St. Mary's Parish
St. Mary's Catholic Church -- 600 Avenue B Sterling, IL 61081 -- Call 815-625-0640 -- Rev. James Keenan- Pastor





Registered parishioners are invited to have their children baptized at St. Mary's.


Please contact Jane Olson at the Parish Office (815)625-0640 x220 to arrange a baptism in English.  Proper paperwork  must be filled out a minimum of 2 months prior to the baptismal date.  Arreglen con Janie Atilano en (815)626-5735 un bautismo en espanol.


In preparing for your child's baptism:


  • Parents must be active, registered parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
  • Parents and godparents are required to attend one of our Baptism Classes, offered in English the last Sunday of the month. If the godparent lives out of town, he or she may attend a class at their local parish and have their Pastor send us a letter of verification.

Choosing Godparents:

There are two godparents only, who should be chosen based on one's ability to help you raise your child in the belief and teachings of the Catholic Church. The individual must be 16 years of age and confirmed, in addition to being in good standing with the church.

  • Godparents are active, registered parishioners of their parish, one must be Catholic and both must be baptized Christians.

The Sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded of you" (Matthew 28:19-20).

Baptism is the first sacrament celebrated in the process of becoming a full member of the Church community. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Baptism is, like all the sacraments, a gift from God. Water is the universal symbol. Water is absolutely essential for all life. Water cleanses and restores. It is the waters of Baptism which give us new life. In accordance, through Baptism we also die to our old sinful selves in order to be restored and resurrected in the new life of Christ.

"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ." -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1279