As we approach the Confirmation season, I wish to say a word about the role of Godparents. I have been blessed with two of the best Godparents anyone could ask for, and even more blessed to still have them present in my life, setting a good faith example and praying for me. In fact, my Godfather, Uncle Earl LeClere turns 88 this week. I was so fortunate to have both Uncle Earl and Aunt Gloria present in Cheyenne for my ordination in December. Never fail, throughout the significant moments of my life, from birth, to Baptism and every other sacramental moment, as well as many of life’s other “high water marks”, they were there, either in person, or in prayer and spirit.
The primary role of Godparents is to be a model of faith in practice, as well as a resource to a Godchild to answer their questions regarding the faith as they grow and mature. The ideal Godparent also remembers to encourage their Godchild in the ways of faith, sending them cards for birthdays and moments when they receive the other Sacraments on their faith journey. I did OK when it comes to giving good example, but I’m afraid I failed miserably in staying in touch with one of my own Godchildren. The other thing I have done, which all Godparents should do minimally, is pray for their protege’s in faith. I cannot tell you how many times my own Godparents enrolled my name for novenas and Masses, or the countless prayers they prayed for me themselves. I have no doubt that no small amount of the grace required to raise me to the role of bishop is to the credit of my Godparents. So, when someone asks you to be a Godparent, know that it is a lifetime commitment. Please take this role seriously, prayerfully, and with all generosity towards the one(s) entrusted to your guidance in the faith. (Happy Birthday Uncle Earl!)0