO — In an effort to respond to the needs of the community, St. John XXIII parish has eliminated fees for families seeking to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.
“For families that make excuses not to come to church, money should not be one of them,” said Father Cletus Imo, administrator of the Fontana-Rialto parish. “I see this is as a pastoral need. We need to make sure the doors are open for everyone and Baptism is a door to the faith.”
Two incidents led Father Imo to make the change, he said. A few months ago, he spoke to a family with three children who were not baptized. When he asked why this was so, the parents responded they could not afford to baptize their children.
“When I told him not to worry about the fee, just to call the church office and make the arrangements I saw the joy in his face,” Father Imo said, referring to the father of the children.
When asked if the removal of baptismal fees should be done at every church, Father Imo feels the decision should be based on the needs of the community.
Outstanding! We should all ask ourselves what are the doors that we have closed that keeps people from walking into our Church, and then seek to open them and welcome in the stranger.
YFC, all strangers are welcome in the Catholic Church.
All Strangers and those Catholics who choose to live in Mortal Sin – – – are NOT welcome to receive Holy Communion.
All Catholics should be OUTRAGED when anyone commits SACRILEGE against the Body and Blood of our Lord !
CCC: ” 1451 Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place.
Contrition is “sorrow of the soul
and detestation for the sin committed,
together with the resolution not to sin again. ”
CCC: ” 1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace.
Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.”
CCC: ” 1355 … Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist
no one may take part in it unless he
believes that what we teach is true,
has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth,
and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.”
CCC: ” 1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important.
So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult on the road of Christian life.
Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). ….”
CCC: ” 2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. …… He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who disciplines his son will profit by him.
Thank you Miss Hospitality!
why don’t they just admit that pope francis blew their cover when he denounced fees for sacraments months other california parishes charging fees. i never knew it was happening here. i had only heard of it in countries where extremely low, almost non-existent priestly salaries were the motivation.
Catholic parents have the duty to get their children baptized, period. Any priest worth his vocation would do it for free. Perhaps the real stumbling block for parents is the inability to afford a fancy baptismal garment or a party afterwards. Too bad, the children are always the ones to suffer the folly of the parents.
Fees for baptism? Are you kidding me?
There is no cost for baptism.
Clicking on the link, it says the parish was charging $40 for a preparation class and the service.
Most places just have you donate what you wish. Some will suggest a donation but it not required.
I agree. There is NO FEE for Baptism or any other Sacrament in any true Catholic Church.
Simony – buying and selling of Spiritual Things is a Mortal Sin. CCC # 2121, 2118.
An offering is accepted for materials used only. And should be paid IF one can afford it. Materials should be donated for the truly poor.
Those “poor” who can afford cell phones, HD TV’s, computers, Ipads, etc., can afford the offering.
God first, material stuff last.
Preparation for Baptism entails some accurate knowledge of the Faith – parents and godparents on behalf of their children,
and adults and godparents on their own behalf.
Sometimes people mix up the cost of their own unnecessary private shindigs with the Sacraments.
Exactly anonymous. The fee is free will donation. In fact they should never make anyone feel obligated. If anyone attends a parish that charges please send a letter to your bishop. Report these abuses.
A conductor I met while riding a train, who is a widow, wanted to baptize her child. She was told there was a fee, and that she had to take classes. The classes were always held when she was working, and as a result, her child was denied Baptism. Only a couple of Baptism ceremonies are held each year, and then there are at least twenty babies being Christened at each event.. In the ‘old days’ the parish priest would instruct the parents, when ever it was convenient for the couple to attend. Now some layman attempts to distort the faith while trying to explain away the necessity of Baptism. And then to charge fees. No wonder Baptisms are falling off in the Catholic Church.
There should be no fees for baptism. No obstacles to entrance into the Church for parents who cannot afford it. As long as parents are rightly disposed and firmly resolve to bring the child up in Catholicism, it should be entirely free. Certainly, a donation can be made if desired.
“Cletus”. That name rocks! I wish more people would name their kids that name. It seems like here in the US the only time one encounters that name is in the deep south, and it sadly has the connotation of dumb rednecks. But actually, it is a version of “Paracletus” which is the first name given by Our Lord to the Holy Spirit. So the next time some liberal feminist nun tries to call the Holy Spirit “Sophia” and refer to Him by feminine pronouns, you can counter by this argument.
Jay S. I am a Northerner, and always have been a Northerner. I like what you said, except for the term “dumb rednecks”. Would you call Fr. Cletus a racial slur? I think not. So please show the same respect for those people in the South, ignorant though some might be. We are all ignorant about something. No one has super intelligence in everything.
Huh??? I’ve catered a lot of baptism receptions. As far as I know the family MAY make a donation to the parish and/or give a gift of cash to the priest or deacon. If some parishes a have a fee (“no cash no sacrament”) Pope Francis ought to get on their case and make them knock it off.
There is an excuse not to baptize your child – IF you do not choose to raise him in the Catholic Faith.
There is parental responsibility along with Baptism of infants and children.
It occurs to me to question whether we are talking about a ‘Simple Baptism’, which In my admittedly limited knowledge of the Sacrament – I had thought required little more than Anointing with Water in the Name of The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit…?
AND – a full on Baptism Ceremony including guests and pictures and refreshments at the reception and other trappings of a larger ceremony, which does take a financial toll on Parish Resources (like water, paper…) and facilities?
Perhaps it is poorly Catechized Folklore that I picked up somewhere, including the notion that even in the Absence of a Priest or Holy Water – but ‘In Extremis’ (say when delivering a newborn in the field during a medical emergency, as Firefighters & Medics often do) it was possible to have a Valid Baptism for the Child, ‘presuming they were still alive’ – which was supposedly the key statement to make.
Hence – I suppose my question for those more familiar with the fundamentals, does not involve ‘regular practice’ but rather those extreme limited cases where a particular Dispensation May Be Made – and allow a Child to be Baptized by a Lay Believer, particularly when in grave condition?
Sooo… I would appreciate knowledgeable insights in to such peculiar situations.
In an emergency (danger of death) anyone can baptize, even a non-Christian. It is a valid Baptism.
It is only valid when done in the “Name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit”.
And the water has to flow slightly over the forehead.
You are correct, Michael McDermott. The Church also recognizes baptisms as valid from many protestant denominations, but not all. As an additional comment; I don’t like the new policy for baptism by which the parents have to go through a lengthy multi-session course before the child is baptized. Women have had children out of wedlock and were able to have there children baptized and some of these children have become saints. I think it is wrong that baptism is withheld from a infant because the parents don’t take a class. Baptism is primary among the seven sacraments, not only chronologically, but that it is the only sacrament necessary for enjoying the beatific vision
Parents can not raise their children in the Faith, if they do not accurately know the Faith.
If Parents have not read Sacred Scripture and the CCC, then they do not know the Faith.
CCC: ” 133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures.
Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. ”
CCC: ” 2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years.
This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel.
Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith.
Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.
The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents. “
That is not done where I live now or where I had my children baptized. There is one meeting with the priest.
I do not think they can require that.
I have heard that some priests will refuse baptism to a baby whose parents have no intention of living as Catholics (going to Mass etc).
I would think that you would want to baptize the baby no matter what but the rule is “The Church must have a well-founded hope that the baptism will bear fruit.”.
I understand why a parish may want to use the opportunity to refresh the parents understanding of the faith and adult catechesis is a good thing, but I do not believe it is licit to refuse or delay baptism unless the priest is sure that the baby will not be raised in the Faith.
Baptism should be made as simple as possible. A mother presents with a child after Sunday Mass and bingo, welcome one more to our Church. This thing of having to make appointments with parish secretaries and arrange courses for the Godparents and parents is a major cause of children lost to the Faith. If a child is brought there should be no questions asked. Once he/is in the Angels in heavens rejoice.
We are killing our Church with these silly rules. Have baby, will babtize.
One parish that will allow people to baptize from a local, Diocese approved latin mass site, charges them $150 to baptize their babies, even though the people provide their own Diocese approved Chaplain. This price is outrageous, but because the Catholic Church only allows baptisms in a regular parish, not at a Mass site, the people are stuck paying what to some is a very large amount of money.
Just a side note – the Latin Mass Chaplain that actually does the Baptisms refuses to accept even a stipend of any amount. Somehow along the way he got the idea that Baptizing is part of his priestly vocation…
Many long years ago, when I was born– there were NO FEES for a priest to perform any Church sacrament! (Of course– there were certain wedding and funeral costs– but no fees required, for a priest! People gave the priest whatever they could.) Babies of even the poorest families, were routinely baptized by the dozens! In those days, if you just had a baby, perhaps the priest was there, visiting the family, asking you when you wanted to get the new baby baptized! (The Church was always there, ready and eager to remind you of your religious needs and obligations– like it or not!!) We were also taught, all about emergency procedures, in case an unbaptized new baby was in danger of death– and no priest was near, to baptize the baby! The layman could perform this sacrament, in an emergency! Well—this article insults the Catholic Faith!! I hope it is a mistake!
