Baptism is the gateway to life in the Spirit. It is the means through which we gain access to the other sacraments. Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God. By baptism we become members of Christ and his church.
The Diocese of Greensburg has official qualifications of baptism sponsors as well as the appropriate number of sponsors required.
Qualifications of Baptism Sponsors
- Be designated by the candidate, by the parents or guardians, or the pastor.
- Have the qualifications and intention of performing the role of sponsor.
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Be a fully initiated Catholic (received baptism, confirmation and Eucharist).
- Lead a life in harmony with the faith and role of a sponsor (i.e., be a member of a parish, attend Mass on Sundays and holy days, not be in an irregular marriage, etc.).
- Not be bound by a canonical penalty.
- Not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
Our diocese continues the practice of requiring proof of eligibility for sponsorship (in accord with the qualifications above) from the parish in which the sponsor is registered.
The Number of Sponsors
- Only one sponsor is required for baptism.
- If, two sponsors are chosen one must be male and the other female.
- The second sponsor may be a Christian Witness (i.e., a non-Catholic Christian may fulfill this role).
In the event that neither the candidate, nor the parents or guardians select a sponsor, the pastor may appoint a member of the parish community to fill the role of sponsor.
Many parents are often concerned that they cannot find a suitable sponsor for a variety of reasons (i.e., unavailability of family members, being new to the area or unfamiliar with parishioners, etc.).
In such cases, pastor has the responsibility of assisting parents and candidates in the selection of a parishioner to be a sponsor.