HELP! Having Trouble Choosing Godparents


Hi there. My wife and I are torn trying to find suitable Godparents for our newborn baby girl. Actually, we’d like to find a married Catholic couple, but everyone in both of our large extended families are either “lukewarm” Catholics or not practicing at all. We really want godparents who are great Catholic role models. Our main dilemna is this: Do we go outside our family and choose a couple who are great devout role models, or should we stay within the family and pick a couple that we’re close to (they’re good people, but not making God a priorty - once a month at Mass maybe)? I should also add that we’re a latino couple, and the people outside the family are of a different culture, but not drastically.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and God Bless.


Aside from you, the parents, who is the person you would most trust to educate your Child in the Catholic Faith, the person who will pray for them, the person who will LIVE the Faith. That is the person you choose as a Godparent.


I wish I could help you but we are having the same trouble ourselves. Ideally, we would like to have both Catholics who love their faith and people who we know are going to remain close to our children( so that would be family members, mostly). This combination is hard to come by.

Most of my siblings have left the Church. One’s an atheist, one’s agnostic and one is living with his long term girlfriend and one doesn’t talk about anything regarding his faith at all. My husband’s family are all Catholic but mainly luke warm.

I have one family that I have been close to for a long time that is not related to either of us but might as well be. They are a beautiful Catholic family and so the brother is my daughter’s godfather and one of the sisters will be my son’s godmother.

I have been listening really carefully to my husband’s family for traces of how God affects their lives and when I heard one sister-in-law tell me that she gets choked up during the reading of the Passion. She became my daughter’s godmother.

If you listen carefully, maybe you will find the family members who are most open to letting God affect their lives?

It is a difficult decision because you don’t want to hurt members of the family but you also want a good example for your children. If we have any more children, we will have run out of godparents!


why not ask the priest to make a suggestion for you? maybe he knows of a good couple that could be your child’s Godparent if your not comfortable with your own family?


Thank you so much so far for taking time to provide your input. You all seem to identify with what we’re dealing with, especially you ABsitively.

I have spoken to both our pastor and one of the associate priests about this. Our pastor thinks we should pick whoever’s best for our daughter, even if it means going outside the family. The associate pastor didn’t offer much other than to suggest my sister and her husband. He knows both of them through the parish. However I don’t really think he knows that they are not very active (our parish has about 6000 families registered) since he deals with so many people. We’ve thought about them, but in all reality they seem to just attend Mass out of convenience. If they have time and are inclined they will show up, which seems to be maybe once a month.

We know of several couples that would be good role models, including one couple that is closer to our age. We are seriously considering them but one thing we’re concerned with is that although they live in our town, they both have family roots in other parts of the US and world. The husband has even alluded to (just once to me about a year ago) transferring his job to Europe. I’m sure they would be good for our child while here, but if they move I’m not sure how involved they would be.

I’m also pretty certain that picking someone from outside our families will cause at least some consternation, but right now I’m more concerned with what’s best for our baby. Yikes what a decision!


The only thing I have to say about non-family God parents, is that you are highly likely to lose contact with them as much as they may take a serious role as God parent! My parents chose for all 11 of us kids, the ONLY ones they have contact with are the related ones! And it is worth noting in time all have come closer to the Church then they were at the time of the baptism!

I havent seen either of my God parents in Gee i don’t know how long! My brothers God father was a priest and he hasn’t seen him since he was like 5 or 6!


Hi MaryBee,

You have a good point. I myself have a vague memory of my own Godparents. They aren’t close relatives. This is why we have such a dilemna. The sad thing is that in our families the most faithful Christians are all fallen away Catholics and now members of different protestant faiths. Obviously they are out of the question as far as we’re concerned. As for my sis and brother-in law - she seems to be Catholic more than him (he doesn’t believe/agree with some of the sacraments such as reconciliation), but she still doesn’t make her faith a priority.

The only other couple would be my parents. They are still married, attend Mass regularly and participate in the sacrament of reconciliation at least once per year (according to my mother). But I don’t really want to consider them because they already have an important role as grandparents. We believe that Godparents should play a separate but special role if possible.


This is always a dilemma - but I would err on the side of the family. I am a Godfather to a friend’s daughter and they moved away so I send cards at the appropriate times but I don’t see them at all.

My kids Godparents are family and even though they were lukewarm at the time I asked - they eventually became better role models and at least we can see them from time to time.

