Why are parents so important in faith formation?

Leslie-and-Louie-Wedding-Adventure-2013-030-150x150[1]“Much current research and a great deal of anecdotal evidence supports the premise that most adult Catholics are active in the Church today because they were formed in faith by their own parents. Of course, some adults do come to the Church as adults. And, of course, many adults whose parents took great care to form them have drifted away from the regular practice of their faith. Nevertheless, most adult Catholics remain active in their faith because they were formed by their parents. This is faith formation that lasts a lifetime! It does not end with primary school.

Study after study highlights the importance of this. People experience less difficulty with drug and alcohol abuse, depression and suicide, and family tension when they regularly come to church; children and teens are more likely to do well in school, stay close to their families, and experience a greater sense of well-being when they regularly participate in Mass and parish activities with their families.

Parents, we must now help our children to grow up Catholic in new and more effective ways. The fact is that we cannot substitute anyone else for the work of faith formation. Parents are the key players. They are forming their children whether they practice their faith or not. If they are active in their faith, their children see faith in them and see in that a “hidden message” that faith is important and that we are responding to God’s call when we respond in faith. If they are not active, their children see a “hidden message” in that as well: that faith is not very important in daily life and that it is optional.

This latter belief, that faith is something optional that we can choose or not, lies at the heart of the challenge for us. In fact, faith is a response we make to God revealing God’s self to us in many, fascinating ways. It’s a response, more than a choice. The response we make arises within us when we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit. Within each human person is a great, mysterious force, the force and power of love – which is where God touches our hearts and sets us free.

When we yield to it and respond, we find ourselves falling headlong into the teachings of Jesus: forgiveness, generosity, hospitality, shared meals, community life, commitments of love. The more we yield to this, the more we life in that loving, divine power. The Church helps us do this in ways that cannot be replaced by any other agency in the world. It makes sacramental the daily experience of forgiveness, shared meals, and love. It provides the community context in which faith is nurtured and formed.

Cultivating deep communion with Christ is the journey of each Christian, each Catholic. Such a deep communion is “of the heart” more than “of the head”. Faith, therefore, is not something to be “understood” as much as something to be “lived”. You can’t learn to life faith in a classroom setting alone. You can’t learn it in any faith formation or school setting alone. What happens in those settings is important, but it only works when faith is being lived outside of those settings. So here it is, the key idea: Faith is lived. This should help us understand why parents are so vital in the faith formation of children.”
By Bill Huebsch , author and director of the on-line Pastoral Center at Twenty-Third Publications

Parents, take the opportunity this year to get involved in our faith formation process at Nativity Church. We have “great expectations” for our parents to take the primary role in forming their own children and in being part of the parish process of faith formation. Call Kathy at 232-2414 or e-mail her at kathyb@nativitycatholicchurch.net

The Treasure

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We have good news! We have opened our treasure chest here at Nativity and will bring brand new faith jewels to our parish. Our new religious curriculum for Faith Formation is entitled, “Finding God; Our Response to God’s Gifts”. What a wonderful title. Because that is our mission, no matter what age we are. God always calls us first. God always makes the first move. We listen and are called to respond to God’s call. We are all about finding God- all of the time.

This new series, designed by parents, for parents, fully engages our children on the jewels of the Catholic Church. We have been looking at this series for a long time and are so pleased that we can offer our children the very best of what is out there. Our team of catechists are supported every step of the way as they lead the children through active learning on the full teachings of the Catholic Church. Beautiful art, drama and song bring Bible stories to life for children. Also included in each lesson are practical suggestions on how to bring faith home to everyday family life.

Parents, (and I mean both mothers and fathers), now is the time to say YES. Will YOU help open our treasure chest and share the jewels of our faith with our children? Don’t wait until it’s too late and our children have grown up and gone on their own way. Our children need you now.

  • Find a friend and come back to teach together
  • Pick the class level you wish to team teach
  • Junior or Senior High youth make awesome team teachers
  • Husband and wives together make a great team
  • Grandparents have a special impact on small children
  • Give back to your parish and grow as an adult Catholic
  • Live out your baptismal call to serve God and others!

Call Kathy today at 232-2414 or kathyb@nativitycatholicchurch.net

Your Help is Needed!

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“Two by Two” – Your Help is Needed!

Find a friend and come back to team teach together in an elementary Faith Formation class this year.  Classes are held on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm.  All classes have team teachers who share the duties and split the teaching sessions.  No one is ever left alone.  Free childcare is also available if you choose.  Scholarships are available to catechists for tuition reduction.  

Benefits to the position of team catechist (teacher):

  • You pick the class level you wish to team teach
  • Junior or Senior High youth make awesome team teachers
  • Husband and wives together make great team catechists
  • Grandparents have a special impact on the faith of small children
  • Give back to your parish and grow as an adult Catholic
  • Share your faith stories with children 
  • Live out your baptismal call to serve God and others!

Call or e-mail Kathy today.  kathyb@nativitycatholicchurch.net, 232-2414