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St Charles Borromeo is a Roman Catholic church located in South Philadelphia. Our mission is to spread the word of God and His love throughout our community. We offer a variety of resources and services to help our parishioners grow in faith. 


Infant Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism welcomes a newborn into the Catholic Church, this Sacrament is the doorway to the Christian life and to all the other Sacraments. As such, preparation of the parents and for the Baptism itself deserve very special attention. Baptisms are scheduled one Sunday a month, usually the first Sunday of each month at approximately 12:30 PM following the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, and they may be celebrated BILINGUALLY. Everyone is welcome. The celebration is carried out with liturgical music and with a great sense of hospitality.

Upcoming dates:
October 1, 2023 & November 5, 2023.

Baptism Preparation Session

A Baptism Preparation Session, which may be given bilingually, usually takes place on the third Sunday of each month in anticipation of the celebration of the Sacrament. The session is open to all of our neighbor parishes and to godparents as well. Parents are encouraged to participate during pregnancy, if at all possible. The class takes place in the Basilica, in front of the Baptismal font, or in the Neumann Room, behind the Basilica, from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. A certificate of completion can be emailed to you if the baptism is scheduled elsewhere.

Upcoming sessions:
September 17, 2023; October 15, 2023 & November 19, 2023.

Parents in the Cathedral Parish must participate in a Baptism Preparation Session. Please call the Parish Office at 215–561-1313 to register, or email Provide the names of the people who will attend the session, your phone number, email, parish, and let us know if you would also like to schedule your child’s Baptism in the Cathedral.

Arrangements for Baptism Prep and Infant Baptism must be made in advance by contacting the Parish Office at 215-561-1313. Provide your phone number and the name of your parish. Sister Eleanor McCann schedules the Baptisms, and the parish secretary is happy to register people for the Baptism prep session. 

Church Requirements


  • If you are not a member of the Cathedral Basilica parish, you need to obtain a letter of permission from your parish church acknowledging that your child is to be baptized here.

  • Parents must participate in a Baptism Preparation Session, preferably at the Cathedral, OR if unable, at another Catholic parish prior to the Baptism. Once the Baptism is scheduled with a Cathedral parish priest, the certificate of completion must be mailed or emailed to the Parish Office:

  • Please note: Please write on the certificate the baby’s FULL NAME, and that you are requesting Infant Baptism for him/her.

  • Send your request to: Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul, 1723 Race St. Philadelphia, PA 19103 or email to


The role of the Godparents for children (Godfather and/or Godmother), is to shadow the parents, therefore the parent may not be the Godparent. Therefore, there may only be one female and/or one male in that role who are fully initiated, practicing Catholics.  This means that they have been Baptized, Confirmed and have received their First Holy Communion. Two Godparents of the same sex are not permitted. This role is more than ceremonial. Godparents and sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation are witnesses to the Faith of the Church celebrated in these Sacraments of Christian Initiation. Living, sharing, modeling and mentoring the same Faith of the Church is at the heart of the role of Godparents and Sponsors. This is the reason why today as throughout the history of the Church the role of Godparents and Sponsors has been taken most seriously. So, the first consideration when making the choice for a Godparent and/or Sponsor centers on the Faith and a relationship between believers.

As a minimum the Church requires that Godparents and Sponsors be at least sixteen years of age, and, if married, that they are married in the Church. Catholics married outside the Church, or Catholics who choose to cohabitate outside of the Sacrament of Marriage are not permitted to be Godparents due to their irregular lifestyle. It is most necessary that the person is living and practicing the Faith, is a Catholic in good standing, that is, living the Gospel message in their daily personal lives. They should practice the faith regularly especially by regular participation in Mass, and reception of the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

Godparents must request a Letter of Eligibility from their parish and it must be mailed or emailed to the Parish Office prior to the Baptism. This letter usually follows a meeting with a priest who talks with the intended candidate about how they practice their Catholic Faith. It is then signed and becomes an official document needed for Baptism or Confirmation.

A Christian of another denomination may not serve as a godparent, but may stand as a WITNESS, only. A Christian Witness is a validly baptized non-Catholic who practices their faith in Christ in a visible and sincere manner.

  • Godparents must request a letter of eligibility from their parish and it must be mailed or emailed to the Parish Office prior to the Baptism.  WE NEED TO KNOW THE BABY’S FULL NAME AND THAT YOU ARE ASKING FOR INFANT BAPTISM FOR HIM/HER. 

    • PLEASE MAIL TO: Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul, 1723 Race St. Philadelphia, PA 19103; OR EMAIL TO

Certificate/Letter of Eligibility for Cathedral Parishioners

When a Cathedral parishioners request a statement of eligibility to serve as a sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation, one of our parish priests will contact them to determine eligibility. A parishioner is a person who has officially registered by filling out a Cathedral Registration Form with a parish priest or pastoral associate. Those who register should have the intention to attend Mass at the Cathedral on a regular basis.

Christian Initiation of Adults

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) begins each September. It is for adults who have never been baptized, were baptized in another Christian religion and now wish to explore becoming Catholic, and for those who were baptized Catholic but never made their First Communion and Confirmation.

Anyone who is interested should contact the Parish Office at 215-561-1313 or

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