The sponsor guarantees the Church the good intentions of the person they represent. They present the candidate to the bishop. Later, by their prayers, words and example, the sponsor is to see to it that the confirmed fulfills their duties as a Christian.
Who may be a sponsor?
In recent Church practice, the sponsor for Confirmation often was a friend or a relative of a Confirmation candidate who showed up at the ceremony of Confirmation to place their hand on the candidate’s shoulder and that was it!
Today the Church recognizes sponsors as people who are guides, models, companions, and witnesses—responsible people to whom the Church entrusts the role of accompanying candidates on their way to Confirmation. “The sponsor must be a confirmed member living a life in harmony with the Catholic Church (Code of Cannon Law, Canon 874)” This person should know you and be readily available to listen to your concerns and questions about your faith or about the Church. It is now preferred that one of the candidate’s baptismal godparents also act as their Confirmation sponsor. In that way the connection between Baptism and Confirmation is fully recognized and reinforced. However, the choice of a special sponsor is still permitted.
An aunt, uncle, or grandparent might be an appropriate choice, if he or she lives within a reasonable distance. Another choice for sponsor might be a teacher or catechist or parishioner whom you admire and see quite often. Archdiocesan rules do not allow for parents to be sponsors. Whomever you choose, your sponsor must be sufficiently mature, be an active Catholic, fully initiated into the three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist and a participant at the Eucharist. The important thing, though, is that you and your sponsor should have more than an acquaintance-type relationship. Your sponsor needs to be a spiritual friend to you and accompany you throughout the entire process.
With the sponsor having such an important role in your life, it will be necessary for the two of you to share your insights and questions about life. With God’s help, you and your sponsor can be great spiritual friends.