Our Godson, Niko, celebrated his 17th birthday yesterday.
(Mike, MacKenzie, Jacob, Zac, Brendan, Peter, Joseph and Niko, April 2008)
Our Goddaughter, MacKenzie, received her First Holy Communion April 20, '08, (our wedding anniversary!)
at St. Charles Borromeo, Tacoma;
together with her twin brother, Brendan.
Tim and I with our Goddaughter, Hope, baptized May 10, 2009.
(photo by Renee)
What's in a Godparent?
Not long ago, I overheard a conversation that went something like this:
"(Name and name) are going to be (child's) Godparents."
"Oh, that's great! When is (child) being baptized?"
"(Child's) not being baptized, (name and name) are just going to be the Godparents in the general sense."
The role of a Godparent is very specific, and Godparents take on some pretty big responsibilities in the promises they make before God and His Church at the baptism.
At baptism we are born again in Christ, set free from original sin. We are given the gift of salvation! Redeemed with sanctifying grace!
But we can lose that precious gift, for we are also given the gift of free will ~ and we can choose to follow Christ or to turn away from Him.
Godparents promise to help guide the baptized in the Christian life, to help the baptized grow in virtue and grace. Parents are the primary teachers of the faith, but should the parents turn away from the Church, and away from God, the Godparent's role as teacher in faith would become primary. That's a pretty big responsibility, with even bigger implications.
As Godparents, the greatest gifts we can give our Godchildren is the example or witness of our living faith, our constant prayers for their spiritual growth, and our continued efforts to build them up in Christ.
This week I have witnessed Anna's(+) Godparents, Rebecca and Nick, humbly walk along with Anna's parents through the suffering and sorrow of her tragic death ~ into the celebration of Anna's life at her funeral today. Rebecca said, "I always prayed that she would become a saint, I just didn't expect it would be this soon."
Rebecca and Nick serve as a great reminder for all of us who have taken on the role and responsibility of being a Godparent (and certainly for all Christian parents). Let us recommit ourselves to leading our Godchildren (and children) along the road to sainthood, to heaven. Let our prayers for them never cease. Let our example be one that brings the Gospel to life.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Dear Anna Marie, pray for us!