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St. Richard Parish, Danvers MA

Baptize Your Child

Baptism for Infants and Children

Baptisms for Infants and young children (newborns through 5 years of age) are celebrated throughout the year (except during the season of Lent) once a month on Sunday at 12:30 (or by appointment in special circumstances).


In certain cases, the parents who request baptism for an infant or young child are not registered members of Saint Richard Parish (as is the case when the parents return here for the baptism and the grandparents are registered members). In such a case, the parents must obtain a letter from the pastor of the parish in which they are registered and reside, giving permission for the child to be baptized at Saint Richard Parish, and must have attended a Baptismal instructional class for parents at their home parish.


Pre-Baptism Sessions for Parents

Parents, who are for the first time presenting a child for baptism, are required to participate in a Parents’ Pre-Baptismal Preparation Session. If they have already participated in such sessions at another parish, the parents must present a letter from that parish certifying that they have completed such preparation.


Please call the Parish Office (978-774-7575) to register for the Baptism and, if needed, the Pre-Baptismal Preparation.



Each infant or young child who is to be baptized must have at least one godparent. Customarily, an infant or a young child who is baptized has both a godmother and a godfather. Church Law (Canon 873) specifies that “Only one male or one female or, one of each sex is to be employed” for this ministry. The parents of the child to be baptized are prohibited from fulfilling the role of godparent for their own child. Canon 874 specifies that a godparent must be at least sixteen years of age; must be a Catholic who is confirmed and has received First Communion; a person who lives a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and intends to carry out the role of godparent. Prospective godparents who are NOT members of Saint Richard Parish must obtain a letter from their own pastor certifying that they fulfill the requirements listed above.  This letter is to be presented prior to the baptism.


Non-Catholics and Non-Christians

Regarding the question of a non-Catholic Christian serving in this capacity: by definition, a “godparent” is a Catholic as described above. According to Canon 874, “a baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic community may not be admitted except as a witness to baptism and together with a Catholic [godparent].” A non-baptized person (for example, a person of the Jewish or Islamic faith) is not permitted to serve even as a witness. This prohibition does not disrespect the faith of non-Christians; rather, it emphasizes the primary role of the godparent: to be a person who will give the child clear example of faithful Catholic values and living.

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