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  #1  
Old Mar 4, '08, 8:46 pm
honeysuckle honeysuckle is offline
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Default Requirements for Godmother

I am a convert entering the Church this Easter. I have a 3-year old who needs to be baptized. I wanted to have her baptized as soon as I joined RCIA, but was told I had to enter the Church first.

I would like my stepmother to be my daughter's godmother, because she is a practicing Catholic. However, she and my father were civilly married. I guess they didn't want to deal with the amount of time it would take for my father's annulment. Now that I have expressed the desire for my stepmother to be my daughter's godmother, my father is considering an annulment. I don't know if he will decide to convert, (of course that is my prayer), but if he receives an annulment and their marriage is recognized as sacramental, is there any impediment to her being my daughter's godmother? How would you deal with this situation?
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  #2  
Old Mar 4, '08, 9:07 pm
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeysuckle View Post
I am a convert entering the Church this Easter. I have a 3-year old who needs to be baptized. I wanted to have her baptized as soon as I joined RCIA, but was told I had to enter the Church first.

I would like my stepmother to be my daughter's godmother, because she is a practicing Catholic. However, she and my father were civilly married. I guess they didn't want to deal with the amount of time it would take for my father's annulment. Now that I have expressed the desire for my stepmother to be my daughter's godmother, my father is considering an annulment. I don't know if he will decide to convert, (of course that is my prayer), but if he receives an annulment and their marriage is recognized as sacramental, is there any impediment to her being my daughter's godmother? How would you deal with this situation?

Canon Law:

SPONSORS

Can. 872 In so far as possible, a person being baptised is to be assigned a sponsor. In the case of an adult baptism, the sponsor's role is to assist the person in christian initiation. In the case of an infant baptism, the role is together with the parents to present the child for baptism, and to help it to live a christian life befitting the baptised and faithfully to fulfil the duties inherent in baptism.

Can. 873 One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex.

Can. 874 1 To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:

1 be appointed by the candidate for baptism, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;

2 be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;

3 be a catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;

4 not labour under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;

5 not be either the father or the mother of the person to be baptised.

2 A baptised person who belongs to a non-catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the baptism.
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  #3  
Old Mar 4, '08, 9:14 pm
honeysuckle honeysuckle is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

To reiterate my question, how would you handle this situation? Would you choose a new godmother, or postpone baptism and use it as an opportunity to bring the whole family into the Church?
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  #4  
Old Mar 5, '08, 5:07 am
Seatuck Seatuck is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

It depends upon some details about the previous marriage. In some cases annulment is simple and in others it isn't and takes much more time.

Baptism is normally to be done as soon as possble after birth.It is normatively essential to salvation. If you wait much longer it will change how your daughters entrance into the church will take place. I guess I'd go with baptism as soon as possible. Your stepmother could always assist you in raising your daughter Catholic whether she is the official godmother or not.

Unfortunately as it stands now without annulment she cannot receive communion or confession and is not considered in good standing with the church . So not the best official role model and really not "practicing" with out those two sacramental elements.
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  #5  
Old Mar 5, '08, 5:14 am
THurifer2 THurifer2 is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeysuckle View Post
she is a practicing Catholic. However, she and my father were civilly married. I guess they didn't want to deal with the amount of time it would take for my father's annulment. ?
This doesn't line up AT ALL. How can one be a practicing Catholic if they are not practicing their faith?
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  #6  
Old Mar 5, '08, 5:15 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeysuckle View Post
I am a convert entering the Church this Easter. I have a 3-year old who needs to be baptized. I wanted to have her baptized as soon as I joined RCIA, but was told I had to enter the Church first.

I ?
you were told wrong
go directly to the priest, today. Your child should be baptized the same time you are. You will receive baptism, confirmation and first communion at Easter. She will receive baptism only (as would any child under age 7)

requirements for baptismal godparent or confirmation sponsor are the same for both of you

this person must be a fully initiated Catholic adult, living in conformity with Catholic teaching, including Church laws on marriage.

