What is Sponsorship?
People are asked to stand for the Catholic Faith at the time of Baptism and Confirmation. This is a great honor which carries serious responsibility. Godparents and sponsors are chosen because they are committed and practicing Catholics, to which their pastor will testify. A person is eligible to be a godparent or sponsor only if they attend mass according to the precepts of the Church, give good witness to the faith, and have received the sacrament of Confirmation. Your pastor will likely ask to meet with you before issuing a sponsor certificate. St. Boniface parish requires Godparents and parents to attend a pre-baptismal class.
A Prayer to Help Choose a Confirmation Sponsor
Holy Spirit, helper and guide,
give me wisdom as I choose my Confirmation sponsor.
Help me to choose a person of prayer
who will teach me also to be a person of prayer
who will support me in difficult times,
who will guide me to make good choices,
and who will challenge me when I do not.
Help me to choose someone who will love me and teach me to love Jesus. Thank you for giving me a community of people around me
to support and guide me as I take this important step
in becoming more fully a member of your Church.
Role of the Baptism or Confirmation Sponsor
According to the Code of Canon Law, As far as possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsors function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the duties inherent in this sacrament.
The Diocese of Erie requires that all sponsors be in compliance with the criteria set forth in canon law and listed below. The requirements listed in canon 874 refer to Baptism, but also apply to Confirmation. If the pastor of the parish does not know the candidates sponsor, it is advisable that the pastor seek a letter from the sponsors parish attesting that he or she meets the Church’s requirements.
To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:
- Be appointed by the candidate for Baptism, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;
- Be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;
- Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;
- Not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;
- Not be either the father or the mother of the person to be baptized.
A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a Catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the Baptism.
It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be the one who undertook this role at Baptism.
The sponsor need not be a member of the parish in which the candidate is preparing to receive, or will receive, the Sacrament of Confirmation.
In the case of a sponsor who is unable to attend the celebration of Confirmation, a proxy may be appointed to serve in the role of sponsor. Those who serve as proxies must also fulfill the criteria set forth in canon 893.
 Code of Canon Law, canon 892.
 Code of Canon Law, canon 893.