Duties of a Godfather
#1
My aunt, in her mid-50's, recently passed away due to complications brought on by cancer. Very sad.  She fought a nearly two-year battle, but alas, it was stage IV by the time it was discovered so it was an uphill battle from the get-go.  Please pray for her eternal rest.

Her funeral is in a couple of days.  She was a Catholic convert, and the funeral will be at a Novus Ordo church; one that I've been to several times before in the past, but do not enjoy at all because of its litany of liturgical abuses.  I've been asked to be a reader at her funeral service, and have agreed, even though after having attended a Latin mass for the past two years, I cringe every time a lay person gets up to read.  (I'll also be reading the intercessionary prayers, which I'm even a lesser fan of).  

The last funeral I attended was my grandmother's a year or so ago.  It was conducted at the Novus Ordo parish where I grew up.  Maybe it was because my eyes had finally been opened a year or so earlier, but I was shocked at how casual the funeral was, and the number of what I would call liturgical abuses.  It felt more Protestant than Catholic.  (I was also a reader at that funeral too).  However, the parish I will be attending this week has even more liturgical abuses, and I'm concerned that this will turn into a eulogy/beatification service.  While I no doubt hope my aunt will, or has, attained the beatific vision, I also understand authentic Catholic teaching does not necessarily support this, and that we should not be presuming God's mercy, but instead pray for the rest of the eternal soul.  In that regard, on the one hand I understand that it may be a bit uncouth to raise my concerns or objections to others in my family if that were to occur, and that if I did so, I'd probably just get them upset.  But on the other hand, if it does go the way I anticipate it will, I will feel that I've done a disservice to my aunt.  I doubt if anyone will say a rosary for her at her wake, except maybe my wife and I.

Now, adding to all of this is my real conundrum.  My recently deceased aunt's youngest son (i.e., my first cousin) is also my Godson.  And suffice it to say, over the last several years I haven't been the best Godfather.  I understand that this ultimately falls upon my shoulders, and it is only recently have I begun to realize my duties as a Godfather should be.  Regardless, and while not intending to speak ill of the dead, I feel that my aunt had at least some part to do with what has happened, or rather, what didn't happen.  When my Godson was younger, I used to do a lot of things with my aunt, uncle and Godson.  By way of background, I am related to my aunt by her marriage to my uncle (who is the brother of my mother).  In fact, my uncle is only 10 years older than me, and we probably have more of a brotherly relationship as opposed to a traditional uncle/nephew relationship.  Be that as it may, I did a lot of activities with them when my Godson was an infant/toddler/young boy, but that was when I was single.  After getting married a decade or so ago, we did less and less things together. My wife and I did try from time to time to do things with them.  For the first couple of years, we would go to my Godson's birthday parties.  But then that too stopped; we just weren't told about them anymore, and me being a guy, sorta of forgot to mark such things on my calendar.  And I've never been good at getting gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc.  

That being said, I had invited my aunt/uncle/Godson over to our house at least half a dozen times soon after my wife and I bought a house.  These included our house-warming party, my wife's birthday, my birthday, etc.  They never showed up, always indicating that they had other things to do (e.g., head off to their weekend lake house, attend birthday parties of others, etc.).  They did stop over once, when they were in the area (we live about 30 minutes apart from one another), but stayed for literally 10 minutes and left.  The only time we ever saw each other was at larger family get-togethers; once or twice a year at most.  After a while, we simply quit sending out invitations to them, knowing that they wouldn't attend.  

I still talked with my uncle on a regular basis, but unfortunately, he didn't necessarily wear the pants in the marriage, if you know what I mean, and he essentially did whatever his wife told him.  Over time, though, this resulted in me not being around much for my Godson. For example, my Godson was recently confirmed, and I wasn't even aware nor told about it.  If I had, I would have definitely attended. 

Now, I want to make it crystal clear that neither me, nor my wife, ever had any bad words with my now deceased aunt and we got along quite well (when we saw each other).  She was always fun to be around with, and I will miss her dearly.  In fact, the last time I saw her was a few months ago when I got them (including my Godson) to attend a TLM with my wife and I.   

All of that being said, and especially after reverting back to Catholicism after being a C&E catholic for many, many years, I feel that I have been a disappointment to my Godson, having neglected my duties for far too long.  I feel I now need to step up to the plate, especially at this time with the passing of his mother, but I'm not really sure what I should do.  I was thinking I should give him a Rosary, and maybe a book on how to pray it.  

Any advice?
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#2
Send him things on his birthday and at Christmas, even if he doesn't come around. Seems that, since he isn't around much, the only things you can do, really, are to pray for him, give him the tools to learn/practice the Faith, and set an example by letting him know, in those ways, that you take the Faith and your obligations very seriously.

Make sure he has a good, easy to read catechism.
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#3
(07-16-2018, 02:29 PM)Bonaventure Wrote: My aunt, in her mid-50's, recently passed away due to complications brought on by cancer. Very sad.  She fought a nearly two-year battle, but alas, it was stage IV by the time it was discovered so it was an uphill battle from the get-go.  Please pray for her eternal rest.

