Sacramental Preparation

For Baptism and Marriage





The Archdiocese of Hartford requires that marriage preparation begin at least six months prior to the celebration of the sacrament.  Please call the Priory to arrange an appointment with the Pastor to discuss your arrangements so that guidelines might be given to you in a timely manner.  We require a deposit of $100.00 for holding a specific date and time.  No dates will be held without a deposit and may be discussed with the Pastor.




Parking with meters (meters in operation Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) is available along Hillhouse Avenue and the streets around the Church.  A public parking garage is located on Grove Street.  Yale Parking Lot #51 on Temple Street, located between Wall and Elm Streets, is open to the public after 4:00 p.m. on Friday and through the weekend.

Restrooms are located downstairs in the Church building, to the right as your enter the Church.

An elevator is available for the Church at the side entrance of the Church located between Hillhouse Avenue and Temple Street, next to the Priory.








Celebrating the Baptism of Children

Baptism is our birth as Christians.  Through it we are cleansed of original sin, incorporated into the Body of Christ that is the Church, and it is the beginning in us of the new life Christ imparts through his death and resurrection.  It is the role of the father and mother, accompanied by the godparents, to present the child to the Church for baptism.  These guidelines are offered to you to help make the preparation for your child's baptism a time for spiritual growth and the ceremony a joyful celebration. 



Scheduling the Date and Time

All baptisms are generally celebrated with each family individually.  We try to meet the particular timeframe that is convenient for the family.  Generally we will baptize on Saturdays and Sundays depending upon what other services may be taking place.  This can be handled at the time you indicate your desire to be baptized at St. Mary’s Church.  Expectant parents should call the Priory to make the necessary arrangements and to participate in our baptismal preparation program. 



Minister of the Sacrament

Ordinarily, one of the parish priests will celebrate baptisms in the parish.  If a family has a special relationship with a priest or deacon from outside the parish he is most welcome to celebrate the baptism.  Visiting priests or deacons should contact the pastor of St. Mary's to obtain the necessary permission from the parish to conduct the baptism.



Preparation Session and Requirements

In choosing to have your child baptized in the Catholic Church, you are accepting the responsibility of raising him or her in the practice of the Catholic Faith.  The preparation process is conducted under the assumption that at least one of the parents is a believing and practicing Roman Catholic.  It is an occasion to reflect on your faith and how the faith of the Church will be communicated and lived out in the life of the child. If Catholics have not been practicing their faith, this is an opportunity to rediscover and renew your commitment to the Church.  It is an invitation to deepen your knowledge of the faith and to actively live that faith.




Each child must have at least one, but may have two godparents or sponsors, one male and one female.  One godparent must be a practicing and believing Roman Catholic who has received the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation, be at least 16 years old, and if married, the marriage must be a valid Catholic marriage.  It is through baptism that one enters the Church. Godparents or sponsors represent the Church community.  Therefore, it is necessary that one godparent be an active member of the community.  A baptized Christian may serve as a witness to the ceremony.  Godparents may be represented by proxies if they unable to be present for the ceremony.  Those serving as proxies must fulfill the same requirements as godparents.  Catholics serving as godparents must contact their parish and obtain a sponsor letter or certificate.  Please bring the letter or certificate to the baptism.





For the convenience of all involved, everyone should be on time for the ceremony.  There is no need to rush through your celebration on such an important day. Also, we ask you to please be aware that other parish liturgies may follow yours and it will be necessary to begin those celebrations on time.




Baptism is the gateway to the sacramental life of the Church.  The baptismal register of each parish records the sacramental life of each person.  During the future years of your child, at times it will be necessary to provide a new certificate of baptism in preparation for other sacraments.  This certificate can be obtained by contacting the Church of St. Mary.  The parish in which the sacraments of Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders are received will send a notification to the Church of St. Mary to be entered in the baptismal register here.




It is customary for the family to make a donation to the Church of $50.00.