The mission of the godparent or sponsor is with the parents to present the child for Baptism and help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with Baptism. They sponsor the child’s life of faith. In other words, they bear responsibility for the faith life of the baptized child as much as the parents of the child do. They are to help the parents of the child in passing on the practice of the Catholic faith by helping the child grow in his or her relationship with Jesus Christ, in understanding of the beliefs of the Catholic faith and in familiarity the rituals, prayers, and practices that accompany those beliefs.
Whenever a person is baptized, as an infant, as a child, or as an adult, there should be at least one person present who will act as sponsor for the one being baptized. the sponsor, commonly referred to as one’s godmother or godfather, accepts the responsibility of helping the person grow in Catholic faith. One who acts as a sponsor for an infant or child agrees to help the parents teach their child about the faith and how to live as a practicing Catholic. One who acts as sponsor for an adult agrees to encourage and support the person, pray with and for the person, and offer whatever help, information, or support is needed while the person is preparing to enter the Church and then is living out the rest of his or her life as a practicing Catholic.”
(United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, 189).
A child to be baptized must have at least one godparent, but may have one godfather and one godmother. According to the universal law of the Church, to be admitted to the role of a godparent, a person must be Catholic, at least 16, have received the Sacrament of Confirmation, not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized, and lead a moral life in harmony with the faith and the role of a godparent. A person who does not practice the faith and keep the commandments is not capable of being a sponsor, because that person is not practicing the faith in which as a godparent he or she must help to raise your child. If parents are unable to find a qualified godparent from among their family and friends, the Church will provide one.