I have been asked to be the godmother to my nephew, which I consider an honor. I am Catholic but unsure of what my responsibilites are in the future and what they are the day of the baptism. There has been some debate and I just want some answers to what I need to do – financially and everything else as well.
Here are the responsibilities of a baptismal sponsor from the Code of Canon Law:
In so far as possible, a person being baptized is to be assigned a sponsor. In the case of an adult baptism, the sponsor’s role is to assist the person in Christian initiation. In the case of an infant baptism, the role is together with the parents to present the child for baptism, and to help it to live a Christian life befitting the baptized and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in baptism (canon 872, emphasis added).
In short, you assist the parents in presenting the child for baptism, witness the baptism, and then assist the parents in training the child to live a Christian life and to fulfill the responsibilities of baptism.
The Church does not attach a financial obligation to being a godparent. It is a social custom only for the godparent to provide a gift to the child on the day of baptism and on other special days (e.g., birthdays, feast days), and, in some cases, to contribute monetarily to the child’s secular education. You’re certainly welcome to do these things if you wish, but you are not obligated to do so.
As a side note, there is also no obligation to raise the child in the event of the parents’ premature deaths. That is the role of a guardian named by the parents in their wills. You would only become responsible for such a task if you agreed to be named the child’s legal guardian.