St. Justin's Baptismal Font
St. Justin’s Baptismal Font

The Sacrament of Baptism marks a child’s formal initiation into the Christian community. It should be an occasion for the parents, relatives and the entire parish to renew and reaffirm the commitment of their faith. Baptism is a seed to be nurtured by the parents and the parish.

The Sacrament of Baptism is generally administered on scheduled Sundays at 1:00 PM. Please contact the Parish Office (732) 270-3980  to make arrangements for your child’s Baptism, and to set the date.  A Baptism Workshop session is required for parents, and whenever possible by the godparents, prior to the baptism.


 So many people approach us with requests for letters attesting that they fulfill the requirements to be a sponsor (godparents).  Here is what is required by cannon law:

Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Can. 874 (c1) To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1)  be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function:

  2)  have completed the 16th year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3)  be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4)  not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5)  not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

(c 2)  A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate

except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

It is implied in Cannon 874 that a Catholic who is married is in a valid Catholic Marriage.

You must also be a registered, participating parishioner, for three months prior.

OUR DIOCESE TODAY — Understanding the meaning, promise of Baptism

“The Baptism of a child is a joyful, but pivotal time in which the relationship between the Catholic family and their practice of the faith can either be positively or negatively impacted.

It has been my experience that parents who fully understand the meaning of the Sacrament and the theological reasons for the “rules” governing it are often, through their pursuit of Baptism for their child, affirmed in their faith, or engaged more than they had been in the past.  However, families who do not have this understanding and come into the experience with secular preconceptions about Baptism sometimes find themselves frustrated or disappointed, even to the point of turning away from their faith.

At the same time, a pastoral approach to sacramental ministry does not seek to punish or deprive a child because of his/her parents.  As Catholics we live in hope.  But that hope must be founded in reality and what is really possible.  Such discussions surrounding this decision often give rise to anger and resentment.  What the Catholic Church asks, however, is simply that Catholic parents honor and exercise their Catholic responsibilities toward their children. Nothing more, nothing less.

Canon law also reminds Catholic parents and the entire Catholic community that parents or those who take their place are the first and most important teachers of the Catholic faith.  In their early years, children “live what they learn” from their parents or guardians.

Parishes should promote that learning, especially regarding the Catholic faith and religion.  They should help parents.

Catholic parents are not “entitled” to have their child baptized in a parish simply because they were baptized or simply because they want to.  The Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law offers this guidance: “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 … ( canon 868.1.2).”

Most Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., Bishop of Trenton