Another Top Ten

A DRE in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Matt Furjanic, published a nice article in his parish bulletin titled “Top 10 Ways to Help Your Child Get the Most of His/Her Religious Education Sessions.” Nice job, Matt!

  1. Take an active interest in your child’s work – review lessons together, look in your child’s folder each week when he/she brings it home. Help your child complete any homework assignments. Post papers/artwork on the refrigerator or bulletin board at home, visit his/her classroom, etc. Pay attention to correspondence from the DRE.
  2. Get to know your child’s catechist – Ask the catechist to keep you informed on your child’s progress or lack of it.
  3. Make class sessions a priority – Make sure you put your child’s religious education dates on the family calendar. Try not to schedule events that compete with religious education.
  4. Be involved in your parish community and the larger community – Remember church is always bigger than your own immediate family. God’s family is very, very big!
  5. Continue to nurture your own spiritual growth and development – Read good Catholic literature and books. Attend parish retreats and religious education offerings for adults.
  6. Be open – Help your child to notice and pay attention to events of wonder and awe in life – a sunset or the song of the cicadas; the death of a pet or the arrival of a baby brother or sister. All are moments of grace.
  7. Act on the faith – Help your child make connections between what he/she is learning in religious education and other life experiences at home, in school and in the neighborhood. Help him/her see that faith values make a difference in your family.
  8. Pray – Develop a strong practice of personal prayer. Also pray at home with your child and family. Although formal prayers are often studied and the children pray in their faith sessions, unless you pray with your child at home, prayer remains an abstraction.
  9. Attend Mass weekely – Take an active part in the Mass. Worship with your whole heart. Bring your child to Mass. Sit up close so your child can see. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude in the Eucharist. Teach your child the prayers of the Mass.
  10. Commit yourself to holiness – Strive to be the best Catholic you can be. Be a good example of a faith-filled parent for your child.
About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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