Congratulations on the birth of your child, and thank you for inviting the Church into your child’s spiritual journey!
Many Loyola University alumni have a special connection to our school. They return to campus to celebrate their wedding ceremony in the Alumni Memorial Chapel, and some inquire to celebrate their child’s baptism here because Loyola University has been a part of other important sacramental moments in their lives. However, in keeping with Church teaching about the celebration of Baptism, Loyola University and Loyola Campus Ministry have a policy in place that does not allow us to baptize your child in any campus sacred spaces.
In the Catholic Church, Baptism is an initiation into a community of faith. Baptism is a ritual act that affirms that it is not just an act of/for an individual, but an act of/for a faith community.
This is why the Church directs that baptism be celebrated in the specific church community to which a family belongs: the local parish. It is in the parish community that a family can “put down roots” for themselves and grow not only the child’s initiation into the Roman Catholic Church, but also help in the growth of the life of that Parish community. The parish can provide a place to foster and help grow the faith of the child to whom you are seeking baptism.
Loyola University’s Campus Ministry / Alumni Memorial Chapel is not a parish. We are a station of The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, with a mandate to serve the needs of the students at Loyola University. Campus Ministry and the Alumni Memorial Chapel are not able to provide the full spectrum of services and support that are found in a parish community, which are essential for preparing parents for the baptism of a child, and sustaining them through all the sacramental encounters of life.
We hope this helps you to understand why the Alumni Memorial Chapel (as well as other sacred spaces on campus) is not available for celebrating child baptism. If Campus Ministry can be of any assistance in helping you locate a Catholic parish in your area and register there, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Be assured of the prayers from the Campus Ministry Team and of the Society of Jesus on campus for your family as you and your loved ones walk with your child on their faith journey for years to come.