I am not yet a Catholic, although moving in that direction. I was baptized as a Lutheran and have been living as a confessing Christian for 25 years. How should I choose a sponsor for my confirmation? Would that person also be my mentor and spiritual director?
The Church’s Code of Canon Law (CIC) states the required qualifications of a confirmation sponsor (CIC 874 §1):
To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
1/ be designated by the one to be [confirmed], 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 [confirmed].
Additionally, “*t is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism” (CIC 893 §2). This, of course, presumes the qualifications previously stated are met.
A mentor or spiritual director may make a good confirmation sponsor as canon law states, “the sponsor is to take care that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament” (CIC 892).*