Baptism FAQ

What are the steps to have my child baptized at Saint Veronica Catholic Church?


Families seeking baptism for children at the Church of Saint Veronica should be registered as parishioners.  This means having given to the Parish Office your contact information and any apostolates you would like to volunteer for to help in the parish (if you wish).

Those living within the parish geographical boundaries may call in their registration to the Parish Office (650-588-1455).  For those living outside the parish geographical boundaries, permission from their geographical parish to either register at Saint Veronica or have the baptism here is required.  We will help with that process.  The parish is the context in which the child will grow in faith with the members of the Body of Christ and so it is important to be an active, registered member.


Registered members of Saint Veronica Catholic Parish should  contact the Parish Office at (650) 588-1455.  The Pastor asks to first meet personally and say hello to parents following one of the Sunday Masses.  This will start the process.


In order to properly prepare for the sacrament of baptism for their child, Parents and Godparents need to attend preparation classes.  Registration for a class takes place through the Parish Office after the Pastor or Priest’s approval.  If you have attended a baptism preparation class within the past two years, you may not need to attend the class.  Check with the Parish Office, the Pastor or other Priest or Deacon.

Baptism preparation classes are scheduled monthly.  Depending upon the level of understanding of the Catholic faith, additional sessions may also be arranged by the Priest.  We are here to help you, teach you and guide you so that you can better form your child in the ways of Jesus Christ.


A date for baptism is confirmed once all of the necessary information has been submitted (at least14 business days in advance of the date requested) and after the approval of the Pastor or his delegate.

Baptisms are celebrated outside of Mass and normally scheduled on Saturdays.  Some exceptions can be made.


Those chosen to be godparents must provide a letter from the parish they attend certifying that they are fully practicing their Catholic faith and fulfill the Church’s requirements for godparents [See Godparent section below].

Godparents must also provide a letter/certificate showing they have taken a baptism preparation class.  On-line classes do not qualify.


Godparents play a very special role in the faith life of the child. They are chosen because they are an inspiration of how one is to live the Catholic faith (attendance at Mass each week and, if married, they are married in the Church and have received the sacrament of Confirmation).

Thus, Godparents are model Catholics who assist and support the parents in handing on the Catholic faith to their child. Choosing someone to be a Godparent is separate from choosing someone who will take care of your child in the event of your death. The person who is chosen to be a Godparent is someone who is an active participant in the life of the Church and proclaims their faith through their everyday actions. Ideally this person may also serve as a sponsor for the Sacrament of Confirmation.


Given the above, the Roman Catholic Church has the following requirements to be a Godparent. These requirements are universal. Thus, before you invite someone to be a Godfather or Godmother, please make sure they fulfill the requirements as put forth in the laws of the Church.


  • Must be at least 16 years of age and not a parent of the child receiving baptism;
  • Must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and first Holy Communion;
  • If married, the marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church; and
  • Must be a practicing Catholic (regularly participating in Sunday Mass and reception of Holy Communion; must be living a life in conformity with Catholic teaching).

Godparents must also provide the following:

  1. A letter from the parish that they attend certifying they are a Catholic in good standing and fulfill the canonical requirements of the Church outlined above;
  2. A letter/certificate showing they have taken a baptism preparation class within the past two years. (Again, on-line classes do not fulfill this obligation.)


The Catholic Church requires only one Godparent.  If two Godparents are chosen, there may be only one Godfather and one Godmother.  The child may not have multiple Godfathers and Godmothers.  Again, a family may also choose to have just one Godparent.

If you have further questions, please call our Parish Office at 650-588-1455.

"The fruit of Baptism ... is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ."

— Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1279

Other Questions about Baptism

Many first time parents have questions about celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism. We hope your questions are answered here below.

All liturgical and sacramental rites are by their very nature communal. There is no such thing as a “private” sacrament. The Second Vatican Council explained that

“Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations belonging to the Church which is the sacrament of unity.” [Constitution on the Liturgy, 26].

Under ordinary circumstances, parents should see to the Baptism of their infants within the first few weeks: “As soon as possible after birth, even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child and to be themselves prepared for it.” (Canon #876) The first consideration in determining the time is the welfare of the child, says Father John Huels, OSM, in the Pastoral Companion (Franciscan Press). Fr. Huels notes that the phrase “within the first weeks after birth,” may be interpreted to allow for special family considerations, for example, allowing the parents and other family members time to adjust to the new arrival and scheduling the participation of extended family and friends who may have to travel some distance. On the other hand, the Baptism should not be unduly delayed.

Yes, you must be a registered and active member of the parish. Baptisms are celebrations of the Catholic community where you worship, and so you should celebrate with your home parish.

If you live within the St. Veronica Area, you are welcome to register with us. If you live outside of this area, contact your local parish for all sacramental preparation.

Yes, there are preparation classes. Please consult the parish calendar for upcoming classes.

Yes, both parents must attend a Baptismal preparation class if this is their first child being baptized. If both parents have attended the Baptismal preparation class at some earlier time, we would welcome their participation but do not require that they attend again. Godparents are also welcome to attend.

We ask that all parents register prior to attending the class by calling the Parish Office at (650) 588-1455. Our classes tend to be filled to capacity, so please consider registering at least two months in advance.

No, the date can be set in order to allow for out-of-town family and guests to attend. However, you may attend a Baptismal preparation class prior to setting the date for the Baptism.

For all parents and godparents who are preparing for the celebration of your child’s Baptism, prior to the Baptismal preparation class, we would ask you to please read and reflect on this article, Baptism: Celebrating the Embrace of God.

Because this important sacrament is an outward celebration of God’s grace where we enter into a new relationship with Jesus Christ and the Body of Christ, the Church, it serves as a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the significance of our own Baptism and the difference it has made within our own lives. If, after reading and reflecting on the article, you are unable to articulate anything of substance, you might consider what hopes you have for the newly Baptized child, and what special role you might play as they begin their Christian journey of faith. Please stay mindful that the class is not only a brief presentation about the sacrament of Baptism but also a group discussion of parents and godparents. Your own personal experiences, thoughts, concerns, and hopes for your newly Baptized child can be of benefit to all as we prepare to welcome them into the community of the church.

Yes. At least one of the parents should be a practicing Catholic willing to commit to the task of rearing their child in the faith of the Church. Parents should accept that they are the first and foremost teachers of the faith.

It means that not only do you hold true all that the Catholic Church teaches and proclaims, but that you are active in worship and liturgical celebrations of the Church. Oftentimes, the Baptism of the child can be the tipping point to move a parent to a greater commitment to the practice of the faith.

If one of the parents is a practicing Catholic, as long as the other parent is in agreement, the child can be Baptized. There must also be a well-founded expectation that the child will be brought up in the Catholic tradition.

They represent the larger Catholic community. They, along with the priest and the parents, welcome the child to the community and signify that welcome by marking the child with the sign of the cross. As a community, we are obliged to protect this newest member: guiding, advising, and nurturing the child as he or she progresses in the understanding of faith. The godparents pledge to continually support the parents so that they can successfully rear the child in the practice of the Catholic faith. They pledge to the parents to bolster them in times of discouragement and to celebrate with them in times of joy. Godparents need to be actively involved in the Catholic tradition because they serve as models and guides to the child and the parents. Read more here.

Whether you select very close friends or family members as godparents for your child, it is a very personal decision. However, the Church does ask that certain requirements be met.

In order to be a Catholic godparent, a person must be:

At least 16 years of age;
A practicing Catholic who is Baptized and confirmed and has received First Holy Communion;
Someone other than the parents of the child to be Baptized;
And leading a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and the role they are about to assume.
We ask for a letter from their parish stating that they are members of that parish and eligible to be a godparent.

Parishes routinely provide these letters, so the easiest way is to ask your local parish, and they will know the information to provide in the letter. Please read more here.

It is customary to have two godparents – in this case one must be female and the other male. The Church does not make any provisions for more than two. Technically, godparents are not absolutely necessary – but it is the norm in our practice.

Yes, a godparent, by definition, is necessarily Catholic – thus all godparents are Catholic. A Baptized Christian from another Christian denomination may serve as “Christian witness.” Jews, Muslims, and believers from other world religions may not serve either as godparents or Christian witnesses under normal circumstances but are always welcome to participate in the celebration.

There are no fees for the preparation program, and there are no set fees for the ceremony. There is a tradition of a stipend for the church. The local custom is $100.00.

The Sacrament of Baptism is a wonderful opportunity for the Saint Veronica community to celebrate and welcome our newest members into the Body of Christ. The Pastor or his delegate and the Parish Office will work with you to schedule the Baptism date.  Baptisms are celebrated outside of Mass and normally scheduled on Saturdays.  Some exceptions can be made.

Baptism may be postponed if there is indication that the parents are not practicing the faith or have no intention of living a Catholic life in harmony with the Gospel. The church seeks to avoid the situation in which a child is baptized catholic, but through the negligence or indifference of the parents, is not raised to actively live the faith. Thus Canon 868.1.2 states “there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.”

No. A godparent agrees to assist the parents in raising the child to be active in the faith. This is totally different from someone being appointed a legal guardian. This latter position is done through the state in a will or other legal means.

A proxy is a person who stands in for an approved godparent who is unable to be present at the baptism. The name of the godparent will appear on the baptismal certificate. The name of the proxy will be included in the sacramental records. The proxy may not be one of the parents and must fulfill the same requirements as a godparent with the exception of taking a baptism preparation class. It cannot be a Catholic who does not fulfill the canonical requirements to be a godparent.

The request for baptism must come from the parents or legal guardians. A child cannot be baptized without the knowledge and participation of the parents or legal guardians.

For more information about photography in Church during liturgical celebrations and other occasions, click here.