I was absolutely thrilled to stand up as godmother to my favorite 3-month-old baby boy last Sunday.
I wore a new sweater and a nervous grin. The little guy wore a cute white satin suit, bulgy diaper and a headful of pine-scented oil.
We all lined up in the third pew of the church where his father was baptized, and pledged the baby's fealty to a religion I don't practice. Everyone solemnly promised God, the priest and the baby's parents to help him be a good Catholic.
I realize this is an assignment that most people seem to view as largely symbolic these days. Nevertheless, it was a sacrament.
So basically, if something happens to my friends, it would be my duty to ensure this baby was raised in his own faith.
This might have me trucking my godbaby to CCD classes and Mass on the same days I am hauling my own kids to their own, very different, religious education programs, in a very wacky interfaith carpool with FOX-TV sitcom potential.
(In this scenario, let us all pray my godson does not also wish to play hockey. Going to Mass on Sundays is one thing, 5 a.m. every morning in a cold skating rink is quite another.)
I'm pretty sure my services won't be needed -- the next time I go to Mass with my godbaby will probably be for his First Communion. This godmother gig is probably about cool birthday gifts, not spritiual awakening.
But like I told God last Sunday, I'm ready. Just in case.
The holiday season is coming up. Are you responsible for the religious education of any children other than your own? How do you manage interfaith relationships with the children (and their parents) in your life? Tell us!
about the author
Erica Noonan is chief of the Globe West bureau. Before joining the Globe in 2000, she worked for the Associated Press in Boston. Raised in Wellesley, she has a master's degree in political communication from Emerson College and a BA in political science from Trinity University in San Antonio. She lives in Natick with two energetic children: Dennis, 6, and Lila, 4.
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