Godparents must be practicing Catholics who are at least 16 years of age and must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation and who faithfully practices and believes in the Catholic faith as a participating member of a parish community. If married, the godparent must be married in the Catholic Church or had their marriage blessed by the Catholic Church.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many godparents should there be? Church law requires that you have one godparent; however, it has been tradition to have two.
Can the same godparents have responsibility for more than one child in the same family? Yes, as long as they take seriously their responsibility and intention to help the children grow in faith. What sex should the godparent be? If you choose only one godparent, you are free to choose a male or a female. However, if you wish to have two godparents, there must be one male and one female.
Can a non-Catholic serve as a godparent? A baptized, non-Catholic may serve as an “official witness” to the baptism, only if there is a proper Catholic sponsor who fully meets all requirements of a godparent (see 1, 2, 3 of Godparent requirements). The non-Catholic who is selected as a witness should be an active and participating member of his/her church community. During the baptism, a non-Catholic witness may perform all the parts of the ceremony that a godparent does. His or her name will be entered into the Sacrament Record Book as an “official witness”, together with the name of the godparent.
What is the difference between a godparent and a witness? Witness is the term mentioned in the Code of Canon Law. Canon Law describes a witness as “A baptized person who belongs to a non-catholic ecclesial community.” A godparent is a baptized Catholic who has been confirmed and is in good standing with the Church.
Can someone serve as godparent by proxy(stand-in)if the godparent is unable to participate in the baptism ceremony? If a godparent cannot attend the baptism ceremony, a proxy can stand in the place of the missing godparent. The name of that person will be entered as “proxy” in the Sacramental Record Book. Along with the name of the missing godparent.
The Qualifying Criteria For Godparents and Confirmation Sponsors
First and most importantly, all candidates must be a practicing and active Catholic, that is not estranged or excommunicated from the church – either imposed or declared – and in good standing with the local parish. The other criteria is as follows:
They must be willing to accept the responsibilities that comes with the position. No one should be forced to fill the role, even out of obligation, as they must be committed to fulfilling the duties that comes with the position.
The candidate can not be a parent, step-parent or guardian of the one they are looking to represent, nor their spouse.
All godparents and sponsors need to have undergone their own Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation.
Candidates need to be no less then 16 years of age and carry the maturity required to fulfill the role.
All candidates are expected to live a life of faith in accordance with the teaching of the church, and be the exemplary role model that a young Catholic would aspire to be like.
They must also attend regular Sunday Mass and hold the Catholic faith above all others.
For baptism, the godparents are normally chosen by the parents of the child, or their guardians in absence of their parents. A priest or minister may also appoint someone suitable if need be.
For Confirmation, the sponsors are chosen by the one that is undertaking the Sacrament of Confirmation themselves.
Whether selecting godparents or sponsors, only two people may fill these roles. There can be only one male and one female chosen per representative, so twins going through the ceremonies may have four godparents or sponsors present, but only have two each.
Finally they must be willing to submit all the completed paperwork, prior to the ceremon
Life Roles of The Godparents and Confirmation Sponsors
While the godparents chosen to take part in a Baptism make a pledge on behalf of the child to renounce Satan and to believe in God and the church, and to guide the child into a life of faith and devotion. The sponsors that take part in the Sacrament of Confirmation are instead pledging to offer support and guidance for the person taking the confirmation. To help guide them into adulthood, and to give them the skills needed to face the challenges in life and to help strengthen their faith in God and the church.
By taking this pledge, they are committing to help guide and influence another soul. They accept the responsibility of taking on their new godchild or recipient as a charge/ward and being a responsible role model for them.
They can achieve this by using some of the following methods:
Leading by example and adhering to the teachings of the church themselves and not living in sin. Examples would be to not live with a spouse outside of marriage or to commit adultery.
Include their charge in some of their daily actives, social gatherings and business activities.
Spend time with their charge or converse with them over the phone to discuss matters that may be of concern to their ward, and offer advice and guidance where they can.
Pray with and for their charge, and read scripture together. Even consider attending mass together.
Ensure that their ward follows the teaching of the church and remain a true follower of Jesus, God and the Church.
Share in their charges struggles, triumphs and aspirations in life.
Help them to learn from their own mistakes and not pass personal judgement for their failures. If they need advice that they themselves can not provide. Have them discuss the matter with their priest or bishop.
Locations & Contact information
Mater Christi Church 2401 S 10th Avenue North Riverside, IL 60546 Directions
St. Mary Church 105 Herrick Road Riverside, IL 60546 Directions
Mother of Mother's Shrine at Mater Christi Church 2401 S 10th Avenue North Riverside, IL 60546 Directions