Promoting Family Faith at Home - CATECISTA Magazine (2023)

Promoting Family Faith at Home - CATECISTA Magazine (1)

Key Strategies for Building Catholic Families

Roberto John

We know how important parents and the whole family are in the formation of the faith of young people. The United States Catholic Bishops' Conference declares that the family "is our first community and the most fundamental way in which the Lord gathers us, forms us, and works in the world" (follow the path of love). We know that Catholic identity takes root in children's lives primarily through the family's daily religious practices and the way parents model and share their faith through conversation, collaboration and exposure to outside religious opportunities ( please referAn Account of Catholic Religious Education in America, Justin Butkus and Christian Smith, page 7). Parents are simply the greatest influence on the religious and spiritual outcomes of youth (follow the path of love).

The family is the community in which the practices of the Christian faith are nurtured and developed. We have found through research that certain religious practices make a significant difference when it comes to building the faith of children and young people at home. Key practices include:

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  1. Promoting Family Faith at Home - CATECISTA Magazine (2)Read the Bible as a family and encourage young people to study the Bible regularly.
  2. Pray together as a family and encourage youth to pray personally
  3. Help people in need as a family and support youth work activities.
  4. Eat together as a family
  5. have family talks
  6. Discuss beliefs, religious issues, and questions and doubts.
  7. Ritualizing important family moments and important experiences
  8. Celebrate religious holidays and seasons at home
  9. give moral instruction
  10. Get involved in a faith community and regularly attend Sunday family worship.

strategies for success

What approaches can we use to equip and support parents and families to incorporate these practices into their daily lives so that they become “habits of faith”? Here are some strategies for promoting faith practices in the home, including incorporating these practices into our current parish and school programs and creating new initiatives to equip and support faith practices in the home. We'll start with three basic strategies and then move on to
more “programmatic” ideas.

1. Build a digital platform, through your church or school website, or building a family faith-building website. To reach parents, we need to use digital tools and methods, and a family-friendly website is essential these days. The site is the resource hub and portal (ie, links to other online resources) for faith-building content (printed, audio, and video resources and activities) for families to engage in at home. A church or school can develop a family faith education website that introduces each of the faith practices with engaging activities (print, audio, video, apps, and more) aimed at families with young children, older children, teens, older teens, and for The whole family are tailored, including practical information and videos for parents.

2. Offer “how-to” help to parentsso that they feel safe and competent to participate in faith practices at home with their children and youth. Provide parents with practical online information (print, audio, video) with real-world activities to do at home. A simple way to do this is to create a short video of the children or young people experiencing the activity and make it available on the website or on a dedicated YouTube channel for their families.

3. Communicate regularly with parentsUsing a family newsletter via email or SMS to highlight online activities and videos. Use social media to reinforce and spread the practice. For example, create a faith-building Instagram account with photos of children and youth participating in the program or classroom activities, and then invite parents to post photos of their families participating in the activity.

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4. Integrate belief practices throughout the year.Teach the practices through experiential activities in children and youth programs, and then invite parents to deepen the practice through ongoing experiences at home that you provide online for easy access. This strategy can bring great rewards from childhood to adolescence. Imagine the difference it would make if families focused on one Bible story or prayer each month
Practice every month for 10 years. Here are two examples:

◗ BIBELLESEN:Develop a Bible Story of the Month plan to introduce children and youth to important Bible stories and teachings and teach them how to read, interpret, pray, and apply the scriptures in their lives. Select 12 of the most relevant and appropriate Bible stories for ages 5-18. Incorporate Bible teaching into a session or program each month; Use videos to help you. (Check out the animated videos belowTheBibleProject.comdas Then provide online resources for parents to deepen the Bible story by reading the story, watching the video, and discussing the story.

Make sure families have a good children's Bible:The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers His namevon Sally Lloyd-Jones (ZonderKidz), eThe Catholic Children's Bible(St. Mary's Press) are excellent resources. Another free resource is Reading the Bible byLiving well: Christian practices for everyday life.

