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A sponsor accompanies any candidate seeking admission as a catechumen. Sponsors are persons who have known and assisted the candidates and stand as witnesses to the candidates’ moral character, faith, and intention. It may happen that it is not the sponsor for the rite of acceptance and the period of the catechumenate but another person who serves as godparent for the periods of purification and enlightenment and of mystagogy. (RCIA 10)

Sponsor/Godparent Job Description

sponsor coordinator concentrates on the parishioners. The RCIA itself doesn’t mention a sponsor coordinator, but especially for parishes with many catechumens and candidates, having a dedicated person responsible for attending to the needs of sponsors and godparents can be helpful.

  • Know the community and the personalities, skills, and experiences of many individuals and families in the community, always looking toward “matchmaking” them with current and future inquirers and candidates
  • Invite and recruit potential sponsors all year-round, making sure there is someone ready from the community at any given time of the year
  • Pair people up long before the Rite of Acceptance or the Rite of Welcoming
  • Work with an inquirer if they ask to bring their own sponsor
  • Support, encourage, nurture, and train sponsors in their role, helping them understand how to be good companions
  • Ensure sponsors know the schedule of rites, and assist in rehearsing sponsors for these rituals

When you think of RCIA ministries, this is typically the first person you think of. The RCIA describes briefly the catechist’s role in paragraph 16, however, the catechist’s primary responsibility is to see the big picture of how each catechumen and candidate is being formed through the entire work of the parish:

  • Provide catechesis that is suitable, gradual, and complete in its coverage (RCIA 75.1)
  • Ensure that formation is systematic by going beyond traditional classroom teaching and including formation in all four areas of discipleship found in RCIA 75
  • Use the objectives in paragraph 75 and the markers of readiness in paragraph 120 to discern how well each catechumen and candidate is living the four areas of Christian discipleship
  • Put people in touch and intimate communion with Christ through the community’s encounter with the mystery of Christ revealed throughout the entire liturgical year
  • Discern and attend to the unique formation needs of each catechumen and candidate
  • Be aware of the local customs and activities of the community, such as special feast days, traditions,and events that can be part of formation for initiation

To help the catechumen share their joy and spiritual experiences and to reflect more deeply upon the world of God shared in the Liturgy of the Word. (RCIA 67A and 75.3)

Five Things to Know about Dismissals

Christians who pray for the Catechumen and Candidates on their journey of faith

Assist in creating an environment that is welcoming to Catechumen and Candidates during sessions and/or retreats.

RCIA Team Interest