St Francis Xavier & St Clare

Catholic Parish of Greater Box Hill | In the Franciscan tradition

Baptism of Infants

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life,
the gateway to life in the Spirit,
and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.
Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God;
we become members of Christ,
are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission:
"Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1213
Since its earliest days, the Catholic Church has baptised infants (children younger than five) into the life of Christ. Below you will find information about the various steps that lead towards the Baptism of your child.

Baptism Request Form 

The first step in seeking to have your child baptised is to fill out the Baptism Request Form (see the above link). Download the form, complete it, save it and email it to our Parish Office together with a copy of your child's birth certificate. We will contact you to organise the Baptism.

Baptism Times

Baptisms in our parish are held at the following times:
St Francis Xavier Church 11.30am, 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month
St Clare Church During 9.00am Sunday Mass

Baptism Preparation Seminar 

Parents are required to attend a Baptism Preparation Seminar, held at 7.00pm on the 1st Wednesday of the month.
The preparation night includes: welcome of families, catechesis on the meaning of the Sacrament of Baptism, and guided discussion during which any questions about the Baptism can be raised.
The Seminar runs for 1 hour.

Baptism Presentation Mass

Since Baptism is an initiation into the life of the Church as well as the life of God, it is important that parents attend a Baptism Presentation Mass, during which their child is made known to the parish.
These Masses are held on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 10.15am Mass at St Francis Xavier Church.
The family of the Baptism candidate is invited to the altar, introduced to the parish community and presented with a Baptism stole for use at their child's Baptism. 

Baptism Day

Baptismal Certificate - presented at the Baptism.
Candle - A candle is required for the ceremony. One can be purchased from the Parish Office during opening hours, at the preparation session, from the Central Catholic Bookshop (CBD) or Southern Cross Church Supplies (Hawthorn).
Stole - received at the Presentation Mass for use at the Baptism.
Seating arrangements - Families are invited to sit together in the Church. When there are several Baptisms, each family group usually occupies one section of seating. The priest will direct families if there is any change to this arrangement. 

Other Important Information

Baptism Offering - It is customary for a donation to be made to the celebrant of the Baptism. This is the only cost associated with the Baptism. The suggested donation is $80-$100. The offering envelope is given to families at the preparation night.
Godparents - A Godparent is a “sponsor”, therefore should be a member of the organization which the child is joining.  The Godparents’ role is to support the child in the development of the Catholic faith.  All Godparents should be baptized in a Christian denomination and be aged 16 years and over.  There is a maximum of two Godparents: one female and one male, OR one female OR one male. At least one Godparent must be Catholic who has received the Sacrament of Confirmation.  It is most desirable and appropriate that Catholic Godparents be people who attend Mass regularly.  Godparents are encouraged to attend the presentation mass and preparation night.
Living outside the Parish - If you live outside our parish, you will need to request a letter from your local parish priest advising his approval for the baptism to take place at St Francis Xavier or St Clare. Contact the Parish Office to obtain this.
For school-aged children, a program of catechesis will be offered prior to their baptism. Please contact the Parish Office to enquire.

For adults who wish to be baptised into the Catholic Church, we offer the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. Please call the Parish Office to enquire.