12 January 2013

On Godparents

Too often when choosing Godparents for their children parents simply choose one of their siblings or friends of college because, I presume, they think it is expected.

In his bulletin column this weekend for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Father Toborowsky takes a look at the important role Godparents play - or, at least, should play - in the life of their spiritual child.  For example:
A Godparent should not be chosen just because they’re your best friend or a sibling or because they cried because you did not ask them the last time. When you ask someone to be a Godparent, you’re asking him/her to take on what I wrote above: to help the child lead a Christian life. How can they do this if they’re not practicing their Catholic faith themselves?
To be chosen as a Godparent is indeed a great honor, but like most great honors such a selection brings with it great responsibility:
First, congratulate yourself; it’s an honor to be asked. Second, know what you’re committing to: in God’s eyes, you are going to be “bonded” to the person being baptized. You will be asked by the Church to make a vow, committing to work with the child’s parents to help him/her to see their faith as an important part of their life. Yes, it’s work.
Let's presume that a person is chosen to be a Godparent but doesn't practice the faith and their Pastor, for one reason or another, gives them an "endorsement" to be a Godparent anyway.  Such a person may well realize he or she is unworthy to be a Godparent (indeed we all are), what can he or she do to remedy the situation?
As soon as you’re asked to be the child’s Godparent (even if the baby has not been born yet), start attending Sunday Mass. Make sure you’re registered at a parish. Make sure the parish clergy know you’re going to Mass each week.
It really can be that simple.   Be sure to read his entire column.

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