St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church -- 271 Winchester St. Warrenton, VA 20186
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The Sacrament of Baptism





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. (Matthew 28:19)

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism in the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word. (CCC 1213)​​

Congratulations and we welcome on your new addition!  For the convenience of the parish community, our Baptisms take place the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 2:00 pm, with some flexibility based on circumstances.

Baptism preparation instruction is required for first-time parents or parents who have not previously attended a class. Parents should realize that nothing is "Set in Stone" until everything is received and confirmed by the Parish Office.

So, please call the Parish Office at 540-347-2922 x201 to begin the process of scheduling the baptism.

Original copies of the Godparents’ sponsor certificates must be signed and sealed by the pastor of the Catholic Church where they are currently registered.

All forms must be turned into the Parish Office prior to the Baptism date being scheduled.

Once the Parent Request for Baptism and the sponsor forms for the Godparents are received, the Parish Office will schedule your child’s Baptism.


What are Sponsors (Godparents)?

Sponsors are witnesses to the Catholic faith who will pledge support of those who are to be baptized into the faith or who are seeking full membership into the Church through the sacrament of Confirmation.

What do Sponsors (Godparents) do?

They are to see that the person baptized or confirmed in the faith of the Catholic Church acts as a true witness to Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations connected with this membership.

Parents must provide sponsor certificates for each Catholic Godparent. At least one Godparent MUST be a practicing Catholic. The Godparent should contact the Church where he/she is currently registered to request a sponsor certificate.

If a Christian Witness is chosen to participate in and witness the baptism, no documentation is needed.

If two sponsors are chosen, one must be male, the other female.

For baptism, a parent may NOT be a sponsor.

Please note, a lapsed Catholic cannot serve as either a Godparent or a Christian witness. See the full set of requirements for Sponsors below.


Canon law requires:  1 Godparent.

If two are chosen, one must be a man, one must be a woman.

One godparent MUST be a practicing Catholic, MUST be up-to-date on all his/her sacraments, MUST be at least 16 years of age, MUST attend Mass weekly,  and if married, must be married in the Catholic Church.

If the other sponsor is not Catholic, he/she must be baptized Christian. They are recorded as a Christian witness in the baptismal records and on the certificate.

Non-Christians may NOT be sponsors (Mormon, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, etc).

Lapsed Catholics or a Catholic married outside the church may NOT be a sponsor for Baptism.


If the godparents cannot make it to the ceremony, a proxy may be selected. The proxy must be of the same form as the godparent or sponsor (i.e. male Catholic must be selected to stand in for a male Catholic godparent; female Christian witness must be selected to stand in for a female Christian witness, etc). No sponsor forms are required for the proxy.



Parents who were not married in the Church

We will invite them to set up an appointment with the pastor to see about having their marriage convalidated. Most couples are willing to do this. Their particular circumstances determine the level of complexity in having this done, but that is for the pastor to decide and discuss with them.

Children who are not babies

We schedule Baptisms on the first and third Sunday afternoon for children from age 0-6. Children should be baptized at the earliest possible time. The parents of a child age 7 or over need to schedule a meeting with the Director of Religious Education to determine the best course of action.

We do accept sponsorship certificates (forms) from the godparents’ home parish.

They do not have to use our form. Please make sure they have had their pastor sign and seal the sponsor form. If the pastor’s signature or parish seal is missing, this could delay the Baptism. All forms should be mailed or brought to the parish office. We will accept a fax, but the original must be received at least one week prior to the Baptism.

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Questions and comments: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
271 Winchester Street
Warrenton, VA 20186-2819

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