Picking a Sponsor:
What You Should Expect
So you’ve signed up and want to become Catholic. You’ve signed the cards, gone to the first couple of sessions in the summer, and are ready and waiting for the fall to begin so you can begin the journey. However, you are a bit apprehensive because the journey requires someone else to be with you. That person, a very important part of this journey, is your sponsor.
What Makes a Good Sponsor?
A good sponsor is someone who is willing to sacrifice his or her time to be on the journey with you. However, that is just the beginning part of that. It may not be the best fit for you just because they are willing to sacrifice their time.
A Good Sponsor who is the best fit should:
- Be willing to get to know your story and your journey to this point.
- Be available to you in those moments that you have questions (and you will have questions).
- Be there even when you cannot be.
- Be there for all the events that you are to participate in.
- Be someone that you would like to know even if you were not going through this process.
Do You Already Have a Sponsor?
I know that many people come into this process, this journey, with a sponsor with them already. It may be their spouse, who is already Catholic and the other is ready to also become Catholic. It may be a fiancé situation, where the one who is not Catholic wishes to become Catholic so the marriage can be fully blessed within the Church. For some, it may be a close family friend that is willing to go on the journey with them. Each situation is different, but for those who have a sponsor, it may be they have someone who they already know and trust that will go on the journey with them.
These situations are wonderful, and they speak to the level of community already within the Church. However, not everyone is blessed to have this type of situation.
What If You Do NOT Have a Sponsor?
The wonderful thing about RCIA is that even if you come in as a single person, one that is wanting to become Catholic and go on this journey, you will not journey alone. The Church is a wonderful community, and you will have a sponsor as you go through this process. It may take some time, as the team gets to know you a bit, and also finds those who would be a good fit for you. The hardest part is that very thing, finding the right sponsor for you.
This is when you have to leave it in God’s hands. God is going to be there for you. I know that when I went through this process, that I did not have a sponsor. I did not know who would be my sponsor, and it worried me the first couple of sessions that I attended. But, I let the team get to know me a bit and they found a gentleman who was just the perfect fit for me for my journey. Someone who was not a cradle Catholic (someone baptized as a child in the Catholic Church), but came from outside the church, and went through the process like me. However, this gentleman did have a foundation of faith already, being brought up in a protestant home. His level of faith was wonderful, and it helped me to grow as I went through the RCIA process.
Sponsoring is Part of the Process
You will also grow in the process, and as you and your sponsor get to know each other, you will find common ground. The most interesting thing is that it is not just you who gets to grow in faith as this process occurs. Having gone through the process, and then been a sponsor, I can tell you that I grow so much from being a part of the process.
So no matter if you already have a sponsor, or if you need one, you will have one before you end the Inquiry stage, so do not worry about that. My advice to you is very simple: take your time to get to know this person, and if you feel uncomfortable with them in a way that would inhibit your journey, say something to someone on the team. You will get a new sponsor, and no questions will be asked. In fact, the person who may be reassigned to someone else will most likely be okay with this, as they want the best for you as well.
End the end, the journey is not a solo journey. There are important steps the sponsor fills, and roles that sponsor will take that he or she will also learn from, as it teaches about humility and service.
So remember, the journey does not end when you accept Jesus into your life; it begins. So Go Live Your Faith today!