Godparents & Sponsors

“In the baptism of children, a godparent is to be present in order to represent the expansion of the spiritual family of the one to be baptized and the role of the Church as a mother. The godparent helps the parents to lead the child to profess the faith and to show this by living it..” Commentary on Canon 872

“It is not simply as a relative or friend of the one to be baptized or confirmed that the godparent has responsibility for the Christian upbringing of the recipient. In acting as the guarantor of the faith of the candidate, the godparent is also the representative of the community of faith.”Directory on Ecumenism, 1967

“This is a lifelong responsibility. The godparent is “to show the candidate how to practice the Gospel in personal and social life and to be for the candidate a bearer of Christian witness and a guardian over growth in the baptismal life.” Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults no. 42


Only one male or one female sponsor or one of each sex can act as godparent. Canon 873

To be admitted to the role of sponsor, a person must:

  • be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the one who takes their place, or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister, and is to have the qualifications and intention of performing this role;
  • have completed their sixteenth year;
  • be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken;
  • not be bound by any canonical penalty;
  • not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized. Canon 874


No more than two names may be entered in the official record of baptism as Godparents, or as Godparent and Christian Witness.

A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic church may act as a witness to baptism together with a Catholic sponsor. Canon 874.2