◗ PRAYER:Develop the prayer life of children, youth, and families by focusing on learning Catholic prayers, teaching different forms of prayer, and experiencing a prayer practice each month during the class or program. Have the children and youth experience the different types of prayer: contemplative, biblical, intercessory, praise (worship), and thanksgiving. Develop a short video of children or youth praying so parents can see the prayer in action. Provide online prayer activities and resources for parents to continue the "Prayer of the Month" at home.

Living well: Christian practices for everyday life offers excellent online prayer resources for

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5. Celebrate the seasons at homeFind a monthly seasonal event that reflects the seasons of the church calendar and the seasons of the year, and then post the activities on the family website. Incorporate scripture, prayer, learning, service and action, ritual, and family conversation into all seasonal events. Highlight a Christian practice that is communicated and lived at each event.

Promoting Family Faith at Home - CATECISTA Magazine (3)For example:
JANUARY:Martin Luther King Jr. (work for justice and peace, serve)
FEBRUARY:Valentine's Day (Love)
MARCH:Lent (praying, serving/giving alms, forgiving)
APRIL:Earth Day (Caring for Creation)
HE CAN:Mother's Day (honour parents, nurture with love)
JUNE:Father's Day (Homage to Fathers, Love, Caring)
JULIUS:Independence Day (working for justice)
AUGUST:Back to School (celebrating new beginnings)
SEPTEMBER:Fall Harvest (Be Thankful, Be Generous, Take Care of the Earth)
OCTOBER:San Francisco (Farming, Animal Care, Simple Living)
NOVEMBER:Thanksgiving (be thankful, serve, live hospitality)
DECEMBER:Advent and Christmas (celebrating rituals, praying, serving)

A church or school may develop festivals and family gatherings to support the seasonal schedule that utilizes the four seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer) or the seasons of the religious year: Advent and Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost.

6. Connect families to Sunday worshipIncorporating Sunday preparation into programs for children and youth, and then deepening the Sunday worship experience at home through activities, practices and resources from a variety of age-appropriate and family-friendly digital content on the site. These activities may include family discussion questions, a weekly table ritual, a sermon podcast or a parenting study guide video, creative Bible activities for children, picture books, videos depicting the Bible story, daily prayer, and weekly family devotionals.

7. Create family immersion experiences in faith practices.Design extended programs (half-day, full-day) that teach faith practices through immersive, church-based or community-based experiences where families can experience a practice firsthand, such as: B. Hospitality in a homeless shelter. House serving a meal in a soup kitchen. , or care for creation by planting a garden. Combine the church experience with family activities at home.

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Replace an age group program with a family program, or add three or four family programs throughout the year that teach a practice of faith by sharing it with the whole family.

8. Develop skills for family lifeadding a parent-child/teen component to age group belief formation; or adding special parent-child/teen programs throughout the year. Focus on the types of skill development that strengthen family life and parent-child/teen relationships, such as (encouraging and praising one another, giving feedback, standing up for one another) and treating one another with respect and dignity. Many of these skills can be developed through films chosen for their positive message. An example of a film that provides a basis for subsequent activities is Disney/Pixar's Inside Out, about the emotional life of a growing child.

Try one or more of these ideas in your church or school over the next year. In today's faith formation there is nothing more important than equipping and supporting parents and the whole family to become communities of faith practice.

Johann RobertHe is part of the Vibrant Faith leadership team where he serves as the Training Services Coordinator. His publications includeFaith formation with a new generation(2018),Families at the heart of faith formation(2016),Adult Faith Formation Times(2015),Rethinking Faith Education for the 21st Century(2015),generations together(2014), zFaith Education 2020(2010). He is the founder of LifelongFaith Associates and the Center for Ministry Development.

This article was originally published inCatechetMagazine, March 2019

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What are the biblical principles for family relationships? ›

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” modern prophets have outlined nine basic principles for strong, gospel-centered families: “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational ...

What can families do to grow in faith? ›

10 Ways To Help Your Family Grow in Faith
  • Be a Signpost. Your job as a Christian parent is to point your family toward God. ...
  • Explore God's Story. ...
  • Share Your Stories. ...
  • Grow With God's People. ...
  • Find Your 'Faithful Five' ...
  • Celebrate Milestones. ...
  • Reach Out. ...
  • Take A Rest.
Jan 10, 2020

What are the qualities of a good catechist? ›

A catechist is any person of faith who is hospitable, a good listener, patient, wise, mature, open-minded, and caring. They are called to serve through teaching, witness, prayer, service and building community.

