“Ask a Priest: What If I Can’t Find a Suitable Godparent for My Baby?”

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Q: I am pregnant and cannot help being worried about my child’s baptism. Specifically, what worries me is who to pick to be his godparents. My husband and I take our faith seriously and don’t have a circle of friends or family members whom we find suitable to be godparents. What can be done in situations where you have nobody to be a godparent for baptism? We don’t want to pick just anybody. Please help. Thanks. – D.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: I’m sorry to hear that you have such a hard time finding sponsors (the technical term) for the baptism.

You might want to speak with your pastor; he could appoint a sponsor if need.

Strictly speaking, it need not be a close relative or friend who serves as a godparent. And given the mobility of people nowadays, it’s not uncommon for godparents to be at a great physical distance from their godchildren.

This might be a good moment to step back and look at the big picture.

Obviously, you want your child to grow up in the faith. That means it will help if you and your husband can begin to network with people who are living their faith. Baptism is only the start of a journey, and your baby will need the support of other faithful people throughout life.

Nowadays, with families so divided over moral issues, the people with whom you most likely will have a lot in common could be the folks you meet at Mass or at pro-life events, for instance.

If you don’t have any friends like this, it would be good to figure out ways you find them. This is partly defensive, for it’s easier to live your faith within a community of believers.

You might start by searching the Internet for Catholic events and/or groups in your area. You could start attending the events and building friendships. Little by little you might find networks of families with whom you share a lot.

This might be something worth taking to prayer.

Count on my prayers for you and your husband and the little one.

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  1. GOOD ADVICE ‘to pray for a suitable faith filled godparents.’ Another ‘parent’ for your child who shares a mutual strong faith in Christ, through His church. (body of Christ) yes, it most definitely should be a Christian in the Catholic tradition of living the faith in God, in practice. Someone who assists you, the parents, as well in raising the child as a Christian Catholic. (put in proper order: Christian Catholic)

    It should be someone who you respect enough to invite to Christmas parties, Easter, the celebration of Christian milestones of your child: besides Baptism, of course. First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and who appreciates and understands the power of Mass. It can be single persons, dedicated to that ‘call’ to state of life as it was intended. To serve community in job and serve family. (male and female) Someone not ‘bogged down’ with raising their own children and so take interest as a Godparent. A married couple, man and woman (Aunt and Uncle) works. Or cousin as Godmother, and another cousin Godfather. A good Christian neighbor who supports your faith in practice (Catholic), thus is also part of the Catholic traditions of acts of faith. Since ‘people are always changing’ . . . I’d say it is best to look past the immediate appearance of someone to see THE WAY THEY WERE RAISED UP… if raised in a Catholic home and they respect your
    strong faith, they know what should be, even if presently they are not quite in full understanding. If they are church goers, and not living apart from the morals that build virtue…INVITING such Catholic to be a godparent, and living your faith WITH THEM (inviting them to all parties and functions) everyone grows in spirit.

    Duties of a Godparent:

    TRUE IT IS … living the faith and finding a sponsor for your child who is STRIVING TO LIVE as ought
    can be difficult in the days as they are. But, TRUST GOD and ask of Him to direct your steps.

  2. The godparent assists in the spiritual growth of the child, but does not interfere in the parents role of raising the child or say it different than the parent. The godparent can be A GO(O)D friend ‘like the parents’ should be thought of a spiritual friend . . . not a buddy buddy friend, a parent is friend by ‘raising the child in how they are to go . . . and that sometimes means stating the NO NO’s.’ LOVE says NO …especially when child is young and a know not of good and bad actions.

    The godparents should be quiet and humble. No need for perfect, for who EXCEPT GOD is perfect. But the Godparent strives to ‘do what is objectively right’ in daily living. For love of God. No need to be wealthy, but by living as ought, the person ‘is comfortable’ . . . teaching by example where the true wealth and provision is. (no words need be said)

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