Experience and advice on bapitism?


I am a practicing Catholic, who was baptized as an infant and raised in a mixed faith home and then confirmed as an adult. I was married in June to a non-Catholic (former Mormon who left the church at a very young age, and while spiritual, is not interested in being part of a specific religion).

I spoke to my husband before we got got engaged about being married in the church and having any children baptized and raised Catholic, as it was very important to me. He said he was fine with both of these sacraments.

We did get married in the church and we are now pregnant. However, he recently told me that he did not want to be part of the baptism and that he didn’t realize he would need to stand in front of the parish as part of this ceremony. I’m a little confused as a Mormon baptism has a similar process of declaring before a group your intentions and also because he was fine to do this for our wedding. He also said that he was not sure he wanted our child raised Catholic. This is obviously devastating to me. I thought we were in agreement. On a side note, his mother and family, who are practicing Mormons, are all in support of the baby being baptized and raised Catholic.

I have no idea what to do. I have asked the baptism coordinator at my church for feedback and am considering speaking to a priest. If anyone has experience to share or thoughts or prayers, I would very much appreciate your response.

Thank you.


Hi there
Maybe will it help if you explain how exactly a Baptism works? Or if he can attend the baptism preparation class with you and you can get special counsel from your priest?

My husband is not religious and hasn’t been baptised and he also has reservations about “standing up at the front” as he says he has no clue what is going on.

It wouldn’t be fair for your marriage for your husband to tell you before you got married that he was ok with raising your kids Catholic and then he changes his mind… Although it can happen…

What are his exact reservations about having his kids raised Catholic?

There is no rule, as far as I am aware, that he HAS to stand up at the front for the baptism. Maybe he can sit in the first pew? I am a Godmother of a Ukrainian Orthodox child and when I was at the baptism, I was the one who held her and the parents actually sat down on the pews… but all churches seem to do the baptisms differently.

I say learn more about what happens in your specific parish and discuss with your husband and be as open with each other as possible.

Does he attend mass with you? Mine attends about 2/3rds of the time these days… he has no issues with mass but he will not be baptised and “convert” at this point.

Definitely prayers for you! And your baby - congratulations!


There is NOTHING in the rite that says a parent HAS to stand up in front of everyone. First of all, most baptisms are small, family affairs with a handful of people who know you anyway, so no big deal. But…even so, until quite recently, here in Britain and in my native Holland anyway, a baby would be baptised almost immediately, so dad could be at work, mom in the hospital and only the godparents and the priest were actually prsent at the baptism (with the godmother holding the baby). Even now, it regularly happens that dad is away on a tour of duty and mom is there with the godparents,so…if your dh has a serious problem with standing up there, don’t worry: he doesn’t have to! And, as a non-Catholic he does NOT have to make ANY promises, you and the godparents can do that!

I know a family where the father was Protestant and refused to enter a Catholic church, so he only went to the party afterwards! The priest was fine with that!

However, YOU as the Catholic have a duty to see your child is baptised and raised Catholic, he was made aware of this duty you have when he married you, and cannot now say ‘I changed my mind’. He doesn’t have to take ANY part in the baptism, but it is YOUR duty to see the child does get baptised. That’s Church rules!

Anna x


My father did not attend the baptisms of 3 out of his seven children. He only attended the first four, as he as also having his marriage convalidated that evening. He also did not attend 5 out of 7 first communions and confirmations (He found excuses to “take a break” on those two he did attend, as well as excuse himself from 3 Church weddings, attending 3 out of 5). He attended, by my count, 5 out of 13 grandchildren’s baptisms, and 2 confirmations, no first communions. It didn’t make any of the sacraments in question invalid.

Don’t overthink this. Go to the baptism class, and if he won’t go with you, go anyway. Give him the option of going or not, but make it clear the baptism WILL happen. Invite his mom and sister to attend, and any celebration after.


since you ask, this is an area that requires marriage counselling because basically the communication on this issue that should have happened, or that you thought had happened, during marriage prep, didn’t. this is major and goes beyond whether to baptize your infant, it is an area of disagreement that threatens the entire fabric of your marriage, and should be dealt with sooner, not later.


Anna , here in the US baptisms tend to be large group events where several babies are baptized .


i think PuzzleAnnie is onto something big here. one of the criteria for a valid marriage in the Church is to baptize children and raise them in the Faith.

if Husband didn’t know this or really didn’t mean his agreement, this could be an impediment to the validity of the marriage.

if it’s merely a misunderstanding that has arisen because Husband is worried about giving the impression of making a public statement that isn’t true (like “I’m a catholic guy having my baby baptized into my Faith”) then there are simple ways around it. like asking the pastor for an after-Mass baptism.


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