I am about to have a baby this coming July and I am in the process of picking out my child’s god parents. I take this very seriously and want the best for my child. The godfather was a given known from the day me and husband got married, before we ever got pregnant but my question concerns the godmother. She is 18 years old, a very steady practicing catholic, attends catholic school, but due to the hurricane that efffected our area 2 1/2 years ago she has yet to be confirmed. Does this effect her becoming my child’s god parent?

I wouldn’t think so, but I am confused on the whole issue this being my first child.



I was told it had to be a confirmed, practicing Catholic. And if married, married in the Church.

A hurricane might have postponed her confirmation, but what about the intervening two years? She could have been confirmed. There is a reason she hasn’t. (Even if it’s just that she is a teenager who hasn’t been taking it seriously, as teens tend to do.) I would look into it.

In any case, she would not be allowed to be a godparent in the Diocese of Phoenix.


I’m pretty sure a Godparent has to be confirmed.
However, you can have just ONE Godparent, and the other can be a “witness to the baptism”…

Here is the link to the Canon Law…



Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.


BTW - congratulations! I’m also due in July! :slight_smile:


The hurricane hit us 2 1/2 years ago but we didn’t come home that fast. Where we were staying during the “intervening period” was in another state and the nearest Catholic church was 1 hours drive and they didn’t have enough people to have a class for her to be confirmed. She has postponed it until now, because she is about to finish her Junior year at her Catholic school and was under the impression that she would make her confirmation this year at her school. She was only just recently told around January that her school doesn’t offer this and she would have to go to an outside source. The church she currently attends doesn’t offer it as well (not enough people to start a class). She has searched at other churches in the area but most are for adults and offer classes late nights during the week. She is still in school and can’t accomplish this. ( She tried but getting home after 10 pm on a Tuesday wasn’t working).

I just don’t know what else to do…


You could go with just the godfather – it’s perfectly OK, only one godparent is required.


i am sure you really want her to be a godparent and that is why you posted, right? Maybe have her as the witness… and maybe when she gets confirmed, her scarament will “make her” an automatic God parent?? Of course this is just what I think… I dont know what actually will happen…


Even if she couldn’t technically be the godmother now, could she still participate in the mass? I want her to be a big part in my child’s life, like I was in her’s. I wonder if after she gets confirmed could we go back and put on the baptism certificate as the godmother?


Orrr… maybe she can be the Godmother of your next child, if you have another one??

I have my own dilemma of who to chose for Godparents, but at least I hope to have other children I have invite my potential picks to be Godparents to!


I don’t know if they could retroactively add her to the baptismal certificate (you’d have to ask your priest that), but I’m pretty sure they have an option on the certificate to have a “christian witness” (at least I think our parish has that option on the paperwork)…
As long as there is at least ONE “Godparent”…
Ask your priest! :slight_smile:


Hmm… My brother and I are godparents for our youngest brother and neither of us were confirmed at the time - we were 15/14 at the time. Are we all invalid??

And when both my children were baptized all that was required was a statement from the godparent’s churches stating they were practicing Catholics. no one ever checked on their confirmation status (or any other sacramental status.)

quite odd.

and I agree, it’s darn hard to pick Godparents. Friends say “oh pick so and so” umm, hello, so and so is not Catholic. They just don’t get it. And for what it’s worth, my own Godparents left the church when I was young and are Baptists now. That’s always bugged me and I used to ask my parents to get me new godparents haah.


1.) ASK YOUR PRIEST OR THE CHANCERY IF THE BISHOP WILL GIVE YOU A DISPENSATION. I put this in caps because nobody seems to be bothering the priest or the chancery, for whatever reasons. Don’t ask the office manager, don’t ask the secretary, don’t ask the DRE, don’t ask the baptismal catechist.
2.) Your sister is 18. She is an adult ecclesiastically (as well as legally). Just because she finishing her junior year does not negate her 18 years. This is not a time for the “jump through hoops” class of two years. She needs an adult class, and if she wants to be confirmed, she needs it quickly. She does not need to have a “class” with people. She can do 1:1 with the priest or a catechist, if either is willing to take the time to do it. Have her call the bishop’s office of your current diocese and ask if the cathedral has confirmation on Pentecost, or if his office can slip her into a confirmation class somewhere before July. Have her explain the situation about the hurricane. She needs to call because she is an adult.
3.) Check with the priest before labeling her a Christian witness. Canon law can be tricky, and she is certainly not from a non-Catholic ecclesial community.
4.) Baptismal sponsors are not retroactive. You can choose her informally as the godmother, and on paper, just go with the godfather. One godparent is perfectly acceptable.


What you have there is parishes not doing their due diligence. I have had this happen in the past, too. My Liturgical Director, when I asked him, informed me that the baptisms are considered valid, but illicit. Meaning, the baptism is valid and effectual for the child, even though the proper form was not followed. Though I don’t understand how they could have gone as far as violating Canon Law! :eek: That states that any godparent must be at least 16 years old. Scary…


But it allows the bishop to decide another age for sponsors in his diocese. Like other decisions of this kind, sometimes the bishop leaves it up to the pastor since he’s the one who knows the people.

When I was baptized, 5 decades ago, my godmother was 12, my godfather was 10.


That had to have been cute, though.

Did you look it up in the 1917 Code and see if you were valid but illicit?


Let’s say that it’s the least of my worries. I’m baptized, that’s all that counts. In the 1917 CCL, the sponsor for confirmation had to be 14 and same sex as the confirmand It couldn’t be the godparent except in an emergency. Was there a minimum age for godparents? Haven’t found anything about it.

BTW, I became godmother to my godmother’s daughter when I was 16; my brother, 15 at the time, was the godfather. Still under the code of 1917 CCL.

Just realized that I don’t remember anything about a sponsor at confirmation. I remember my classroom, the classes, even the mobile we made with the birds with the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’ on them. And I remember going to the bishop by myself and later on at the end of Mass taking the Pledge – not of Allegiance, but that not to consume alcohol until the age of 21.


Hi there a few years ago when my children were baptised we had a priest who insisted on one of each godparent both catholic no arguments when my youngest son was baptised a year or two later that priest had sadly passed away and another priest was standing in until another priest could come and take over the parish i went to him and asked what i needed to do about godparents.
I had not converted at the time but was known to the church as i had attended with my family since i was five, my whole family except myself and my mother were catholic but i was struggling for catholic godparents as others around us are not catholic you see.
Father explained to me that it was not the fact whether they were catholic or not that mattered but that they knew that the child was and agreed to teach the child all about their faith.
The god mothers for each of my children encourage my children in their faith, support them and also learn from them and neither one of them is catholic.
My children are from a strong catholic family attend church every week attend a catholic school and embrace their faith, i am now also catholic and we grow and learn together.
Speak to your priest if you are worried at all, but i hope it all goes well baptism truly is a wonderful sacrament.
Enjoy the day:)


I’ve known priests to not even ask about the godparents’ religion and that’s how some kids ended up with 2 non-Catholics godparents, and I think in one case one was not even qualified to be a ‘Christian Witness’. It did nothing but create problems later.


I think that would have been the case with this priest only i went to him to ask him because of how adamant the first priest was about godparents he certainly didnt seem as if he was going to ask me, it was me who raised the issue with him because i was worried.


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