Family Faith Formation
“Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.” (CCC 2226)
“The family is a proclamation of faith in that it is the natural place in which faith can be lived in a simple and spontaneous manner. It ‘has an unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values…It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods.’” (DC 227)
Focusing on the faith development of entire families, family faith formation inspires all family members as missionary disciples while it also encourages, equips, and supports parents in their mission of teaching the faith to their children. Recognizing that God is actively present in family life and that the family is the first community in which God forms his children, we encourage parishes to offer family faith formation programs as a primary form of catechesis that serves to engage all family members in lifelong faith growth and witness.
Family Catechesis Workshop 1 - The Office of Lifelong Formation, along with Amy McEntee and George Barrett of RCL Benziger, offer context regarding foundations of Family Catechesis and visions of parish and family partnership and how those foundations and vision complement the Renew My Church initiative.
Family Catechesis Workshop 2 - Amy McEntee of RCL Benziger leads this workshop to help catechetical leaders assess how family friendly their parish formation programs are while envisioning next steps for moving toward a Family Catechesis program model. Practical strategies for forming and engaging children and their families are also explored.
These workshops are based on the Our Family Faith: Resource Guide for Family Catechesis from RCL Benziger which helps parish leaders assess their current parish faith formation program, envision new ways to partner with parents, and start a family-based faith formation program.
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II “On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World”
Follow the Way of Love
A Pastoral Message of the U.S. Catholic Bishops to Families
A Report on American Catholic Religious Parenting
The McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame examines the crucial role of parents in shaping the religious commitment of their children.
Search Institute Research on Families
These resources provide valuable background and context for parish catechetical leaders to work toward shifting the mindsets of families toward family-based faith formation: Don't Forget the Families, 6 Shifts to Better Family Engagement, Engaging Families Through Relationships
Families at the Center of Faith Formation
Lifelong Faith Associates offers family formation resources as well as a new comprehensive approach to family faith formation that places families at the center of faith formation and develops the family as a community of faith and school of discipleship while equipping parents (and grandparents) to transmit the Christian faith at home.
Our Family Faith: Resource Guide for Family Catechesis
This valuable resource guide from RCL Benziger will help parish leaders assess their current parish faith formation program, envision new ways to partner with parents, and start a family-based faith formation program.