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My nephews is yet to be baptized.

And it's killing me. Down to my core. My nephews is 3 1/2 years old.

A little background, my sister and I were raised Lutheran. I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church, and recently in 2010 became Catholic, receiving all of my sacraments and I now attend Mass on a weekly basis.

My sister kinda fell off the wagon back when we were attending the Lutheran church because basically my Mom stopped insisting she go to her classes to be confirmed in the church, and she's just a pistol and refuses to "conform" to what anyone would like to see her do/accomplish, even if it's in her best interest.

Soooo fast forward to her getting pregnant with my nephew outside of marriage, which I understand is becoming a more widely-accepted scenario, however I don't feel too warm-and-fuzzy about it, but whatever.

The only part that I'm terribly concerned about is the fact that he's now 3 1/2 years old, and she's yet to get him baptized. I don't even care what church she gets it done in, I just feel it needs to be done. I've asked her about it maybe 4 times within the past few years and she really just shrugs it off. At this point I'm not even asking HER to be involved in the church, whichever one she may choose, but only to do the "right" thing and get her son baptized.

How do you all feel about this? Is there anything I can do or say that would persuade her to do the right thing here? I mean she grew up going to church, she knows what it's all about, even though she didn't complete her confirmation and whatnot. Why wouldn't she want this for her son?
Anniversary

Re: My nephews is yet to be baptized.

  • Does she have a reason, like "I'm going to let him decide when he's older" or more just apathy?
    I'm actually not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, there are huge graces to be received from the Sacraments like Baptism, but also, when a parent baptizes their kid they are promising to raise them Christian/Catholic! If she's being so apathetic like it sounds, then I doubt she'd follow through on that promise.
    Anniversary
  • Unfortunately, I think the only thing you can really do is pray. You can't force her to do something that she is unwilling/uninterested in doing. You can continue to talk lovingly to her about it. You can expose your nephew to religion when you are around him. You can pray that they both find God in their own time. Remember that God is not bound by the sacraments, even if we are, so if something (God forbid) were to happen, you can trust in God's mercy and pray, pray, pray for him.

    Of course, we know that baptism is in his best interest, but, unfortunately, she's his parent, and she gets to make the decisions. Pray.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I second Biblio -- it's out of your hands, so the best thing you can do is be a positive influence on them, be a good example of Christianity, and PRAY! 

     

  • i find this odd, because i think most people, even if tehy arent really religious, get their kids baptized something.  of course, they dont call it baptism, but rather "christening" and its described as being some cutesy "baby naming ceremony".  in a way, it almost seems like something you just do, even tho as catholics, we obviously see it as something much more.

    while you obviously disagree with her choices, as others said, all you can really do is pray.  its her child, her choices on how to raise him as she sees fit.  having 3 nephews and 1 niece, this would really bother me too, tho.

  • To answer the question, she's just lazy. It's not one of those "I want him to make the decision for himself, blah blah blah", it's just straight laziness and the unwillingness to make a simple phone call to the pastor at the church and set it up.

    I get what you're all saying though. I would just like for him to have been baptized, and selfishly I won't be happy until he is. I wish I had the nerve to take him myself. That probably wouldn't work anyway. Just a protective aunt here. :(
    Anniversary
  • I agree that you definitely shouldn't do it yourself.  The pastoral associate who ran my RCIA class told a story about a family who waited a long time to baptize their baby, and when they finally set up an appointment, the grandmother of one of the parents announced that she had already baptized the baby on her own.  It was ugly.
    Anniversary

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  • No no no I would never even consider "doing it myself"- I totally and completely understand that it's not my position to do such a thing. So no worries there. I just hate it, that's all.
    Anniversary
  • She clearly isn't interested in leading a religious life, and has no interest in baptizing her son. This is her decision on how to raise her child.

    Religion isn't about forcing people to comply with what you think is best for them. And I don't believe getting a child baptized for the sake of doing so is the best choice. I have nieces/nephews who aren't baptized because their parents aren't religious. If they aren't going to raise the child in that religion, why would they participate in the ceremony? IMO this is akin to non-catholics wanting to get married in the church because it's pretty/whatever.  Those sacraments are in place for believers to participate in their faith.

    Even if she got him baptized to apease you/the family, she probably wouldn't be raising him in church anyway, so what would be the point? I'd be more focused on praying for her finding faith at this point.
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • lindsay, welcome home to the Church.  :-) 

    I just want to commend you on being so concerned about your nephew's spiritual well-being, and for wanting him to have the graces of baptism.  I'd be feeling the same frustration if I was in your shoes.  (Quick aside - Jennifer Fulwiler of ConversionDiary.com recently stated on The Journey Home that she had no doubt that the indelible mark of her baptism played a role in calling her to a life of faith, after years of atheism.) 

    You'll surely be a good example of Christianity to your nephew; he is blessed to have you in his life.  Lord willing, his mother will come around.
  • In Response to Re: My nephews is yet to be baptized.:
    [QUOTE]lindsay, welcome home to the Church.  :-)  I just want to commend you on being so concerned about your nephew's spiritual well-being, and for wanting him to have the graces of baptism.  I'd be feeling the same frustration if I was in your shoes.  (Quick aside - Jennifer Fulwiler of ConversionDiary.com recently stated on The Journey Home that she had no doubt that the indelible mark of her baptism played a role in calling her to a life of faith, after years of atheism.)  You'll surely be a good example of Christianity to your nephew; he is blessed to have you in his life.  Lord willing, his mother will come around.
    Posted by Jasmine&Rajah[/QUOTE]

    Thank you so much! I hope that I can be a positive influence in his life. I guess that's all I can really do.
    Anniversary
  • My father baptized all of us himself shortly after we were born (still at the hospital) in case, God forbid, anything happened and we didn't make it to our church baptism. I plan to do the same with my children. I recently learned that his sister, my aunt, did the same for her grandchildren because their parents were not practicing any religion and did not plan to baptize or raise any of their children in any church. I cannot tell you how much pain and anger this would cause if it ever got out. Her attitude was "no grandchild of mine will be unbaptized" but her actions smacked of pure disrespect toward her son and his wife and the way they decided to raise their children.

    I know your comment about baptizing him yourself was a (half) joke, but the principle still stands. Only his mother has the right to decide those matters and you need to back off if that is what she asks you to do.

    Unless she doesn't want her son practicing religion at all, perhaps you can offer to take your nephew to mass with you on Sundays and out to breakfast/brunch afterward as a way to spend some auntie time with him. If she objects to the quality time spent at church (which she probably won't, if she's truly apathetic about it), feel free to make it your personal mission to introduce the little one to Jesus (unless/until she asks you to stop).
  • i thought that baptisms by lay persons were only valid if performed in an emergency situation? 
  • In Response to Re: My nephews is yet to be baptized.:
    [QUOTE]i thought that baptisms by lay persons were only valid if performed in an emergency situation? 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    No, any baptism with water in the right formula with correct intent is valid. 
    It could be illicit if a lay person does it without the threat of emergency. 
  • In Response to Re: My nephews is yet to be baptized.:
    [QUOTE]My father baptized all of us himself shortly after we were born (still at the hospital) in case, God forbid, anything happened and we didn't make it to our church baptism. I plan to do the same with my children. 
    Posted by emilou02[/QUOTE]

    Please PLEASE do not do this, unless your children are in danger of death. This is illicit and not in line with church directions. There is only one baptism, and the first one is it. The church baptism would then be a farce. 
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