Sponsor Certificate Requests

Congratulations on being chosen as a Sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation! Please carefully read the following:

  • Sponsor Certificates at Saint Mary of the Bay may be obtained only by those who are registered members of our parish community and who meet the canonical requirements, which are clearly listed below.
  • The selection of Sponsors (more commonly known as godparents) can be a sensitive issue for families. Sponsors serve a very specific function at Baptism or Confirmation and do not necessarily fulfill the role of godparent as culturally or commonly understood.
  • Being asked to serve as a Sponsor is an opportunity to renew one's own faith and assume responsibility for becoming a witness and role model in the living out of that faith to the candidate for Baptism or Confirmation.
  • Please know that the canonical requirements to serve as a Sponsor are not determined by our parish, our pastor or our staff. These requirements are enumerated in the Code of Canon Law, which governs the Universal Church. Please understand that it is not within our power to modify or make exceptions to these requirements.
  • If you do not fulfill the canonical requirements for Sponsor, please do not interpret your ineligibility as a judgment on your character or your own personal lived experience of faith. In fact, in choosing you as a Sponsor, someone saw qualities in you which are admirable and imitable. You may need to explain to the one who requested that you serve in this role that while you are unable to do so, you still wish to be an integral part of the candidate’s life, but in some other way.
  • If you wish to discuss your eligibility, understanding that Saint Mary of the Bay has no authority to dispense from these requirements—which are governed by the universal law of the Church—feel free to reach out directly to Father Joe or Deacon John.

Having read and understood all of the above, please complete the form below and someone from our parish staff will respond to your inquiry.

Sponsor Certificate Requests

Canonical Requirements for Sponsors at Baptism:

Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1. be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2. have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4. not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5. not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

Canonical Requirements for Sponsors at Confirmation:

Can. 892 Insofar as possible, there is to be a sponsor for the person to be confirmed; the sponsor is to take care that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament.

Can. 893 §1. To perform the function of sponsor, a person must fulfill the conditions mentioned in can. 874 (see above).

§2. It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism.


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