ASK FATHER: Finding good sponsors for confirmation

From a reader…


My son’s godmother passed away. He only had 1 godparent, because all the males I know, have not been confirmed. My question is what happens now? My son will be confirmed next year. Can someone else stand in for him?


Condolences on the death of your son’s godmother.

Canons 892 and 893 cover confirmation sponsors. While canon 893 says that it is desirable (expedit ut), this is not a requirement. In fact, canon 892 says that a confirmation sponsor is not absolutely required, but only “insofar as possible” (quantum id fieri potest).

If you’re having difficulty finding a sponsor for your son among family members and friends, you might wish to consider looking around those folks who are in the pews with you every Sunday.

In these times when fewer and fewer of many people’s family members are practicing the faith, I’ve often thought it would be a good apostolate for solid laypeople in a parish to establish a “guild” of sponsors, for baptism, confirmation, and even as best men/maid/matrons for marriage.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. My son was confirmed this past fall. We did exactly as Fr. Ferguson suggests above. My son asked a gentleman we know pretty well from church. This man was delighted to be asked! He is older, with no children if his own. Turns out, he’s never been a sponsor before. My son had a wonderful sponsor and we as a family became closer to him and his wife. Pray, and have your son pray for discernment.

  2. TonyO says:

    Note, also, that there is no necessity that the sponsor be the same sex as the young person being confirmed. Sure, it is typical, and there are reasons why it is a good idea when possible, but it’s not necessary. Likewise, there is no necessity that a girl choose a female saint for her confirmation name and that a boy choose a male saint; it is acceptable to choose a saint that the person is close to or attracted to for any (wholesome) reason.

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