Badly Need Help Choosing Godparents


#1

Backstory: My husband and I have been struggling with infertility and loss since our wedding in July 2007, and have finally been blessed with a beautiful new life, due in June.

Because we take our child’s faith formation seriously, we’re starting to look at our options for Godparents, and are somewhat dismayed at our prospects.

My brother is a confirmed Catholic, but he doesn’t really attend Mass much. I believe he would take the responsibility seriously, and it might deepen his faith life, but I’d really prefer to choose a couple, and he and his girlfriend are not yet married.

My husband’s oldest sister is confirmed, but doesn’t practice at all, and frankly doesn’t believe in infant baptism, personally. This hasn’t stopped her from taking on the role for my nephew, but I believe it should have, given that she’s sort of a Catholic/Lutheran/Buddhist these days. Her husband is agnostic.

His youngest brother and wife are out, as they’re fundamentalists.

His other brother and wife are practicing, baptised all three of their sons, and chose us as Godparents for the youngest. They also chose us to act as guardians to all three should something happen to them, because they believe our faith and our strength as a couple would be good for their boys.

Here’s the rub, though. My BIL wasn’t confirmed. There was a problem when he was in the 8th grade, and they insisted he be confirmed with a group of 3rd graders (changed the age at which confirmation was administered), and he was so upset that he refused to be confirmed. And SIL was baptised and received Holy Communion, but was not confirmed.

Personally, I want to ask my BIL if he will be confirmed so he can be our child’s Godfather, but I’m not sure how that will go over, or if it’s even appropriate.

We do have friends who I’m sure would be only too willing to step in, and are completely qualified, but we likely won’t be living in this state for more than a few more years, so I’d really prefer to go with someone who we’re sure will stay in contact no matter where we go.

So there it is. I apologize for the length of my novel. I hope you can help! Thanks in advance!


#2

question: Your BIL and SIL are ‘practicing’ Catholics and I assume married in the church, but neither was confirmed? Something is missing there. Kinda hard to give a good answer without straightening this out first?

We are godparents to two little ones so far, and we take it very seriously. We chose godparents for our 5 kiddos by prioritizing who would best lookout for the spiritual growth and formation of our little-ones. Distance was less a factor because the godparents we chose would not let it interfere with their ‘duty’.

-G


#3

They were married in the church, attend Mass weekly, are bringing their children up in the faith, but were never confirmed. Because of the latter, I guess you could say they’re not “fully” practicing, but I wouldn’t say that they’re “not” practicing either, since they participate in the community a lot more than many confirmed Catholics I know.

Edit - I guess my point is - regardless of any of that, they can’t be Godparents unless one of them is confirmed. So is it appropriate to ask my BIL to be confirmed?


#4

I would encourage them to get confirmed, while at the same time ask them to be the godparents if your pastor will allow it. Seems they have a bigger issue on their hands, not being confirmed yet were married in the church - thought you had to have all your sacraments to be married in the church. What a wonderful opportunity to get everything straightened out, and what an honor for your little one to have played a part if you are able to make this happen!


#5

I, for one, have absolutely no understanding of why people want “couples” for Godparents.
It has nothing to do with the job.

I am a single person, and of my other siblings in my family, I’m the one who has stayed in the faith… this isn’t my judgement of them, this is actually by their admittance of their non-practicing nature. Yet they have been chosen as godparents becuase they are “couples”. I have been passed over many times because I am not married, yet I take the job extremely seriously and they don’t.

It doesn’t make sense.

Find some friends in your parish that are practicing Catholics…married or not, and choose them.


#6

My mother was a non-Catholic Christian when she and my father were married in the Church. She did later convert, but their marriage was valid right from the start because my father obtained permission from the Church to marry a non-Catholic Christian. My understanding is that this can take place as long as the Catholic spouse promises to do all that he or she can to have the children baptized and raised in the Catholic faith.

With regard to a Catholic getting married in the first place, I believe the only requirement is baptism, but I wouldn’t quote me on that one until some folks with more knowledge and education than I chime in.


#7

In our case, the reason we’d prefer a couple (if we chose family) is we would like them also to be guardians in the event something happened to us. I would genuinely love to have my single brother act as Godfather, but he doesn’t attend Mass regularly and lives with his girlfriend. It just wouldn’t be appropriate.

I do agree with you that too much importance is placed on the couple thing, though. My parents picked an unmarried couple for my brother, and they are still active in his life. Mine were a couple who divorced and the husband of the pair actually forgot he was my Godfather, even though he’s also my father’s first cousin. I never hear from them. They weren’t there for any of my sacraments after baptism.

But neither would I just pick any random person in my parish just because they’re practicing Catholics. For all I know, we’d never hear from them again.


#8

Guardianship and godparents are two different things.

I did not say pick a random person. I said pick a friend. Pick someone you know would be a good godparent.


#9

What a wonderful gift this could be from your baby to the godparents. I’d suggest you talk to your pastor about this and he may even have some suggestions how to approach your BIL.

But there’s nothing that says you can’t appoint your child’s godparents as the child’s guardians as the OP says they want to do - and that’s quite a sensible choice too.


#10

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