Dignity/Boston is a progressive, inclusive faith community of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Roman Catholics, our families and friends. We seek to support the spiritual and sacramental lives of our members and participants, as well as to seek ways of worshiping that further the search for justice in the Church and society.

Because Dignity challenges current Church theology about homosexuality, we have been denied use of certain Church facilities. While we firmly believe that the sacraments we offer within our community are fully legitimate, we are unable to document or register them, due to the Church's withholding of its sanction.

Given these realities, Dignity/Boston has adopted a series of guidelines for people seeking the sacrament of Baptism for their children within our community. While each person's situation is unique, and individual circumstances will always be taken into consideration, it is our hope that these guidelines will help both the individual(s) involved and the community of Dignity/Boston have the most joyous experience possible whenever this sacrament is celebrated.

Because of our limitations in offering the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program, we have not adopted formal guidelines for adult baptisms or conversions. We urge adults interested in joining the Catholic Church to approach a Chapter leader or Chaplain to discuss available resources.

Guidelines

  • Anyone seeking Baptism should be directed to speak with a member of Dignity/Boston's Liturgy Committee.
  • People seeking Baptism for their child(ren) within Dignity/Boston are asked to be members of or associated with the community for six months prior to celebrating the sacrament. This is to ensure that the family understands and feels comfortable with our community, to enable the community to know the children it welcomes into the Church, to provide support for the families and to fulfill the responsibility made in acting as witnesses to Baptism. It is also our hope that the family will remain connected with Dignity/Boston after the child(ren)'s Baptism.
  • Baptism may be celebrated within the context of Dignity/Boston's weekly liturgy or as a private event, depending on the wishes of the persons involved and the community's resources. If the Baptism is to be celebrated outside of the weekly liturgy, Dignity/Boston cannot be responsible for such things as music, presider or use of church space. Liturgy Committee members will provide information as to how the individuals can make the necessary arrangements, but they become the responsibility of the person seeking Baptism.
  • At least three months' advance notice is requested for a Baptism. Only in the most extreme circumstances will Baptisms be celebrated during the season of Lent.
  • Dignity/Boston encourages the person(s) seeking Baptism for their child(ren) to meet with a community Chaplain on at least one occasion, to discuss the meaning of Baptism and the responsibility of the individuals and the community.
  • Anyone seeking Baptism for a child will be notified of Dignity/Boston's inability to have the receipt of the sacrament registered in an officially recognized way. The implications of this inability will be discussed, and the decision about whether to proceed will be left to the child's parent(s) or guardian(s).
  • Dignity/Boston will provide a certificate of Baptism, signed by the person officiating at the Baptism and the current Chapter president.
  • Baptisms offered during the community's weekly liturgy will generally be performed immediately following the homily.
  • Any type of public celebration held following the liturgy will be the responsibility of the individuals involved. They will be responsible for arranging set-up and clean-up, and for overseeing the security of the building in conjunction with Dignity/Boston's agreement with St. John the Evangelist Church.
  • There is no fee for the celebration of Baptism at Dignity/Boston. Free-will donations may be offered by the family.
Dignity/Boston PO Box 170428, Boston, MA 02117 | Tel: 617.421.1915 Email: info@dignityboston.org
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