Lost baptism certificate- PLEASE HELP!

i am an 18 year old high school senior who has finally been called to go through confirmation. i was raised catholic, baptized and received my first communion. however my mom lost my baptism certificate that i need to register for my parish confirmation classes. i called my parish and the priest there when i was baptized is gone and they can’t find my certificate on record (it was in hawai’i, we’re not the best at organization there ha ha).

what do i do??? do i need to rego through all the RCIA stuff. i would much rather experience confirmation with my fellow peers.

thank you in advance for you advice and God bless or
Akua ho’omaika’i oe!!

<3 <3

Contact the Diocese.

There is an office there that deals with this kind of thing.

Find your Diocese at www.usccb.org

The record of your baptism should be at the diocese. You can find out who to contact via the internet or by asking someone at that church (which you think they would have told you). That’s the process I used to obtain a Baptismal Certificate in a couple of instances.

Here is the contact for the Diocese of Honolulu, Catholic Church in Hawaii:

Chancery Office
1184 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 585-3300
Fax: (808) 521-8428


Good luck.

If your sacramental records are completely lost (which is unlikely) then there should be forms in your current parish to have 2 people testify that you were baptized.

If you made your First Communion in a different parish then where you were baptized, they should have a record of your baptism. A copy of the baptisimal ceritificate is usually requested for First Communicants who were baptized elsewhere.

Maybe it’s filed with Obama’s birth certificate? (I kid, I kid! Don’t flame me!) :stuck_out_tongue:

If you are certain you have the right parish:
Try contacting the parish again, and ask politely that they “check again” It happens quite often that a parish says “we don’t have the record” because whoever looked didn’t look hard enough. I’ve had it happen, too many times, when someone simply looks in the alphabetical index in the back, doesn’t find a name, and says “it’s not here. goodbye” Ask them to look it up by going to the appropriate page starting a few days after your birth. Baptismal records are kept chronologically, not alphabetically. That might help.

I believe there are some parishes in Hawaii are cluster parishes that share resources. Is it possible that your parish records are located at a “sister parish”?

Hello surf girl, If after searching you still aren’t able to find your records. Talk to your current Priest, He can Baptize conditionally, Your Mom is able to confirm your Baptism and there really should not be a problem.God Bless :slight_smile: Carlan

Hang on here, please.

We don’t “baptise conditionally” just for the sake of issuing a new certificate. The Church doesn’t administer Sacraments like that.

There are ways to resolve this. First, check other options for a new certificate, and if all else fails the testimony of 2 witnesses will suffice.

Conditional baptism is not at all appropriate here.

You know, that is an interesting subject. I wonder if there are any dioceses on record of having lost people’s sacramental records. When I needed my baptismal certificate, the parish I was baptized in was no longer in existence, but the Archdiocese still had my records.

When is it approprite Father? I N the case of destruction by fire?:shrug:Carlan

That’s why I wrote what I did. Are there any Diocesan offices that have burned and lost church records? I have never heard of this happening.

This would be public record, I’m sure.

It is appropriate in the case of someone who does not know for sure if he or she was baptized or if they were validly baptized. This happens sometimes with people who are non-denominational or evangelical Christians and it can’t be ascertained if they were baptized in the Trinitarian formula or in the name of Jesus only.

No. Not in case of destruction by fire. The Church does not conditionally baptise Christians because of missing certificates or lost records.

People are conditionally baptised when it is known that they went through a ceremony which might or might not have been a valid baptism, but the local bishop is unsure; or those involved can’t remember whether or not baptism occured (orphans for example).

Conditional baptism just isn’t relevant for the OP since she knows she was validly baptised.

When that parish closed all the registers would have been sent to the archdiocese, just like when the two military parishes that existed here closed in 97 all the registers were forwarded to the Military Ordinariate.

Our diocese is missing several years’ worth of records for a specific parish due to a fire that destroyed the original records back in the 80s. We have photocopies of records between 1922 & 1946, this the personal register of an itinerant priest who visited the remote community each summer for a couple of days. Nothing between 1946 and 1952. Then again, photocopies of original records of between 1952 & 1964 (a scribbler maintained by a travelling missionary). Then nothing until ~1986. Now we photocopy everything once a year and send to the diocese. I believe in our diocese this practice came about because of that fire and the problems we’ve encountered as a result. I don’t see how, before photocopiers, records would have been sent to the diocese on a regular basis.

Perhaps multiple originals - i.e. completed and signed twice?

It would mean keeping duplicate registers or maintaining the register which stayed in the parish and monthly sending a report to the diocese. I know that they probably reported the statistics to the diocese, as in “In the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred thirty-three, we celebrated 110 baptisms, 150 First Communions, 40 Confirmations” just as we do today but I can’t imagine them giving all the info that is recorded.

It certainly didn’t happen in our area when the Diocesan offices were more than a thousand miles away and reaching these communities would have only been possible by boat in the summer and dogsled in the winter.

You haven’t had any excitement until you’ve tried to issue a certificate of baptism or marriage from back in the 1930s only to discover that for the most part only the given names were recorded, no surnames for parents, children or sponsors. Also rather than birth dates the priest often wrote “child 3 months old” OR you’ll issue a certificate and the person says “No, I was born June 12, 1934 not 1935” and you have to admit that you wrote 1935 since the baptism was on July 20, 1935 and you can only assume that the priest would have mentioned that the child he was baptizing was 13 months old rather than 5 weeks old.

Well, people could send records every week if they wanted. Postage was cheap in the old days, and the mail came several times a day.