What is the golden rule in family? ›

"Treat all others as you would like to be treated yourself." The Golden Rule has proved its excellence as a moral guide since ancient times.

What is the most important key in strengthening family relationships? ›

Strong families have good communication.

One of the best ways to strengthen your family is to increase your listening skills and those of other family members. Until we can hear each other, we cannot build strong relationships.

How family members can help preserve faith at home? ›

Even if you regularly don't eat meals together, you can still create activities that nurture faith during mealtime. Assign table-setting chores and the before-dinner prayer to different family members. My daughter loves to have everyone pray with her when she prays. Encourage conversation.

How do you promote spiritual values in your home? ›

What you can do to nurture your child's spirituality
  1. Clarify your own beliefs. ...
  2. Introduce spirituality early on. ...
  3. Don't pretend to have all the answers. ...
  4. Use daily events to teach spirituality. ...
  5. Instill an appreciation of nature. ...
  6. Tell stories. ...
  7. Build on family traditions. ...
  8. Make it fun.

How can you show your faith at home? ›

7 Great Ways to Practice Your Faith with Your Family
  1. Keep the Sabbath Holy. “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” ~ Ex. ...
  2. Observe the Litrugical Calendar. ...
  3. Pray Together Every Evening. ...
  4. Create a Sacred Space in the Home. ...
  5. Practice the Works of Mercy. ...
  6. Teach and Model the Seven Virtues. ...
  7. Tithe to Church and Charities.

What does the Bible say about the family of faith? ›

1 Timothy 5:8

“But if someone doesn't provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith.”

How can you make faith active in your family? ›

*It should be noted that in some families only one or two members practise their faith.
However, wherever possible try to include the whole family!
  1. Pray together. ...
  2. Watch Catholic movies. ...
  3. Talk about it. ...
  4. Volunteer. ...
  5. Attend Mass and confession. ...
  6. Welcome someone new into your home.
Feb 3, 2022

Why is family faith important? ›

Our faith gives us an enduring relationship with an ever-present Father, Son and Holy Spirit, along with a whole toolbox of lessons and resources that help us through our earthly lives.

What are the four pillars of catechesis? ›

The pillars of an authentic Catholic life are summarized in the traditional four pillars of Catholic catechisms: faith, liturgy/sacraments, life in Christ, and prayer, which Peter distills in Acts 2:42.

How do I become an effective catechist? ›

A GREAT catechist never walks into his classroom without first spending time with Jesus, praying for the students, asking for help with the lesson, and above all, thanking Jesus for being there in their midst. Of course, you need to keep students focused on you when you are speaking.

What is the mission of a catechist? ›

The purpose of all Catechesis is to call people to a personal encounter with Christ, form them into His disciples, help them through the participation in the life of the Catholic Church, to make a permanent commitment to live as Jesus taught us to live.

What are the three rules of family? ›

Rules should support overarching values for the family.

Others you may want to focus on include: Simplicity. Honesty. Generosity.

What are some basic family rules? ›

Examples of common family rules:
  • No hurting. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
  • No interrupting. Wait for your turn to speak.
  • No yelling in the house. Use an inside voice when talking in the house.
  • No climbing or jumping on furniture. Sit on the couch or lie down on the bed.
Nov 5, 2019

What are 3 characteristics of a strong family? ›

Strong families have warmth and care, good communication, predictability, and strong connections to others outside the family. Looking after yourself is an important part of raising a strong family.

What are 3 important qualities of healthy families? ›

There are several common features of healthy, happy families that include cohesiveness, open communication, parents leading by example, conflict management, and setting clear expectations and limits.

How do I make my home a sanctuary of faith? ›

We can make each of our homes a house of faith by believing in the goodness of God and believing that by living gospel principles we can live in spiritual peace and security despite any earthly trials.
  1. John 17:15.
  2. Hel. 5:12.
  3. David A. Bednar, “Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing,” Ensign, May 2019; quoting D&C 101:22.

What is a good Bible verse for family? ›

"Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." "Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children." "Honor your father and mother."

