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  #1  
Old Sep 15, '09, 1:29 am
nda nda is offline
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Unhappy sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

I just enrolled my daughter who is 18 years old for her confirmation class. She would do her confirmation by the end of Feb. of 2010. She has attended her first class already (which was one on one), during the class my daughter called and said the catechist wanted to talk to me. Once I was there I was asked alot of questions about my belief of the religion, if I was catholic if my husband was catholic if we went to church every Sunday, it felt alot like an interview, then she asked who her sponsor was going to be I told her it was going to be my sister. She asked about my sister's belief of the religion, if she was catholic, if she went to church every Sunday, if her husband went to church and it went on and on:confused. By the time I walked out of there I wasn't sure how to feel, I had never experienced anything like that. The next day my sister called to ask where the church was at because the catechist had called her and wanted to meet with her I was unsure of all of this so I called her and asked why she felt the need to meet with my sister and she said she had to make sure or she had all the requirements to be a sponsor. Now I was starting to get upset. I told here I didn't understand why she was taking this too far as the parent I have the right to decide who sponsor was going to be and she said that if my sister was not fit she would not be the sponsor. I am a discouraged because I feel that as the parent I have that right and I want the best for my daughter and I know for a fact my sister is the best, I take this very serious I don't just pick somebody all out of the blue. What can I do or who can I speak to about this and I get the feeling the priest there is going to side with her. I can not allow this woman to decide for me or my daughter! HELP?
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  #2  
Old Sep 15, '09, 1:39 am
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Jacafamala Jacafamala is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Well, it is a bit much I have to agree. But realistically, what are your options?

A. Go along with it and have your daughter Confirmed at that parish.

B. Find another neighboring parish, and see about their Confirmation program.

If this were my kid, I think I'd leave it up to her as to what she'd like to do. Don't express too much of your frustration about this situation to your daughter. I'm sure you don't want her to become upset too and possibly change her mind about receiving the sacrament. So play it cool and step back a bit.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old Sep 15, '09, 3:33 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Canon Law requires the same thing from the Confirmation sponsor as from the Baptism sponsor (godparent). At 18 it is not your decision to make but your daughter's decision (unless she's incapable for some reason). Ideally the confirmation sponsor would be the baptismal sponsor (godmother or godfather).

Can. 893 1. To perform the function of sponsor, a person must fulfill the conditions mentioned in can. 874.
2. It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism.

Can. 874 1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

The teacher is making sure that your sister meets all the requirements. Would that all parishes were that vigilant when it comes to sponsors.
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  #4  
Old Sep 15, '09, 6:23 am
Jesus_123 Jesus_123 is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

+ While diligence is very important regarding choice of an appropriate sponsor . . . what you have been experiencing in regard to this teacher appears to be . . . far beyond . . . what would reasonably be considered "due diligence" . . .

It appears from your post that this teacher is neither honoring nor respecting you or your family and God's instituted and blessed parental rights and authority over your child . . . no matter what age the child is . . . and is placing herself in a dominating authoritarian position in all your lives . . . which position she has no right to assume whatsoever . . . and thereby she has entered into presumptive sin by far exceeding her responsibility as an RCIA teacher . . . and is interfering in your family relationships and family authority . . .

Presumptively authoritatively extensively grilling parents and authoritatively extensively grilling sponsors is absolutely NOT the perogative of an RCIA teacher nor is it in any way their responsibility . . . Quietly and responsibly inquiring about a sponsor's understanding of each of the Canon Law's clear requirements for an individual to be an able Catholic sponsor . . . which can be done simply by giving them a copy of same to read and inquiring if they meet these requirements . . . which can even be done via mailing same. . . can be done discreetly and kindly . . . without interfering in family life and trying to take any authority over souls . . . which authority she has no right to assume . . . it sounds very much like this teacher is fond of wrongly trying to exercise excessive "control/dominance" over all those in contact with her . . .
Quote:
Can. 893
1.
To perform the function of sponsor, a person must fulfill the conditions mentioned in Can. 874.
2. It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism.

