Browsing Notes from Monsignor

Choosing the Right Godparents

Msgr CroppedBaptism is the initial and foundational Sacrament in the life of a Catholic. It’s an exciting time for new parents, but there are often questions that arise – namely, who should serve as Godparent or sponsor for this child? Parents may reflexively consider of a dear friend they would like to honor for this role, or perhaps a family member.

While the desire to honor those we love and appreciate is only natural, Godparents have a very specific “job.” In any specialized field, from engineering to health care, those who are hired must meet certain qualifications. Even more so must those who take on the role of Godparent meet certain criteria.

What do Godparents do?

Godparents help the baptized child entrusted to their spiritual care to learn the faith and be a resource if the child has questions. A Godparent is also called to support parents in strengthening faith's role in the family. For this reason, the decision as to who should be a Godparent should be based upon who would provide the best example of Catholic living for the child. Fortunately, the Church offers requirements to help parents make this decision.

To be a Godparent, an individual must be:

  • At least 16 years old
  • A person other than the parent (grandparents are eligible)
  • A fully initiated Catholic (celebrated baptism, confirmation and Eucharist)
  • A Catholic in good standing in the Church
  • In a valid Catholic marriage (if married)
  • A practicing member of the Catholic faith

Only one Godparent – man or woman – is required by Church law. However, if two Godparents are selected (the more common practice), then one man and one woman should be chosen. In extraordinary situations when two Catholic Godparents meeting all of the requirements cannot be found, then a baptized person who belongs to another Christian denomination may serve as a Christian Witness alongside a Godparent who does meet the criteria. However, Catholics who have joined another Christian denomination are not permitted to serve as Christian Witnesses.

If you would like to plan a Baptism, please contact our baptism coordinator Rebecca Gill at [email protected], who will help you navigate this process.

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