Guidance Re: My Son & Baptism, Please

He’ll be 6 next week. I’m Catholic, Dad is protestant, and son was never baptized because of this. I was baptized in the Faith at 2 weeks old, was a practicing Catholic for 23 years or so, left the church for a while, and came back a few years ago, after my son’s birth. Can he be baptized now? He goes to Catholic School, comes to mass with me a couple times a week, prays the rosary, etc…what is the general rule regarding a sitch like this? And what if my husband objects???

generally a child under the age of 7 is considered an infant. You would register at your parish, attend the next baptismal preparation classes, as will the prospective godparents, and baptize your child the next time your parish baptizes. the rules for godparents will be explained when you register.

Once the child reaches the age of reason, generally considered as age 7, he is considered an adult for the purposes of the sacrament of initiation, would go through the RCIA, in a class with others of his age group, go through the rites (adapted for children) in due course, and be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil, being baptized, confirmed and receive 1st communion. During the period of mystgogy following he would prepare for his first confession.

See your pastor first, then have an interview with whoever is in charge of religious education, either the Catholic school principal or the DRE. In our parish, unbaptized children may attend the school but are expected to come to RCIA classes through the parish, not the school. There is no problem with him attending Catholic school in the meantime, but they are usually not set up to provide the special preparation needed for RCIA.

at least one parent has to consent, please see your pastor without delay to discuss this aspect, as well as how to proceed.

Thank you! Thank you!

The tough part here is going to be convincing my husband. I don’t know if I would be, or should be, comfortable doing it without his consent (???).

Talk to your priest first, and get your metaphorical ducks in a row first. Then, you’ll know better how to approach your husband on the matter.

My cousin is going through this with her daughter. She is in Kindergarten (Catholic school, no less), and her hubby keeps making one excuse after another. She allowed him to allow religious neglect in her other children, with some disasterous results. This little one is a later-in-life baby, and she wants this one to have what she couldn’t offer the others, didn’t have the courage to offer the others. So, you are not alone.

If all goes well and your son will be baptized, I hope you are already bringing him to mass and are doing some form of catechesis at home with him.Remember, when you have your child baptized, you are making a committment to raise that child as Catholic. Both parents and godparents are asked this question as part of the rite. When you attend the baptism prep class, hopefully you will be instructed to prepare your son for the sacrament. Before the baptism, show him where the baptismal font is in church. Explain to him about the water being poured…or immersion depending on your church’s method…explain to him about the Holy oils used and walk him through the entire process. If you go to your local religious good store…usually they will have a child friendly coloring book, or golden book explaining what baptism is. Be sure and purchase it for him and go over it with him. Even though his age precludes him from attending a religious education class, you can be doing it at home with him already. I hope you have taught him how to make the sign of the cross, say the Our Father…etc…teach him about his guardian angel or read to him golden books on the story of Jesus. This Christmas, have a child friendly manger set…etc. All pf these are practical ways of teaching him about his faith. You have to image it…children learn by example. If you want him to be a faithful Catholic…You need to be one first and foremost. God bless you and your family.

Thanks, Bruno. As I mentioned in my initial post, my son attends Catholic school, mass with me at least twice a week, plus school mass. He prays the rosary with me (almost daily), and he’s learning the full mass in Latin as well, since I attend Latin mass on Sunday (regular mass the other 6 days of the week…communion only service on Monday). Confession is weekly, unless I need to go more often, and my son often comes with me. He attends “Sunday School,” even though kids that go to Catholic school aren’t required to attend that. I am teaching him about different types of prayer as well, he memorizes scripture (actually knows most of the 119th Psalm), learns about a saint-a-day, etc…in other words, he’s very exposed to Catholicism. He knows to cross himself, when to bow, when to genuflect, when to sit/kneel/stand, proper mass etiquette in general. He’ll even tell you that he “Crosses himself big” because St Christopher did it boldly and deliberately, and satan was afraid of it! lol

He just hasn’t been baptized, and he wants to be. He understands original sin, why we baptize, etc… He’s very old in his shoes, and I really believe he “gets it.” He’ll be 6 next week. :slight_smile:

Sounds like you are on the right track. Who knows maybe your little one will bring your spouse around by his own enthusiasm? God bless you all!

We do baptismal prep in our parish, and we recommend for parents two publications you may enjoy subscribing to…
One is Catholic Parent Magazine which can be found on the Our Sunday Visitor website. And the other is Faith and Family Magazine…in fact you can get a free issue just for registering.

