We offer the Sacrament of Baptism to all parish families. Baptisms may be scheduled after any weekend Mass provided a priest or deacon is available. Please call the parish office to check availability. One or more children may be baptized after any given Mass. Please fill out this baptism form if you are planning on having a child baptized, and we will get in touch with you.
We ask new parents to attend a Baptismal Preparation Class prior to scheduling a Baptism. Class is held at 10:00 am on the third Saturday of the month in the parish meeting room (lower level) and lasts about an hour. Please call the parish office at 815-398-0853 to register or fill out the Baptism Form online. We will contact you the week of the Baptism Class.
Godparents play a very important role in the development of a child’s faith life, providing Christian moral support to the parents. At least one of the godparents must be Catholic. (Please see below to read about the godparent’s role and the requirements to be a godparent.) If a godparent is not a registered parishioner at St. Rita, please have them obtain a letter from their parish confirming that he/she is a registered, active Catholic in good standing with the Church. This letter must be received by our parish office two weeks prior to the child’s Baptism.
The Role of Godparents*
Every person being baptized, whether child or adult, must have a sponsor. The sponsors in Baptism have traditionally been called “godparents”. The minimum requirement is one sponsor but usually when infants are baptized, they get two, one of each gender.
Canon law permits only one godparent of each gender - a godmother and a godfather. For an adult or a child being baptized, these sponsors:
Must not be the parents of the one being baptized
Must be 16 year of age or older
Must be practicing Catholics, going to Mass every week
Must be confirmed
If someone cannot find two practicing Catholics to be the godfather and godmother, then one sponsor can be Catholic and the other a Christian witness, if that person is a baptized Protestant Christian in good standing.
Prior to the medical advances of the 20th century, when people died at an earlier age because of illnesses such as tuberculosis and the plague, godparents were the practical choice to raise a child if both parents died before the son or daughter grew up. Babies had two godparents in case one would not be able to fulfill the job of raising the child. If the parents died prematurely, then at least one of the godparents could do it. This is why many godparents come from both sides of the family.
Today, being a godparent carries with it no legal right or ecclesiastical authority to the custody of children. Custody is a strictly legal matter that parents must decide with their attorney. Being a godparent really means actively giving good Christian witness and example and being a role model.