Should I baptize my nephews myself?

My sister has put off baptizing her three boys. For no good reason really, just something she always meant to do but didn’t get around to. Obviously she is not very strong in the Catholic faith. Her husband is not Catholic and it is not a priority to him either.

But the boys have expressed a desire to be baptized. A priest would only do it if the parents were involved, I believe, and probably only after a certain amount of formal instruction, which my sister probably wouldn’t be interested in taking time to drive them to.

Why shouldn’t I just baptize them myself?

Because you are not permitted by the Church to baptize your nephews unless they are in danger of death, and, if they are of the age of reason, request to be baptized or have made a desire for baptism known. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, priest, or deacon
(cf. canon 861 §1).

If you believe that your sister and her husband are amenable to their sons being baptized but are uninterested in facilitating the children’s religious instruction, what you can do is to offer to drive your nephews to their religious education classes and to supplement their religious instruction, if necessary.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit