Godparent dilemma


What do you do if there isn’t anyone in your family or closest friends that you and your spouse can agree on to be godparents? First off, our child is not a baby. We just adopted her and she is 11 y/o. My dh’s family is Catholic, but they do not attend Church regularly. If they cannot attend Church (3rd Commandment) then why do I think they could guide my child in faith formation? My family is Catholic and they do attend Church. Granted, just attending Church does not make us all good Christians. My husband does not agree with many of my families life styles and therefore does not think any would be a good choice. I also do not agree with many things they do, but I do not feel it to be critical to faith formation. Example: they spend lavishly on material things and like to celebrate birthdays and holidays by buying gifts. What do we do, any suggestions?


At age 11, your child will be baptized AND confirmed, so you are picking a person to be both Godparent and Confirmation sponsor. That is a decision that most of us Latin Rite Catholics get to spread out over a few years, (with the Confirmation Canidate picking his/her own sponsor). You do have a very serious decision.

The advice I gave a friend in the same situation - is is NOT a popularity contest, deciding which friend or family member you love most. This is about choosing from those you know the person who will be the best example of a Catholic Christian to your dear child. Someone you know will actually pray for your child, someone who will listen and offer sound advice when the child has questions.

If no one in your family or close friends can fill those shoes, do not be afraid to look further, is there someone in the Parish who will undertake the responsibility? Have you asked your Priest and DRE for advice?

Many prayers for you!


The Godparent/Sponor does not have to be a family member. I do agree with you that it should be someone who regularly attends Mass on Sundays and who will live up to the responsibilities of forming your child’s faith. Since you daughter is 11 already, I also think it should be someone she knows and will feel comfortable talking to.


Agree with Sr. Sally. Is there a religion or CCD teacher available who would be willing? Consider the youth group in your local parish if available. The key is that your 11 year old feel comfortable with the choice and can provide what your child needs in terms of solid faith formation. Good luck and bless all of you and hope the day is special.


Ask your priest. At our parish, we have many people who are very active in our faith and have made it known that they would be honored to be a sponsor/Godparent to new Church members.

Congratulations and best wishes!



What’s wrong with buying gifts on birthdays and holidays?:confused:

Sounds fairly normal to me.


Ask around your parish. The religion or CCD teacher was a good idea!


Very much materialistic and secular!!!


I appreciate all your advice, but it still does not help. First off, our 11 yr old dd has been adopted and does not speak English. She does not know anyone and is only comfortable with us for now. We truly wish to have her Baptized soon, just as a new parent wants to protect their newly born child’s soul. Secondly, because of her circumstance she will be only be baptized and later make her First Communion and be confirmed. She cannot be confirmed until she understands more about our faith. With that being said, we still need to choose a great Godparent. Due to a recent move, we have only been at our new small parish (75 families) for over a year and have not had a opportunity to get to know our fellow parishioners in a way that we could make a good solid decision as to them being a good Godparent for our child.


I guess if that is how you see it, fine with me. :shrug:

I hope your kids dont end up feeling like freaks because of this knee jerk reaction you have to avoiding the worldly things in life. I mean that with all honesty and no malice toward your choice or you personally. Kids can be the meanest little devils in the world to each other and something like this is putting a big red flag on their head that shouts “I am better than you and above all you worldy people” :stuck_out_tongue:

It could lead to instant bullying and outcast status. Just my thoughts. I am sure you may have a much different view.


we had a similiar situation and decided to just name my wifes good friend the godmother because she is a good catholic and nobody in our family is. you dont have to pick two, if there are no suitable ones in your family. you can just have a godfather, or just a godmother, we checked with our priest and he said that was fine.


How about me? :wink: I am a Catholic who attends more than weekly. I am happily married to a Catholic man who also attends Mass. I am a mother who homeschools our four sons, even for religious ed. I continue to study and dig deeper into my faith in the hopes that I can share it with others.

Family is very important to me. I like to celebrate birthdays with huge family get-togethers. We invite entire families to celebrate with us, but not for the gifts they can bring. My husband does enjoy giving gifts, but we are certainly not lavish with material goods.

What other criteria do you have for godparents? I bet that many individuals in your new parish will fit the bill if you can’t think of anyone else you know. There is someone in your parish who knows the others well enough to recommend at least one godparent for your precious daughter.


I’d suggest you PM Puzzleannie - she is very knowledgable about these things and can clear up any misunderstandings I may have presented, but, I’m pretty sure that a child over 7 is to rec all the Sacrements at one time.


**Since you are in a very unique situation, maybe you need to think outside the box?

What about someone who does speak her language? maybe someone who assisted with the adoption? Anyone in your parish who is of her heritage?

Just throwing ideas out there…



:wink: I am now campaign manager of “Loren for bjj’s Daughter’s Godparent”.

Here’s a perfectly good godparent, ready to do the job, and even though she is probably in another part of the country, her parish priest waits with baited breath to fax you his letter telling you that Loren is a practicing Catholic.


No, they don’t. And puzzle’s the one who said it.


Just because she does not speak English now does not mean she will not speak English in the future. Also, you will be at the baptism. She is not a baby that needs to be held over the font, or tub-dunked by the priest. In time, she will be able to speak to her godparent, whoever that person is. This has no bearing on the situation.

Well, nobody said hold off. You seem to be overemphasizing the “can’t” and setting up a lot of unnesessary criteria for yourselves.

Not unsual.

How about this? Have your husband put his top choice for godparent in a box, on a piece of paper. You put your top choice for godparent on a piece of paper in a box. Have your daughter draw the name out of the box. The name picked is the godparent. Another alternative: He writes down ten names on a piece of paper, his choices. You write down ten names. See how many match.

You are not going to find the perfect godparent among human beings. You can only work with what you have. Pick the best of the lot, and make sure your dd has a great confirmation sponsor- which can be different from the bapitsmal godparent. Getting her bapitzed at this point is the main deal.


Ask your priest or the DRE to recommend someone from your parish. Since she will undoubtedly be studying her faith there, it could be helpful in the long run for her to have a connection with some one in the parish, even more so than a family member. It doesn’t matter if they don’t speak the same language that she does.


Did a quick search, might assist BJJ in speaking with the DRE.





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