Can I be a Sponsor or Godparent?

If you’ve been asked to be a sponsor or godparent, congratulations! The role of sponsor in a young life is a very important one. According to the Code of Canon Law (892), sponsors must “take care that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament.” Put simply, we are spiritual parents and our primary purpose is to guide our charges in faith so that they can attain heaven.

And no, godparents do not get custody of the child should the parents die. That’s a legal matter, not one for the Church.


How can I be a good godparent or sponsor?

By being good examples of Christian faith and virtue for them to follow. After all, children learn more from how the adults in their lives live more than they do from textbooks. And how can we ask them to follow a set of standards if we aren’t willing to follow them ourselves? We can set a good example by completing our own sacramental journeys, and by being registered and practicing Catholics. This means tithing to your parish and attending Sunday mass every week. For Catholics, mass attendance is compulsory. After all, holy observation of the Sabbath is the 3nd Commandment.


What are the requirements to be a godparent or sponsor?

According to Code of Canon Law 874 §1, in order to become a godparent you must complete the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old and mature enough to understand and accept the responsibilities of being a godparent.
  • Received the sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation within the Catholic Church.
  • If married, you must have had the ceremony in a Catholic Church. If you only had a civil ceremony, you need to have you marriage convalidated.
  • Be living in accordance with the faith and morals taught by the Catholic Church. This includes:
    • If you have school age children, they must be enrolled in a Catholic school or religious education program.
    • Be a registered member of a Catholic parish. Most parishes, including ours, have the following requirements to be considered a member of the parish.
      • You must be attending weekly mass.
      • You must be officially registered for at least 6 months. (This means you are getting tithing envelopes in your name.)
      • You must participate in weekly tithing.


How do I get a sponsor certificate?

To obtain a sponsor certificate, you will need to obtain either the signature and seal of your parish in which you are attending on our sponsor form, or an official letter from your parish confirming that you are an active and registered member who is fit to become a godparent or sponsor.

Please note that just because you received your sacraments in our parish or if you’re an alumni of the school, it does not necessarily mean that you are registered here. If you are registered, you should be receiving tithing envelopes in the mail. Unless you are under the age of 20, the registration/envelopes should be under your own name, not that of your parents. And most importantly, you should also be attending mass here every week.

You must be registered, attending and using your weekly tithing envelopes for at least 6 months in order to obtain a signature from our parish. If you do not meet these requirements, unfortunately you are ineligible to receive a signature from our parish.

You can also take the following quiz to help you determine if you are eligible to be a sponsor and can obtain a certificate from our parish.

Am I Eligible to Be a Sponor or Godparent?

Do you attend mass at Sacred Heart Church?