Her funeral is in a couple of days.  She was a Catholic convert, and the funeral will be at a Novus Ordo church; one that I've been to several times before in the past, but do not enjoy at all because of its litany of liturgical abuses.  I've been asked to be a reader at her funeral service, and have agreed, even though after having attended a Latin mass for the past two years, I cringe every time a lay person gets up to read.  (I'll also be reading the intercessionary prayers, which I'm even a lesser fan of).  

The last funeral I attended was my grandmother's a year or so ago.  It was conducted at the Novus Ordo parish where I grew up.  Maybe it was because my eyes had finally been opened a year or so earlier, but I was shocked at how casual the funeral was, and the number of what I would call liturgical abuses.  It felt more Protestant than Catholic.  (I was also a reader at that funeral too).  However, the parish I will be attending this week has even more liturgical abuses, and I'm concerned that this will turn into a eulogy/beatification service.  While I no doubt hope my aunt will, or has, attained the beatific vision, I also understand authentic Catholic teaching does not necessarily support this, and that we should not be presuming God's mercy, but instead pray for the rest of the eternal soul.  In that regard, on the one hand I understand that it may be a bit uncouth to raise my concerns or objections to others in my family if that were to occur, and that if I did so, I'd probably just get them upset.  But on the other hand, if it does go the way I anticipate it will, I will feel that I've done a disservice to my aunt.  I doubt if anyone will say a rosary for her at her wake, except maybe my wife and I.

Now, adding to all of this is my real conundrum.  My recently deceased aunt's youngest son (i.e., my first cousin) is also my Godson.  And suffice it to say, over the last several years I haven't been the best Godfather.  I understand that this ultimately falls upon my shoulders, and it is only recently have I begun to realize my duties as a Godfather should be.  Regardless, and while not intending to speak ill of the dead, I feel that my aunt had at least some part to do with what has happened, or rather, what didn't happen.  When my Godson was younger, I used to do a lot of things with my aunt, uncle and Godson.  By way of background, I am related to my aunt by her marriage to my uncle (who is the brother of my mother).  In fact, my uncle is only 10 years older than me, and we probably have more of a brotherly relationship as opposed to a traditional uncle/nephew relationship.  Be that as it may, I did a lot of activities with them when my Godson was an infant/toddler/young boy, but that was when I was single.  After getting married a decade or so ago, we did less and less things together. My wife and I did try from time to time to do things with them.  For the first couple of years, we would go to my Godson's birthday parties.  But then that too stopped; we just weren't told about them anymore, and me being a guy, sorta of forgot to mark such things on my calendar.  And I've never been good at getting gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc.  

That being said, I had invited my aunt/uncle/Godson over to our house at least half a dozen times soon after my wife and I bought a house.  These included our house-warming party, my wife's birthday, my birthday, etc.  They never showed up, always indicating that they had other things to do (e.g., head off to their weekend lake house, attend birthday parties of others, etc.).  They did stop over once, when they were in the area (we live about 30 minutes apart from one another), but stayed for literally 10 minutes and left.  The only time we ever saw each other was at larger family get-togethers; once or twice a year at most.  After a while, we simply quit sending out invitations to them, knowing that they wouldn't attend.  

I still talked with my uncle on a regular basis, but unfortunately, he didn't necessarily wear the pants in the marriage, if you know what I mean, and he essentially did whatever his wife told him.  Over time, though, this resulted in me not being around much for my Godson. For example, my Godson was recently confirmed, and I wasn't even aware nor told about it.  If I had, I would have definitely attended. 

Now, I want to make it crystal clear that neither me, nor my wife, ever had any bad words with my now deceased aunt and we got along quite well (when we saw each other).  She was always fun to be around with, and I will miss her dearly.  In fact, the last time I saw her was a few months ago when I got them (including my Godson) to attend a TLM with my wife and I.   

All of that being said, and especially after reverting back to Catholicism after being a C&E catholic for many, many years, I feel that I have been a disappointment to my Godson, having neglected my duties for far too long.  I feel I now need to step up to the plate, especially at this time with the passing of his mother, but I'm not really sure what I should do.  I was thinking I should give him a Rosary, and maybe a book on how to pray it.  

Any advice?
Peace.....I think many families have a similar situation when it comes to Godparents.  They just seem to get busy with their own lives, go in separate directions, and lost contact here and there, more or less often.  You recognize the need to be a Godfather to your Godson and keeping  in regular touch whether you see him regularly or not, could be beneficial.  He may start visiting you more than you realize.  I'm sure there are other things you could do together also - sports?  He may develop an interest in attending Mass with you - even on occasion.  I like that you want to give him a Rosary and prayer book.  You sound sensitive to the whole situation and will continue to be that way, I think.  Keep your Godson in daily prayer.  God bless, angeltime Heart
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#4
(07-16-2018, 03:36 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: Send him things on his birthday and at Christmas, even if he doesn't come around. Seems that, since he isn't around much, the only things you can do, really, are to pray for him, give him the tools to learn/practice the Faith, and set an example by letting him know, in those ways, that you take the Faith and your obligations very seriously.

