THESE ARE THE ACTUAL RULES.
Your sponsor must be a confirmed and practicing Catholic who attends Mass on Sundays.
Your sponsor must be older than 18 (the Bishop of San Bernadino has set this requirement).
Your sponsor can’t be your biological/legal parent (but CAN be a sibling or godparent)
As far as possible, the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor’s function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the duties inherent in this sacrament.
A person who would undertake the office of sponsor must fulfill the conditions mentioned in can. 874 which reads:
To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:
1. be appointed by the candidate for baptism, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;
2. be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;
3. be a catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;
4. not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;
5. not be either the father or the mother of the person to be baptized.
A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the baptism. It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be the one who undertook this role at baptism.
THIS IS HELPFUL ADVICE:
Your sponsor should live nearby; the hour requirements for Journey Events aren’t enormous, but they’re significant enough that it will be tricky to make this work with your favorite aunt/uncle who live in Seattle, WA (as an example). We are not saying, rule out your favorite aunt/uncle from far away. What we are saying is, give it some serious thought before you ask someone who lives a significant distance from St. Martha’s. If you choose someone who cannot be present at all mandatory events, you are responsible for finding your own proxy. (Your parents are allowed to be a proxy)
Your sponsor should be an adult—preferably someone over 21. Someone with more life experience is going to be more helpful to you through out the journey. Part of the selection process is looking for someone who is a good role model for you in your faith. They should be someone who inspires you to be the very best version of yourself for Jesus.
You should also pick someone you find really easy to talk to and confide in. Your sponsor should be someone that you believe knows and understands you and the faith pretty well. A huge part of the process is picking someone who will continue to be a strong example for you and can continue to be in a close relationship with you even after Confirmation is over.
HERE’S WHAT THEY DO:
The role of the Confirmation Sponsor is to support you in your journey of faith and to stand up with you to say you are ready to receive the Sacrament. They do this by participating in your Confirmation Journey and helping to prepare you. They also do this in a literal way during the Rite of Confirmation by presenting you to the Bishop and saying, “This person is ready to be confirmed.” They should attend as many Journey events with you as possible. If they cannot a parent must attend in their place.
If they cannot attend, sponsors should contact their candidate before and after each session to pray with them and follow up/discuss each session’s topic.
WHO SHOULD I PICK?! I’M TOTALLY STUCK!
Again… first and foremost your Sponsor MUST be a practicing Catholic. This means they have received all of their Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Communion) before you. This also means they attend mass on Sunday once a week and go to confession when needed (at least once a year). That should help narrow your options a little.
Secondly, ask any Catholic how they picked their own sponsor: the kids from last year’s Confirmation class, friends from school that have been confirmed already, parish staff or volunteers at St. Martha, etc. Ask your parents how they picked your godparents. Above all: PRAY ABOUT WHO GOD WANTS YOU TO PICK!