In a perfect world, a child’s Godparents will be Catholics in good standing, people who are holy and faithful to the teachings of the Church, and someone who is likely to be a major part of the child’s life. What does a couple do when there is literally no one in their lives who meets these qualifications? Has anyone else experienced this problem? My family is full of lapsed Catholics and lapsed Christians. There is only a handful that the Church would even consider an option and none of those are good role models of Christian life. My husband has a few more in his family but they are mostly quite alot older than our parents and are three states away for where we live. We have some close friends who are Catholic but are not faithful to the teachings of the Church and are very vocal about it. What does a person do in this situation? Does a child have to have a God parent? Are there role models for hire somewhere? What have other people done in this situation?
Welcome to my world. luckily I have two faithful Catholics who live on the other side of the country who are the godparents of two of my children. I just use other family members as proxy.
My kids only have one godparent each, and honestly we did have to settle for less-than-devout Catholics. In our family growing up, godparents had little to no role in our lives other than buying us a birthday and Christmas gift, so I’m not too worried. We don’t rely on godparents as role models or for guidance in our children’s lives. Most live out of town, anyway.
Do you think it would be a good idea to choose some of our siblings? They are Baptised Catholic, though some of them are married outside of the Church. Those who aren’t married outside of the Church probably will be at one point. On the other hand, they will be around my child his or her own life so at least they will be present, if not perfect Godparents. My mother chose her first cousin who turned out to be a pretty self-centered wicked lady, all though she is still in good standing with the Church and is actually a principal at a Catholic school! :eek: They haven’t spoken for decades and the cousin didn’t even come to my grandmother’s funeral, even though she lives right in town. My Godfather was her husband, who she divorced when I was four and who no one has heard from since.
That’s kind of what I did with the siblings. At least I knew they’d always be in the family! My sister in law is married in the church but I know she just got a tubal ligation and rarely attends Mass. She sends a lovely gift every birthday and is otherwise very kind to my kids (she spoules her two godchildren a bit more though) That’s all I can ask.
We used my husband’s aunt, who lives across the country. She is literally the only person in the family who is an active Catholic. We just had my mother in law as a proxy. We also had my step-brother in law, even though he is Protestant, since only one has to be a Catholic in good standing.
Talk to your priest. Maybe there is someone in the parish who would be willing. Could be a wonderful opportunity to make new friends.
My concern is that it such an arrangement would probably end up being a very temporary friendship. Would it be better for my child to have a Godparent that knows and loves them and is always going to be present in his or her life, even if their ideas on God and religion are a little suspect? I feel pretty rotten about my completely absent Godparents. (When I think about it, it doesn’t really keep me up at night.) I don’t want the same situation for my child.
That is an assumption but if you could somehow have the priest to invite someone committed to being Godparents and make it known you wish the arrangement to be a permament friendship then it may last from the child’s point of view.
The point you make depends on how serious you take the religion into question. Or how seriously you take the Godparent role into question. The Godparent is there for the child to help them spiritual grow in their faith. Someone they can turn to and ask the questions they can’t ask you.
Godparents aren’t there for you to invite them to bbq’s and xmas dinner every year for friendship and the child gets a present twice a year.
So is it better for the child to have someone who they can easily ask without you even being aware that they have done so or is it better for the child to not really see there grandparent/Godparent and therefore can’t really ask them anything that could get back to you in someway. Plus the grand/Godparent mayn’t understand the Catholic question and without meaning to answer the question wrongly if get an answer at all.
I know which I would prefer but it is upto you to make the decision:thumbsup:
we also had a hard time finding Godparents for our daughter and luckily found one, a good devout practicing Catholic.
I would speak to someone at the parish and perhaps make friends with someone and I think they can help you with that, because that is what me and my wife did and as much as we didn’t want to be assigned a God parent we knew it could be a last resort
Would a child feel comfortable taking a personal question to a complete stranger they never see? If we’re going that route, then can I just declare the Catholic Answers forum to be my child’s Godparent? I think it is important for a Godparent to have a trusting, personal relationship with a child. I also think it is important for them to be a good example of living a Christian life, but that ship may have sailed in our case.
Yeah, I would not have a stranger or a “new friend” be a godparent. How would that even work? “Betsy, meet Janet. She is now going to be your family friend and godparent to your child.” That would be weird to me, and would seem super artificial and forced. Of course, it’s always a nice idea to meet people at church.
Have you asked your pastor for suggestions about what to do?
Not yet. We have to take a Baptism class, so maybe we’ll bring it up then.
You are very quick to assume here I meant a total stranger, in that I never even suggested a total stranger!
I was simply picking up the advice offered earlier on in this thread about asking the Priest if he knows anyone in church. If the child doesn’t initally know them, that would soon be changed with careful arrangement via the priest, yourselves and Godparents concerned. Because whilst the priest may know the people and you do, the child mayn’t so it would need careful thought if you follow through with asking the Priest. I wasn’t ever suggesting anyone whatsoever:blush:
That would be my advice. You might end up with a new family friend.
We used this option also.
Sadly, Godparents are a good idea in theory but never really work out in practice. And even if you did have a close sibling who is a devout Catholic, how do you know in a few years they won’t move far away? How do you know your kid will grow up to like them? Kids have very different opinions of adults than mom and dad
The only relationship that is until death do us part is husband and wife. There is no way you can guarantee the decision you make today will be a good fit for the rest of your child’s life
I gave up on using relatives. I live on the other side of the country. I have asked friends at the parish to step in, and they have.
Personally, I think the role of Godparent is overrated. I don’t know anyone who took their role seriously enough to stick around and sponsor the child for confirmation when the time came. I know it happens, but it is extremely rare. My children are surrounded by good Catholics every Sunday. These are people who have taken the role that family cannot provide. Yes, I made the in-laws upset when they didn’t get the nod, but my kids are more important than they are.