The separate baptistery building, much more common in Europe, was built to meet the increasing demand that couldn’t be met in the parish church around the corner. There are said to have been weekends in which some 1,000 baptisms have been performed here.
Baptisms for those under seven years of age are offered:
- Mondays through Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. with an appointment, Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Weekends from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Parents and sponsors should arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time. Documents and requirements necessary should be confirmed on the Parish Website (in Spanish only).
The Baptistery Building dates from 1991. The main chapel, the “Capilla de San Juan Bautista,” was built in a striking spiral plan. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the main Basilica building, just across the way. Here, too, the center is of double the height of the surrounding lower level walls. The uppermost part of the chapel contains a series of stained glass windows which allow light to pass inside.
A second part of the baptistery, to the immediate north, houses three more chapels and the administrative offices for the entire parish. The two-level building houses has a mezzanine level with “La Capilla de Santa María,” and an area dedicated to receiving those who want to have a child baptized. Upstairs are both a chapel to San José and another dedicated to the Sacred Family.