Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Godparent (Sponsor) Agreement
Does it make any difference who you ask to be Godparents for your children? It sure does!
People often want to ask their best friends or favorite relatives to act as Godparents for their children; they usually do this as a way of honoring someone. Of course, we all would like to honor those who are dear to us, but the Baptism of your child may not be the right time to do so.
Would you ask your best friend to perform heart surgery on your child? Of course not, unless he/she were a competent heart surgeon. So, if the role of a Godparent is to help the parents to raise the child in the good practice of the Catholic faith, then it stands to reason that you should ask someone who shows by their own knowledge and practice that they can help someone else follow in their footsteps.
Helping a child to become a good Catholic Christian is an important undertaking; it is therefore, equally important to ask someone who regularly prays with the community at Sunday Mass and, who in other ways practices his/her faith and shows commitment to Christian values.
None of this is to suggest that your dear friends or relatives are not good people. They will surely be with you to help you in many other ways. But, a teacher of mathematics may not be a good teacher of English grammar and a good friend or close relative may not be the best model of Catholic Christian practice.
If you value your faith, you will choose the best teachers to help you pass that faith on to your children.
CODE OF CANON LAW
Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.
Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.
Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.