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The Sacrament of Baptism

Welcome to St Bernard’s for the baptism of your child – new life in Christ.

Your child has been welcomed into your family - now you have chosen to present him/her for baptism. Just as you nurture physical & emotional growth, in asking for baptism you are accepting responsibility for the growth and development of your child's faith and understanding of God's love. 

As an indicator of the significance of baptism and the prime responsibility for faith parents and godparents, it is strongly recommended the sacrament be celebrated early in your child’s life. Generally speaking, we are disinclined to baptise children in their later primary years. It is highly likely they will spurn the sacramental commitment once adolescence approaches and this undermines the dignity and value of the sacrament.

When: Baptisms are celebrated during any of the weekend masses – 6.00pm Saturday evening, 9am or 10.30am on Sunday morning or during a baptism ceremony at 12 noon on some Sundays, with other families.

For parents: You are invited to attend a gathering a few weeks before the baptism, to meet other families and become familiar with the ceremony & symbols used.

Welcome: 12 noon baptism – the family is invited to come to mass to present the child to be welcomed into the church community. The baptism ceremony follows a week or two later. Where the baptism is during mass – welcome & baptism are celebrated at the same mass.

Godparents: Godparents are very special people in your life and that of your child. Choose them carefully because you will need encouragement and help as a Christian parent. In addition, your child will benefit from an enriching relationship with people who share your ideals.

  • godparents must be at least 14 years old.
  • one godparent is sufficient, but you may choose more.
  • at least one of the godparents must be a baptised Catholic, who has received Communion and been Confirmed.
  • a non-Catholic may act as a witness, along with a Catholic godparent.
Stole: The Ladies Auxiliary sew a short stole, which will be here for you on the baptism day. However, you are most welcome to make your own, or purchase one custom-made from a local supplier. Older children need a longer stole, which will be used later for their sacraments. Samples of all will be at the Parent meeting. 

Candle: Provided for each child. Again, you are most welcome to bring your own, if desired. 

Certificate: This document is a copy of the baptism register record. It correctly includes the mother's surname. It will be required later on for entry to Catholic primary & secondary schools.

Cost: A donation of $100 would be appreciated, at the Parent's Night if possible. 

Contact: Baptism Preparation co-ordinator – Helen Brislane is at the Office Tuesday - Friday. Phone or email:

It is recommended you phone two to three months ahead to book.

Parents are the first and most significant teachers in all things, including faith. Your example of commitment & involvement in the Church will always be the most influential for your child. Baptism is the public beginning.