RCIA Sponsor act as Proxy


#1

Hello,

There is a person who I know that will be going through the RCIA process. He would like for me to be his sponsor.

However, I may or may not l not be available at all of the meetings, or all of the rites, possibly. It depends on where I am.

I would probably fly down to the Easter Vigil, but in the event that I do not, can I act as proxy?

Is there relevant canon law for this?

Thanks,

Chris


#2

I don't think it's so much a matter of canon law as whether you are in a position to serve as a sponsor.

The rites are important! Missing one is maybe not so bad. But if I were the one being baptized, I would feel terrible if my sponsor wasn't there at the Easter Vigil. Having a stand-in would be a huge disappointment. And from the other side, if I were a sponsor and couldn't be at the Vigil, I would feel terrible, both in letting down my catechumen and in missing out on such an important event.

We've always invited the sponsors to come to the weekly classes. Some came more often, some not so much. It was nice when they were there but not essential. But as I said, the rites are important!


#3

I will be at the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming and unable to meet at the Rite of Election, but can fly back for the Easter Vigil...


#4

Could she ask for two sponsors?

Not sure how it works elsewhere but a couple of years ago some of our candidates were let down by their sponsors and our Priest had to find substitutes. The following year he had back up (one nun, 2 candidates who enjoyed RCIA so much they wanted to do it again and 2 parishioners eager to learn). Of the 2 potential candidates, one dropped out and the other had a choice of 5 sponsors from RCIA. Needless to say, we all turned up to support her.


#5

[quote="ChrisCA, post:3, topic:340256"]
I will be at the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming and unable to meet at the Rite of Election, but can fly back for the Easter Vigil...

[/quote]

And presumably you'll miss the scrutinies as well.

My personal opinion is that if you can't be there during the Lenten rites it would be better to decline being a sponsor. Sometimes things happen -- illness or accident for example -- and you can't be there at the last minute. But in this case you know in advance.

You will still be this person's friend and can support your friend through RCIA, but I would allow someone else to be the sponsor.


#6

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:5, topic:340256"]
And presumably you'll miss the scrutinies as well.

My personal opinion is that if you can't be there during the Lenten rites it would be better to decline being a sponsor. Sometimes things happen -- illness or accident for example -- and you can't be there at the last minute. But in this case you know in advance.

You will still be this person's friend and can support your friend through RCIA, but I would allow someone else to be the sponsor.

[/quote]

I will talk to the RCIA coordinator and find out what his opinion is on the matter.

It does make sense that if I am unable to attend to the important events, then I shouldn't be the sponsor, but I'd still like to support him.


#7

[quote="ChrisCA, post:1, topic:340256"]
Hello,

There is a person who I know that will be going through the RCIA process. He would like for me to be his sponsor.

However, I may or may not l not be available at all of the meetings, or all of the rites, possibly. It depends on where I am.

I would probably fly down to the Easter Vigil, but in the event that I do not, can I act as proxy?

Is there relevant canon law for this?

Thanks,

Chris

[/quote]

A sponsor should be there at all the meetings and not just the rites. How are you supposed to help the person on his journey if you are not there. Frankly, this person should look for another sponsor.
Sorry for being so blunt but sponsor from afar is no good.


#8

There are actually two types of sponsors to take into account here: the sacramental sponsor for Baptism (i.e. godparent) and/or Confirmation and the RCIA sponsor.

The sacramental sponsor for someone coming through RCIA has the same canonical requirements and responsibilities as a sponsor for a baby being baptized or a child being confirmed. In most instances the sacramental sponsor is present when the sacraments are received, i.e. at the East Vigil if it’s an RCIA participant. However if the person chosen to be the sacramental sponsor cannot be present when the sacraments are received, another person can serve as a proxy (can fill in for the actual sacramental sponsor) at the ceremony. This is not all that unusual.

The RCIA sponsor is a practicing Catholic, often a member of that parish, who accompanies the RCIA participant during their faith journey into the Catholic Church. Think travel companion, moral supporter, friendly advisor, bridge to the parish community. Ideally the RCIA sponsor is available to be present for the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming, the Rite of Election, and at least some of weekly sessions. I say ideally because this is the most helpful but usually someone will fill in if the RCIA sponsor cannot be present for one of the rites. I say usually because each parish will have its own specific requirements. In this age of technology I suppose that the RCIA sponsor could still be supportive from afar on a limited basis.

Finally, the sacramental sponsor and the RCIA sponsor can be but need not be the same person. In my experience when there are different persons in the two roles, the sacramental sponsor sometimes has not been present for any of the RCIA rites or sessions.

Assuming that you meet the canonical requirements, it seems to me that you could be the sacramental sponsor.
Whether or not you could or should be the RCIA sponsor will depend on how available you will be and what his particular parish requires.

Again, from my experience, I think you will find it rewarding to serve in one or both roles.

.


#9

I had a long-distance sponsor. I wasn't going to stay long at the parish I was received in. For me a long-term supportive relationship outweighed having someone not physically present. And I'm quite happy that I made the choice I did.


#10

[quote="felsguy, post:8, topic:340256"]
There are actually two types of sponsors to take into account here: the sacramental sponsor for Baptism (i.e. godparent) and/or Confirmation and the RCIA sponsor.

The sacramental sponsor for someone coming through RCIA has the same canonical requirements and responsibilities as a sponsor for a baby being baptized or a child being confirmed. In most instances the sacramental sponsor is present when the sacraments are received, i.e. at the East Vigil if it’s an RCIA participant. However if the person chosen to be the sacramental sponsor cannot be present when the sacraments are received, another person can serve as a proxy (can fill in for the actual sacramental sponsor) at the ceremony. This is not all that unusual.

The RCIA sponsor is a practicing Catholic, often a member of that parish, who accompanies the RCIA participant during their faith journey into the Catholic Church. Think travel companion, moral supporter, friendly advisor, bridge to the parish community. Ideally the RCIA sponsor is available to be present for the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming, the Rite of Election, and at least some of weekly sessions. I say ideally because this is the most helpful but usually someone will fill in if the RCIA sponsor cannot be present for one of the rites. I say usually because each parish will have its own specific requirements. In this age of technology I suppose that the RCIA sponsor could still be supportive from afar on a limited basis.

Finally, the sacramental sponsor and the RCIA sponsor can be but need not be the same person. In my experience when there are different persons in the two roles, the sacramental sponsor sometimes has not been present for any of the RCIA rites or sessions.

Assuming that you meet the canonical requirements, it seems to me that you could be the sacramental sponsor.
Whether or not you could or should be the RCIA sponsor will depend on how available you will be and what his particular parish requires.

Again, from my experience, I think you will find it rewarding to serve in one or both roles.

.

[/quote]

Thanks for the supportive comments.


#11

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