Baptism and Pre-Jordan

Baptism is a sacrament instituted by Christ when, just before his Ascension, he commanded his followers to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20).  Baptism, the Church teaches, is more than a symbol.  Baptism is also an outpouring of God's grace which effectively cleanses the soul of sin and plants the seed of divine life.

Parents of children to be baptized, just like the Holy Family, are responsible for tending this seed lovingly so that it grows into a strong and beautiful faith.  In contrast, adults seeking baptism must first learn and accept the essentials of the Catholic faith through a catechetical program called RCIA

Baptisms at St Agatha – St James are typically on Sundays at 10:30 AM, one per Sunday, immediately after the mass at 9:30 AM.  In order to baptize your child at our church, the parent(s) must first register as parishioners or obtain a letter for permission to baptize from their current parish.  In addition, the parents must attend the Pre-Jordan Seminar (fee of $50 – reducible in case of hardship ), held monthly on second Fridays, 6:00-7:30 PM at the Newman Center, 3720 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.  Registration and payment for the seminar should be done on-line by following this registration link. You must register for the seminar at least one week in advance.  During the time of the seminar, there needs to be a babysitter for the child.   At least one godparent must be Catholic and submit a letter of eligibility from their parish before the baptism date is finalized.  Other godparents may be Christian witnesses.  Catholic godparents and Christian Witnesses must also complete a Pre-Jordan Seminar, either at our parish or at another Catholic parish.  To schedule your child's baptism and submit necessary paperwork, contact our Sacramental Coordinator, Carole Tokarczyk, 267.787.5000 x 1 or