Baptism and Godparents


I am wondering if it is absolutely necessary for your children to have a godparent to be baptized. My husband and I only know 2 Catholics and both are married outside the Church so we have no one to ask to be a godparent. We have been attending mass regularly for a few months but haven’t met anyone yet. It would be odd to meet someone and immediately ask them to be a godparent. What can we do?


Here is what the Code of Canon Law expects:

Can. 872 In so far as possible, a person being baptized 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 baptized and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in baptism.

By the qualifier “in so far as possible,” it is clear that a godparent is not strictly necessary but that the Church very much desires each baptized Christian to have one. If you do not know anyone you feel comfortable asking to be a godparent, speak with your pastor. Sometimes the pastor knows of parishioners who have an interest in serving in this capacity and can ask them on your behalf to meet with you to discuss the possibility of serving as your child’s godparents. It is also possible to ask the pastor or another priest or religious you like and admire to be your child’s godparent. The Code of Canon Law does not forbid it:

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 labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;

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

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