Formation and accompaniment in faith before and after a child is baptized is necessary for parents, godparents, and the Church to fulfill the mutual promises made in the ritual of Christian baptism.
The following are resources for individuals and parish communities in the Diocese of Portland. May the Holy Spirit work through all of us as we welcome a new child with God's love and commit to walking together as families strive to follow Jesus Christ in their ordinary lives and all seek to grow in the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic faith.
Contact the parish where you currently participate or hope to baptize your child to start the process toward baptizing an infant (newborn to age 6) Find a Catholic parish in Maine
"In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer [Jesus] Christ's call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love." from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. English / en español
"The family is a proclamation of faith in that it is the natural place in which faith can be lived in a simple and spontaneous manner." Directory for Catechesis (Vatican, 2020), no. 227
Tips for Choosing Sacramental Godparents
The role of sacramental godparents is twofold: (a) to be a support to the parents who are the primary influence in the life of the child; (b) to nurture the faith life of the child.
Church law requires one fully initiated, practicing Catholic as a godparent for baptism though allows a maximum of two, one male and one female. Each godparent is someone who is:
- at least 16 years old,
- fully initiated in the Catholic Church through receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist,
- striving to be a faithful witness to Jesus Christ, especially by participating in Mass regularly,
- in a valid marriage recognized by the Catholic Church or a single person who is not cohabiting, and
- ready and able to accept the responsibilities of godparent.
Non-Catholics may serve as witnesses to a baptism but may not be officially recorded as godparents.
- United States Catholic Catechism for Adults "Sponsors for Baptism"
- How should I select godparents for my child? - TheCatholicSpirit.com
- 5 Criteria for choosing godparents wisely - Aleteia.org
For Parish Leaders
- Diocesan Guidelines Infant Baptism (2023) - also addresses children younger than age of reason (about 7)
- Examples of resources for use in sacrament formation for infant baptism: Simple List with Links (updated August 30, 2023)
- Recording of Msgr. Marc Caron and Shannon Fossett addressing infant baptism at Nov 12, 2020 LFFA meeting
Godparent/Sponsor Verification Form