Is a sponsor a Godparent?


When I came into the church through RCIA someone volunteered to sponsor me. Are they like my Godparent? Or are they not the same thing?


Were you previously baptized?

In RCIA, catechumens are given a sponsor who accompanies them along the journey to the Rite of Election. They can opt to have a different person as their godparent at Baptism and that person takes over from the sponsor at the Rite of Election. They of course can opt to have the person who has journeyed with them up to that point as their godparent.

If you were a candidate, your sponsor became your Confirmation sponsor. They have a similiar role as that of a godparent but aren’t godparents, if that makes any sense.


Yes that makes sense. I was baptized before but not validly in the eyes of the church. The trinitarian formula wasn’t used. I was confirmed and baptized at the same time. So I guess I was at one point a candidate.


If you were baptized and confirmed at the same ceremony your sponsor was your godparent.


Actually, the word “Godparents” is not technically a term used in official Catholic vocabulary. The Latin word used in official documents is “patrinis” (little parents).

Having said that, though, many of us are accustomed to using the word “Godparent” in English (nothing wrong with that, certainly). Sometimes we see the word “sponsor” used. It’s all good.

That’s just background information though (just a little bit of trivia).

The words Godparents, sponsors (or the Latin patrinis) all mean the same thing. It’s just a matter of personal choice, and often that’s just a matter of using whatever word you’re accustomed to using, or whatever word was used most often in your RCIA classes. Take your pick.

So the short answer to your question is yes, your sponsors (I’m not sure if you had one or two because you use both singular and plural) are your Godparents.


PS–we usually use “Godparents” in reference to our “patrinis” at Baptism, but not typically when we refer to our “patrinis” from Confirmation. That’s if the two sacraments are done years apart.

As Phemie noted, if you were baptised and confirmed in a single ceremony, then you (likely) had a single sponsor for both sacraments.


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