"A family is our first community and the most basic way in which the Lord gathers us, forms us, and acts in the world."
Follow the Way of Love, A Pastoral Message of the U.S. Bishops to Families on the occasion of the United Nations 1994 International Year of the Family.
The practices of faith are learned in the home and in the parish community. The family is the Christian community in which children first experience faith and love. God is experienced in the family's relationships. The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore promotes family spirituality, inter-generational learning and social justice through acts of charity by offering resources for the faith formation of families.
In partnership with parents in the home, parishes and Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore provide holistic faith formation in healthy relationship and sexual morality. Catechesis for Family Life includes safety education for children and youth to help protect them from exploitation and abuse.
For program assistance, Lauri Przybysz, D.Min.
A Model for Family Catechesis
"...By giving witness to the Gospel, living communal charity, and actively celebrating the mysteries of Christ, the Christian community is an excellent school of Christian and liturgical formation for the children who live in it." The Directory for Masses with Children, 11.
Through the ministry of Family Catechesis and Faith Formation the Church seeks to facilitate the process of ongoing faith development that happens formally and informally within the family system by drawing upon the gifts and faith experiences of all family members. The Catholic Faith Community walks together, family to family, as they explore the Catholic Faith, experience ongoing conversion of heart, celebrate faith through the liturgical and sacramental life, and live daily a life of peace, charity and justice.
Inter-generational Family Formation Sessions or Family Enrichment Days
Provide a forum for families to learn with each other and from each other. A monthly session or Enrichment Day may consist of several of the following elements:
- Cooperative Learning-Experiences
- Family Learning Stations
- Age Appropriate Breakout Sessions
- Liturgical and Devotional Celebrations
- Field Trips
- Family Justice and Service Projects
- A Family Movie Night
- Small Faith Communities of adults, youth and children
- Family Prayer Experiences
- Social Events
Family Home Resources
Between monthly meetings, provide families with resources that will nurture the domestic Church. Some ideas:
- monthly calendar of parish liturgical, social, educational and outreach opportunities
- meal time, morning and night time prayers
- lectionary materials that help families to reflect upon the Sunday scriptures
- parenting resources
- adult spirituality resources
- Family Activities and Ideas
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Faith Quizzes
- Parenting 101 - Resources for building strong Catholic families, from RCL-Benziger, the publishers of Faith First Religion series
- Families Against Violence Advocacy Network - Resources for peace in the home and society
- National Coalition Against Pornography
- Spirituality Today - "Parents First Preachers of the Word" - article by Lynn and Neil Parent
- Catechesis for Family Life and Abuse Prevention