Sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation
Church law requires that Baptism and Confirmation sponsors themselves frequent the sacraments regularly.
When someone who does not meet that requirement is designated as a sponsor, it is always an unpleasant (and frequently painful) experience for the priest, the parents of the child, and most especially for the person designated.
The priest has a serious responsibility not to admit that person to serve as a sponsor. Nor may the priest give the person a certificate of eligibility to serve as a sponsor at a Baptism or Confirmation which is to take place at another Catholic parish.
The reason a sponsor must be a practicing Catholic is that a sponsor is expected to pay special attention to the efforts of the person who is being baptized or confirmed to live a Christian life in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church. In the case of Baptism, sponsors are also expected to assist the parents of the child in their Christian duty as parents, by offering them support through good example, encouragement and prayer.
By issuing a Sponsor Certificate, a priest assures members of the faithful that a person is a Catholic in good standing who is eligible to serve as a sponsor for Baptism and/or Confirmation.
Sometimes this is easy; most of our active parishioners would be fine sponsors. At other times, though, the request could turn into an unpleasant experience (if, for example, one requests verification and a priest, in good conscience, cannot give it).
If you can answer "yes" to the following questions, you should have no trouble obtaining a certificate:
Am I a registered and active parishioner of St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church? Have I been a registered member for at least 3 months?
Am I at least 16 years of age?
Have I received the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation in the Catholic Church?
If married, was I married in the Catholic Church? If single, am I living a chaste life?
Do I attend Mass regularly on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation?
Do I receive the sacraments of the Church regularly?
Do I understand and accept the responsibility which I undertake as a sponsor? Do I promise to pay special attention to the person I am sponsoring in his/her efforts to live a Christian life that reflects the spirit and teachings of the Catholic Church?
Am I prepared to assist the parents in their Christian duty by my example, support, encouragement and prayer?