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Godparents have a special place in the life of a Catholic child.


Godparents have a special place in the life of a Catholic child. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states “the godfather and godmother...must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult - on the road of Christian life.” (CCC #1255) This is the Church’s way of saying that being a godparent is truly a ministry in the Church and not simply an honorary title.

Role of Godparents:

The role of godparents is to pledge support to the parents of the infant being baptized as they strive to bring up their child in the practice of the faith. Godparents do this through the example of their own Christian lives and by maintaining a presence and interest in the life of the child.

Each child to be baptized must have at least one Catholic godparent who meets the qualifications listed below. A second godparent, who meets the same qualifications, is desirable. If there is a second godparent, that godparent should be of the opposite gender of the first so there are one male and one female godparent.  

The requirements to be a Catholic godparent are listed below:

  • A godparent must be at least 16 years of age
  • A godparent must have fulfilled all three sacraments of initiation-Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
  • A godparent is expected to be an active Catholic
  • At least one godparent must be present at the time of Baptism

Christian Witness

A Christian witness is an adult who is baptized in a Christian tradition other than Catholic and is practicing in that tradition. The Christian witness, however, is not considered a second godparent but can be listed as a Christian witness in our parish’s official sacrament record and on a baptismal certificate.  

How can godparents continue their role after the ceremony?

Remember the child in daily prayers.

Keep in touch with what is going on in the child’s life.

Mark each anniversary of the baptism by sending a card or email.

Give religious books, music, and other items as gifts to help teach more about God and the Catholic faith.

Be willing to talk about faith and prayer with the child and parents.

Encourage participation in Church worship, faith formation, and service opportunities.