LETTERS FOR GODPARENTS AND SPONSORS FOR CONFIRMATION
This guide will try to answer the question as to who may receive a godparent/sponsor letter for Baptism or Confirmation here at St. Lucy’s Parish.
The Catholic Church takes the role of godparent/sponsor very seriously. A godparent/sponsor is more than an honorary position. Their role is to be a livingexample of the Faith. That is why in Baptism they are called a "godparent." Unless one is an actual practicing Catholic how can he or she be an "example of the faith?
If you are being considered for godparent/sponsor and you are not registered and active here at St. Lucy’s, or in another parish, then perhaps this is the time to recommit yourself to the Catholic Faith. During the ceremony you will be asked if the Faith professed in ceremony is the Faith you believe and practice in your daily life. Ask yourself, "Will my integrity allow me to make a false public profession of Faith before God and my loved ones?" If you choose not to faithfully practice your Catholic Faith, than you should not accept the role of godparent.
Please know that we stand ready and willing to help you return to the practice of the Faith. It would be a joy and a privilege to help you once again embark on your baptismal journey toward eternal life.
The Priests, Deacon and Staff of St. Lucy’s Community of Faith
The Requirements of Canon Law
For a pastor to be able to give a Sponsor Letter to someone, the pastor must have jurisdiction and personal knowledge that the candidate for godparent/sponsor is a practicing Catholic. The pastor attests to this in the godparent/sponsor letter.
The Church requires that those who take on the privilege and obligation of being a godparent/sponsor practice their Catholic faith, follow the Precepts of the Church and meet the criteria of Canon Law. A godparent/sponsor letter can be issued in the following categories:
1. Married by a Catholic Priest
2. Baptized and Confirmed
3. Over the age of 16,
4. Faithfully follows the Precepts of the Church
5. Faithfully fulfills he Sunday Obligation (1st Precept)
6. Supports their parish spiritually and financially (5th Precept)
7. Intends to faithfully fulfill the role of godparent.
A pastor can only give a letter to a parishioner; i.e. one who is registered and regularly uses their envelopes. This is not a perfect system but it is all we have to go on. If a person doesn’t care enough to support our parish then the odds are that he/she is not going to church.
For new parishioners, a sponsor/godparent letter will be issued after six months of demonstrating faithful attendance at Mass.
The first Precept of the Church is to attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation.
The fifth Precept of the Church is "To strengthen and support the Church: one's own parish community; the worldwide Church and the Holy Father."
The Precepts of the Church [2041-2043, 2048]
The numbers in brackets refer to paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
1. To keep holy the day of the Lord's Resurrection (Sunday): to worship God by participating in Mass every Sunday and every holy day of obligation: [1166, 1167, 1389, 2042, 2174-2192].
2. To lead a sacramental life: to receive Holy Communion frequently and the sacrament of penance regularly
-Minimally, to receive the sacrament of Penance at least once a year (annual confession is obligatory only if serious sin is involved) [1389, 2042]. (See explanation on pages 54 and 55.)
-Minimally, to receive Holy Communion at least once a year, between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday or, for a just cause, at another time during the year [1389, 1417,2042].
3. To study Catholic teaching in preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation, to be confirmed, and then to continue to study and advance the cause of Christ [1309, 1319].
4. To observe the marriage laws of the Church: [1601-1666], to give religious training (by example and word) to one's children; to use parish schools or religious-education programs [1656, 1657].
5. To strengthen and support [spiritually and financially] the Church: one's own parish community and the worldwide Church [1351, 2043].
6. To do penance, including abstaining from meat and fasting from food on the appointed days [1438, 2043].
7. To join in the missionary spirit and apostolate of the Church [2044, 2046]
Yes, Veronica! Angels do pay the bills. These angels are the good and faithful parishioners who care about St. Lucy’s Parish and support it spiritually and financially. These are the angels who pay the heat, light, salaries and repairs!
How many godparents do I need? What are Christian Witnesses?
You need at least one godparent. You many have several godparents but only the first and second will be listed in the registry and on the certificate.
Sometimes, in a mixed religion marriage, the non-Catholic parent would like to have a family member involved in the Baptism. This person is called a Christian Witnesses and acts as a witness to the Baptism. (For Confirmation, the sponsor must be a Catholic.) A Christian Witness must obtain a letter of sponsorship from their church stating that he/she is a parishioner in good standing.
Remember, if someone has the intention of resuming a good Catholic life here at St. Lucy’s Parish then we will assist them in any way we can. The steps to being reinstated are: to make a good Confession, attend Mass and register at the parish office. If they wish to speak to the pastor, please call the office or introduce yourself after Mass.
Remember, a sponsor letter is based on a person living a good catholic life that is known to his/her pastor for at least six months.
He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)