History of and reason for confirmation sponsors?

Does anyone have any information on the history of confirmation sponsors, or official documentation on the role of sponsors? I’m trying desperately to explain why I don’t want to take a random stranger from the parish as confirmation sponsor, but we’re having a hard time getting the appropriate paperwork for the person I’ve chosen. I’m willing to wait if I have to, but I’m frustrated and upset that “just pick someone you don’t know and would never get a chance to get to know” is an option, and that I’m being treated badly for not wanting to take it. I don’t feel that would be respectful of the sacrament or the friend that God gave me to lead me back to Him, but I’m having trouble explaining it to people who seem to think sponsorship is just a formality.

I find this to be a bit discouraging because I have already offered to be a sponsor when RCIA starts up again in the Fall. And guess what? That person will be a total stranger to me. I just want to be even a small part of someone’s decision to come into Holy Mother Church.

God bless you.

I understand that. My worry is - it’s Holy Week already, and the parish knows that I’m not going to be in the area long, so I will have no chance to get to know them and stay in contact. So as far as I’m concerned, it really would be just putting someone in that I would barely ever see again in my life. I don’t feel like under the circumstances the sponsor would be anyone to me other than a name in a book. If you can get to know someone and be a part of their decision, great. But that’s not what I’m being offered here. I’m being offered to just have someone thrown in so they can get all their boxes checked off.

Why don’t you have a sponsor already? My sponsor had to be present for the Rites and the Scrutinies.

I do. The parish told me last Tuesday they can’t find all the paperwork they need.

What I was taught is that when the early church first started they were so persecuted and afraid to just let anyone into the church, so if someone wanted to become of the faith they would have to be first invited by someone who was already of the faith to show that the person was truly moved to become a Christian and not just trying to find out who the Christians were in order to turn them in to the authorities. Back then you had to show the person who invited you that you were sincere before you were alowed to even see the “church” (fellow Christians) let alone recieve sacraments. I am not sure if that is helpful or not. :slight_smile:

I didn’t have anyone I knew who I could pick as a sponsor. My RCIA leader asked what I wanted in a sponsor. I am a 24 year old married mother (and was pregnant at the time, my daughter is now 2 weeks old) and I wanted someone who could relate to my life situation but had a few years experience on me. The perfect person was already someone she had in mind for me. We met for coffee and hit it off so well we lost track of time and sat talking for 3 hours and she was late for a meeting. I asked her to be my sponsor as we were leaving. She wasn’t a stranger anymore. Ask for some suggestions and have coffee with them or get lunch. You’re not obligated to ask them to be your sponsor if you don’t think they’re a good fit for you.

Be open! You might find someone who will be a great lifelong friend who you would not have met otherwise. My sponsor and I are great friends now and our kids are buddies! :slight_smile:

Why, though? It’s holy week and I won’t have time to get to know anyone. And I will only be in the region a few more months. The only thing wrong with my current sponsor is that our secretary won’t do her job…and I really feel like the person I chose is the one God chose for me to bring me to the church.

I didn’t have a sponsor either when I started RCIA. I was assigned someone about 6 weeks into the process since all my Catholic friends are far flung around the province. I didn’t know at first that my husband couldn’t be my sponsor. At first, I was kind of standoffish, just because I’m an introvert and it takes a while for me to warm up to people. That was about October. Now? We are SO close to each other. Her kids are around the same age as me.

I am puzzled as to why you don’t have a sponsor this close to Easter?

I understand where you’re coming from, and I’m sorry you’re under pressure. All people are different and this would bother some people more than others. It may just be that the person in charge of stuff is the type of person who would be less bothered by what they see as a formality, and just doesn’t understand that you really are bothered by it.

It does seem like the sponsor is supposed to take a fairly serious role (see wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_responsibilities_of_a_confirmation_sponsor), and I think that it is understandable that you would want this role to be filled by someone you know or would be able to get to know. Given that you already have someone chosen, and it’s just a paper work problem, even more so.

I suppose the question comes down to “is this worth delaying the sacrament over,” and frankly I don’t know. Things will likely be busy at the parish right now, but I think it would be worth sitting down with someone there and just going over your options, while being clear that you want to know what options you have. It may be that the considered advice of the priest and staff is that the sacrament is important enough not to delay - I don’t know - but in order to make sure that this is their motivation rather than just the human tendency to want to get things done, it is worth making absolutely sure that they understand that you really would prefer the sponsor who you know.

Ask if you could have both? Wouldn’t that solve the paper work problem and you would be more comfortable. Asking never hurt.

I do have one. It’s just that the secretary screwed something up and now they’re telling me that he can’t be a sponsor because they don’t have the right proof that he’s going to Mass (he’s from out of town). This wasn’t an issue until last Tuesday, for some reason.

Thanks. I think my frustration is mainly that I really feel I’m being accused of not taking the sacrament seriously because of this. I’m basically being told that I’m just being rebellious by “not caring about what the church requires” and “choosing someone who isn’t qualified” when neither of those are true. I do care, it’s just that we’re getting told the requirements too late and not being given a chance to verify that they’ve been met.

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