How do you build a God centered home? ›

When parents preside over the family in love and righteousness and teach their children the gospel of Jesus Christ by word and through example, and when children love and support their parents by learning and practicing the principles their parents teach, the result will be the establishment of a Christ-centered home.

How can I grow spiritually at home? ›

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with God
  1. Humble Yourself and Pray.
  2. Read and Study Your Bible.
  3. Join a Group of Like-Minded Believers.
  4. Do for Others.
  5. Seek Out Your Spiritual Gifts.

How can you be an influence for God in your home? ›

10 Ways to Help Your Family Be Closer to God
  1. Read God's word together. When you read the scriptures as a family, you will invite God's Spirit to be in your home. ...
  2. Serve others together. Perform small acts of service together as a family. ...
  3. Express love for each other often. ...
  4. Pray together as a family.

What are the five spiritual values? ›

The values of truths, peace, love, righteousness, and non- violence are found in all major spiritual paths, these spiritual paths are also human values and the fundamental roots of a vibrant, healthy and viable work career.

What is faith at home? ›

Faith at Home is a national campaign that builds on the work of Growing Faith and Everyday Faith to support the faith development and pastoral care of children and young people. It seeks to provide: Experiences that inspire parents and families to grow in faith together in the 'new daily normal' of the home.

What are the 5 ways how we can show faith to God? ›

Let's review five safe and inspiring ways you can practice your faith and continue to connect to something greater than yourself:
  • Participate in Virtual Mass Every Sunday. ...
  • Begin Each Day with Morning Prayer or Meditation. ...
  • Read Bible Verses During Regular Nature Walks. ...
  • Participate in Small Group Bible Study Sessions.
Jul 30, 2020

How do we show faith in our daily life? ›

3 Tips to Applying Faith to Your Everyday Life
  1. #1: Take time to be humbled and thankful. According to the Bible, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. ...
  2. #2: Pray little prayers. A busy life is the #1 distraction from prayer. ...
  3. #3: Let go of the things you can't control.

What are God's promises for family? ›

God will be faithful. and who faithfully obey his commands. God will use the lessons of godly parents to guide children through life.

How do I keep the faith alive in my family? ›

4 Keys To Keeping Faith In The Family
  1. Pray Daily. Prayer is powerful and essential if you want to build a foundation of faith in your family. ...
  2. Prioritise Jesus & His Church. If you want to keep faith in your family, prioritise Jesus and His Church above all else. ...
  3. Persevere Through Tough Times. ...
  4. Practice What You Preach.
May 23, 2020

Where in the Bible does it say especially to the household of faith? ›

Galatians 6:10, KJV: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10, NASB: So then, while we have opportunity, let's do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

What are four ways people can strengthen their faith? ›

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationship with God every single day.
  • Prayer. Our human relationships grow and develop through communication—and our relationship with God is the same. ...
  • Worship. ...
  • Bible Reading. ...
  • Reflection. ...
  • Serving Others.
Mar 17, 2020

How is faith shown in the family? ›

Faith in our family begins with trusting our Heavenly Father and His promises. We press forward despite challenges, never giving up on ourselves or our children. We teach our family to have faith in Christ by living what we know to be true. Our children learn their most powerful lessons from our faithfulness.

What does it mean to be a family of faith? ›

Each Faith Family is unique; nevertheless each shares a mission: to be a family that is fruitful and multiplying. It is a family in the sense that these people are a committed community. They are fruitful in that as they meet to learn and study and grow together, they're bearing the fruits of discipleship.

Why is family faith formed? ›

Family faith formation empowers families to, together, deepen their relationship with God, live and learn their faith, share their faith stories, and strengthen their relationships within their families. It is an evangelizing vision for catechesis that can be implemented through a variety of ways.

Why is family catechesis important? ›

Benefits of Family Catechesis

1. Involves the whole family in congregational life and learning, building up the faith of the whole family. 2. Provides a way to teach, model, and demonstrate family faith practices.

