Church law states that insofar as possible one to be baptized or confirmed is to be given a sponsor who is to assist an adult in Christian initiation, or, together with the parents, to present an infant at the baptism, and who will help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it (CIC 872).
The role of the sponsor (or godparent) is functional, not ceremonial. A sponsor or godparent makes a life-long commitment to assist in the formation of the new Christian for whom they have accepted a shared responsibility. This is done by word and example.
If you have been asked to serve as a sponsor or godparent, you must examine your own commitment to your Catholic Faith and prayerfully determine whether or not you are capable of fulfilling the role and responsibilities entailed. If you are not practicing your faith or if you do not believe what the Church teaches, in good conscience you should not present yourself for service as a sponsor or godparent.
Like Holy Family, most parishes require that a sponsor or godparent provide a letter of eligibility from their local pastor. These letters or certificates affirm that a person is a registered Catholic in good standing.
Holy Family Parish is happy to provide its members with a letter of eligibility when requested to do so provided that the following are true:
- The person making the request is a registered member of Church of the Holy Family for at least six (6) months. Young adults are considered registered members of the parish via their parents’ registration until they move away from home or reach the age of twenty-five, which ever comes first.
- The person meets the canonical requirements for service as a sponsor or godparent:
- He or she has been designated by the one to be baptized or confirmed, by the parents of the infant to be baptized, or by the pastor and he or she is to have the qualifications and intention of performing this role;
- He or she must have completed their sixteenth year of age;
- He or she must be a baptized Catholic who has also received the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.
- He or she practices their faith by regularly participating in Mass and the Sacraments.
- He or she, if married, has been married according to the laws and teachings of the Catholic Church;
- He or she is not bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
- He or she is not the father or mother of the candidate.
If you have a question about these requirements or if you find yourself ineligible, the priests and deacons of the parish would be happy to meet with you to answers your questions or to help you return to a regular practice of the faith.
May God who has begun his good work in you, bring it to fulfillment.