Confirmation sponsor

What are the qualifications for someone to be a confirmation sponsor for someone in RCIA? Is having major depression a reason to disqualify someone from being a sponsor?

I am new to the RCIA team. During one of our meetings this summer we were discussing parishioners who might be able to fill in as sponsors for those in RCIA who don’t have one. One person came to my mind immediately, but the rest of the team (and the DRE) dismissed my suggestion with rather rude personal comments about this person. This isn’t the first time someone on the parish staff has been made rude comments about people while I’m around. I am so disappointed with the lack of charity that I am seriously thinking of leaving the RCIA team and possibly changing parishes.

If you plan on leaving, then there’s no problem staying a while and working toward change.

With humility, confront your group with their uncharitable remarks that have led to uncharitable actions.


In a spiritual way, Blessed Mother Teresa suffered from ‘major depression’, and she overcame it with charity.

This lady could easily be placed with a Catholic who is attending RCIA to receive Confirmation.

The person needs to be over 16, a fully initiated Catholic, not the parent of the candidate, and a practicing Catholic (attends Mass, if married then married in the Church, etc.)

Depression isn’t a disqualification. However, you also want to be sensitive to the candidate’s needs. Is this person in a position to be a mentor and friend to someone coming into the Church?

another factor is whether or not someone battling depression or any other health challenge is up to the commitment of being an RCIA sponsor. Since you say RCIA I assume you mean the sponsor who accompanies the candidate throughout the process and it is a huge commitment, weekly in some cases. For a confirmation sponsor the commitment is less demanding and yes someone like this could very well be a heroic Christian mentor for a candidate, but another qualification is willingness to assume that role.

Are you sure the DRE and other team members were not simply being honest in considering possible sponsors, rather than uncharitable?


We were making a list of people we were going to ask to consider being a sponsor. They never gave her the chance to accept or decline the role of sponsor. This woman I mentioned was ‘disqualified’ only because 1) she they believe her depression is debilitating, and 2) they said she’s “too traditional” because she covers her head during Mass and actually prays before and after Mass. I have anxiety as well as depression (for which I have been hospitalized in the past), and I’m much more “traditional” than most people at our parish (even though I don’t cover anymore – it’s one of my crosses to bear). Their disparaging attitudes apply to me, even if they don’t realize it. If this woman is ‘unqualified’, then so am I . . . .which is the reason I’m thinking of leaving the RCIA team and the parish. If they talk about her like that, what will they say when they find out about me???

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