I have a question concerning baptism and first communion for a nine-year-old girl.
The child’s parents are not Catholic and rarely come to Mass or any kind of service here at Our Lady of the Mount. The grandparents, on the other hand, are here every week and are pushing very hard that the child be baptized and receive first communion. In response to the child’s mother, some months ago, I asked for her and her husband to come in and meet with me. I have not heard from them, but the child was in the first communion class last week.
Following the principle, “delay, but not deny the sacraments,” my plan is to find some way that I can be assured that the child will be raised Catholic. In general, I don’t believe that grandparents can provide that assurance. Even though they are not Catholic, if the child’s mother and stepfather were to come to mass on a regular basis I would be inclined to baptize and allow the child to receive first communion.
Your thoughts and recommendations, please.
First of all, if the child has never been baptized and is at first communion age, then you’re talking about the catechumenate, not first communion preparation, and your talking about all 3 sacraments of initiation, not two.
I would insist on seeing the parents. I’d go to their home if they won’t want to come see me. Find out what the plan is, and let them know that you are only able to baptize if you have a reasonable assurance that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith. The grandparents may be a way forward, as would godparents, but I would not do it without visiting personally with the parents.