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.