Helping Parents Connect Faith and Daily Living

family bike ride

One of the saddest things I hear is when people explain that they don’t practice their Catholic faith because they don’t find a connection between it and daily living. I believe that it is the job of every catechist and every homilist to show how our faith connects with daily living.

Too often, when we talk about getting parents more involved in their child’s faith formation, we jump to the fact that they don’t know their Catholic faith and the Catholic Tradition and that we need to remedy those deficiencies. As a result, we end up offering (or requiring) programs for parents that are little more than “C.C.D. for Grown-Ups”—programs that focus on Church teachings and doctrinal formulas when parents are desperately seeking help in their daily living.

In his book, Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home, my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath says:

I believe that God is revealed to us through the ordinary events of family life. You don’t have to become someone you’re not in order to experience this revelation. You just have to pay attention to the subtle ways God operates in the life of your family.

God's Gift Together Magazine Family Guide

If we hope to make progress in helping parents to embrace their role in the faith formation of their children, we first need to help parents to make a profound connection between faith and daily living. One of the best resources that I highly recommend is the Together Magazine, edited by the very same Tom McGrath whom I quoted above. This magazine is so engaging and so relevant. It doesn’t come across as churchy or pious and yet contains such depth and speaks to parents with great respect, helping them to see how God is intimately involved in their everyday lives. The Together magazines are designed to assist parents as they accompany their children through First Eucharist and First Reconciliation and are a crucial ingredient in the God’s Gift sacramental preparation program. And, rather than have me drone on and on about what I think of this resource, see for yourself with these great samples!

Some sacramental prep programs pay lip service to “parental involvement” but offer little to make that happen. I wish that my wife and I had something as substantial and helpful as the Together Magazine back when we were preparing our own kids for the sacraments!

About Joe Paprocki 2312 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 www.catechistsjourney.com.

1 Comment on Helping Parents Connect Faith and Daily Living

  1. I think our biggest problem with encouraging practice of the faith is we fail to tell people the “why” – even when we give them the “what” and the “how” – Thehy don’t always connect with what’s in it for them. You are getting at part of that in your post. When we connect faith and life, we help families see the possibility that practicing faith might have something important to add to their lives.

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