Being a godparent is a blessed and important role in a child's life. Here's how you can make it count.
I am a godmother to three beautiful girls. Each time their parents asked me to be a godparent I was surprised, humbled, and a little overwhelmed by the idea of that role.
My first goddaughter needed an emergency baptism at the hospital because she contracted a potentially debilitating infection right after birth. My second goddaughter arrived much earlier than expected, amidst a maternal diagnosis of pre-eclampsia. And my third goddaughter arrived comparatively uneventfully, thank you, Jesus!
Each time I held one of them in my arms during their baptism, I could not believe what a little miracle their lives were. What a beautiful responsibility it is to be a godparent! As these girls grow, it’s my job to help them on “the road to Christian life” (CCC 1255). In order to do that, I need to have a relationship with them. I don’t live particularly close to any of my godchildren, and they are all still pretty young, so I want to be intentional about keeping up with them whether they are near or far away as the years go by.
Here are some ways I have brainstormed to help them get to know Jesus now when they are little, and ways I want to start a relationship with them so that I can continue to be there for them as they get older.
Spend time with them
Find little ways to be with them. That might mean video chatting, letter writing, ice cream dates when you visit or if you live nearby. Make an effort to visit when you can, consider planning other trips you are making and stopping by to see them.
Give them good books!
Gift them books that will help instill a love of Jesus and the faith in them. We love Saints Around the World for how it introduces kids and adults to saints as real people. For learning how to pray, and understanding that prayer can be part of your rhythm of life, I like the book The Monk who Grew Prayer. A good story to help little ones get to know Jesus and think about Him is the book If Jesus Came to My House. The book The Weight of a Mass has beautiful illustrations and keeps kids engaged as they discover how important the Mass is.
Visit a local church with them
Or take them to a church that is special to you in some way. While visiting a church, it is easy to pray together, and to look at the statues, windows, or paintings and talk about what you see.
And if you can’t see your godchild very often, take a photo of a local church you visit and send them a photo, letting them know you prayed for them when you were there.
If you are together in person, pray with them before meals. Make the sign of the cross when you pass a church. Ask their patron saint to pray for you. Sing a hymn together. Find a way that you naturally like to pray in your day and share it with your godchild. You can also do some of this long-distance, too.
Find a way to remember or celebrate their baptism
Every year on the anniversary of their baptism, you can remind your godchild what a special day it is for them. I like to make photo albums or scrapbooks with baptism photos to help them look back on that life-changing day. If they were baptized as an infant, they probably don’t have memories of it, so it’s a way for them to have a glimpse of what it was like.
Maybe read Matthew 3:13-17 with them and look at pictures of Jesus’ baptism. The Holy Trinity is present at that moment, and it would be a good way to introduce God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to them. (Try one of this board book or this one to help).
It just takes little moments to stay connected with godchildren, but it is so important and meaningful.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!