I was born in a town in the Jefferson City Archdiocese twenty-four years ago. However upon birth, I was helicoptered to Children’s hospital in the st. louis Archdiocese, due to complications.
When I arrived at Children’s, I was baptized by someone at the hospital. My only records are my parent’s memory, and a letter & card from the Hospital chaplain (who I think was a methodist, based off of the research I did) saying I was baptized by him “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” on the day of my birth. I tried contacting the hospital AND the Archdiocese, with no results thus far.
However, things get messier. Apparently after my health issues were resolved, I was taken by my parents to Corpus Christi Tx, where I was “baptized” at a parish there before my mother’s family (she was Catholic, one of 8 kids). When I later received my first communion and confirmation at my home parish in my home diocese of Jefferson City, my parish used the baptismal certificate from the parish in Corpus Christi. I only found out about all of this just now… It seems that my parents may have hidden my actual baptism so that I could be “baptized properly” with “friends and family” in Corpus Christi…
As such, I’m having difficulties tracking down the actual baptismal records from Children’s hospital in St. Louis, and am in a mess over this. We are six weeks away from our wedding, and need to have our home parish send the records to our diocese, so that they can be forwarded on to the St. Louis Diocese where we are to be married (we found priests for a Solemn High EF there).
How should I go about rectifying this? My home parish has always sent records of confirmation to the church in Corpus, but that was not my ‘actual’ baptism???
Sometimes things get messy.
What should have happened in Corpus Christi used to be called “Supplying the Ceremonies” which now goes by the more precise but far less melodious title of “The Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church.” With this Rite, the Church receives children who were baptized in emergency situations. It does not “rebaptize” but simply adds those elements that were left out during the emergency baptism. (The older, traditional Rite is far richer, in my opinion.) This is also the Rite to be used when a child under the age of 7 who was baptized in a non-Catholic Church becomes Catholic (usually when his parents convert, or return to the practice of the faith after a time away). It can be found in the ritual book for the baptism of children.
For weal or for woe, your baptismal record is at the parish in Corpus Christi. That baptismal certificate, though historically inaccurate, contains the essential facts that are needed to marry: you are a baptized, confirmed Catholic who has never been married before.
Don’t fret that it doesn’t mention your earlier, true baptism. What was done was done.
If at some point in the future you are able to get it sorted out and you can get a statement from the Children’s Hospital that you were baptized (or you could get sworn affidavits from your parents who were present at the baptism), you could then get the record corrected in Corpus Christi so that it reflects what really happened.
For now, with your wedding coming up, a certificate from Corpus Christi will suffice.