Requesting a Current Certificate
Sacramental registers are retained at the parish. In general, current certificates are issued only to the individual requesting his/her record or to a person who has a legitimate reason for requesting a family record (such as the parent of a minor child or an immediate relative if the individual is deceased). Requests made by government or corporate agencies (e.g. Social Security Administration, immigration, insurance companies etc.) or anyone other than those named above should be accompanied by a signed release by the person whose record is requested or by a legally qualified guardian, authorizing the release of the information. The Authorization For Release of Information 82.34 Kb in PDF format needs to be completed by the person named in the record.
- Individuals in search of one’s own sacramental record from an active parish can obtain their record directly from the parish. Contact information for active or open parishes can be found here. Contact information for chapels, shrines and oratory can be found here. A map of active parishes by county is located here.
Archives and Records, as the "repository of last resort,” assumes custody of all sacramental records once a parish is closed. These records are centrally located in the Archives and Records Office at the Cardinal Rigali Center where they are properly cared for in a climate-controlled environment. There is a nominal charge for each record (see Fees and Donations).
- Individuals in search of a sacramental record from a parish that is now closed can obtain it from the Archives and Records Office. A request to Archives and Records can be made by:
- using the Archives and Records Sacramental Request Form
- submitting the request via an email
- submitting the request in writing
- calling the Archives directly at 314.792.7020.
- There are a few exceptions where the registers of a closed or merged parish are retained at another parish. The locations of these exceptions are included in the list of Closed Parishes. This list contains the name of the parish, a reference to the current location if the register is not at the Archives and Records Office, the address when closed, the ethnic origin and the dates of operation.
Requesting Certificates for Genealogy
The information contained in parish sacramental registers can be a valuable source of information to genealogists. As indicated in the Sacramental Policy of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, broader access is allowed to older records than more recent ones. At present, the cutoff date for unrestricted use of sacramental records is the year 1930. However, to preserve the original registers from excessive use, the general public is only permitted access to the microfilmed copies of the actual records. While some parishes are open to preparing certificates for genealogical purposes, a pastor is not obligated to prepare sacramental certificates for genealogical purposes and may refer such requests to the Archives and Records Office. Archives and Records contains a microfilm copy of the sacramental records of all parishes in the diocese and provides access to the microfilm through 1930.
- One may request a copy of a certificate for sacraments administered before 1931 for a nominal certificate fee using the sacramental request form or submit this information in writing.
- One may also make an appointment to view the pre-1931 microfilm. The hours of operation and directions are available on this website.
The Archives and Records staff willingly lends their expertise in locating sacramental records to parish staff and to the general public.