How to back out of something I volunteered for


So, my neighbors are planning on converting and going to RCIA…well, the wife/mother anyway. In a conversation I had with the husband/father, I offered that if they needed a sponsor to not be afraid to ask me or my wife.

Well, now I’m having second thoughts, and don’t know what to do.

I kind of knew at the time, but was hoping they’d take it more seriously, that the #1 reason for “conversion” was so they could more easily and cheaply get their kids into the Catholic school. Now, I’m starting to feel like I shouldn’t do it for such a cheap reason, because I really don’t think they’ll take the Church’s teachings to heart and try to live by the teachings of the Church. But, now, I don’t want to make someone mad by backing out. (Plus, I didn’t talk to my wife about it first).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I don’t think you can know for sure what their reasons are and even if that is their number one reason, once they learn more about the faith, that will surely be surpassed by better reasons. If they do want you as a sponsor why don’t you just let them know that if the only reason that they are becoming Catholic is for reduced tuition, that you don’t think that you could do it in good conscience. Maybe you should also prepare a mental list of what you think are some nice things about being Catholic, so that you can encourage them to pursue it for the right reasons. God does work in mysterious ways, and if reduced tuition is leading them to his Church, it at least is a step in the right direction.


Did they mention this “reason for conversion” to you directly?

My only advice would be to assume their motives to be pure… and if they say something directly to you on that exact subject, then kindly respond,
“You know, I’m so sorry, but I just don’t feel comfortable sponsoring you if you’re not sincerely interested in the teachings of the church”…

But in the meantime, I’d assume their conversion is genuine, unless you were told otherwise directly…

Pray on it as well… maybe they have another sponsor in mind and you don’t have to worry about it!


This is an opportunity to be of service to your neighbours, one way or the other.

At some point, to be received into the Church, they will have to publicly state that they hold that all the Church teaches is the truth. By helping them to understand those teachings as best as they can, you will do them a service if they make the statement by helping them make it with conviction, and if they do not, you will be of service by preventing them from making a vain assertion – one which, in the future, after reflection, they could yet come to make genuinely.

Think of yourself as but an instrument here. God the Holy Spirit is the one who brings people closer to God the Son, and He will take the lead.




The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. I recall a friend who told me that he had only joined the Church so his fiance would get off his back. He claims he was totally insincere as he was at the time agnostic at best. Today, after twenty years of attending Mass, raising his kids, etc., he is a shining light for Christ.

Rhetorical questions:

Do you think that the Holy Spirit or Satan induced you to make your initial offer?

Do you think that the Holy Spirit or Satan is influencing your current inclination to decline to be a sponsor?

Do you think that the Holy Spirit might be appealing to this couples desire to save a few bucks and get the kids they love a quality education as the means to bring them into the Church?


go ahead and follow through on the commitment. if they are not sincere, they will drop out pretty soon, anyhow, and you will be off the hook. If they are sincere, or if something in the class convinces them to stay, you will want to be part of it.


Thanks for the responses. I spoke with my wife about it last night, and she said that if they ask, we should go through with it.

As of right now, we haven’t been asked. Hopefully soon, if they wan to join by Easter, since the classes have already started.


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