Am I supposed to be communicating with my sponsor or....?


#1

I don't know my sponsor except for what she revealed about herself when communicating with other people in RCIA (not to me specifically, as I'm almost freakishly introverted and I didn't talk much in class :p). When I was becoming Catholic, I knew of other Catholics in my area, but none very well, so a sponsor was assigned from the "team" (maybe this is unique to my parish, so if the term is unclear, the "team" consists of Catholic adults who sit in on many or most of the classes and occasionally add their perspective). We were supposed to meet for coffee and talk sometime but we never did. We saw one another occasionally at class, and she went with me through two or three public rituals that converts in this parish go through, and this is the extent of our connection. She did not appear to know very much about Catholicism, and said she was in the class to learn along with the other students (I'm not trying to put her down, she seemed very sweet, funny and encouraging, and had been through a lot).

At the time, I just wanted to get through RCIA so that I could be Catholic. I would have liked to get to know my sponsor, I wasn't averse to it, but I wasn't worried about a lack of connection either; I just assumed it wasn't meant to be. But I feel like I have to do everything alone and don't know who to talk to; I have information but its hard to apply knowledge to living. I try to do what seems "Catholic" but often I wish that it were possible to live in some kind of professional Catholic commune just to see how to do things.

Is this something that a sponsor might reasonably be expected to help with, or would that be more the role of a godparent (I was baptized Reformed-ish, no godparents)? Or is this an ongoing situation that would be more appropriately brought to a priest or spiritual director? I read things online that suggest that a sponsor plays a spiritual role in the sponsored person's life well beyond Confirmation, but in RCIA we were told that it was more of a formality, we needed a sponsor to stand with us in front of the church. So I am confused.
:shrug:


#2

Welcome home!

In the parish where I was confirmed, a "Confirmation Sponsor" was more of a formality. It is a little confusing because canon law uses the word "sponsor" to mean "godparent." Frankly I don't know what all the official rules are. I'd talk to your RCIA director about your situation, and if they can't help, bring it to your pastor. It certainly does help to have friends in the faith. Does your parish have other regular events you could attend, like a Bible study or rosary group, or Legion of Mary? Those are good places to make friends.


#3

[quote="SecretaryMonday, post:1, topic:321105"]
I read things online that suggest that a sponsor plays a spiritual role in the sponsored person's life well beyond Confirmation, but in RCIA we were told that it was more of a formality, we needed a sponsor to stand with us in front of the church.

[/quote]

I think, to be honest (and if I am wrong someone please correct me), that is the extent of it. It's great if one can gain friends in RCIA and the friendship of one's sponsor, but it's not like it invalidates anything if that's not the case.

My sponsor and I have become friends, thankfully, as we have similar interests (I was confirmed at the Vigil last night). I think our director was clever in how she put people together. As far as the others, I know some of them. Some of them have become my friends. Some are just people I say hi to. That's just how it goes. Especially if the group is large. It's doubtful you'll become friends with everybody.


#4

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The 1983 Code of Canon Law

CHAPTER IV : SPONSORS

Can. 892 As far as possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor's function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfils the duties inherent in this sacrament.

Can. 893 §1 A person who would undertake the office of sponsor must fulfil the conditions mentioned in can. 874.

§2 It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be the one who undertook this role at baptism.

As you can see, it is not necessary for your sponsor to "know everything about Catholicism". Her role is a spiritual one of encouragement. There is no reason for the sponsor's role to cease after the sacrament is conferred. It is a spiritual bond that can last for a lifetime and beyond. You can cultivate a filial attachment to your sponsor and she can feel responsible for your continued spiritual growth and likewise be enriched by your own faith journey.

Thomas Aquinas also had this to say about sponsors. The language he uses is interesting. Your confirmation enrolled you as a Christian soldier in the Church Militant. Even though you are now confirmed, you are not yet spiritually adult. The sponsor's role is to shepherd you into adulthood.


#5

Dear newbie (as you described yourself :thumbsup:)

All of the above.

First of all, congratulations and welcome.

True, having a sponsor for confirmation is somewhat of a technical formality.

However, having a sponsor or companion to accompany you during RCIA can be a wonderful benefit. Having such a person with you as you continue to grow in the knowledge and practice of your faith is even better. Unfortunately it appears that you missed out on this. But don't dispair. As my grandmother always said, "It is what it is."

Since it seems unlikely that the lady who was assigned to you is a good fit for that role, may I suggest that you ask the RCIA director, your pastor, or perhaps someone else on the parish staff to identify and introduce you to someone who could now take on the role of unofficial sponsor, or just someone you could comfortably chat with occasionally about your faith. I'd venture there would be any number of folks who would be suitable and willing to do this, but as often happens, they have to asked and that shouldn't have to fall on you.

Prayers and best wishes.

.


#6

My sponor was assigned to me when I was going thru RCIA. We are very different, but she was there thru all the classes with me, and we have become friends. She would pick me up for classes too (I dont drive). Not close or anything, but within the context of the parish. I am very fond of her and her family (her daughter is discerning religious life!)

So, it can take some effort, and you dont need to be best friends of anything, but you can have a warm simple friendship. :)

Just this past Easter Vigil, she and her son picked me up so I could be there.


#7

You say your are introverted and that she said she was learning along with the students. It may be that she could be just the help you need, but you both aren't being outgoing enough. ;)

If she is a "cradle Catholic" she may have been looking for some "book learning" in RCIA, but she probably is familiar with Catholic culture which soulds like what you are looking for. Why not ask her? Do you hvae her phone or do you attend the same Mass time? Maybe see ifyou two can get together for coffee after Mass and ask her a few of the questions you have.

As others say, your RCIA director can also answer your questions if you are more comfortable asking him/her. Sometimes RCIA has a session or two after confirmation to allow for questions lke that.

Congratulations on your confirmation and welcome Home!


#8

Congratulations on your reception into the Church! Several of my fellow RCIA members had sponsors assigned to them because they didn't know anyone Catholic, and very few of the sponsors were at the weekly classes. I was very fortunate to have my beloved sister-in-law as my sponsor, but she didn't come to any of the classes. She fully participated in all of the Rites at each step, as did the other sponsors, and I was perfectly OK with that. Of course, because she is my sister-in-law we talked frequently at lunch, while shopping, or by text message, so I guess I had some advantage there.

God bless you and WELCOME HOME!!


closed #9

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