What are Sponsors/Godparents?

Sponsors/Godparents are an important part of Christian Initiation. Whether it be for babies being baptized, to teens being confirmed, or adults entering the Church, Sponsors ideally play a crucial role in the life of every Christian. Many of us don't see our godparents and for many of us, we don't know what they are supposed to do apart from being at the Baptism or Confirmation ceremony. Through our RCIA/RCIC, we will provide guidance as to what their roles are, and give them some tools to help accompany you through this process.

What is the difference between Godparents and Sponsors?

At the end of the day, they are just about the same thing. In Church law, the requirements are exactly the same (see below). They have to be fully initiated (Baptized, Confirmed, 1st Communion.)

When in the RCIA process do we need a godparent/sponsor?

Ideally, when you start. It is good to have someone to accompany you. Someone who is a faithful Catholic who can explain things, bring you to events, pray with you, and help you make sense of the life of the Church and the mystery of Christ. If you don't have someone right away, that's alright. We'll help you out. You can still start any time you're ready.

Roles and Responsibilities of Sponsors/Godparents


  • To assist in the preparation of the candidate for the sacrament.

  • To accompany the candidate in the celebration of the sacrament.

  • To accompany the candidate on his/her faith journey, serving as a role model, offering prayers, guidance and encouragement.

  • To present the candidate to the bishop.

  • To help the candidate in the fulfillment of his/her baptismal promises.

  • To take care that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament.


  • At least 16 years old

  • Must be a member of the Catholic Church who has received all three sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation).

  • Must not be prohibited by Canon Law from exercising the role of sponsor. (Cohabiting, married outside the Church, not attending Sunday Mass, etc.)

  • Must receive a letter of recommendation from the parish where they are a registered parishioner.

  • Cannot be the father or mother of the person to be baptized.