Godparents are meant to play a very important role in your child’s spiritual life. They serve as significant role models of our faith. The child should be able to look to his / her godparents as examples of how the church teaches us to live our Catholic faith. Godparents should also support not only the child but the parents as well. Additionally, in their roles as godparents, they represent the larger Church community. Therefore, being a godparent is not only an honor, it is a tremendous responsibility. Godparents should be carefully chosen.

In recognizing the importance of the godparents and their duties, the Catholic Church has provided guidelines to help parents choose the best possible godparents for their children.

The Roman Catholic godparent:

  • Is a practicing Roman Catholic in good standing with the Church
  • Is at least 16 years old and mature enough to understand, accept and carry out the duties of a godparent.
  • Must have received the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation in the Catholic faith.
  • Must be living an exemplary life consistent with faith and morals as taught by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Must be actively practicing the faith by attending Mass and receiving sacraments.


  • A non-Catholic, baptized Christian may be chosen as a Christian Witness, as long as one godparent is Catholic.
  • If two godparents are chosen, they may not be of the same gender.
  • There may be no more than two godparents.
  • If both are Catholic, they must must both meet all the above criteria for the Roman Catholic godparent.