What are the 4 main parts of catechism? ›

The Catechism is arranged in four principal parts:
  • The Profession of Faith (the Apostles' Creed)
  • The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (the Sacred Liturgy, and especially the sacraments)
  • Life in Christ (including the Ten Commandments)
  • Christian Prayer (including the Lord's Prayer)

What is catechesis for family life? ›

What is family Catechesis? “Family-centered catechetical programs are opportunities for parents to catechize their children directly, for spouses to catechize each other and for children to catechize one another and their parents” (National Directory for Catechesis #61.2).

What are the challenges for catechesis? ›

Challenges and Successes of Being a Catechetical Leader
  • Challenge 1: Recruiting Catechists. ...
  • Challenge 2: Catechist Formation. ...
  • Challenge 3: Supporting Parents as Primary Catechists.

Can a woman be a catechist? ›

Only a year ago, Pope Francis had opened the role of catechist to women. In most countries, women and men have long served as lectors and catechists and even have been commissioned for those roles.

What are 2 tasks of a catechist? ›

- Catechists with the specific task of catechizing, which includes educating young people and adults in the faith, preparing candidates and their families for the sacraments of Christian initiation, and helping with retreats and other meetings connected with catechesis.

What is the definitive aim of catechesis? ›

Accordingly, the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.

What are the pillars of family togetherness? ›

Mutual respect, time for fun, constant encouragement and communicated love are the four pillars of any strong relationship.

What are the five characteristics of a strong relationship in the family? ›

Strong families have warmth and care, good communication, predictability, and strong connections to others outside the family. Looking after yourself is an important part of raising a strong family.

What does the Bible say about family commitment? ›

Deuteronomy 5:16

“Honor your father and your mother, exactly as the Lord your God requires, so that your life will be long and so that things will go well for you on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

What are the principles we want our family to be based on? ›

The most important trait in strong, happy families is commitment. Commitment to the team—putting the family first—and commitment to each individual on the family in helping him or her become everything he or she can.… With commitment comes the desire to help family members reach their potential.

What are the three important family values of a strong family? ›

7 Values for Strong Families
  • Empathy: Treat animals, people, and other creatures with compassion and understanding. ...
  • Family time: Shared activities help family members bond over common interests. ...
  • Honesty: Telling the truth is not always easy, but it's essential to maintaining trust between family members.
Oct 6, 2022

What are the 7 ways to build family relationships? ›

How to Improve Family Relationships and Strengthen Bonds
  • Plan quality time. Consider quality vs. ...
  • Prioritize family dinners. ...
  • Organize game night. ...
  • Make chores a family activity. ...
  • Make room for alone time. ...
  • Get exposure to other families. ...
  • Make sure all family members are heard.
May 2, 2022

What are the 6 traits of a strong happy family? ›

Six traits of strong families
  • Strong families express appreciation and affection. ...
  • Strong families have a strong commitment to each other. ...
  • Strong families spend enjoyable time together. ...
  • Strong families manage stress and crisis effectively. ...
  • Strong families have a sense of spiritual well-being.
Nov 20, 2018

What are 3 important qualities of a healthy relationship? ›

Healthy characteristics. Mutual respect. Valuing who the other person is and understanding each other's boundaries. Trust.

What Psalm is for family? ›

Psalm 121 is a powerful Psalm that you can use to pray for your family each day. We as Proverbs 31 women are called to pray for our families on a regular basis.

What are the three 3 basic needs of a family? ›

When families are able to meet basic needs such as food, housing, and medical care, parents and other caregivers experience less stress, which allows them to provide the critical support that children need to grow into healthy, productive adults.

What is the 5 core values of family? ›

The values we hear most often from families are respect, love, humility, responsibility, and spirituality. Kids learn from experience.

What is the importance of godly family? ›

Families are a divine part of God's plan. They are the fundamental building block of strong societies. Families are where we can feel love and learn how to love others. Life is tough, and we need people we can lean on.


1. Catechism Conversations- What Edition & Why
(Deanna Williston, OFS)
2. Day 3: What We Believe (Part 1 Introduction with Jeff Cavins)
(The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz))
3. Spiritual Warfare - Explaining the Faith
(Divine Mercy)
4. Practical Catechesis
(BHM Diocese Evangelization & Faith Formation )
5. Roman Catholicism: Contending for the Faith
(Mike Winger)
6. Our Catholic Faith By Father Hardon
(Classic Catholic Audiobooks)


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