Can. 874
1.
To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
Only you as parents, your daughter, your daughters priest, and her sponsor have the right to make decisions regarding your daughter's life in the Church . . . and becoming disturbed about another individual trying dominate the confirmation process for your daughter . . . to me . . . is healthy and good parenting instinct . . .

Personally . . . I would carefully write up a complaint against this over-controling/excessively-dominating behavior of this teacher . . . and would send it to the priest of your parish . . . protesting against this behavior . . . and would send a copy to your Director of Religious Education . . . and a copy to this RCIA teacher . . . and I would request an apology from the teacher for this over-agressive behavior in your family's life and in the delicate and holy preparation time of your daughter's soul for the Sacrament of Confirmation . . . and if the priest doesn't support your family rights . . . send a copy of the letter to the Bishop . . .

The responsibility of the RCIA teacher is to be God's kind and informed instrument in the teaching and training of souls in their religious formation in Christ so that they can intelligently and willingly in the Love of God participate with Christ and His Church in the Sacrament of Confirmation . . . it is not to dominate individual's lives and to interfere in God given and blessed family hierarchal relationships . . .

This catechist is out of line . . . and this kind of excessively personal interviewing and dominating activity can easily drive people away from both our Blessed Christ Jesus and His Church if allowed to continue . . . Your soul and your daughter's soul are under the jurisdiction and are the responsibility of the priest . . . not a teacher in the church . . . for a teacher to try to take control and dominion over souls is most presumptious and inappropriate . . .

. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Holy Archangel Michael please help in this situation+
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  #5  
Old Sep 15, '09, 6:29 am
Secret Square Secret Square is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Asking confirmands and their parents to provide some kind of proof that the chosen sponsor meets the requirements of Church law (at least 16 years old, baptized and confirmed themselves, and practicing Catholics in good standing) is nothing new.

At the first meeting of my daughter's confirmation class, we were given forms for prospective sponsors to fill out. The forms ask for the sponsor's name, address, the parish they are registered in, and the parishes in which the prospective sponsor was baptized and confirmed. The prospective sponsor is supposed to give the form to his or her pastor, who verifies the information, signs the form, and sends it back to my parish.

The idea is simply to have the person's pastor verify to the best of his knowledge that the sponsor is a Catholic in good standing, attends Mass regularly, isn't married outside the Church, etc.

The way your daughter's teacher is going about this process seems a little bit intrusive -- calling them up and asking what appear to be "nosy" questions, perhaps without adequately explaining why. The approach my parish is taking seems to be less intrusive.
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  #6  
Old Sep 15, '09, 6:38 am
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

It is that Catechist's JOB to make sure that sponsors meet the requirements set by Holy Mother Church.
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  #7  
Old Sep 15, '09, 6:48 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

the rules for Confirmation sponsor are the same as those for a baptismal godparent--somebody will cite the source before long, but they have to be adult Catholics over 16, or age set by local bishop, fully initiated (all sacraments), not the child's parent, practicing the faith and living in conformity to Catholic teaching, including laws on marriage and family, and are chosen to be a mentor and guide to the newly confirmed or baptized and to assist their Catholic vocation. They should consent to serve in this capacity and not be under any canonical prohibition from serving.

It is my duty to make sure the sponsors conform, because the pastor has delegated this responsibility to me. He has to stand in front of the bishop and affirm that the candidates are prepared and properly disposed for the sacrament, and that includes affirming the sponsor are qualified. We don't take lightly statements made to the bishop on this occasion.

Yes an interview, at least with the candidate, ideally with the parents and sponsors, should be part of the preparatin process. No it is not required by canon law, but without it, very hard to make any determination or to uncover problems that can be easily addressed.

Just as for baptism, no the parents do not have to be practicing, but when they request the sacraments for their minor children, the pastor must have some assurance the child will have support in living out his Catholic faith.

