Picking and Being God Parents in the Catholic Church

Exciting times are coming ahead…Jacob will be getting baptized soon. So we’re getting ready and praying for Jacob’s Godparents.

Let me explain a few things about both being Godparents AND picking Godparents.

In our culture, (Filipino) we often pick more than one set of Godparents. It’s not the standard among Catholics, but if the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a baby, then it takes a whole army to raise a good and solid Catholic child. So if you ever go to a Filipino person’s child’s Baptism, be aware that they may have more than one set of Godparents for his or her child.

For each of our 4 children, we have picked more than one set of Godparents. They have ranged from siblings to friends and family members to priests and religious sisters. All of whom are very integral in the spiritual lives of our children… Or at least we hope. 🙂 And even if they’re not…. This is their chance to step up to the plate and make sure my kids are getting into heaven, because that is priority number 1 for our family.

So here are a few things to know before you pick your child’s next Godparents. Please keep in mind that these points are considered the bare minimum. Hopefully you pick someone that will do these things and more. If getting into heaven is your priority, then you must choose wisely.

Potential Godparents must be practicing Catholics in “good standing” and must strive to exhibit a “spirit of prayer” and moral effort and growth in love of God and neighbour.

They can also be Christian, but would be considered a Christian witness instead of a Godparent, and must be accompanied by a Catholic sponsor.

According to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraphs 2042-2043) They should make every effort to

  • Attend mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation
  • Go to confession at least once a year
  • Receive Holy Communion once a year during the Easter season
  • Observe the fast of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as well as abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent
  • Help provide for the needs of the Church
  • Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage

Now let me talk about these points briefly…. The above things describe a Catholic in good standing. But let’s be honest here… These things are the bare minimum. If you pick someone who doesn’t care to go to church or blatantly disagrees with what the Catholic Church teaches, it’s probably not wise to pick him or her to be a spiritual father or mother to your child.

Spiritual motherhood and fatherhood is the ultimate vocation of a man or a woman. Which is why priests and religious sisters can also participate in this wonderful sacrament as God parents.

Remember that if something happens to the parents, the responsibility of the Godparents is to make sure that the child in their life is brought up in the faith. It is a very serious responsibility to be a Godparent. And I hope whoever you pick will be able to live up to the task.

It is a lifelong journey to be a Godparent. As of today, I have 5 Godchildren: Ethan, Kyler, Evelyn, Olivia, and Jeremiah.

I hope that I can live up to the role that their parents have given me. I continue to pray for them daily, and even if I don’t see them all the time, they are close to my heart and I hope that my prayers for them will help keep them close to our Lord and His church.

Now a note to Godparents….

Please do your best to be there for your Godchildren. If you are not physically able to, at least offer your prayers for them.

Learn your faith. This is so important. If you aren’t firm in your faith or understand why the Catholic Church teaches what she does and why… Look for those answers. I can guarantee that you will find those answers within the church.

Offer up a mass for your Godchildren on their birthdays or Baptism day. Thankfully I have a close personal relationship with a priest that I can ask him to offer up mass for anyone I ask. 🙂

Stay close to the sacraments. Holy Mother Church has given us ways to stay close to Jesus. We are to receive the sacraments often and with reverence.

Go to confession! This goes along with the previous point, but this deserves a point of its own. The sacrament of reconciliation is the most under used sacrament. If only we knew the graces we receive after every confession, we would be utilizing this sacrament more. This sacrament allows us to withstand the sins we commit. It gives us the graces we need to stay close to Jesus.

There is so much more that can be said, but I will leave it for another time. All I can say is that being a Godparent is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. We are responsible for the spiritual upbringing of the children in our care.

You must choose the Godparents of your child wisely. Pick people who are good and upstanding Catholics. And if at this point in time, they are not living up to the task, have a serious talk with them and maybe they will amend their ways.

Last year at the RCIA, there was a young man who came to through the process because he was asked to be a Godparent. He never received the sacrament of confirmation, and decided to do so because he wanted to be a good Godparent to his Godchild. I only hope and pray that he gathers the knowledge that he needs to be the best Godparent he can be.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If there are any topics you’d like me to write about, please leave them in the comments, and I will do my best to write about them.

Take care and God bless!

Your sister in Christ,

Jeanette

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