There are a few occasions in one’s life when you might be asked to provide a copy of your Baptism Certificate. Typically these are starting school (if your intention is to send your child to a Catholic school), completing the sacraments of initiation, First Eucharist and Confirmation or getting married. If you are asked to be a godparent or Confirmation sponsor, it is possible that you may be asked to provide proof of your own Baptism and Confirmation.

There is no central record held of Baptism or Confirmations. These records are kept only in the parish where the event took place.

So the next question is.... do you know where you were Baptised? And do you remember where you were Confirmed? Let's assume you know the answer to both of those questions. In this case you just need to contact the parish where you were Baptised/Confirmed and request a copy of your certificate. This is a routine request to Catholic parishes all over the world and parishes are accustomed to handling these requests.

If you don’t know the contact details of the parish where you were Baptised/Confirmed then simply do a search on the internet for the details of the parish. The most efficient way to do this is to type the town/suburb followed by the words ‘Catholic’ and ‘parish’. Many of the diocesan websites also include a list of parishes with contact details listed. If you cannot find the one you are looking for then contact the Catholic Enquiry Centre for further assistance.

If you do not know where you were Baptised/Confirmed, you need to think creatively. If your parents/godparents or other relatives are alive you could investigate the combined family memories to discover the detail you are looking for. Perhaps you were baptised at the same church as your brothers or sisters - check with them if they have a record. Do others recall if you were baptised soon after your birth or was there a delay of some months/years? Can you work out the year of your Confirmation by recalling what class you were in at school or some other milestone that will help you identify the year? If you have no access to any of the above information, then start with parishes located close to where you were born (see your birth certificate for this detail). Make contact with that parish and see if they can assist you further.

Once you have identified the parish, contact them and provide your full name, date of birth and approximate date of the Baptism/Confirmation. Also provide the full names of your parents and it may be helpful to include the names of your godparents/sponsor also, if known.

Baptism photo on Lightstock

14 October 2019