Make sure he has a good, easy to read catechism.

(07-16-2018, 04:01 PM)angeltime Wrote: Peace.....I think many families have a similar situation when it comes to Godparents.  They just seem to get busy with their own lives, go in separate directions, and lost contact here and there, more or less often.  You recognize the need to be a Godfather to your Godson and keeping  in regular touch whether you see him regularly or not, could be beneficial.  He may start visiting you more than you realize.  I'm sure there are other things you could do together also - sports?  He may develop an interest in attending Mass with you - even on occasion.  I like that you want to give him a Rosary and prayer book.  You sound sensitive to the whole situation and will continue to be that way, I think.  Keep your Godson in daily prayer.  God bless, angeltime Heart

Thanks.  I suppose I already knew the answer to my question.  But it is good to receive affirmation.

On a related note, I became the Godfather to this boy nearly 18 years ago when I knew very little of the faith and/or my duties.  No classes were offered by the parish/diocese, and I do not recall the priest instructing me in the least.  Since then I am now a Godfather to two other boys (both of whom are my nephews).  While I now have a better understanding of what I am to do as Godfather, in each instance, I would say that the households are Catholic-lite, each having been catechized in the very same manner I was when I was young (which is to say, not at all).  I've found that it is at times a delicate topic to discuss with them (the parents), especially regarding catechism, because they are doing exactly what everyone else around them is doing, and think nothing of it.   For example, my middle Godson is 11 years old, and he hasn't received his first communion yet.  His parents think nothing of it (they rarely, if ever, attend mass), and neither myself nor my wife (who is the Godmother) can convince them otherwise.  On the one hand, we do not want to appear domineering in demanding that they take him to mass and/or receive first communion (we live very far apart, otherwise we would take him ourselves), but on the other hand, we feel that this will ultimately have a negative impact on him spiritually.  Regarding my third Godson (whom my wife is the Godmother as well), the parents are quite similar, but at least they live within driving distance.  They do not attend mass, but at least on the first anniversary of his baptism, my wife and I brought him to mass.  He is still a toddler so we are hoping that we can have more of an impact on him.
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#5
I'm still waiting for someone to post a picture of Marlon Brando.
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#6
Heart Peace.....it's clear God has you there for a reason!  I know several grandmothers who are holding their families together by the faith and prayer even if they are not interested.  God seems to always have at least one faith-filled family member to carry the others.....I agree sometimes we know the right thing to do and just need some support from others.  (It might be nice if possible to have all your God-children together sometime for a God-children re-union! )God bless, angeltime Heart
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#7
(07-17-2018, 09:52 AM)Eric F Wrote: I'm still waiting for someone to post a picture of Marlon Brando.

With the greatest pleasure:
 
[Image: brando14.jpg]
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#8
May the soul of both of your relatives and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen
Pray Pray Pray
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#9
VoxClamantis
[quote pid='1379396' dateline='1531769777']
Send him things on his birthday and at Christmas, even if he doesn't come around. Seems that, since he isn't around much, the only things you can do, really, are to pray for him, give him the tools to learn/practice the Faith, and set an example by letting him know, in those ways, that you take the Faith and your obligations very seriously.

Make sure he has a good, easy to read catechism.
[/quote]

Before I comment, let me tell you about a radio programme I heard yesterday on Irish radio. It was about the role of Godparents. The host, a woman doctor who can talk a lot, hadn't a clue what it meant to be a Godparent. The first one on said it was to be there for the child if the parent died. Others said it was to send presents at birthdays etc. Eventually a woman came on the air telling them a Godparent is one who would preside over the soul of their Godchild, making sure they followed the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Now there is no doubt but this duty can be very difficult unless one is in constant contact with the child during their childhood. In my time (40s,50s and 60s), when schools and at Mass etc., every child grew up knowing the Faith and Godparenting was easy enough. I am 76 now and I remember who my Godmother was. For myself, I was Godfather to only one child. That child, whose Father wanted her aborted but her mother left him to have the child, suffered from a muscular disease that usually kills at 2 years of age. Her sister had the same affliction and died at 2.
My Leah loved pictures of God. Her grandmother taught her to pray. As she would be carried up the stairs to bed she kissed all four holy pictures on the walls. Her mother bought her a beautiful new dress for her 4th birthday. She refused to wear it and said she was keeping it to show Jesus and Mary very soon. I swear to God but that child, who died a week later, must have known she was to meet Jesus. She was laid out in her coffin in that dress and I have a picture of her like that in my sitting room.
On the lighter side, I boast that I have a 100% record at Godfathering, knowing that Leah is in Heaven with Jesus and Mary.

Finally, as Vox says, the ONLY way to make a Catholic out of a child is to make sure they have a simple Catechism to read and learn by heart as millions of us had and did. Indeed, my wife had a 1952 Q and A catechism reprinted for this purpose and has distributed thousands of them on request. After Vatican II the use of these Q and A catechisms were abolished and with them went the Catholicity of millions as the children in Ireland today, and I am sure all around the world, give witness to.
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#10
Wow Cassini... That was beautiful. Thank you.
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