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A Sacraments of Initiation

A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. In the 12th century, the tally of seven sacraments achieved acceptance. Sacraments are a means by which the nature and structure of the church are brought into operation.

The three sacraments of initiation are baptism, Eucharist, and confirmation.


​Since the sacrament of baptism is the first step of a life long journey of faith, all parents are encouraged to call St. Bartholomew Parish and speak with the pastor to schedule a baptism. Whether the sacrament is celebrated within or outside of Mass, all parents must make the necessary arrangements well in advance.

Furthermore, parents are required to follow the guidelines for godparents and/or sponsors as stated in the code of canon law, and the policy of the Diocese of Greensburg.

Qualifications of Baptism Sponsors

  1. Be designated by the candidate, by the parents or guardians, or the pastor.
  2. Have the qualifications and intention of performing the role of sponsor.
  3. Be at least 16 years old.
  4. Be a fully-initiated Catholic (received baptism, confirmation and Eucharist)
  5. Lead a life in harmony with the faith and role of a sponsor (i.e., be a member of a parish, attend Mass on Sundays and holy days, not be in an irregular marriage, etc.)
  6. Not be bound by a canonical penalty.
  7. Not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

Our diocese continues the practice of requiring proof of eligibility for sponsorship (in accord with the qualifications above) from the parish in which the sponsor is registered.

The Number of Sponsors

  1. Only one sponsor is required for baptism.
  2. If two sponsors are chosen, one must be male and the other female.
  3. The second sponsor may be a Christian Witness (i.e., a non-Catholic Christian may fulfill this role).

In the event that neither the candidate, nor the parents or guardians select a sponsor, pastors may appoint a member of the parish community to fill the role of sponsor. Many parents are often concerned that they cannot find a suitable sponsor for a variety of reasons (i.e., unavailability of family members, being new to the area or unfamiliar with parishioners, etc.).

In such cases, pastors have the responsibility of assisting parents and candidates in the selection of a parishioner to be a sponsor.