Catholic Weddings

Q for the moms re: timing of your LO's baptism

Hi Ladies, 

Our little guy is due to arrive at the end of September.  We're living in Seattle now due to my husband's job, and don't really have any local friends/family. We really want my SIL (DH's sis) to be the baby's godmother.  My in-laws (MIL, FIL, & SIL) will be in town for a few weeks over Christmas, but this is the soonest we can get them here - they're coming from overseas.  The only person from my family who will be around post-baby is my mom, who is planning to fly in from the east coast for a week just after the birth to help out.  We're not even sure what to do about a godfather, as there won't be anyone who will be in town at all who could fit that role-we would choose DH's cousin, but he is also overseas and won't be coming to visit.  (I only have a godmother, so I am not sure having one and not the other would actually be an issue.)

Ideally, I'd have liked to have the baby baptised much sooner than three months old, but this is the best we can come up with so far.  I have a message in to our church to find out the specifics of what pre-baptism class is required, and what the church's baptism schedule is and what other info/requirements we may need, but when we spoke with the priest after mass yesterday, he kind of looked at us funny when we said we were asking about a December baptism for a September baby.  

Does anybody have any experience with a situation like this?  How did you handle it?  I'm sure we'll get more info when we actually meet with the priest for specifics (we didn't go into great detail about the whys and the international travellers and such after mass), but I am just curious what others may have done.  
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Love 06/2005 | Marriage 05/28/2011 | Baby! Peanut born on his due date, 9/30/12 Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Q for the moms re: timing of your LO's baptism

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    When I was baptized as an infant, my godfather uncle wasn't able to be present, so my grandpa stood in. Since you prefer the have your baby baptized sooner than family can come from abroad, you could look into this option, and SIL could still be the official godmother.
    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
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    You can have proxies stand in for the godparents.
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    We're having C baptized in September, the day before her 2 month birthday. We would have liked to do it sooner, but that was the soonest we could coordinate 1) the parish, 2) H's schedule and 3) her godfather's travel schedule. I wish it would have worked out sooner, but we've made peace with it.

    The Church doesn't give official parameters of when babies should be baptized.  The catechism uses the vague phrase "shortly after birth." Traditionally, infants were baptized within days of birth. Now, I know lots of people wait (for a variety of reasons), but lots of others do it within a month or two (or even within a week or two).

    FWIW, I think we've finally decided to only have a godfather for C. We've run our heads in circles considering possibilities, but I think that's what's going to stick in the end. The catechism only requires one. There is also the possibility of a non-Catholic Christian Witness as the second witness, but we decided that has too-great a possibility for religious confusion for our liking. It might be something to consider for you, though.
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    We had planned to have our son baptized right away and I had called the priest about 2 weeks after the birth, trying to stay ontop if things. "just let me know when you want to schedule it" he said. Well, all of a sudden it was 3 months later and I finally got around to calling him back. Baby was finally baptized after he was 4 months. So I guess my advice is a,later baptism shouldn't be a problem if that is what works for everyone. :
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    god parents can be represented by proxy.  i am godparent to all 4 of my nieces/nephews but was only present for 1 of them.

    id personally never delay a baptism for purposes of having certain people present.  its too important.
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    edited August 2012
    Thanks for the info, everyone.  I didn't know godparents could be represented by proxy.  I was a confirmation sponsor for one of my brothers by proxy, but I didn't know that could also be done for a baptism.   We'll definitely need to use that option for one (if not both, depending on timing) of baby's godparents.

    I don't know what we are going to do as far as timing yet.  We're going to start by scheduling a meeting with the priest and take it from there.  While my feeling is the sooner the better because baptism is so important, I know it is also hugely important to DH and his family for them to be there - baptisms are a huge deal/celebration in his culture and he would prefer not to do it 'on the quiet' with just the two of us and the baby.  (Even though we could still have a celebration later when people are in town.)

    ETA: I did also want to say that DH does agree that baptism would preferrably happen sooner rather than later, but we're trying to reconcile that with some pretty strong cultural traditions and our situation of having literally no one who wouldn't have to travel cross country or internationally to be there.
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    Love 06/2005 | Marriage 05/28/2011 | Baby! Peanut born on his due date, 9/30/12 Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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    Personally I would wait until the important people could be there. I don't 3 months is that long, anyway. I know my godson was baptized at 4 months, for the same travel logistics. 

    I understand why other people would rather do it sooner, but for me, I'd be fine with waiting.
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