What is Baptism?

Baptism is the reception of the child into the Christian community. When you request to have your child baptised, you will be encouraged to think through your own faith and the part it plays in your life. Your baby’s Baptism is only the beginning of a new life in which you will grow closer to one another in the family and closer to God.

How to book a Baptism

To book a Baptism contact the Parish Office on 027-56398 or email office

What to bring to your child’s baptismal ceremony.

  • White shawl/Christening robe
  • Baptismal candle

The Role of Godparents.

Congratulations on being invited and chosen to be the Godparent of a new Christian in the Catholic faith. This is a great responsibility, privilege and an honour that will be yours throughout the life of this child.

The Godparents take on the responsibility to help the parents raise the child in the Catholic faith and to keep the commandments as taught by Jesus -‘To love God and their neighbour’.

If possible, go to mass sometimes with your Godchild and try to be present at milestones in your Godchild’s spiritual journey – First Holy Communion, Confirmation. It is recommended that a Godparent act as the Confirmation sponsor. Keep your Godchild in your prayers.


The Baptismal register.

Your baby’s Baptism will be recorded in the parish baptismal register. This means a certificate, stating proof of Baptism, can be obtained from the parish register.

The Rite of Baptism

  • Reception of the child
    • The priest will ask the name of your child.
    • The Sign of the Cross – The priest makes the Sign of the Cross on the baby’s forehead and invites the parents and godparents to do the same.
  • Liturgy of the Word
    • Reading and explanation of the Word of God
    • Prayers
  • Anointing with the Oil of Catechumens – The priest anoints the baby with oil on the chest, which is a sign of strength and that God’s power will help the baby to do good and avoid evil.
  • Celebration of Baptism
    • Renewal of Baptismal Promises
    • Baptism with water – This is for cleansing, a sign that our sins are washed away. Water is also needed for life. The priest Baptises the baby, saying, ‘I Baptise you —’.
    • Anointing with Chrism – This is a mixture of olive oil and balsam, and is rubbed on the baby’s head. The priest says, ‘God, the Father, has given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit —. He now anoints you with the Chrism of Salvation —’. The oils are blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday.
    • Clothing with a White Garment – This can be a white shawl/white Christening robe, white being the sign of innocence and a new life. ‘You have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ’.
    • Lighting of the Baptismal Candle – The flame symbolises the flame of faith and the priest says, ‘Receive the light of Christ —. Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you —’.
  • Concluding Rite.
  • The Our Father and blessings.



First Holy Communion Dates    2017                                                                                             

Kealkil N.S. and Cappabue N.S.:          6th of May at 10:30 in The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kealkill

Coomhola N.S. and Derrycreha N.S.:                      13th of May at 10:30 in St. Joseph’s Church, Coomhola.

Our Lady of Mercy,

St Brendans N.S. and St Finbarrs B.N.S.:                             20th of May at 10:30 in St. Finbarr’s Church, Bantry.

Gaelscoil Bheanntraí                                                                       27th of May at 10:30 in St. Finbarr’s Church, Bantry.



Confirmation Dates 2017

Gaelscoil Bheanntraí                   Wednesday April 26th at 10.30 am in St. Finbarr’s Church, Bantry.



Congratulations on your decision to get married.

You are welcome to celebrate your wedding here in the Parish of Bantry:

Church of St. Finbarr, Bantry

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kealkil

Church of St. Joseph, Coomhola.


Setting the Date:  Once you have decided on a date for the wedding please ensure that the Church is available by completing the Booking Form and returning it to the Presbytery in Bantry.  The minimum notice required by the Church is 3 months but it is advisable to give at least 6 months notice.


Civil Law:  Anyone intending to marry in the Republic of Ireland must give three months notice to the Registrar for the district in which the marriage is to take place, in accordance with Section 32 of the Family Law Act 1995.  Both Bride and Groom must visit the Registrar and, once completed, the Registrar will send the necessary permission to the Priest who is to perform the wedding ceremony.

Bantry & Kealkil: Ms. Marion Dennehy, Bank House, Bantry

Telephone 027-50892

Coomhola:            Health Centre, Coolnagarrane, Skibbereen

Telephone 028-40570 / 028-40571


Pre-Marriage Course:  Marriage is for life. To prepare for a life long commitment a time of reflection and preparation is necessary. This is the function of the pre-marriage course.  Locally, courses are available with ACCORD, 30 Chapel Street Bantry.


Couples should attend a course at least 3 months before they intend to marry

Book direct through

For further information tel. 027-50272 or email


Papers:  No matter where the wedding is celebrated both the Bride and Groom need to do the following:



  1. Baptismal Certificate from the Church where you were baptised, issued within 6 months of the wedding.
  2. Pre-nuptial enquiry: You fill out this form with the priest of your parish and he then sends it on to the priest who is dealing with your fiancées papers.
  3. Letter of Freedom: If you have lived anywhere other than your home parish for 6 months or longer since you reached the age of 18 you will need to get a simple letter of freedom from those parishes.



  1. Baptismal Certificate from the Church where you were baptised, issued within 6 months of the wedding.
  2. Letter of Freedom: If you have lived anywhere other than your home parish for 6 months or more since you reached the age of 18 you will need a letter of freedom from those parishes.
  3. Certificate of Pre-Marriage Course
  4. Copy of Notification Form from Civil Registrar
  5. Give documents 1-4 above to the priest of your parish and fill out the Pre-Nuptial Enquiry form.


Papal Blessing:  If you wish to have a Papal Blessing a letter or special form, signed by the priest, can be taken to Veritas where you can choose the type of blessing you want. This normally takes 8 weeks to organise.

Church Fees:  It is customary to give an offering to the priest who officiates at the ceremony. The Sacristan and the Altar Servers (if there are any) also normally receive an offering to show gratitude.


Flowers:  The Church is the house of God.  It should not be used for a display of flowers.  Flowers should be arranged tastefully and should not obstruct the Altar or the Ambo (where the word of God is read). Flowers and ribbons may be attached to the seats but please do not use thumb tacks, sellotape or blue tac. Flowers should not be placed on the Altar. If you have any queries contact the Sacristan.


Music:  All Church Music is to direct the minds and hearts of the congregation to God Our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour.  As a result popular secular songs are more suitable for the reception afterwards.


Videos and Photography:  These can record your special day.  The taking of photographs and video recording must be unobtrusive, not distracting to you, the congregation or the priest.  Photographers and/or Video technicians should not enter the area of the Sanctuary (around the Altar and Ambo) under any circumstances.


The Wedding Ceremony:  We recommend that you buy a copy of “The Celebration of Marriage” at Veritas, Carey’s Lane, Cork.  This has all the prayers except the readings.  Take time to reflect on the prayers and choose the ones that mean most to you as a couple.


Useful Websites: