Baptism Preparation Class

Requirements for Godparents and Christian Witnesses

Godparents, also known as baptismal sponsors, assist the parents in the child's Catholic upbringing. In the liturgy of Baptism, Godparents promise to help the parents in their duty as Christian parents.  

Because their primary role is in relationship to the parents, Godparents should be carefully chosen by the parents because they diligently practice their Catholic faith, and are willing and able to assist in the Catholic faith formation of the child. Godparents should not be chosen simply because of familial or social relationships.

The church also provides for an active member of another Christian church to stand as witness to the Baptism when only one Godparent is chosen. The Christian Witness plays an active and important role in supporting parents as they teach their child the Christian way of life.

The church does not take this role lightly and so has established clear criteria for the fulfillment of these roles in its laws.

  • A Godparent, chosen by parents or pastor, must be at least 16 years of age.
  • A Godparent must be a baptized Catholic who has completed the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation, regularly attends Mass on Sunday, and lives the Faith so as to be a moral and spiritual example to their Godchild.
  • A Godparent may not be under any form of canonical penalty (e.g. excommunication most commonly for abortion.)
  • A Godparent may not be the parent of the child being baptized.
  • If married, the Godparent must be in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church. The two Godparents do not have to be married to one another.
  • If single, a godparent may not be cohabitating (i.e., "living together" in a marital manner) with a partner.
  • A validly baptized non-Catholic may not be a Godparent but may serve as a Christian Witness along with a Catholic Godparent of the opposite sex.

A person who was baptized a Catholic but who has joined another denomination or faith may not be selected either as a Godparent or a Christian Witness.

A person married to a Catholic outside the Catholic Church also may not serve as a Christian witness.

  • Non-baptized persons may not serve as Godparents or Christian witnesses.
  • Only one Godparent is required. If there are to be two (two Godparents or a Godparent and a Christian Witness), then one must be male and one must be female.
  • Parents, Godparent(s), and/or the Christian Witness (if there is to be one) must attend a baptismal preparation class if they have not already attended one.

Registration for The St. Thomas Aquinas Pre-Baptismal Class

(Registration for the baptisms will come later)

Registration for Pre-Baptismal class must be submitted by 5pm on the Thursday before the class.

During this time of shelter-in-place, please know that Baptism Prep classes continue to be provided by St. Thomas Aquinas, but by Zoom. You can register for Baptism Prep classes as you normally do, and we will send you a Zoom invitation by email to attend a class at the date and time specified on the website. Certificates of attendance can be provided.

At the time of Baptism or prior, parents and godparents must present documentation of having attended a pre-baptismal class here or at another Catholic Church within the past four years.