Do you need to be confirmed to be a RCIA Sponsor?

My fiance decided last year to join the church. I was very happy, especially because I never pushed, or asked. He observed me going to church and parish events for 2 years and eventually asked to join me and little by little became more interested. I was very happy when we decided to look into RCIA, a month following his decision he proposed to me. (I am divorced and am in the annulment process). We each have full custody of our children (1 each) and live separately.

Anyway, I give you this history to help you understand how excited I was for him to see if I could be his sponsor. Of course! Why not! How great! Now…as I wrote the parishes I grew up in, I was able to find record of my communion but not my confirmation. I was raised LDS and Catholic (at the same time from age 11 to 17 only). I remember a large parental fight involving my confirmation and my mother insisted that my father talk to the priest to ensure there was no record. I was doing temple baptisms at the time, and she thought it would damn the people I was being baptized for (sigh).

So, if there is no record…do I need to be re-confirmed? I am really not excited with this. In addition, it’s like wearing a big sign to remind me of my troubled upbringing.

Just to be clear, you’ve been confirmed, right? If so, I don’t understand how a record could not exist. If the parish doesn’t have the record, have you tried the diocese?

I remember my confirmation ceremony. I have not contacted the Diocese. That is a great idea. When I talked to the Parish Secratary (not close geographically now) she said that there is record of us being a family at the parish but no information that I recieved my confirmation. It would have been 1994 and she had our family as inactive parishioners. My Father will not discuss with me futher than, “your mother made me rescind before the forms were completed, it doesnt matter that you recieved your confirmation - I did not consent”. My mother (I shouldnt have even brought it up) commented that, “I need to drop it and go away from the church of the beast”.

I will check the Diocese. The church records only indicated that I had 3 siblings. I had 8, so I wonder what that discrepancy is. I don’t want to have to be confirmed again. How embarrassing…

Confirmation leaves an indelible mark, so either you’ve had it or you haven’t. Your father can’t revoke it because he didn’t approve.

I would check with the parish again to see if they have it. Tell them that you know you received Confirmation there. Sometimes, someone doesn’t look all that hard for the paperwork (especially if you start off with something like “I don’t think you’ll find anything, but…”). After that, check with your baptismal parish. If your confirmation and baptismal parishes are different, the confirmation parish is required to send documentation to your baptismal parish. If they have made a mark in their register, they’ll issue you a baptismal certificate with a notation for Confirmation on the back. After that, check with the diocese to see if they have any record.

Do you know who was your sponsor when you were confirmed? Could you contact them?

Often times things like pictures at the rite or a note from either the godparents or sponsor is enough “evidence” if the official paper work can’t be found.

This can be true for those too who are going thru the RCIA process and have been baptized but can’t find any official form…

Witnesses can suffice. (ie godparents, sponsors)

This was very helpful, thank you. Yes, I remember my sponsor and have not been able to contact her. However, my maternal grandparents were there. In addition, the parishes of my baptism, communion, and confirmation are all different. All records are available except the confirmation piece. So, I will contact my baptismal parish to see if records were sent. In addition, when I visit with my grandmother this month I will ask her to write a letter to witness the event.

Thank you - very much. It is quite difficult being the only active Catholic in my family - and trying to raise my dear precious daughter in the church. You are in my prayers for your thoughts and advice. :smiley:

In order to Sponsor an RCIA candidate you do need to be confirmed - since you have to provide documentation from the parish you were Confirmed in to the parish where you wish to Sponsor the RCIA candidate.

It would not be out of the realm of possibilities that a parish would agree to Confirm a person and not record it in some way - many events happen in parishes that are not in the best interest of the faithful. It would be like never recording a birth. Parishes are required to present such records to the Diocese. Even if the priest may have said he would agree to keep it from being recorded - it would not be a decision that the priest has a “right” to make. Not documenting such a Sacrament has many implications - such as you are experiencing.

I would conclude if there is NO record of the Sacrament in any way shape or form…a priest with a sound pastoral manner would ask you to receive the Sacrament.

You cannot Sponsor any RCIA candidate until this is settled.

Bless you for your question - it shows that the Holy Spirit is moving in your life and at the very least desires you to draw closer to Him! Praise God!

Prayers.

Normally your other sacraments are recorded on your baptismal certificate. So assuming that you were not baptized and confirmed at the same parish, contact the parish where you were baptized. Their records should also show confirmation.

I seem to recall a stipulation that spouses and fiancées cannot sponsor each other.

Canon law does not prohibit a spouse from acting as a sponsor but many parishes do not allow it for practical reasons - the spouse has a vested interest in the person’s conversion and cannot really be expected to be objective. I’ve heard of some co-sponsors where one is a spouse and one is an objective third party.

It is highly unlikely the priest would comply with a request not to make a record of confirmation since it would violate canon law. He might not have given your parents a certificate at that time to avoid trouble but the record is doubtless at the parish where you were confirmed, and has also been sent to your baptismal parish. When you begin marriage preparation you must, in any case, request a new baptismal certificate showing all sacraments received, so that should clear up any doubt. No, like baptism, confirmation may not be repeated.

In this diocese fiance or spouse of the candidate is strongly discouraged from being a baptismal godparent or confirmation sponsor. There used to be a canon law reason (that was considered to establish a close relationship that precluded marriage) but there is also a pastoral reason. Sadly so many couples live together before marriage that the Catholic party may be contributing (often without realizing it) to a sinful situation that affects both of them so many pastors just say no to this. You could still be a sponsor during the RCIA class itself, who is a companion to the candidate. And in fact, you would probably find it extremely helpful. I am just guessing of course but the way you were brought up may have been very confusing for you, and the extra learning about the Catholic faith and way of life might be just what you need.

Place to start is in your first interview with the priest who is preparing you for marriage, and who will be overseeing your fiance’s RCIA process, because there are probably other questions you have as well, even some you have not thought of yet.

If when all is said and done no record of confirmation is found, your grandparents, sponsor or anyone else who witnessed it can testify to that fact in writing.

Forgot to say, good job evangelizing since you led by example, not by pressure, and that gives great promise for your future together.

=JC17268;6906000]My fiance decided last year to join the church. I was very happy, especially because I never pushed, or asked. He observed me going to church and parish events for 2 years and eventually asked to join me and little by little became more interested. I was very happy when we decided to look into RCIA, a month following his decision he proposed to me. (I am divorced and am in the annulment process). We each have full custody of our children (1 each) and live separately.

Anyway, I give you this history to help you understand how excited I was for him to see if I could be his sponsor. Of course! Why not! How great! Now…as I wrote the parishes I grew up in, I was able to find record of my communion but not my confirmation. I was raised LDS and Catholic (at the same time from age 11 to 17 only). I remember a large parental fight involving my confirmation and my mother insisted that my father talk to the priest to ensure there was no record. I was doing temple baptisms at the time, and she thought it would damn the people I was being baptized for (sigh).

So, if there is no record…do I need to be re-confirmed? I am really not excited with this. In addition, it’s like wearing a big sign to remind me of my troubled upbringing.

Confirmation is NOT an ABSOLUTE requirement. ONE MUST BE…

AN INFORMED ND FULLY PRACTICING. This said…

Engaged couple are NOT encouraged to be sponsers as the role and responsibility of a Sponser require a lifelong committmet. And in the event of a splt; this committment couls easily be forgotten.

Congratulations on being well into the process of seeking a declaration of nullity. It can be hard to take those first steps. I’ve heard many stories about how healing it was to move forward with the process.

How great that your fiance is going into RCIA! In the classes here, though, one can’t sponsor the person they’re engaged to. A sponsor is supposed to provide support and guidance, but not be pressuring their catechumen/ candidate to convert. Of course, a spouse or fiance is encouraged to participate in RCIA with their partner.

Good luck getting everything sorted out in any case. :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.