Sacramental Sponsors

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The role of sacramental godparent for an infant 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. A sacramental sponsor for an adult offers support to the candidate during formation and the celebration as well as continue to nurture the newly initiated in living out the Catholic faith over time.

Church law requires one fully initiated, practicing Catholic as a godparent for baptism or sponsor for confirmation, though allows a maximum of two, one male and one female. Each godparent/sponsor 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.

Further reading:


For Parish Leaders

Godparent/Sponsor Verification Form