The Diocese of Galveston-Houston requires the following documents from people participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. All these documents must be turned in before a person is able to receive sacraments.
· Copy of State-Issued Birth Certificate (not the keepsake issued by the hospital)
More and more, especially in large cities with sizable immigrant populations, sacramental records such as baptismal certificates are used as forms of identification in court cases and for other legal matters. For this reason, we are required to issue sacramental records where the name on our records is identical to the name on the birth certificate.
· Proof of Baptism
The Catholic Church recognizes one baptism for the forgiveness of original sin and as a way of signifying that a person belongs to the Christian family. As such, the baptisms of people from other faiths (when that baptism is done with water and in the trinitarian form—in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit) are recognized as valid by the Catholic Church. If you are previously baptized, your sacramental records must contain proof of that baptism.
· Copy of Marriage License
For individuals who are married, we also require a copy of your marriage license. This helps us ensure that couples whose marriages are not recognized by the Catholic Church have the opportunity to have their marriages convalidated (blessed) prior to their receiving the sacraments of initiation and becoming Catholic.