Parishioners should contact the office at least six weeks before the birth of a child.
Any Baptismal sponsor who is not a member of the parish will need a letter of good standing from the sponsor's pastor. Baptismal sponsors must satisfy the requirements for a Baptismal sponsor stipulated by the Catholic Church.
The duties of godparents are described by the Catechism of the Council of Trent (book II, chapter II, question XXVII):
The faithful must also be taught the duties of sponsors; for such is the negligence with which this office is treated in the Church, that its bare name alone remains, whilst none seem to have the least idea of the sanctity it conveys. Let all sponsors, then, at all times recollect that they are bound principally by this law that they exercise a constant vigilance over their spiritual children, and take particular care that, in those things which regard the formation of a Christian life, they approve themselves throughout life such as [their sponsors] promised they should be by the solemn ceremony. On this subject let us hear what St. Dionysius writes (c. 105. dist. v. de cons). Dilating upon the language of the sponsor, he says: I promise, by my assiduous exhortations, to induce this child, when he shall arrive at a knowledge of religion, to renounce everything opposed to, and to profess and perform the sacred promises, which he now makes. St. Augustine also says: I most especially admonish you, men and women, who have become sponsors unto sons in baptism, to consider that ye stood as sureties before God for those whom ye received at the sacred font. And, indeed, it pre-eminently becomes every man, who has undertaken any office, to be indefatigable in the discharge of its duties; and he who professed to be the schoolmaster and guardian of another should on no account suffer him to be deserted, whom he once received under his pledge of guardianship, as long as he shall understand him to have occasion for his care and protection. Speaking of this same office of sponsors, St. Augustine sums up, in a few words, the lessons of instruction which ought to be impressed by them on the minds of their spiritual children: They ought, says he, to admonish them to observe chastity, love justice, cling to charity; and, above all, they should teach them the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the first rudiments of the Christian religion (D. Aug. serm. 163, de temp. and serm. 215, and serm. 165, de temp. de cons. dist. iv. c. 120).
Adult inquirers to the Catholic Faith are invited to visit our Inquiry Class on Saturdays.
The Baptism of Christ by Alessandro Turchi