If you would like to have your child baptized at Old St. Pat’s,
Adults who are interested in becoming baptized, or who would like to learn more about becoming Catholic, are invited to the RCIA program, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
I have called you by name…
Be at your best
If you have been chosen to be a Godparent, congratulations! The parents see in you a profound faith commitment, find trust and know you are someone who will care about them and their faith. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It’s not all that complicated, but it does take time, a caring heart and a listening ear. If you’re a practicing, mature Catholic, don’t get too worried.
Being a Godparent is a sacred vocation – a calling, an appeal to live something out in your life. These parents are calling you to be something special for their child: to set an example, help teach their child about the Catholic faith, have a lifelong relationship of prayer, faith sharing and love. Before accepting this invitation, take some time to pray and reflect on your ability to do this.
You might ask yourself, “Can I share my faith unashamedly? Will distance or other obligations prevent me from getting to know my godchild? Am I an active member of my local faith community?” Here are a few helpful hints to assist you in being the best godparent that you can be.
Prepare with the parents. The parents have been required to attend a Baptism preparation class to reflect on many of the things mentioned in this article. We ask that you and the parents share the information from that evening! Your willingness to be with the parents at this time says a lot about your willingness to be present to your godchild in the future.
Be there on the “big day:” Be available for the Baptism ceremony. This may even mean missing less important events. Besides saying, “We are,” when the priest asks if you are ready to assist the parents in raising the child in the practice of the faith, you will have the opportunity to clothe the child in the white baptismal garment, and to light the baptismal candle. Take seriously the profound yet beautiful words: “Parents and Godparents, this light has been entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.” Later at a family party, you could make a toast or say a meaningful prayer for your Godchild and your role in his or her life.
Don’t forget the “big day”! Hopefully you will always remember your Godchild’s biological birthday, but don’t forget this “birthday” into the Body of Christ. Make a phone call or send a card. Better yet, suggest having a get-together to honor this day each year. Bring out and light the baptismal candle, recalling the Light of Christ burning in the heart and soul of your Godchild. Or, create a photo album to be shared with your Godchild when he or she gets older.
Be a living model of faith. At least a part of what these parents admire in you is your faith! If the way you practice your faith is not what it should, this could be the perfect invitation to take a look at your own relationship with God and community and maybe “get it together,” so to speak! Your life doesn’t have to become artificially saintly, but your faith should be authentic and sincere. We are all “pilgrims on a journey” of faith, and sometimes it is the little steps that make the most difference in our progress.
Pray for your godchild. Keep your Godchild in your daily prayers. The constant prayer of Godparents never hurt anyone! On occasion, take time to celebrate Eucharist or other religious ceremonies together, for it is, after all, the source and summit of our faith lives.
Share the faith that’s been shared with you. When your Godchild is young, introduce him or her to a children’s edition of the Bible; give them a rosary; find appropriate spiritual books or prayers. Teach about his or her patron or name saint. Attend and offer encouragement at the child’s first Communion or share your own faith story as our Godchild approaches Confirmation. Continue your lifelong relationship by participating in other religious ceremonies. Remember, being a Godparent is about more than an infant Baptism ceremony!
Give of your time and share your gift. As the child gets older you may want to spend time together on various activities. This may mean being a prayer buddy or working on a Christian service project. You could also share your own experiences. Let your unique God-given talents and gifts shine!
Write a letter of encouragement to your Godchild to be opened years from now. Tell him/her the hopes you have for him/her. Share with the Godchild times you’ve personally experienced God at work in your life.
adapted from americancatholic.org
How to choose godparents
This is a big day for your family, and you want to do the right thing. Choosing Godparents is a decision not to be taken lightly. Too often parents want to honor a special friend, repay a favor, or encourage a non-relative to have a closer relationship with their child. While all of these motives are well intentioned, they are not ideal. If you want to be happy about your decision, consider the following.
Above all, a godparent serves a special role for the one to be baptized whether it be a child or an adult.
Godparents are to represent the Christian Catholic community, the Church. They are to assist in the preparation of adult candidates for Baptism and to be supportive of them afterwards. When it comes to infant Baptism, Godparents are to assist the child’s parents in raising their child in our Catholic faith, so that the child may profess and live it as an adult.
Thus if we remember a few basic things about baptism—it gives a person both a new and special status as a child of God and it makes a person a member of the Body of Christ, the Church—then what you are looking for are Godparents who can truly represent that Christian community. Basically this means you want at least one active and committed Catholic. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states “…the Godfather and Godmother… must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized—child or adult—on the road of Christian life” (#1255). This is the Church’s way of saying that being a godparent is truly a ministry in the Church, and not simply an honor.
In fact the whole Church community or parish bears some responsibility for the development and nurturing of the grace given your child at Baptism. Much of this will come later in parish religious education and Christian parenting classes.
As much as a couple might appreciate all the help that a non-practicing special friend has given them during a pregnancy, this is not a good motive for having them be Godparents. Rather, a couple should choose a firm believer, someone who is truly committed to the Catholic faith in which their new baby will be baptized. Thus, someone active in his/her faith is a perfect choice.
To ensure that a Godparent is capable of this, Church law also insists that this person be at least 16 years old (for maturity’s sake), fully initiated (having received Confirmation and Eucharist), be someone other than the legal parents and one who leads a life in harmony with the Church.
All this may seem like quite a bit, but the purpose is to ensure that the rich and beautiful faith of the Church is passed on to your child in the most loving and authentic way possible. Hopefully you know by now that the task of choosing godparents is one which should be performed with much prayer, careful thought and with the greatest concern for the precious spiritual life of your child.
Permission to Act as a Godparent Form
This form is designed for Old St. Patrick’s Members requesting to be a God-Parent outside of Old St. Patrick’s. Please complete the form and a letter of approval will then be created and mailed to the church you’ve listed. Thank you.
Note: If you are not a member, please visit our membership page as we give permission only to member.