Connecting Generations Choice Board

Encourage connections between generations with our new choice board that invites children to learn about and develop deeper relationships with their elders. Give children choices by asking them to select and complete a set number of activities from the board: three-in-a-row, any four, or whatever number you choose. Activities include options for children to interview their grandparents, write a song, make a chart, and more. Celebrate a loved elder’s birthday, honor Grandparents Day, or mix […]

Creating an Online Presence in One Week: A Tale of One Chicago Parish

When stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March because of the pandemic, many parish religious education programs found themselves facing unimaginable challenges. The main challenge, of course, was how to reach families and children who still had another six weeks of faith formation sessions left in the catechetical year. Many catechetical leaders and catechists all over the country responded with heroic efforts to sustain their programs through virtual contact. One such parish is St. Sylvester, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Blessing Your Children and Other Family Rituals

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the practice of blessing your children and other family rituals. Ritual actions have a way of conveying the sacred that words alone are incapable of. Children especially love rituals, because they communicate a sense of comfort and security, which can be particularly important during uncertain times such as this COVID-19 crisis. For more information about the power of rituals and especially rituals in the home, see the […]

Considering a Family Catechesis Approach for Next Year? Start Planning Now!

This is a powerful paragraph from the Catechism about the role of parents in faith formation: Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. (CCC 2223) Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other […]

Moving to a Family Catechesis Model

We human beings tend to be resistant to change. Our brains are wired in such a way as to take the path of least resistance, which means that the brain likes to develop habits and routines and stick with them. The longer we’ve been practicing a certain habit or behavior, the more difficult it is for the brain to change. When it comes to children’s faith formation, we have developed some practices and habits over many […]

Tools to Assist Parents in Family Catechesis: Interactive Session Reviews

As we talk more and more about family catechesis, it is important to assure parents that we are equipping them with tools they can use to help them form their children in faith. Most parents are not professional teachers and can be intimidated by the prospect of teaching their children the faith. To help them teach effectively, we need to provide them with user-friendly tools that can help them engage their children in their faith-formation […]

Family Catechesis: Telling Parents “You Can Do This!”

Last week, I wrote about the importance of the adult faith formation “piece” of family catechesis. This week, I’d like to take some time to talk about assisting parents in actually doing the work of catechizing their children. Most parents understandably react to being told that they are their child’s primary catechist by reminding us that they are not teachers. My friend David Heimann, Director of Religious Education at St. Andrew Parish in Chicago, explains […]

The Key to Effective Family Catechesis: Adult Faith Formation

Recently, I shared information about our exciting new Family Catechesis programs from Loyola Press. I can’t emphasize enough that the key to an effective family catechesis program is the formation of the parents and that, if you are taking the time to form parents well as part of a family catechesis approach, you have “killed two birds with one stone”—you have not only introduced a new model for children’s faith formation, you have successfully implemented […]

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

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, […]

Grandparents and Grandchildren Go to Faith Camp

Grandparents can play a unique and important role in family faith formation. The General Directory of Catechesis describes the family as the primary place where catechesis takes place: “In this family catechesis, the role of grandparents is of growing importance. Their wisdom and sense of the religious is often times decisive in creating a true Christian climate.” (236) Pope Francis echoed a similar message in a tweet about grandparents: How important grandparents are for family life, […]

1 2