Rite of welcome - baby baptism?

We just moved to a new town and have been visiting several local parishes. We have two children that need to be baptized, one 18 months and one 6 months. Well, it turns out that our new parish won’t just baptize our two children - even though our two older children were both baptized in our old parish. We went to classes for our first child, she was baptized without any hoopla, and when our second arrived, they just scheduled a date and baptized him.

Now this new parish says we need to go through more classes, and go through the rite of welcoming and some other rites before they are ever baptized. We just want our kids baptized. We understand our responsibilities regarding formation of the children, and just want them baptized ASAP. Anyone know anything about this that can help out?

Thank you and God bless.

The “Rite of Welcoming” is part of RCIA, where candidates who have been baptized in another faith are welcomed. This would certainly not apply to the unbaptized infant children of a Catholic family.


I understand requiring parents to take classes – that seems very common. But the Rite of Welcoming is part of RCIA. Perhaps someone misunderstood and thought the children were much older?

Do you mean that you, the parents, are not Catholic yet and the pastor wants you to become Catholic before baptizing your infant children?

The OP’s religion is listed as “returning to Catholicism”, so there may be something that the pastor wants the parents to do before he can be reasonably sure that the child will be raised Catholic. But there are no preliminary rites that are required before a child is presented for Baptism, and a child should be baptized as soon as possible after birth, so adding unnecessary hoops is contrary to the mind of the Church. My guess is the pastor is trying to establish a “founded hope” that the child will be raised Catholic, as is his duty under Canon Law.

Oh no. We are catholic. Our first two children were baptized catholic. This is just something this parish does. They had a group of families come through with their babies a few weeks ago. they had them at the door of the church, had them all state the babies names, asked what they wanted for them, had them process in, then anointed them with oil, and that was it. No baptism. That is next time I guess.


Then he had the congregation raise their hands and bless the babies, and everyone gave a rousing round of applause.

The parents are all attending classes in the first Monday the month.

I’ve never heard of anything like this before. I did t know if it is new from the USCCB, or just what this parish does.

We have four children, two baptized, two not. We have been Godparents twice. I have never see it broken up like this before.

That returning to Catholicism was from 8 years ago. I’ve never changed it.

I have never heard of anything like that either. It sounds like he just decided to celebrate the rite of infant baptism in stages over time like adult baptism is. That is not appropriate and has never been the practice of the Church. The rite is laid out in stages, but it is to be celebrated in one ceremony.

:smiley: :thumbsup:

The part at the church door IS part of the baptismal rite – this parish is just spreading the rite over a couple of Sundays. I’ve seen that before although I’m not sure that this is a licit way of doing things. As far as the course goes, we also insist that new parishioners do it since we have no way of knowing if they’ve done it before.

The new parish may be looking for some verification of your resolve to raise your children up in the Faith. If your new parish is larger, it is possible that they have more established rules that everyone must go through, regardless of their previous activity in the church, just because it is more difficult to track who has how much formation or resolve.

You would have to ask them to explain the reason why the process is so complex. Ask the pastor if they are unable to explain the reason (“that’s just the way it is” is not a suitable response).

There. I just did!

I recall a parish in our diocese used to do that. They divided the Rite of Infant Baptism into several parts about a week or more apart. Eventually the bishop caught on and put a stop to it. You may want to inquire at the chancery about this,

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