My son who is Catholic has a six-year-old son by his girlfriend. They are living together and have no intentions of marrying. I would like my grandson to be baptized. How can I go about this? I am willing to undertake his religious education.
First, you will need to obtain the consent of your grandson’s parents, both to have the child baptized and for you to be his religious educator. As your grandson is nearing the age of reason – generally considered to be age seven – the child’s parents and you should also ascertain that the child is willing to be baptized. Then the parents will need to contact a parish and arrange for the baptism. The priest or deacon who performs the baptism will want evidence that the child will be raised within the Catholic faith. That is when the child’s parents can present you as willing to undertake the child’s religious education. Because grandparents are not prohibited from being godparents, you might offer to be the child’s godmother.
Here are the requirements for baptism from the Code of Canon Law:
§1 For an infant to be baptized lawfully it is required:
1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;
2° that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.
§2 An infant of Catholic parents, indeed even of non-Catholic parents, may in danger of death be baptized even if the parents are opposed to it (canon 868).