I have a question as to baptizing a child (age 7), whose parents are not Catholic, but whose great-grandparents are (She and the child’s mother and grandmother live with the great-grandparents -mother has custody.).
The 7-year old is in the first grade at a Catholic school (attended in kindergarten also). Previously her mother did not want her baptized Catholic, but has recently signed a letter giving permission for her daughter to be baptised. However, the great-grandmother (who has been a great friend of mine for 53 years) is the one looking into the particulars -speaking with the priest, choosing God parents, and arranging everything. The child’s mother doesn’t want to be involved with this, but signed the permission letter over a month ago. The great-grandmother is dragging her feet to schedule the baptism. She is a devote Catholic and one of the sweetest, loving persons that you would want to meet. Unfortunately -it seems that she is by nature late with EVERYTHING (going to work, Mass, meeting someone for lunch, etc -). I tell her if it were possible to be late for her own funeral that she will,) And and she is not just a few minutes late) and procrastinates a lot. Other than telling our pastor the situation and getting the permission letter signed, she has done nothing further to get the child baptized -sort of dropped it with the God parents also.
I asked her why she didn’t go ahead and schedule the baptism (Father wants to have the Baptism during the children’s Mass on Mondays so that the other school children can witness this -my friend likes this idea.) and she always say, “I need to do it.” I reminded her, since I know her grand-daughter (the child’s mother) that she may want to go ahead and schedule the Baptism before the child’s mother changes her mind (which she is very capable of doing if she gets angry about any situation.). She just replies, “I know it.”
I believe that one reason that she is not “in a hurry” to proceed is that she told me years ago that she Baptized her great-daughter (this child) in the bathtub when she was a baby since her mother wouldn’t let her become a Catholic. She believes that is just as good as her being Baptized in church. This is my concern -and if I am incorrect, please let me know:
First of all, it can’t be a Sacrament of Baptism if she was baptized in the tub (She was not in danger of death, etc.) and not by a Priest or Deacon, can it? And secondly, I do not believe that she will be allowed to make her First Communion or Confession without the Church having a record of her being baptized as a Catholic.
I know that you cannot make anyone do anything that they don’t want to do. However, I know my friend wants to do this (She just is slooooow with everything), but believes since she baptized her 6+ years ago in the bathtub that she is baptized and the rest is just a formality.
She and I talk regularly and I just need to know if I am correct on the above concerns or not. I can lovingly “stay on her” to do this if she knows that she must be baptized in the church -even though she was baptized in the bathtub by her.
I will appreciate your feedback. Thanks so much!