Post # 1
Hi everyone! It’s my first post on the site, already started planning for our convalidation ceremony next summer 🙂
I wonder if anyone had experience retrieving a foreign baptism certificate for a Catholic wedding. My husband and I were both baptized Catholic, but he was baptized in the Philippines. His mother gave us the “original” certificate (from 26 years ago) but I’ve read that we need a “recent copy” of it. He never got his first communion or confirmation (that’s another thing — does he need it?) so he’s never had to get the copy before.
If you had to retrieve your baptism certificate from another country, how did you do it? Going to PH just for that is not an option 🙁
Will the church (or some churches) make an exception?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
I would definitely ask and see if they will accept the one you have, before going through all that trouble! Good luck.
My brother just converted to Catholicism and had to show his baptism certificate from the Protestant church we went to as kids. They were fine with the 30 year old copy of that, but I don’t know if your situation is different.
Post # 3
The main reason they want a “recent” baptism certificate is that typically the Catholic church you were baptized keeps track of all of the sacraments you receive after that, like first communion, etc. as well as marriage- so it can serve to confirm that either member of the couple hasn’t been married before (at least in the church). In your case I think a foreign baptismal certificate might not really serve that purpose anyway since I’m not sure that US churches would send that info abroad. I could be wrong though! Typically there are exceptions if the baptismal certificate isn’t available for whatever reason, so I would contact the church where you’ll be getting your convalidation and ask. I believe they’ll accept a written affadavit from someone who was present at the baptism, so, his mother would work. And having the original certificate on top of that will help!
To answer your other question, no, he doesn’t need to have had his first communion or confirmation as long as you’re an active practicing member who’s had your first communion and been confirmed.
Post # 4
Check with the priest and the parish you’re planning to be married in. Not sure what is needed of him since he’s Catholic but not confirmed. As for baptism cert, I was told to contact the parish I got baptised and they should be able to provide a copy with a date of 6 months within your wedding date. I’d have to do it as we’re having wedding in UK and I’m from MY. On top of that, I’d need a letter of release from my future parish priest when I move to another country. But yeah.. better check with your priest. He’d have a checklist for you.
Post # 5
Check with your current parish.
Post # 6
Thanks everyone! I will of course check with our current parish when the time comes. I just wanted to be prepared for the possibility 🙂
Post # 7
casjcom : if you bump into your priest, just ask him already. My friends advised me to contact the parish I was baptised in like asap though our church ceremony is in May 2019. His home parish would need time to dig out something from 26 years ago…
Post # 8
casjcom : I’d speak to your priest/parish ASAP. I know your ceremony is a while away but if you do need to obtain a new copy of your partners baptism certificate you may want to try do it as soon as you can. My Mother-In-Law is from the Philippines and anytime she need documentation from there it takes ages to process and receive to here in Australia. My Mother-In-Law refers to is as Filipino time…a.k.a extra slow! 😜
You may find that because of the circumstances and the country you partner was baptized in, your parish may take the original. My friend married a fellow who was born in India and they accepted the original because they knew that the Catholic church in India at the time wasn’t much into records. You never know until you ask what they require in your situation.
Post # 9
Kind of late, but thank you all for responding! Here’s an update to end the thread:
Our Deacon in San Diego said that we absolutely needed a recent copy of the certificate. He also said that if we’re not able to retrieve it (no phone number or website or email to contact them), he will because as he said, “We are dealing with the Catholic Church and anything is possible” (yup, the enormity of it kind of shook me up!)
We just had to give him the name of the church and area that it’s in so they can locate the church.
Our Deacon also said that my husband needed to go through RCIA before the wedding in order to receive communion during the ceremony. That was definitely important to me so he will be getting his first communion and confirmation done at the same time, haha.
Thanks again everyone!
Post # 10
The church I was baptized in abroad was ruined by an earthquake so they lost all records. I submitted a signed statement to the Catholic Church indicating that my baptismal records were essentially destroyed and lost forever. They waived any requirement that I submit the certificate. I thought they’d ask for a witness statement or some other form of proof that I was baptized, but they were super lax about it.