Do I choose a new godmother?


When deciding to select my sister as my daugher’s godmother I thought that I was naming (admittedly) a weak Catholic (one who doesn’t understand the depth of the Catholic faith very much), but certainly one who practices sincerely. Instead, I have come to find out that she really supports activities and organizations that are quite counter to the Catholic faith and shows no willingness to learn more or redirect her support. In a twisted way, she claims she is still living the gospel – after all, Jesus ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes, etc, etc.

I believe she is sincere but she is also stubborn. Bottom line is this: Do I select a new godmother? Is that possible? What options/alternatives exists for this situation? Do I continue to use this situation to try and witness to her? What message am I sending if I do nothing? What message do I send if I tell her she can no longer be my daughter’s godmother? Please advise.


Your sister will always be your daughter’s godmother. Godparents cannot be replaced because they serve as witnesses to the baptism. At this point, I recommend that you resolve now that if God blesses you with another child that you will select godparents based on how capable they are of assisting you in educating your child in the Catholic faith because such assistance is another of the duties of a godparent.

While you cannot “replace” your daughter’s godmother, you can ask another Catholic whose orthodoxy and spiritual maturity you trust to take over the teaching and spiritual mentorship responsibilities that her godmother is no longer able to handle. Perhaps, in time, your daughter might choose this spiritual mentor to be her confirmation sponsor. Ordinarily, godparents act as confirmation sponsors but others can be chosen if the godparents are no longer qualified canonically or for some reason are unable to handle the responsibilities attached to the position.

As for dealing with your sister, I recommend that you allow her to fulfill the social role of godmother – e.g., acting as another beloved and trusted adult in her life – but limiting her involvement in your daughter’s religious education. If she offers to help in that area, you might merely say that you’ve got it covered and encourage her to concentrate on being a good aunt to your daughter. Of course, should she become more educated and orthodox in her Catholic faith, your sister’s involvement in your daughter’s religious education should be welcomed.

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