How To Obtain a Letter of Eligibility to be a Godparent or Sponsor


At St. John Fisher, Father McDermott requests that parishioners see him in person after any of the Sunday Masses at the Parish Office to request a Certificate of Eligibility.  Parishioners who have been asked to be a Godparent or  Confirmation Sponsor should consider the guidelines below.

The significance of a Godparent at the Sacrament of Baptism  or a Sponsor for Confirmation requires that the parents or candidate consider very seriously the faith and religious practice of the person proposed for this role. The following guidelines are provided to answer the usual questions that arise when parents or candidates are considering a person for these roles. 


  • A person to be baptized needs only one Godparent.
  • If the tradition of having two Godparents is desired, the person or their parent(s) may choose a man and a woman. Two Godparents of the same sex are not permitted.
  • The mother or the father of the person to be baptized may not be a Godparent. The role of Godparent is to assist the parent(s) in the training of the faith. The roles are distinct and not to be mixed.
  • A Godparent or Sponsor is a Catholic in good standing, living the Gospel message in their daily personal lives. They should practice the faith regularly, including attending Mass each Sunday and Holy Days.
  • Godparents or Sponsors are to be at least 16 years of age, have the proper aptitude and intention to assume this role.
  • Godparents or Sponsors must have received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation), and if married, are in a valid Catholic marriage.
  • Catholics married outside the Church, or Catholics who choose to cohabitate outside of the Sacrament of Marriage, are not permitted to be Godparents or Sponsors.
  • Any Catholic who has abandoned the faith, even if they now are active members in another Christian Church or community, may not serve as a Godparent, Christian Witness or Sponsor for Confirmation.


  • Provided one Godparent is a practicing Catholic, a Christian witness may serve as the second Godparent.  A Christian witness is a validly baptized non-Catholic who practices their faith in Christ in a visible and sincere manner.
  • The Christian Witness must provide a letter from his or her pastor, indicating that they are an active member of their church. 

Source:  The Code of Canon Law (Canons 872-874, 1983) and The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)