Baptism Sponsor Certificates

All you need to know about Sponsors and Sponsor Certificates

What are sponsors?

Dating back to the early days of the Church, the Christian community was keenly aware of how counter-cultural and challenging it was to follow the Christian way of life in the midst of a non-believing society.  Therefore, a sponsor who was an exemplary and committed Catholic was chosen to be a spiritual companion for the candidate for baptism and confirmation. 

How did the role of Baptism sponsors develop?

In time, the custom developed of naming two sponsors at baptism.  Since the mother and father cooperate with God in passing on the gift of natural life, it was natural that a Christian man and woman would be chosen to assist in the spiritual regeneration of the new child of God through baptism.  these were popularly called "godfather" and "godmother." 

What is the role of sponsors, or "godparents," today?

As our society drifts further away from its Christian roots, the role of godparent becomes increasingly more important.  Together with the parents, the sponsor presents the child at baptism and helps this child to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it. 

Who may be a sponsor?

The minimal requirements to be a sponsor for baptism or confirmation are:

  • To be 16 years of age
  • To be registered in a parish and actively practicing the Catholic faith
  • to be a fully initiated Catholic through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion
  • To be worshipping regularly within the parish community and receiving the sacraments on a regular basis
  • To be validly married according to the laws of the Catholic Church (if married)
  • To be living a way of life that does not publicly and objectively contradict Catholic morality: i.e. not to be living with another partner (if not married). 

Why does the Church have requirements to be a sponsor?

Being a sacramental sponsor is not a right or an honor in the Catholic Church: it is a privilege which carries with it the most awesome spiritual responsibilities.  For it is not simply as a relative or friend that the godparent assumes the responsibility for the Christian upbringing of the recipient.  The role of the god-parent is to testify to the faith and to show this by living a life in harmony with what they profess to believe.  In a very real sense, the sponsor also acts as the representative of the Catholic community of faith. 

Can a non-Catholic be a sponsor for Baptism?

One baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic Christian community may act as a Christian witness at a baptism, provided there is also one Catholic sponsor. 

How many sponsors are needed?

At baptism, each child normally has a godmother and a godfather.  For confirmation, one sponsor is customary.  However, for both baptism and confirmation, only one Catholic sponsor is required.  If two sponsors are chosen, it is not permitted to have both be of the same sex. 


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