Frequently Asked Questions about Godparents and Christian Witnesses

What are my options for godparents for my child?

  • Each family has a few options when it comes to godparents and Christian Witnesses:
    • A child may be baptized with:
      • No godparents and no Christian Witness
      • Only one godparent and a Christian Witness of the opposite gender of the godparent
      • A godfather and a godmother and no Christian Witness

Who can be a godparent?

  • Godparents are to be fully initiated Catholic Christians who meet the minimum standards listed in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church:
    • Baptized, Received Confirmation and First Communion in the Catholic Church
    • Are at least 16 years or older
    • If married, have received the sacrament of Matrimony in the Catholic Church (or a Convalidation in the Catholic Church
    • If single, are not living with someone outside of marriage
    • Participate regularly in Sunday Mass and Communion as a practicing Roman Catholic.
    • Celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year.
    • Give witness to his/her faith in Jesus Christ in word and deed and strive to live out this commitment to the Gospel message.
    • Intend to continue the practice of his/her Catholic Faith.
    • Are a registered member of a Catholic Church
    • Promise to support parents of the child in raising this child in the Catholic faith.
  • General note: Someone who is baptized Catholic but it no longer practicing the Catholic faith is not eligible to be a godparent.
    • Someone who is not Confirmed is also not eligible to be a godparent until they have been Confirmed.

Are there any forms or classes needed for godparents?

  • Yes, each godparent needs to return a completed Godparent Eligbility Form (completed by the godparent and the godparent’s parish of registration)
  • Each godparent also needs to complete a baptism class. This class can be completed at any Catholic Church from 2017 or later. A letter or certificate of completion would be needed from the parish where the baptism class was completed.
  • Godparents are welcome to sign up for an in-person baptism class here

What is a Christian Witness?

  • When a family chooses to have only one godparent, then they can have the option of choosing to have a Christian Witness that is of the opposite gender of the godparent
  • For example, if a child were to have a Catholic Godfather, then the parents could choose to have a female Christian Witness.
  • A Christian Witness is someone baptized in another Christian denomination (Baptist, Methodist, etc.) and serves as a Cristian Witness of the baptism.

Are there any forms or classes needed for a Christian Witness?

  • No classes are needed, but a proof of baptism is needed for the Christian Witness.  This is commonly a copy of his/her baptismal certificate or a letter of baptism from their church.

Can a baptized Catholic be a Christian Witness?

  • A baptized Catholic would be eligible to be a Godparent if they meet all the minimum requirements to be a godparent.  A baptized Catholic would not be eligible to be a Christian Witness.