Expectations for Parents
We treasure our parents! We believe there are enough parents in our parish to cover all of the work which needs to be done. Let’s have both parish and parents work together to make our Faith Formation programs a success.
As parish we promise to:
- Match people’s gifts and interests to the volunteer ministries
- Honor your time
- Trust your abilities
- Make volunteering a life-giving and fun experience
As parents we expect you to:
- Attend Sunday and holy day liturgies with your child
- Become involved in your child’s faith life by volunteering on Wednesday nights
- Attend special church season events and participate in family service projects
- Work with your child at home to complete lessons when asked
- Support your major spring Faith Formation fundraiser
Will My Children Have Faith?
Research has shown three main reasons children grow in their faith. Andrew Greeley, author and professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona and a Research Associate at the National Opinion Research Center, sites the following reasons in the following order:
1. Love in their lives.
2. Involvement of their fathers’ in religious up-bringing.
3. Involvement of their mothers’ in religious up-bringing.
Parents Come First.
Yes parents you are of top priority if you want to offer any effective faith formation with your children and teens. Sociologist, Dr. Christian Smith, once said after he completed the National Study of Youth & Religion, “Most teenagers and their parents may not realize it, but a lot of research in the sociology of religion suggests that the most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents.” (Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (New York: Oxford Press,2005), 56.
Parents, you are the primary catechists to your children, because you teach them by word and example how to grow in their faith. The National Directory of Catechesis states that parents are catechists precisely because they are parents. The Church calls the parents role as primary catechists to their children as “irreplaceable”. (Vatican II Declaration on Christian Education, #3).
Parents, Nativity Parish supports you as you help your child to grow up as a faith-filled Catholic Christian.
Here are some things to think about and to do with your child this year: (Taken from “Entrusted to Your Care”, GrowingUpCatholic.com, Leisa Anslinger and Bill Huebsch).
- Pray everyday. Begin each day with a prayer that raises your mind and heart to God, and asks for the wisdom and guidance you need as a parent. Simply turning your heart to God in this way can be done while you’re on the run, if necessary.
- Bless your child each day. Make the sign of the cross on his or her forehead and say a brief prayer aloud. Your child will grow, certain of the love of God and his or her parents. We know you have your child’s welfare in your own heart – this blessing connects you all to God’s heart as well.
- Schedule Sunday Mass first. All else will fall into place. We promise! We welcome you, no matter what is in your past. And even, if you or your spouse is not Catholic, now is the perfect time to discuss how your family will live as Catholic Christians, with respect for the other faith in your home.
- Find time for quiet. Balance is so important in life! As a parent, you are pulled in dozens of directions, and it is often easy to overextend your time and energy. Finding time for quiet reflection, to read the Bible, or to read a good book will help you to live a healthy and holy life, and your children will learn form you as he or she matures. Not to mention you’ll be a much better parent if you’ve taken time occasionally to rest, exercise, or quiet yourself after a busy day.
- Stay connected with Nativity Parish. If you are tempted to put faith at the end of the list of the many things that compete for your attention, consider this: those who regularly participate in church services: Live longer (7.6 years longer, on average); Experience less depression, drug use and abuse, and suicide; Experience a greater sense of well-being, hope and optimism, purpose and meaning and self-esteem; Have a greater sense of satisfaction within their families, with closer parent-child relationships; Children exhibit performance in school and attain higher levels of education.
Being active in the parish is no magic bullet, but living a life of faith and raising your child in a faith-filled home will make all the difference, now and into a blessed future!
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