FAQ - Choosing a Godparent

FAQ for Choosing a Godparent

Question #1: How many godparents does my child need?
According to Canon Law, you are required to have at least one active, confirmed Roman Catholic Godparent who is in good standing with the Church. You, as parents, may choose two Godparents, however there can only be one female godparent and one male godparent.


Question #2: What is a Christian Witness?
If there is only one Godparent, another person may serve as a Christian Witness at the Baptism.

A Christian Witness is someone who simply “witnesses” the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism.

    • The Christian Witness is an individual, at least 16 years of age, who has been baptized into Christ in a non-Catholic Christian community.
      • A Christian Witness' Baptism must be recognized and approved by the Catholic Church (i.e. with the Trinitarian baptismal formula).
    • The Christian Witness is not a Godparent, and therefore does not assume the responsibilities of a godparent.
    • A Christian Witness cannot be listed as a Godparent because their life does not witness to the practice or support of the Catholic faith to which you, as parents, are professing to your child.
    • The Christian Witness is not listed on the baptismal certificate or the baptismal record.


Question #3: What is a Proxy?
If a Godparent cannot be present at the Baptism, a proxy can be designated to witness the Baptism rite itself.
A proxy must be designated by the actual godparent in writing, and approved by the parents.
A proxy will need to have the same qualifications as the Godparents. They will be listed in the baptismal record as “proxies”.
A proxy is not listed on the baptismal certificate.


Please note: if someone is baptized a Catholic and currently attests to “having left the Catholic Church,” has not yet received all of the sacraments of Initiation [Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist] or is not an active member of a parish, then he/she cannot be a Godparent or a Christian Witness.