Avoiding the “Godparent Trap”

This is one of those times when a lot of couple I know are either expecting or just had a baby. So I thought it would be worthwhile to share some thoughts from one of my Jesuit buddies.

In a piece in his parish bulletin the was prompted by an episode of a TV show dealing with a couple struggling with the issue of the spritual upbringing of the child they were preparing to welcome into the world, Fr. Joe Costantino wrote:

Who can offer the best spiritual guidance is surely a most appropriate consideration in selecting godparents (and in the case of the Sacrament of Confirmation, a sponsor). Who really can authentically offer such true and important spiritual guidance? All too often though there is a “godparent trap.” The choice is sometimes simply to follow the path of least resistance and select a relative or friend, a person you may feel simply obligated to choose. Those selected are often very fine people, but are they spiritual? Are they persons of faith with a sense of the supernatural and God? Are they a part of an active faith community? Do they put their spirituality into charitable actions? Often these questions are regrettably not part of the equation.

Thanks to Joe for the good questions for reflection on an important issue.


One thought on “Avoiding the “Godparent Trap”

  1. I just wanted to share that I saw the episode of the TV show in question (“The New Normal”) and it sparked great conversations with my family and friends. A great show by the way if you haven’t seen it, especially this particular episode. Even though not so many of my friends are having babies, yet, we were all interested in what this means for us now. Should we be making our spiritual foundations a priority now so that we’re prepared to impart that to children in the future? Should we be surrounding ourselves with others who share our vision for spiritual guidance for our families? The answers, of course, are yes. Even from my friend who is an atheist. We live in a world where many leave faith because they feel unwelcome, but couldn’t we be the ones to change that? Couldn’t we be the ones to make a gay man feel welcomed back to the Catholic church? I know at St. Thomas, so many do strive to make those kinds of changes, and I hope that my “waiting-on-the-world-to-change” generation can rise above to do even more in the face of this crisis of faith.

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