What do we do if we don't have any godparents for our baby?


My husband and I are expecting our first child this summer. We know that the Church wants the baby baptized within the first few weeks of life and we agree. But we do not know anyone who can be the godparent(s).

We have already spoken with our priest and the pastoral assistant in the hopes of getting some guidance and advice. They were not helpful at all. Their position is that we have plenty of time (no need to baptize the child right away after birth :rolleyes: ) and that they cannot choose godparents for us so we are on our own.

Can you please tell me the Church’s position on a situation like this? Can our baby be baptized without any godparents? Do you have any helpful advice or suggestions?


Although sponsors are not absolutely required for a valid baptism, the Church strongly urges that the person to be baptized have at least one sponsor (i.e., godparent):

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).

One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex (canon 873).

There are a several things you could do to find a godparent for your child:

[list]If your parish offers baptismal classes, you might ask to be put in touch with other expectant parents in the parish. You might then get to know these parents and either ask for recommendations for potential godparents or, if you find someone you really click with in the baptismal classes, you might ask that person to be the godparent.[/list]
[list]You might call your diocese’s liturgical office and ask for assistance in finding a suitable godparent, explaining to the office that your parish staff was unable to help you in this matter.[/list]
[list]Priests, deacons, and consecrated religious are able to be sponsors. If your pastor is unable to help you find someone to be your child’s godparent, you might say politely, “Father, we’ve been unable to find a suitable godparent for our child, so would you be our baby’s godfather?” If this idea doesn’t appeal to you – or if your priest doesn’t feel himself able to take on the responsibility – you might also look around at the other clergy (priests, deacons) at the parish and at any consecrated religious who are attached to the parish (teaching nuns, for example).[/list]
[list]If you know of a Catholic who would be a good godparent but doesn’t live close to you, you can ask a local Catholic to act as proxy at the baptism for the distant Catholic. That way a local Catholic unable to take full responsibility for being the actual godparent may be able to assist you. (For example, your priest might be willing to act as a proxy sponsor for a Catholic unable to attend the baptism.)[/list]

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