Adults Sharing Faith – Kids Listen In

Last week, we hosted an evening of adult faith formation at St. Cajetan parish that featured 5 adults forming a panel to share their stories of faith connected with the Rosary. While the event was sparsely populated (I’ve yet to solve the mystery of getting parents to attend faith formation while their children are in class…still working on it!), a bonus feature was that the 7th grade catechist brought his students over to “listen in.” I thought it was an excellent experience for them to be among a small group of adults learning about their faith and sharing stories from their hearts!

rosary
Adults share their often dramatic stories of prayer and the role of the Rosary in their prayer journey.

I was so impressed with how ready these parishioners were to share their stories and the depth of their stories which included coping with alcoholism, the loss of a child, being away from the Church for many years, the stress and anxiety of parenthood, and more. What a gift they were to the small group of adults who came to participate as well as to the 7th graders who got a rare glimpse into the lives of adults and the role that faith plays in their everyday lives.

In my mind, THAT’S true intergenerational catechesis….not just adults attending sessions with their kids, but adults apprenticing young people into the faith by modeling for them.

About Joe Paprocki 2139 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press. He has more than 30 years of experience in ministry and has taught at many different levels. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller The Catechist’s Toolbox and Under the Influence of Jesus.

8 Comments on Adults Sharing Faith – Kids Listen In

  1. “getting parents to attend faith formation while their children are in class”

    Back around 2001 I ran a drop-in adult class on Catechism night. Sometimes I had one parent come. We have about 125 kids, so you get the picture. The next year I was moved to 6th-grade. Thank ya Jesus.

    • Christian, I guess you and I will NOT be writing the definitive book on The Secret to Getting Parents to Attend Adult Faith Formation While Their Kids Are in Class! At least not yet!

  2. Theresa writes:

    Dear Joe,
    I had to chuckle when I read your phrase “sparsely populated” — that has been my experience too. We had an extremely popular young priest here a few years ago — everybody LOVED him. He offered a round table session during Religious Ed time, and I thought “get more chairs!” — three people showed up the first week, subsequent weeks, one person showed up.
    And, we have a BIG parish! and a large Rel Ed program. It was eye-opening.
    I am going to offer a Crash Course in the Bible session (during Rel Ed) in the winter months, we shall see how that is received!!
    Good luck, and thanks for sharing these great ideas!
    Theresa

    Mrs. Theresa J. Haggerty

    Director of Religious Education
    St. Anastasia Parish
    Newtown Square, PA 19073
    610-356-5069

  3. Susan writes:

    We have been actively engaging parents for 7 years while their kids were in classes. This year not so good. Is there a secret? Don’t know but
    we did make it work for awhile. Best of luck and God’s best blessings

  4. Susan, it sounds like you had “the secret” for a few years there but that something has changed. If you find out what is at the cause of the downturn, let me know. Also, please share how you managed to draw people successfully these past 7 years. Thanks.

  5. May the peace of the Lord be with you:

    Every year I encounter a group of parents seating
    Outside just talking about family matters etc. So I
    Invited all of them to concider becoming aids but
    All of then came up with excuses. This year as I
    Was waiting for my class attendance sheet one
    Of the parents (mom) said: “I was counting the years
    For my kids to start religious formation” I was very happy
    To hear that, I was praising the Lord, and she added:
    ” I could finally have some ME time, I could go shopping
    While they are here, I love you all, got to go.”
    My face DROP, I was sad.
    I hope people find the JOY of the Gospel and learn that
    Weneed them to help us In this journey.
    Be not affraid to follow your hearts and be courageous to
    To smell like Shepherds.
    God bless you all,

    Maggie
    A.M.D.G.

    • “I could finally have some ME time!” Oh my goodness, Maggie, I imagine your heart just sank when she said that! This can be so frustrating. As for the parents sitting outside talking about family matters, perhaps you can simply invite them in if you have a room you can provide for them to sit and spend time with eachother, enjoying some coffee and snacks and conversation. I know a DRE who did just that and the coffee time evolved into some Q & A about the Catholic faith. Getting them inside the building is the first step!

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