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How to obtain a Letter of Eligibility

 I've been asked to be a Godparent or a Sponsor ...

 ... what do I need to do?

The Role of a Godparent or Sponsor ...

... A Call to Integrity

     The role of a Godparent at Baptism or a Sponsor at Confirmation is so much more than a ceremonial function. In the past, it might have been said that the Church had certain requirements and as a result of these, allowed us to participate in these roles. Yet, if truth be told, each one of us needs to ask if our own integrity allows us to stand at the Altar of God and make a public profession that the faith we will speak in word is also a faith in practice!

     Please understand that the role of a Godparent or a Sponsor does not demand sanctity (holiness) of heroic proportions. Many of us have miles to go to achieve Christian perfection and we are very much in need of the mercy of God. Yet the person who has stopped attending Mass and rarely receives the Sacraments is challenged when asked to be a Godparent or Sponsor to allow the moment to be a real opportunity to grow in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit. You can choose to make the signing of a form to be a real grace of change and a moment of recommitment. Or you can choose to sit down with a Priest, a Deacon, or a practicing Catholic family member and chart a new path in your faith.

     Perhaps you are not ready for this. If you cannot bring yourself to a renewed practice of faith, then, by all means, be honest enough simply to ask your relative or friend who has asked you to be a Godparent or Sponsor to hold you excused. This is what is meant by a call to integrity. Whatever you discern, do so by the grace of God and don't be harder on yourself than the Church herself is.

   If we at the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel can be of any assistance in your discernment or in nurturing the grace that this occasion provides, please give us a call at (856) 881-9155. It would be a joy of any Priest or Deacon to walk through these steps with you. Thank you for your consideration, thoughts, and prayers at arriving at your response.

To obtain a Letter of Eligibility

from the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel,

you need to do the following:

  • You are a registered, actively participating member of the Parish for at least six (6) months. Being Baptized or having received the other Sacraments of Initiation (Eucharist and Confirmation) in Saint Catherine of Siena Church, Nativity Church, or the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel does not mean that you are active. Being active means you are registered, you attend Mass often, you are active in the church, you receive envelopes and contribute to the life of the church weekly at Mass with time and talent.

    • If you are not registered in the Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel, but are registered in another Catholic church, you obtain a Letter of Eligibility from the church / Parish where you are currently registered. Again, this is not necessarily the church where you made your Sacraments.

    • Young adults are considered members of the parish via their parents' registration until they move away from home or reach the age of twenty-five (25), which ever comes first. Once you have moved out on your own or are older than twenty-five (25), you need to be registered in the Parish under your own name.

  • You meet the canonical (Church law) requirements for service as a Godparent or Sponsor:

    • As indicated above, are an active, practicing Catholic. (A practicing Catholic is one who attends Mass regularly on Sundays and Holy Days and is sincerely devoted to his or her faith in Christ and His Church.)

    • Be at least sixteen (16) years of age.

    • Have completed your own Christian Initiation through reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. (Please be able to provide the name of the church you were confirmed in and the city and state where it's located.)

    • Are living a chaste life. (You are not living with anyone, or if you are married, you were married according to the laws and teachings of the Catholic Church.)

    • Are not the father or the mother of the person to be baptized or confirmed.

    • Are not bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared. 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.

  • Have the name of the individual you have been asked to be a Godparent or Sponsor for and the name of the church and its location (city and state of the church).

  • A Letter of Eligibility needs to come from the Parish in which you are registered. The document is on Parish letterhead, and after completing it, has the Parish seal embossed onto it.

  • Come to the Parish Office during normal hours to fill out a document attesting to the above. (The process takes 10-15 minutes.)

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