Catholic Baptism for baby of a non-practicing Catholic

Hello. I’m looking for some recommendations from this community. I am a non-practicing Catholic (more of a cultural Catholic) and my husband is agnostic, but he agreed to baptize all of our children before we were even married because it was so important to me. In the past we baptized our two older sons at Saint Agnes in San Francisco and tried to go there again to baptize our third child, but they are now requiring a letter of permission from our parish allowing us to have our baby baptized at St. Agnes. I am not currently a registered parishioner of any church, but I am trying to baptize our baby daughter because it’s important to me to keep this tradition alive as a sort or rite of passage and to have my child blessed. I’m having a hard time finding a church that doesn’t strictly adhere to requirements such as: must be registered parishioners, both parents must have completed all sacraments, at least one godparent has completed all sacraments… Does anyone know of a Catholic Church (I’m not interested in other nondenominational churches) that has relaxed requirements for an infant baptism? 

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Yes. Our lady of the rosary church in Union city. That is where My infant was baptized. I had lots of troubles when looking for a Catholic Church because they all required the god parents to complete all sacraments. They even have a short virtual class for god parents a week before the baptism to walk them through the process

Similar to you, my wife grew up Catholic and I did not. We had our wedding in a Catholic Church and our kids were also baptized in SF (at St Cecilia). 

I think we also had to get a letter of permission from our parish for all of those sacraments. We were not parishioners but, if I remember, we needed to get permission from the Oakland Diocese? My wife primarily handled it because it was important to her, but I do remember us also needing to get permission even though there was not a church we were parishioners of.

I think for the baptism, we needed to go to our most local parish to get sign off.

Why don't you join the St. Agnes parish? It's just a card you fill out with your family information.  We are parishioners of St. Agnes, but I'm pretty active with the kids. We baptized my youngest about 6 years ago, and I don't recall all of those requirements.  My husband is only baptized, not a practicing Catholic, and that was not an issue. 

Have you tried a Newman Center? (at universities)

Check out St. Hilary in Tiburon!

I believe you just need to do a baptismal prep class.

I'm not sure that you will find a church that will waive all of the requirements for baptism, it is a sacred sacrament. I'm curious as to why you would want to baptize your child into the Catholic Church if you are not practicing? This is meant to be a thoughtful question, not an accusatory one. I hope you might think about the reasons it is meaningful to you. Baptism means that the universal church welcomes your child into the Body of Christ, but if you do not participate (or really believe) in that body, why is that important to you? I am Catholic but was away from the church for many years. When our kids were born I also wanted them baptized, and in order to do so, I did end up joining a parish and attending mass and getting involved, and it has been the best thing that ever happened to my spiritual life. I hope that you might think about the role of religion in your children's lives, and your own, and find your way back as well. Best to you!


my husband and I recently had a baby with the assistance of a gestational surrogate. He’s Catholic and I’m Jewish but he really wanted our son to be baptized. We had luck with Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the Castro (SF). Father Matt did a very nice ceremony for us with a small number of invited guests. I would encourage you to contact them.

Good luck!

I suggest talking with the priest at Saint Agnes (or at a local parish) about the baptismal requirements, not to get around them but to understand them. You're asking this question, obviously, because your Catholic identity and baptism are important to you. I urge you to find priest with whom you feel some rapport and to reach out to him and have a conversation about baptism and faith.

The question is not ... can I find a church with relaxed requirements for baptism? ... but can I find a church with whom I can explore and deepen my Catholic identity and help my sons and daughter grow in theirs?

I guess you could try Father Leo from Corpus Christi in Piedmont.

We were in the same situation but 20+ years ago.... still, give him a call.

Hi There! I had to go through this process as a Godparent. They talked a lot about the strict requirements, including that I obtain a letter saying I’m a parishioner in good standing (I don’t attend Mass). So my parish said they’d work around that by submitting a letter saying I had completed all my sacraments. Also, the class leader made abundantly clear that the church’s policy was to baptize regardless of the requirements so long as the parents were wanting to have the child baptized. This was at St. Charles Borromeo in Livermore. I suspect if you talk to a priest and explain the situation, they’ll likely allow you to baptize your child. Best of luck!