In this diocese, when accepting baptismal or confirmation sponsors, we are not allowed to ask for any "proof" of all this, simply to accept their word. That is particular law of the diocese not my decision. I can't tell from your description since we only have one side of the interview if the catechist overstepped bounds, but it seems like it to me. This should be an interview among parties concerned with the candidates welfare and disposition for the sacrament, not an inquisition. Why is the catechist doing this, not the pastor or DRE?

I will probably get a wrist slap for asking, but is there some reason we cannot discuss sacraments in the proper forum? If we insist on keeping this discussion on the traditionalist forum, it might be worthwhile to look at how things "used to be done" and recall the entire process was much stricter in the old days, so if your parish is a tradional one (Latin Mass and so forth) they might be correspondingly stricter in the entire area of sacramental prep.
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  #8  
Old Sep 15, '09, 8:35 am
nda nda is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nda View Post
I just enrolled my daughter who is 18 years old for her confirmation class. She would do her confirmation by the end of Feb. of 2010. She has attended her first class already (which was one on one), during the class my daughter called and said the catechist wanted to talk to me. Once I was there I was asked alot of questions about my belief of the religion, if I was catholic if my husband was catholic if we went to church every Sunday, it felt alot like an interview, then she asked who her sponsor was going to be I told her it was going to be my sister. She asked about my sister's belief of the religion, if she was catholic, if she went to church every Sunday, if her husband went to church and it went on and on:confused. By the time I walked out of there I wasn't sure how to feel, I had never experienced anything like that. The next day my sister called to ask where the church was at because the catechist had called her and wanted to meet with her I was unsure of all of this so I called her and asked why she felt the need to meet with my sister and she said she had to make sure or she had all the requirements to be a sponsor. Now I was starting to get upset. I told here I didn't understand why she was taking this too far as the parent I have the right to decide who sponsor was going to be and she said that if my sister was not fit she would not be the sponsor. I am a discouraged because I feel that as the parent I have that right and I want the best for my daughter and I know for a fact my sister is the best, I take this very serious I don't just pick somebody all out of the blue. What can I do or who can I speak to about this and I get the feeling the priest there is going to side with her. I can not allow this woman to decide for me or my daughter! HELP?

I apologize for keeping things out, I was trying to keep this short but brief, my daughter's sponsor from her baptizm is not able to come ( she does not live here in town) so my daughter chose my sister as her sponsor and since my daughter is 18 yrs I respected and support my daughters decision and I know their is not a better godparent for my daughter than my sister. My sister is practically her 2nd mother. Regardless I feel this person has no right to interfere. My sister has been a sponsor before. I also left out that the catichist wants my sister to attend every class with my daughter thae classes end in February. My sister has children too and her kids go to chaticism on the same day too.
I cannot allow this person to choose my daughters sponsor because she did state that if my sister did not meet the requirements (which she does in every way!) she would choose the sponsor. I DO NOT AGREE!
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  #9  
Old Sep 15, '09, 8:41 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

suggest you call the diocesan office of catechetics and find out what the diocese requires for sponsor meetings. sounds like this parish exceeds that. I would first sit down with the pastor and explain why you are having difficulty understanding what the catechist has told you, and ask if he concurs with this policy. Chances are something has been lost in the translation

if your sister does meet the qualifications for sponsors in every way there should be no difficulty, in any case, it is the pastor's call, not the catechist's
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  #10  
Old Sep 15, '09, 8:50 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nda View Post
I cannot allow this person to choose my daughters sponsor because she did state that if my sister did not meet the requirements (which she does in every way!) she would choose the sponsor. I DO NOT AGREE!
She said that? Wow. I would talk to the pastor and/or DRE and share your concerns with them.

It might be helpful to take a moment to put yourself in the catechist's shoes. The catechist probably takes her faith very seriously and takes the sacraments very seriously. She has probably seen many people who do make poor choices in regards to Confirmation sponsors and she wants to do all that she can to ensure that such a thing doesn't happen. She wants both the Confirmation recipients and their sponsors to be fully prepared.

