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"...the gateway to life in the Spirit..."

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Baptism is often called the "door to the Church," or the gate which gives access to the other sacraments.  Baptism frees us from sin, and indelibly (not able to be erased) marks us as reborn children of God.  Through baptism, we become members of the body of Christ, his Church, and share in the mission of the Church: calling all to the love of Christ and taking part in building up the kingdom of God on earth.

In baptism, we are forgiven of any sins we have ever committed, including original sin, which we inherited from Adam and Eve.  And we are welcomed lovingly into the family of faith that is the Church.

Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, marking the beginning of his public ministry.

It is in baptism that one "puts on Christ." (Galations 3:27)  Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies and sanctifies, through the action of the Holy Spirit.


In the same way we welcome a new baby into our families at birth, we welcome them into their family of faith, the Church, with a new birth in water and the Holy Spirit.  We remember that God himself came as a baby to save us - he was helpless, vulnerable and dependent on the love and guidance of his earthly parents.  As parents and family, we nurture the faith of our newest member.


Any person of any age who has not been baptized before can receive the sacrament of baptism.  Infant baptisms can occur at any time.  Children and youth are asked to attend Religious Education Classes wherein they are given special instruction in preparation for the sacrament of baptism.  Adults are usually baptized during the Easter Vigil Mass. They typically participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).  Adults who have been baptized in another Christian tradition are also welcomed at the Easter Vigil.  Because baptism leaves an indelible (not able to be erased) mark on the soul, we don't re-baptize anyone who has had a Christian baptism that involved water and the words of baptism.  Catholics recognize most other Christian baptisms.  Therefore, they are Confirmed and receive Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil.


INFANT BAPTISM:  To arrange for an infant baptism in English contact Patricia Boyne and for an infant baptism in Spanish contact Lissette Andrade in the parish office at (203) 934-5249.  A pre-baptismal class is necessary for first-time parents.  

BAPTISM OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH:  To arrange for the baptism of children (age 7 and above) and youth (up to 18 years of age), contact Monica Pang, our Director of Religious Education at (203) 934-5240.  

ADULT BAPTISM (over 18 years of age):  To arrange for adult baptism, contact Patricia Boyne in the parish office at (203) 934-5249.  


Sponsor(s)/Godparent(s) play an important role in helping to witness to the faith, bearing testimony by their life, as you raise your child in the Catholic Faith.  There can be one or two sponsors/godparents for baptism: one godfather, one godmother, or one of each.

  • Godparents should be practicing Catholics, aged 16 or older, who has a relationship with the Lord and is an active member of the Church.  Therefore they would have been Confirmed and can model the faith to your children in the years to come. Therefore choose godparents who faithfully practice their faith.

  • Prospective godparents must obtain a Sponsor Certificate from their parish indicating that they are practicing Catholics. Since those who no longer practice their faith will not be able to obtain such a certificate please do not ask people who are non-practicing Catholics to be godparents.

  • Godparents should obtain this certificate well in advance of the Baptism. Bring or send this certificate to Saint John XXIII Parish Office, 89 Bull Hill Ln, West Haven, CT 06516.

  • Although non-Catholic Christians cannot serve as godparents, they can serve as Christian witnesses at the Baptism and will be listed as such on the baptismal certificate. One of the godparents, however, must be a Catholic.

Anchor 1

After his resurrection,

Jesus told his disciples:

'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son

and of the Holy Spirit.

Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.' 

Matthew 28: 19-20

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