Congratulations! You may be awaiting the birth of your child, have a newborn, or have a child who is several months old. No matter the stage of parenting you are currently in, you have been entrusted with a great gift from God. In your role as a parent, you will serve as the first and most influential teacher of your child's faith (among other things). We look forward to helping you in this role through the Sacrament of Baptism.
Baptism is the first sacrament celebrated in the process of becoming a full member of the Catholic Church. The waters of baptism symbolize life and death, washing and cleansing, and the mystery of new life out of death. At the baptism of a child (or any person), we celebrate and reflect on God's unconditional love and welcome him or her into our faith.
At St. Monica, we offer communal baptisms, held twice a month on Sundays and begin at 3:00 p.m. in the Church. Please arrive by 2:45 p.m. to check in with a hospitality minister. There may be up to ten baptisms on any given date, so please be on time! We will consider private baptisms for illness or miltiary personnel.
Register any child under the age of 8 using the form and schedule below at least two months in advance of the date. Please note: No baptisms are held during Lent.
Once you submit the form, we will review the information and contact you by email confirming your child's baptism date. If you do not receive an email from us within 72 hours of submitting your form, contact us directly at (310) 566-1523. Your baptism date is not confirmed until you receive that email.
Baptisms will take place on Sundays at 1:15 p.m.
St. Monica offers a two-part preparation class to all families planning a baptism in order to help you better understand the Sacrament and Rite of Baptism and the role of parents and Godparents in the faith life of your child. Baptism is our acceptance of Christ's invitation to participate in the deep mystery of the Cross. Through our preparation process, we will work with parents and godparents to understand this profound reality and be equipped to pass it on to their children. Classes are usually held on the second and third Wednesdays of each month.
Session 1: Parents are expected to attend the first session together as a couple. This is an opportunity for families to engage with our priests, staff, and members of the community. There will be the opportunity for a private conversation with one of the priests to help you get better acquainted with the parish.
Session 2: Parents are expected to attend the second session together with the godparents (if they are local). This session will cover the responsibilities of parents, godparents, and the community and how to work together to pass on the Catholic faith to our children. Please note: If the godparents are not local, parents are still expected to attend.
Classes are usually scheduled on Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. currently being held on Zoom.
Class Fee (for parents and godparents)
Nov 8 - Parents Only
Nov 15 - Parents & Godparents
*There are no Baptism Preparation sessions in December
Jan 10 - Parents Only
Jan 17 - Parents & Godparents
Feb 21 - Parents Only
Feb 28 - Parents & Godparents
April 10 - Parents Only
April 17 - Parents & Godparents
When a child or an adult is baptized, he or she must have at least one godparent or sponsor (the terms are interchangeable). It is customary for children to have two godparents. When there are two, one must be male and the other female. Godparents must meet all of the following criteria, which are established by Canan Law and do not vary from place to place. Godparents must:
This means that they must be practicing the faith, cannot be engaging in notorious sin, and cannot have taken public positions in opposition to Catholic faith or morals. If a sponsor is married, their marriage must be recognized by the Church. In general, if a potential sponsor is not a member of the parish where the baptism is to take place, he or she must obtain a letter or certificate from their own pastor which affirms that they meet the above requirements.
People sometimes object to the requirements for a sponsor, with the argument that parents should have freedom to choose the sponsor of a child who is to be baptized. In order to understand the Church's position, several points must be kept in mind. Baptism is not a private act. It is a public, official liturgy of the Church and welcomes someone into the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Church has the duty and obligation to require reasonable criteria for being a sponsor. The sponsor is to assist the parents and the child in living a Catholic life. In order to do so, the sponsor needs to provide good example of living that life. A person who is not Catholic, or who is not living in a way consistent with the faith, obviously cannot provide the example that is part of the task of being a godparent. The role of godparent is a role of service done in the name of the Church, and the person who is a sponsor should be capable of performing that service.
We ask you to help contribute to the ongoing support of the Church with a suggested donation of $150 per child.
You will be given an envelope to place your gift at the time your child is baptized.
The Baptism preparation process is $15 per person, $25 for two people. This applies to parents and godparents for one or both classes. Payable by cash or check at the first class you attend.