Now, is she going about this the wrong way? From all that you have said, it seems that she is. But I'm sure she means well. I certainly understand your feelings, though. I would definitely talk to the pastor.
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  #11  
Old Sep 15, '09, 1:43 pm
Cluny Cluny is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

||I told here I didn't understand why she was taking this too far as the parent I have the right to decide who sponsor was going to be||

Wrong.

It's not your "right". It's the DUTY of those involved to see that sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation are living examples of Christianity, who can provide guidance for their sponsorlings.

Furthermore, assuming your daughter is of sound mind, it is always the CONFIRMAND'S right to choose the sponsor, not yours. Especially if she's 18.

And why did you wait till she was 18 to prepare her for confirmation? Do I detect some control issues here?

The pastor and those he has charged with religious education and sacramental preparation, such as the Confirmation class instructor, have the responsibility to see that the Church's requirements for sponsors are met.
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  #12  
Old Sep 15, '09, 2:51 pm
nda nda is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nda View Post
I just enrolled my daughter who is 18 years old for her confirmation class. She would do her confirmation by the end of Feb. of 2010. She has attended her first class already (which was one on one), during the class my daughter called and said the catechist wanted to talk to me. Once I was there I was asked alot of questions about my belief of the religion, if I was catholic if my husband was catholic if we went to church every Sunday, it felt alot like an interview, then she asked who her sponsor was going to be I told her it was going to be my sister. She asked about my sister's belief of the religion, if she was catholic, if she went to church every Sunday, if her husband went to church and it went on and on:confused. By the time I walked out of there I wasn't sure how to feel, I had never experienced anything like that. The next day my sister called to ask where the church was at because the catechist had called her and wanted to meet with her I was unsure of all of this so I called her and asked why she felt the need to meet with my sister and she said she had to make sure or she had all the requirements to be a sponsor. Now I was starting to get upset. I told here I didn't understand why she was taking this too far as the parent I have the right to decide who sponsor was going to be and she said that if my sister was not fit she would not be the sponsor. I am a discouraged because I feel that as the parent I have that right and I want the best for my daughter and I know for a fact my sister is the best, I take this very serious I don't just pick somebody all out of the blue. What can I do or who can I speak to about this and I get the feeling the priest there is going to side with her. I can not allow this woman to decide for me or my daughter! HELP?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluny View Post
||I told here I didn't understand why she was taking this too far as the parent I have the right to decide who sponsor was going to be||

Wrong.

It's not your "right". It's the DUTY of those involved to see that sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation are living examples of Christianity, who can provide guidance for their sponsorlings.

Furthermore, assuming your daughter is of sound mind, it is always the CONFIRMAND'S right to choose the sponsor, not yours. Especially if she's 18.

And why did you wait till she was 18 to prepare her for confirmation? Do I detect some control issues here?

The pastor and those he has charged with religious education and sacramental preparation, such as the Confirmation class instructor, have the responsibility to see that the Church's requirements for sponsors are met.
If you read the whole thing I state that my daughter chose her and I am speaking on her behalf, she doesn't know what to do ( I am her mother) and the reason why I waited til she was 18 is because I live out in the country I have to drive a distance to the church and I have 3 other children who also started this year, so now I driver all 4 to catechism. I do beleive that the person with control issues is the catechist. She can tell me if the sponsor is not qualified, but she CANNOT pick someone we dont even know for my daughter.
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  #13  
Old Sep 15, '09, 3:01 pm
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SpaceNeedle SpaceNeedle is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

A Catechist chose my sponsor, with my consent after their suggestion...I realized that the Catholics in my life just weren't practicing with any sense of regularity, and they wanted a strong faith example for me.

Later, I became a Godparent for a child outside of my archdiocese. I was asked to A.) Take a class, B.) Provide a letter from my parish, signed by my priest, stating I was a fully participating member of my parish, and C.) copies of my baptismal records.