Funny you should mention that…I was just thinking about that tonight. I know who I would want for his Godparents to be, and I think my husband would feel really left out of this “spiritual family” if he didn’t make an effort to understand what was happening and why. DH also attends mass with me on Sundays (even Latin mass which he understands even less of than the regular mass). Eventually he’s going to be so exposed to it, and schooled in it, that he’s going to entertain the thought of jumping on the train. I think that would be awesome. Also, if he understood WHY I believe some of the things I believe, he would understand why certain things are impt to me (that aren’t to him), and it could dramatically alter our marriage.

From Canon Law:
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;

It’s been almost 4 months since I started this thread, and just as I suspected, my husband wanted to “think about it,” a.k.a. ignore me and hope I’d forget. So now what? Do I proceed?

[quote=MamaSusie]It’s been almost 4 months since I started this thread, and just as I suspected, my husband wanted to “think about it,” a.k.a. ignore me and hope I’d forget. So now what? Do I proceed?

Yes call the Church and make the arrangements for a quiet private Baptism .

[quote=MamaSusie]It’s been almost 4 months since I started this thread, and just as I suspected, my husband wanted to “think about it,” a.k.a. ignore me and hope I’d forget. So now what? Do I proceed?

Would your husband allow your son to be baptized in his Protestant faith? If so, then do that. Continue on as you are with your son’s Catholic education and when he reaches the age of consent, he can convert. Until then, he will at least be baptized. In the meantime, maybe he can convince his father of his wishes himself.

I feel uncomfortable with the advice that says to go behind your husband’s back to do this. I would be perfectly open about your exploring this more deeply. I would have siad, Oh good, we can talk about it later, thats fine. I made an appointment with the priest on this day at this time. Would you like to come and speak with him about it too? I am sure he would be a wealth of knowledge and could answer any questions you might have.

With all due respect to all who have posted I strongly suggest you discuss this privately with a priest and refrain from taking advise from a public forum on such a serious matter.


[quote=MamaSusie]It’s been almost 4 months since I started this thread, and just as I suspected, my husband wanted to “think about it,” a.k.a. ignore me and hope I’d forget. So now what? Do I proceed?

You say your husband is protestant but you don’t say which denomination. And you’ve previously mentioned that your son wants to be baptized. Is your husband objecting to the whole idea of baptism for your son or is the problem that he doen’t want him baptized as a Catholic?

Since your son is going to a Catholic school and attends Mass with you I’m guessing the problem is that your husband has a problem with baptism in general. Is this the case? Perhaps because your husband thinks baptism is merely symbolic?

If so, I’m wondering what he says when your son expresses a desire for baptism. Your son may not be considered to have reached the age of reason as determined by traditional Catholicism but I was under the impression that some evangelical children are ‘saved’ and baptized as young as age three or four.

beckyann, that’s almost word for word what I told him.

Lighthouse…you’re right. This is the 2nd personal topic I’ve saught advice on, and I’ve been terribly disappointed both times. I’m 0 for 2. I will refrain for asking personal questions from now on.

No, SMHW, the husband doesn’t have a problem with Catholicism or baptism…he has a problem with making decisions about anything other than his job. I will talk with my priest. Thanks for your time, guys (gals).

I am sorry you are going through a difficult time with this situation.
I agree that taking advice from people on an internet forum can be fraught with danger; but it can sometimes help.
I know from personal experience, being ‘unequally yoked’ from a religious perspective, can be extremely difficult; but in your case (and mine as well), if you have a partner who will not fulfill the obligation to lead your family in the faith, then it must be up to you to fulfill this role. I’m not suggesting you not tell your husband that you are going to baptise your son in the Catholic faith; what I am saying is, that tell him (with all due respect) that your son wants this and spiritually, needs this; and you refuse to stand in his way on such an important matter.
Unfortunately, whether we like to or not, we have to go against our spouses wishes sometimes when we need to do what is right; but we must be upfront with our reasons for doing so.
I pray your husband awakes from his spiritual indifference soon. (I know I pray the same for my own dear husband.)
I pray the Holy Spirit guides you to say what you need to say to get through to your husband.

Your Sister-In-Christ

[quote=MamaSusie]No, SMHW, the husband doesn’t have a problem with Catholicism or baptism…he has a problem with making decisions about anything other than his job. I will talk with my priest. Thanks for your time, guys (gals).

I get the idea. Sounds like my father.

I can’t disagree with talking to your priest, but I still stick with letting your son tell his dad how much he wants to be baptized, how much he likes going to Mass, etc., etc… Dad may not be able to resist his baby boy.

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