//How to catechize the entire family with one program

How to catechize the entire family with one program

a_family_of_faith_spotlight

A definite challenge the church faces today is how to catechize our youth. One concern is how disengaged many parents are in the process. If you have a religious education program, you have likely been witness to the amount of parents who drop their kids off and leave. Likely they do not even attend Mass on a weekly basis as required. What can we do to fix this?

Sophia Institute Press has introduced a product that is innovative, promising and in early use has been quite effective. The program is called A Family of Faith and what sets it apart from other programs is the family aspect. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the program structure. This is a four-year program that follows the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Year One: The Creed, Year Two: The Sacraments, Year Three: Life in Christ, and Year Four: Christian Prayer. Each year runs from September to May.

Each of these years is self-contained. That means families can jump in any year of the four-year cycle and eventually will cover the entire program and have covered the entire Catechism. Families are then free to repeat the program to deepen their knowledge even further.

You notice I keep using the word “families”. That is because this program engages everyone. The idea is your parish religious education coordinator gathers parents once per month for a meeting that helps parents serve in their role as primary educators of their children when it comes to the faith. This acts as the foundation for parents to teach two lessons to their children at home. This is easily achieved by using the parent guide and student activity book. These books are easy to use and guide parents through each lesson. No experience required. At the end of each month, families gather once more as a community to participate in various activities including feast day observances, prayer, and adoration.

The components of the program are impressively laid out. The Parents Guide includes essays covering the month’s topics. Notes on how to convey the information to your children are included as well. It must also be pointed out that the content is age-appropriate and all of it is contained within one book. There are not multiple books separated by grade as in other programs. This means all members of the family are involved in learning the topic making this by default a family experience.

The Children’s Activity Book contains a nice mixture of activities that effectively engage children of any age. These include age-appropriate readings, scripture memorization and copy work, prayer memorization, saints biographies,  games and crafts, drawing and coloring pages, and journal pages.

The Leader’s Guide provides a start-up guide for the person in charge, ice breakers for adult meetings, detailed plans for the community meetings, instructions on how to integrate the program into the parish and lecture notes a well as PowerPoint slides.

This is a complete program contained with these three books for each year of study. I’d like to point something else out as well. This does not have to replace your parishes current religious education program but can act as a standalone supplement. It also can be used exclusively at home if desired. Homeschool groups will find this program useful as well.

This program has been adopted by some 300 parishes so far. Priests have spoken highly of it stating it fills a need they see lacking. Parents agree and are the witnesses of the program. They are involved, and many have said how much they are learning right along with their kids. THAT is what makes this program a gem. It catechizes the un-catechized while promoting the family in its efforts. They say the family that prays together stays together. It can also be said that the family that learns together grows together. A Family of Faith helps achieve this and the benefits reaped by those using it will be eternal.

I was a provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

By |2018-11-19T20:12:49+00:00May 3rd, 2017|2017|Comments Off on How to catechize the entire family with one program

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