Passing on the Faith

I’m interested in picking up a new book titled Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (edited by James L. Heft, S.M., Fordham University Press).

The book is reviewed by Thomas Groome in the October 15, 2007 issue of America magazine. it is a collection of essays from a symposium held at the University of Southern California that asked the question, “how do we pass on religious tradition to youth in the context of the contemporary culture of the United States.”

Groome says that the formulas for success described in the essays are surprisingly obvious and he identifies them as the needs for young people to:

  • have a life-giving faith community in which they feel included and respected and in which they can actively participate;
  • have a sense of ownership and to be met where they are;
  • participate in both personal and communal religious practices;
  • have a thorough grounding in their own faith tradition;
  • be able to bridge in an open and dialogical way the ever-increasing pluralism of the contemporary world;
  • participate in the works of justice and compasion;
  • have parents who reinforce all of the above.

I’ll have more to say when I get my own copy and read it (I’m a slow reader so don’t hold your breath waiting!)


About Joe Paprocki 2741 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

2 Comments on Passing on the Faith

  1. Thanks for drawing attention to this book. I will look forward to reading it myself. The only thing I found missing from Tom Groome’s coments is the even more obvious which is leading them to the rich content of our faith. I think kids especially teens know when we are watering things down for them. Their reaction seems to be “why should I bother with it if even the person teaching this to me sees so little value in it.” Personally I am always find it a blessing to be able to see the lights going on in their heads when I share something deeper with them. I think they feel respected that I have entrusted the truths of our faith to them and they also have a sense of ownership know understanding the faith more deeply.
    I do agree to some extent with the premis that there are times when we need to translate into renewed imagery some of the truths of our faith so they can speak to this time and place. But as the GDC says we need to help nurture the common language of our faith. It seems that we need to balance the two. Helping stdents to understand how to speak the common language of our past with confidence while touching their hearts in this time and space

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