It is a great honor to be asked to be a sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation. The role of a “godparent” is to be an “other parent” in matters of our holy Faith. That is why sponsors must be practicing Catholics, 16 years of age or older (14 years old in the Archdiocese of New York), having received Catholic Confirmation and currently living a good Christian moral life. If the sponsor is married, that person must be in a valid Catholic Church marriage. One sponsor is required for Confirmation. It is customary to have two for Baptism, in which case one must be male and the other female. Parents may not be sponsors. A baptized non-Catholic may replace the second Baptism sponsor as a Christian witness. Non-Christians may not be Sponsors. Former Catholics may not be sponsors.
A nominated sponsor is asked to get certification from his/her current parish. This is a declaration by a priest/deacon that the individual is qualified to be a sponsor according to Church Law. To be so certified, the individual must be a current parishioner of the particular parish where the certification is being sought, and be known to the priest/deacon as being a faithful practicing Catholic, attending Mass there weekly.
Those away at college or graduate school or in the military should seek certification from their campus ministries or chaplains.
Unfortunately, at times, family members or friends are chosen to be sponsors with good intentions, but are found to be ineligible according to Church Law. Also, more and more, people seem to think that they are still “parishioners” of their childhood parish, where they attended school or received sacraments years ago, while no longer living in the area or attending Mass there regularly. It is important for all individuals to be active members of their local Catholic faith communities.
Here, at Seton, Certificates of Sponsorship are given by the pastor to registered members of the parish who are practicing Catholics, and who meet the above criteria. Please see the pastor after Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday to inquire about getting a certificate.