Some dioceses are just more stringent than others. I can certainly attest that in my own personal experience, "your word" just isn't enough...they really want assurance that the person is the right fit as a godparent/sponsor.
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  #14  
Old Sep 15, '09, 3:13 pm
Jesus_123 Jesus_123 is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluny View Post

Wrong.

It's not your "right". It's the DUTY of those involved to see that sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation are living examples of Christianity, who can provide guidance for their sponsorlings.

Furthermore, assuming your daughter is of sound mind, it is always the CONFIRMAND'S right to choose the sponsor, not yours. Especially if she's 18.

And why did you wait till she was 18 to prepare her for confirmation? Do I detect some control issues here?

The pastor and those he has charged with religious education and sacramental preparation, such as the Confirmation class instructor, have the responsibility to see that the Church's requirements for sponsors are met.
Sorry Cluny . . . it's you who are wrong . . .

Free will is a gift from God . . . and while the Church can make recommendations . . . hopefully gracious ones . . . (and the "gracious" part certainly seems to be missing in the original poster's experience with the RCIA teacher) they cannot take over and demand compliance from anyone on any personal issue involving their private lives . . . God doesn't do so . . . and neither does any healthy Church . . . individual free will is always allowed . . .

Should any authoritarian individual try to force an individual . . . such as a confirmation sponsor . . . into the private life of any family in such a circumstance as confirmation for one of their children . . . the priest . . . and if necessary the diocese . . . should hear about it immediately as completely unacceptable behavior . . . and the consideration as to whether that was the church the Lord wanted the family to have anything to do with should perhaps be given serious first priority consideration in daily prayers . . .

Understanding and agreeing to the Lord's and His Church's requirements re faith and morals, the Sacraments, Canon Law, formation of conscience, etc., are one thing . . . dictatorial intrusion into private family lives and the intrusion into family decisions and demanding authority in the family to make their family decisions for them is quite another matter . . . and is forbidden territory . . . and the abuse of privilege . . .

. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Lord have mercy!
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  #15  
Old Sep 15, '09, 3:27 pm
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SpaceNeedle SpaceNeedle is offline
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Default Re: sponsor's requirements for confirmation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesus_123 View Post
Sorry Cluny . . . it's you who are wrong . . .

Free will is a gift from God . . . and while the Church can make recommendations . . . hopefully gracious ones . . . (and the "gracious" part certainly seems to be missing in the original poster's experience with the RCIA teacher) they cannot take over and demand compliance from anyone on any personal issue involving their private lives . . . God doesn't do so . . . and neither does any healthy Church . . . individual free will is always allowed . . .

Should any authoritarian individual try to force an individual . . . such as a confirmation sponsor . . . into the private life of any family in such a circumstance as confirmation for one of their children . . . the priest . . . and if necessary the diocese . . . should hear about it immediately as completely unacceptable behavior . . . and the consideration as to whether that was the church the Lord wanted the family to have anything to do with should perhaps be given serious first priority consideration in daily prayers . . .

Understanding and agreeing to the Lord's and His Church's requirements re faith and morals, the Sacraments, Canon Law, formation of conscience, etc., are one thing . . . dictatorial intrusion into private family lives and the intrusion into family decisions and demanding authority in the family to make their family decisions for them is quite another matter . . . and is forbidden territory . . . and the abuse of privilege . . .

. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Lord have mercy!
But if there is no confidence that the sponsor will provide good Christian direction, nor any confidence that the sponsor has a fundamentally strong understanding of Catholicism...isn't it reasonable for a catechist to tell an adult woman (she is 18, after all) that she needs a better sponsor? I don't think that's so crazy. I was very blessed to have a catechist step in and "assign" a sponsor; as this person was knowledgeable about our faith, and had answers to all my questions. No family member could have provided the strong, loving direction, coupled with incredible knowledge and commitment to the faith, that she did.
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