godparents; godfather; godmother; sureties; sponsors
The New Code of Canon Law, supporting ancient custom, forbids solemn Baptism without a godparent.
One should also be called for private Baptism if possible.
This is in keeping with the nature of Baptism considered as a spiritual regeneration.
It is the duty of sponsors to make a profession of faith during the baptismal ceremony for the one to be baptized, when necessary; and thereafter, to assume perpetual guardianship over the baptized and instruct them in the obligations of the Christian life, to insure fulfillment of baptismal vows.
This obligation binds only when parents neglect to do their duty or die.
Owing to the spiritual relationship which is created, the Church makes definite requirements by law for this honorable office.
New Catholic Dictionary