Family Catechesis, Adult Faith Formation, and Combatting the “Drop-Off” Mentality

mother and son at computer

Perhaps the biggest challenge that I hear catechetical leaders and catechists talk about is reaching the parents of children in religious education programs. Over the past half-century or so, the Church has done a very effective job of training parents to drop off their kids at religious education classes so that “we”—those involved in the parish catechetical program—can teach them the Catholic faith. Years ago, when families and communities reinforced Catholic values, teachings, and practices, this model was feasible. Today, with families and communities no longer playing that same role, the “drop-off” model is no longer as effective as it once was.

In response to this reality, a number of years ago, there was a huge push for intergenerational catechesis on the one extreme and homeschooling on the other, both of which sought to replace the traditional model of weekly sessions for children with either monthly intergenerational events that brought families together to learn about their faith or lessons taught completely at home by parents. While both of these models have their merits, it soon became evident that the intergenerational model did not provide the needed rigor of weekly sessions for children to learn the basics of the Catholic faith and placed inordinate expectations on parishes with limited space, staff, and resources, while home-schooling failed to address the reality that many parents simply are overwhelmed with work responsibilities and other commitments and feel ill-equipped to form their children in faith since they have often had little to no faith formation of their own.

Finally, Loyola Press has found a solution that combines the best elements of both models while taking into consideration the challenges that parish staffs and parents face. Loyola Press is proud to introduce family catechesis models for both of our outstanding programs, Finding God and Christ Our Life!

Our new Family Catechesis programs make it possible for parents to embrace their role as the primary catechists of their children by working in conjunction with the core Finding God and Christ Our Life programs. Our Family Catechesis program is unique in that it helps parents grow in their own faith while empowering and equipping them to guide their children in core faith formation. This flexible and engaging program nurtures faith and helps build community by combining parish-based group meetings and grade-specific instruction by trained catechists with at-home lessons guided by parents.

Christ Our Life Family Catechesis

At each monthly group meeting, a high-quality, complete slide show presentation (written by yours truly!) gives a positive visual impact and ensures successful presentations to diverse groups. Each slide show presentation includes embedded media clips and presentation notes. Family catechesis is sold annually over four years and delivered digitally. Each year that you order, you will receive seven slide show presentations or 28 presentations over four years! As a result, you will have an instant adult faith formation program of the highest quality, while at the same time, you will be empowering and equipping parents to work with their children on their faith formation at home using the At-Home Editions of either Finding God or Christ Our Life.

Year 1 is ready now! Call 800-621-1008 or contact your Loyola Press Educational Consultant. A low introductory price includes the seven Slide Show Presentations with two Bonus Informative Presentations to help introduce the program; the Director Guide; and the Leader Guide—all delivered digitally. Year 2 will be available for purchase Fall 2018.

Click on the following for more information about our new Family Catechesis Programs:

I am incredibly excited to share this news, which is in direct response to the many ways you have requested resources to help parents truly embrace their role as their children’s primary educators! At Loyola Press, we listen and respond. I’m truly proud to have contributed to this wonderful resource and am confident that it will go a long way in changing the landscape of catechesis in the years to come!

About Joe Paprocki 2739 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

4 Comments on Family Catechesis, Adult Faith Formation, and Combatting the “Drop-Off” Mentality

  1. This is a variation on the model of catechesis that our diocese has been promoting for many years. It is a wonderful vehicle for adult faith formation. Our model brings the children and parents back together for a closing prayer.

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