“Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the ‘first heralds’ for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life” (CCC 2225).
“The family is the single most important influence on religious transmission and faith practice – a truth demonstrated in research studies, the Christian tradition, and pastoral experience.
The reports from the National Study on Youth and Religion clearly show that the faith of parents and grandparents, their role modeling, and their teaching – both formal and informal, verbal and nonverbal, oral and behavioral, intentional and unconscious – are the key factors in developing highly religious children, youth, and emerging adults.
Congregations need to equip families as centers of faith formation. Intergenerational faith formation and participation in church life can become a laboratory for immersing parents, grandparents, and the whole family in the Christian tradition, Christian practices, and Christian way of life.”
John Roberto, Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century
“Within family-centered catechetical programs are opportunities for parents to catechize their children directly, for spouses to catechize each other, and for children to catechize one another and their parents. Family catechesis should include prayerful celebration within the family that is closely linked to the liturgical celebration of the parish. It should include opportunities for Christian service within the family and the neighborhood, which at the same time disposes the family members to render service in the name of Christ to the whole human family.”
National Directory for Catechesis #61.2
The Domestic Church is the church of the home. The family is the First School, parents are the First Teachers of their children. Parishes must guide parents in this role. The following are some resources that will facilitate this process in the parish and in the home.
A list of links designed to nurture your family’s faith (Loyola Press)
Resources for parishes to share with families, or for families to discover on their own. (Loyola Press)
Engaging activities, tips, articles to support families in their spiritual faith journeys as Catholics. (William H. Sadlier, Inc.)
Faith practices for various ages and stages of family life. Vibrant Faith at Home seeks to equip and empower your family to:
- Talk with each other about faith
- Pray together in ways that are comfortable and comforting
- Ritualize important family moments
- Reach out in service and support of others.
Roberto, John. Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century. Naugatuck, CT: Lifelong Faith Associates, 2015.