Still no fee Linda Maria and there has always been donations though. This article is written in a way that causes hysteria. That is why I urge anyone to report any abuses. But over all there are no fee’s, some parishes do give a suggested donation idea but if one feels obligated and feel that they where pushed, then report it. That is all. Notice that good holy Catholic families usually give a donation because they are appreciative of their parish and their priests, they give it with love and offer it up to our Lord in gratitude.
To those who understand the importance of Baptism, nothing will stop them from baptizing their children, not even a supposedly fee, because if people can afford to keep their cell phones, buy expensive coffee etc, a small donation to their parish for this precious sacrament, is nothing!
When Pope Francis speaks on certain issues, he is addressing the church in the whole world, perhaps particularly in Buenos Aires, his last experience. Some of what he says, regarding excessive fees, delays for sacraments, services, annulments, etc., lies outside the U.S., and certainly outside the diocese of San Diego. We’re well beyond those particular situations in my experience.
While the church offers sacraments for free, many faithful attach their own large and costly parties to the sacrament. the PARTY is what they cannot afford and why they delay, but don’t state it here. Only a priest with many years of experience could tell you this, so you just aren’t living in the theoretical of your mind and how you think things should be, but understand the reality of church experience.
I have always offered free matrimony in any daily Mass, free baptism on frequent and regular schedule. When asked what the donation was, the response was what the typical person gave to holy Church on such a joyous occasion in thanksgiving to God and for the continuing evangelization. What was given to the Church was accepted, and frequently very generous.
Some insist on certain dates and times, a special and elaborate and expensive ceremony. I have asked for a specific donation for the church when an elaborate private ceremony is demanded to accompany the sacrament. The parish receives the stipend for its ongoing expenses and ministry. (People often donate more on this occasion than they do all year long or years long, even those who are not poor).
The cleric receives NOTHING for baptism, and in the diocese of San Diego he receives, from the couple’s donation no matter how large, $30.00 as a stipend for all the meetings with the couple and the ceremony.
Really? This is news to me.
Twenty years ago when my husband and I still went to the Novus Ordo Mass we had to take 3 classes in our diocese before we could have our daughter baptized. These classes were done by lay people. Imagine my shock when we went to the first class when I saw our financial advisor was the person teaching this class. But that was not the most shocking thing of the evening. What was shocking was when he told the class to NOT be in a hurry or worry about getting our kids baptized because it is not necessary and God will take care of the baby if the baby died before he/she was baptized. That, as I said, was 20 years ago. I can just imagine what is being said at these types of classes today!
We have just one required meeting with the pastor. He told us the requirement was instituted because so many people who don’t go to church request baptism for their children.
Ive been asked to be godmother of 3. All different years. The last one was last year. On all 3 baptisms not once was i asked to take classes. We just met with the pastor from the ordinary form parish and the priests made sure that we were Catholics in good standing. That we understood what the faith teaches. It was a beautiful experience. Faithful and holy. No abuses. No fees where pushed on anyone either.
See Code of Canon Law regarding Baptism. 849 – 878
Includes but is not limited to:
” Can 851 .2 the parents of an infant to be baptized and those who are to undertake the function of sponsor are to be instructed properly on the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations attached to it.
The pastor personally or through others is to take care that the parents are properly instructed through both pastoral advice and common prayer, bringing several families together and, where possible, visiting them.”
” Can. 868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:
1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;
2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion;
if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason. ”
The only exception is when an infant is in danger of death.
“Can. 865 §1. For an adult to be baptized, the person must have manifested the intention to receive baptism,
have been instructed sufficiently about the truths of the faith and Christian obligations, and have been tested in the Christian life through the catechumenate.
The adult is also to be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.”
The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism.
St. Ambrose of Milan
Just as a man cannot live in the flesh unless he is born in the flesh, even so a man cannot have the spiritual life of grace unless he is born again spiritually. This regeneration is effected by Baptism: “Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” [Jn 3:5].
St. Thomas Aquinas
That picture shown of the baby being baptized is Pope Benedict XVI baptises a newborn baby in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel!
“Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them.”
St. Hippolytus of Rome (“The Apostolic Tradition,” 215 A.D.)
“Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous”
Origen (Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248])