It has been a spiritual growth for all really and perhaps giving one of the lukewarm family members an opportunity to become more active in their faith is a great witness to what the church is all about.

You will be the primary teacher of the faith and your own family will be more likely to carry on your faith than good friends. Good luck and God Bless.


We used our parents for God parents as well! My FIL was my sons namesake, and my son was named after the baby my mom lost, so we chose them! And we did have a pile to pick from!


So many good points. Now I’m really torn! haha. Well we’re praying about this, but I’d still appreciate your comments and especially prayers.


We had the hardest time choosing Godparents for our daughter (she’s 17 months old now). We don’t see them very often, but they are close friends of the family. They were my maternal grandparents’ neighbors, and my husband’s paternal grandparents’ Church friends. They were the most qualified for the job, the best Catholics we know, despite being in their early 70’s.

Family wasn’t much of an option for us, since I’m a convert (no one in my immediate family is Catholic) and my husband has one brother (currently not practicing at all). I have one aunt and uncle who are Catholic (they live on the other side of the country), and none of my husband’s relatives are Catholic. Our Catholic friends who are our age can’t seem to make it to Mass every weekend and holy days. We seriously need more Catholic friends!

We are facing this dilemma again because we’re having another baby in January. So I feel your pain. :smiley:


I say go with the people, family or not, whose faith you admire. Whose faith you want your little girl to admire. Who will be there for your child at any time they have quesitons or dilema’s that maybe you don’t have an answer for, or something that they might feel comfortable asking a Godparent for in a second opinion. A great Godparent will remind your child of their Catholic duties and good choices, while you and your wife are responsible for their religious education.

It IS an important decision, and maybe people don’t depend that much on their Godparent’s later in life. I made a choice that turned out to be a bad one, but I didn’t know in advance. So my children now have an honorary God Mother to pick up the slack.

Race should have absolutely no bearing effect on your choice. Strong faith should have everything to do with it.


We went the non family route, since we didn’t really have any family that would be suitable and though it has only been two years I am very happy that we did.

We love the children’s Godparents and love seeing them on Sunday.

We got a lot of pressure to choose BIL as a Godparent, but he wasn’t confirmed and probably never will be since he wouldn’t even go to the Baptism of either child.


DS Godparents are not family - they are good friends.

I am Godmother 3 times now, none are family, and two have Godfathers (I’m married, but, not to either of the Godfathers).


I think the most important thing about Godparents is picking someone who will fervently and frequently (daily, hopefully) for your children. IMO, the number one job of Godparents is prayer.

I chose lukewarm Catholic sibs for my older kids and really regret it. For my youngest two, we chose devout Catholic friends. I know they pray daily for these two.

I tell my older kids that I’m sorry we didn’t do a good job choosing their Godparents, but maybe it is their job to pray for their Godparents.


I say, go with people unrelated to you. To me it seems that if the family member is devout, they will be praying for your baby; if they are not devout, your baby and the witness of your family could be an example to them and lead them closer to the faith, regardless of whether or not they are chosen as Godparents.

We chose close friends with a deep faith that are not related. They are also not a married couple, though the godfather is preparing to marry. The way we figure, this little guy is going to have family praying for him, godparents praying for him, and the spouse of a godparent praying for him, at the very least. We chose people who live life with faith as a guide and we chose in a way that brought as many people as possible into the life of our little baby.

God will lead you to the answers for your little one!


Thank you so much for your great replies. We are still undecided, but are leaning towards a decision that is best for our baby. We will decide very soon.


Thanks again to everyone who responded to this. My wife and I made our decision and already went outside of the family. We asked the married couple from church and they happily accepted!


We chose my parents for both of our sons and now we are thinking about doing the same for our child that’s on the way.

But, us, too, found ourselves in your same dilemma. Sad, but true.:frowning:


Hi, well we’ve been there and wd decided to go outside the family for our 4th child and will shortly be doing it again for our fifth child after he is born in a few weeks.
It may cause some hurt feeling in the family if you do go outside the family. In our case we had already used aunts and uncles and my parents and we were really out of practicing catholics as none of my sibblings currently practice their faith and my wifes family is not catholic. It helps to be able to say “well you need to be a practicing catholic” if they’re not they really can’t get to upset at you–though they still do feel hurt.

Don’t know if that helps.

Peace of Christ,

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