"Lay up these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them for a sign on your hands, and place them between your eyes.
Teach your children that they meditate on them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest on the way, and when thou liest down and risest up." Deuteronomy 11:18-19
In these simple words we are told how to fulfill our obligation to instruct our children in the Catholic Faith. It is truly a simple task. It only requires a willingness to inform ourselves about basic doctrine and then weave those topics into conversation with our family. There is truly no substitute for this kind of instruction and with a little practice it becomes second nature as families find themselves making use of commute time and dinner conversation as well as a host other "teachable moments" throughout the day to impart the truths of the Faith to their children.
In order to assist parents in informing themselves and to provide structure to the lessons being taught we are adopting A Family of Faith by Sophia Press for family catechesis. This program follows a four-year cycle: one pillar of the Catechism is covered each year from September through May. Each year is self-contained so families may join at any time in the cycle.
- Parish catechist gathers parents once a month to catechize them through teaching and discussion. This meeting is meant to help parents assume their role as the primary educator of their children.
- Two weeks later, the entire family gathers for a short "community meeting" with activities ranging from picnics and feast day celebrations to prayer groups and adoration.
- Over the course of the month, parents teach two lessons to their children at home using the A Family of Faith parent guide and student activity books.