Application forms are available from the Parish Office. Please book as early as you can to avoid disappointment if you have a specific date in mind.
Baptism is a great gift to give to your child. It welcomes them into the parish faith community founded on Christ’s love for us all. It is with great joy that all are invited into the family of the parish through baptism.
Each year about 30-40 baptisms take place in the parish. We are delighted with the opportunity this provides to meet with the families concerned and we work hard to ensure that the ceremony itself will be both relaxed and memorable for all.
On the day of Baptism
As a courtesy to the priest and any other families that may be having a combined ceremony, please aim to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony.
PARKING is available in the car park in Shanballymore adjacent to the Primary School, however, Parking is very restrictive in Doneraile and Hazelwood.
Preparing for Baptism
Since Baptism is not merely a naming ceremony for your child, but rather a welcoming of each new Christian into our parish community, these are very much community celebrations. We have a team of Baptism Friends who visit each family in their own home to help them to prepare for the big day. They will help your family to become familiar with the ceremony itself, with what is expected of you; they will explain the practicalities of the day, and answer any questions that might arise. They will also be present at the Baptism, welcoming each child on behalf of the parish community.
Times for Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated in the Parish Church in Doneraile every weekend, on Saturdays at 2PM.
Baptisms are celebrated in Shanballymore at 12PM and Hazelwood at 3PM
So much to do!
It’s likely that at the moment you are concerned about the birth of your baby. Either it’s an event you are waiting for; or you are still recovering from it. Before the baby arrives there is so much to think about; where will the baby sleep, baby’s clothes, will the baby be completely healthy, perhaps even the prospect of twins? Then, all of a sudden, there is chaos. The baby finally arrives and there is no time to think. There is so much to get done. Some people think of baptism simply as something else to “get done”. They speak of baptism as having the baby “done”. That’s very sad. For baptism is a birth into the Christian community and is in every way as solemn and important as birth itself. It’s an event that needs to be prepared for.
Your faith is important
Your most important preparation is to look at your own faith. Your baby will be born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms. As he or she gets older your child will grow up, too, with your faith. That is why, when you approach the church about having your child baptised you will be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life. The very fact that you have asked to have your baby baptised shows that you recognise the importance of God in your life. From the earliest days children too young to answer for themselves have been baptised, usually as they accompanied their parents into the Church. For the church recognises the desire of Christian parents to share the life of Christ with their children.
Growing in God's Love
Your efforts will not only help your baby to grow up in the love of God: they will also help you to grow. As you teach your child to pray you yourself will deepen your prayer; as you teach your child to appreciate the Mass your own faith will be enriched. Your baby’s baptism is only the beginning of a new life in which you will grow closer to one another in the family and closer to God. The Church welcomes your child into its midst with love and prayers for the future peace and happiness of your family in the years ahead.
The Signs and Symbols of Baptism
A sign on something shows its origins or ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians for Jesus Christ died on the cross. parents and god-parents trace it on the child’s forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.
This is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, in the baptism of adults, of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the risen Christ is ours.
Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves with oil to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead. Oil of Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The profession of faith which you make on behalf of your child at baptism will later be confirmed personally by your child in the sacrament of confirmation when Oil of Chrism will be used again. The oils are blessed by the bishop around the time of Maundy (or Holy) Thursday.
These symbolise Christ – the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as a sign of the risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life; and its flame symbolises the flame of faith which will burn through the life of your child.
This garment (usually a white shawl) is a relic of the new clothes worn by Christians after baptism in the first centuries. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection.