Catholic Dictionary

Term

BAPTISMAL REGISTER

Definition

The record of baptism to be made by the priest who performs the baptism. It is kept in the parish archives. To be listed in the register are the names of those who are baptized, of the one who administers the baptism, of the parents, and of the sponsors; also the place and date of the baptism. Special provisions are made for recording the parents of children born out of wedlock. The mother's name is to be recorded if her maternity is public or if she spontaneously requests it in writing or in the presence of witnesses. Also the father's name is to be recorded if he spontaneously requests it in writing or in the presence of witnesses, or if he is recognized as the father in some authentic public document. In other cases, the child is recorded as born of parents unknown. The pastor has custody of the baptismal register.