Canon Law allows for two (2) Godparents of Record - One female and one male.
Catholics serving as Godparents must:
- Be mature enough to undertake this responsibility.
- Have received the three sacraments of initiation, namely Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
- Be at least 16 years old (or have the pastors permission).
- Know the fundamentals of the faith and be a practicing Catholic who goes to Mass on Sunday.
- Be canonically free to carry out the office (e.g., if married, married in the Catholic church).
- Not be parents of the child.
A baptized, practicing Christian of another denomination can serve in place of one of the Catholic Godparents, provided there is a Catholic Godparent. However, a non-confirmed or non-practicing Catholic cannot serve as the second Godparent, even if there is a confirmed, practicing Catholic Godparent.
Being a Godparent is not just an honor given to a good friend or relative. Being a Godparent requires a real appreciation and personal practice of the faith, as well as a sense of responsibility toward the person being baptized. Therefore, one should not ask a relative to be a Godparent simply because he or she is a relative. A good rule of thumb in selecting Godparents is to ask if they would be a good coach to help your child become a disciple of Jesus and a faithful Catholic.
It is the policy of St. John's that each Catholic Godparent provide a certification of eligibility. This verification can be obtained from his or her CURRENT parish office and should be turned in to St. Johns at least 2 weeks prior to the baptism. To obtain one, have the Godparent call his/her Church office, explain that he/she has been asked to be a Godparent and ask for some kind of statement that he/she is eligible to serve as a Godparent. Many parishes have forms specifially for this, occasionally a parish writes a letter. Whatever they normally do is acceptable to us.