Must be at least 16 (18 in some places), baptized, confirmed and made first communion, not the parent of the candidate, not under any canonical ban from serving, willing to learn, understand and accept the duties of godparent--to assist the parents in the child's Christian formation and education and model the Christian life--and if married, must be married in confirmity with Church law. Only one is required, but if there are two, must be one man and one woman.

the godparents you want must make arrangements to convalidate their marriage, including any preliminary steps, and to complete their Christian initiation. As it stands now, they have rejected the sacraments of the Church, so cannot until that is rectified, serve as a proper model and mentor for someone who is coming to the sacraments. It is quite likely that they desire and are willing to correct their situation, and only need guidance in how to do so. Please refer them to their own parish priest, or to the priest who is helping you prepare for sacraments.

If you are already baptized, and coming into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter, your children including the baby are brought in the same time as you are, which means she would be baptized at the same time. Please see the priest today.

there is nothing in your situation that cannot be rectified, probably without as much difficulty as anticipated. true, you may have to find other godparents for Easter, but your family will be well on the way to reconciling with the Church and open to the immense graces Jesus has in store for them.

I would certainly not delay your own sacramental initiation, or your daughters, but use this grace-filled occasion and golden moment to help your step-mother return to full participation in the sacraments--how she must miss the Eucharist, God bless her. and who knows, with all of you praying for your father, great things can happen.
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Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
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  #7  
Old Mar 5, '08, 5:48 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeysuckle View Post
I am a convert entering the Church this Easter. I have a 3-year old who needs to be baptized. I wanted to have her baptized as soon as I joined RCIA, but was told I had to enter the Church first.

I would like my stepmother to be my daughter's godmother, because she is a practicing Catholic. However, she and my father were civilly married. I guess they didn't want to deal with the amount of time it would take for my father's annulment. Now that I have expressed the desire for my stepmother to be my daughter's godmother, my father is considering an annulment. I don't know if he will decide to convert, (of course that is my prayer), but if he receives an annulment and their marriage is recognized as sacramental, is there any impediment to her being my daughter's godmother? How would you deal with this situation?
You state that your step-mother is Catholic and that she is not validly Maried to your father. Your father was obviously married to your mother but divorced her and never looked into the annulment process after the divorce to see if the Marriage was valid. Your step-mother is Catholic but not in good standing with the Church and cannot participate in the Sacraments. She therefore could not qualify as a Godmother until the Marriage situation is dealt with. Was your mother Catholic and did she seek an annulment after the divorce? Is she still alive? This will take a bit of time to sort out with your step-mothers pastor. I would recomend that you speak with your pastor and find another Godparent so that you can have your child Baptized without delay. Your Sponsor can also be the child's Godparent.
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  #8  
Old Mar 5, '08, 8:42 am
honeysuckle honeysuckle is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

Thanks for the advice, especially your long post, Puzzleannie.

My mother and father were not even Christian, and were divorced in large part because my mother became mentally ill in her late twenties (bi-polar). My father and stepmother have been together 20 years. My stepmother attends church with her family, but does not participate in communion because she is not sacramentally married.

I wish I had been able to baptize my 3-year old in the fall, and have been bothered about having to wait until Easter. I am already baptized, I converted from Protestantism. However, I was willing to wait another year, until she was 4, if my father was willing to get an annulment, have the marriage convalidated, and go through RCIA. I am just not sure he will be motivated to do it now, but I guess I will have to quickly choose a new godmother.
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  #9  
Old Mar 5, '08, 11:33 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Requirements for Godmother

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeysuckle View Post
Thanks for the advice, especially your long post, Puzzleannie.

My mother and father were not even Christian, and were divorced in large part because my mother became mentally ill in her late twenties (bi-polar). My father and stepmother have been together 20 years. My stepmother attends church with her family, but does not participate in communion because she is not sacramentally married.

I wish I had been able to baptize my 3-year old in the fall, and have been bothered about having to wait until Easter. I am already baptized, I converted from Protestantism. However, I was willing to wait another year, until she was 4, if my father was willing to get an annulment, have the marriage convalidated, and go through RCIA. I am just not sure he will be motivated to do it now, but I guess I will have to quickly choose a new godmother.
Have your father ask your step-mothers pastor about the possibility of seeking the Pauline Privilege if neither he or your mother were Baptized at the time and he is thinking about being Baptized now.
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