Family Faith Formation
A Family of Faith
All families are warmly welcomed to join A Family of Faith this fall! Family of Faith replaces the traditional Sunday School Program encouraging and equipping you to live and teach your children the Catholic Faith at home. With one adult meeting and one family meeting each month, this program will give you all the knowledge and tools you need to bring your children up in the Faith.
To register your family, view a video by Kendra or see the calendar for A Family of Faith, please find the links below:
Why Family Faith Formation is Important:
FAMILIES ARE ENGAGED
With A Family of Faith, families come together regularly — growing in relationship with one another and learning the truths of the Catholic Faith and how to apply them in their lives. In the parish and at home parents and children have the opportunity to build strong relationships through discussion and reflection on topics that matter in their lives.
THEY LEARN TO FOLLOW JESUS
As families continue to come together to learn about the life of Jesus Christ, His teachings, and the Catholic Faith, they desire to know Him better. The home becomes the place of deep learning as families desire to follow Jesus more closely. Families are introduced to the spiritual treasures of the home, the domestic church. Parents can learn and share with their children practices such as grace before meals, reading and praying with Scripture, and learning about the lives of the saints. All these are included in the monthly Our Catholic Home feature.
IT BUILDS THE DOMESTIC CHURCH
As parents and children engage in discussion about what they are learning, spiritual curiosity is awakened and families desire to deepen their understanding. Each month parents have the opportunity to choose from a variety of activities and discussions that they can do as a family to explore the concepts that are taught in each lesson. Younger children might learn through the experience of coloring one of the beautiful illustrations while older children might meditate on the Scripture.
Families using A Family of Faith attend Mass regularly, learn and practice prayers together, and engage in spiritual conversations at home, helping them to grow in holiness.
FAQs: A Family of Faith Program
DOES A FAMILY OF FAITH REPLACE FAITH FORMATION OR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES?
Yes, aside from any necessary classes for sacramental preparation (i.e., First Communion/Confirmation classes). A Family of Faith is an alternative to the typical religious education class model. We believe that this program is better suited to provide true spiritual formation to the children, while being formed intellectually in the process.
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW THE FAITH VERY WELL OR EVEN KNOW HOW TO TEACH?
A Family of Faith is completely turn-key (ready to operate) for parents, giving you the easy-to-understand content and step-by-step instructions for each activity, helping you to gain knowledge of the Faith and confidence as you teach it. Various tools are also available to help parents turn potentially problematic situations into successes, such as what to do when a child asks a question you do not know.
SHOULDN'T THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION OF CHILDREN BE LEFT TO THE PARISH?
As we see many young people who go through faith formation are leaving the faith, we are following a new model (which is actually an ancient model) where the parish focuses on catechizing the parents in order to strengthen parent/child engagement in the Faith. This increases the likelihood that a child will receive an authentic education in the Faith and develop into a knowledgeable and practicing Catholic. Countless studies have shown that parental engagement with the child is the single most effective way to develop young people into disciples of Christ.
IS THERE A LOT OF WORK INVOLVED FOR ME? MY LIFE IS ALREADY BUSY AS IT IS.
No. There are two lessons each month, along with a variety of family and child activities. Each lesson should take no more than 30-45 minutes to complete, and requires minimal preparation on the part of the parent. We only ask that you attend our monthly parent meeting to touch base on how things are going, and to be equipped with a basic understanding of the material to be taught.
WHAT ARE THE AGE RANGES FOR WHICH THIS PROGRAM WAS DESIGNED?
Because this program focuses on teaching the faith to parents and helping them make it an organic part of family life, it is perfect for parents with children of all ages. For example, a monthly feature called “Your Catholic Home” gives specific advice for ways to make the Faith a regular part of each day. The Children’s Activity Books are for children grades K-8, and features engaging activities at various grade levels. Parents can skip those activities that they believe are too elementary or too advanced for their child.
DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO BE A STRONG READER?
No. Although readings and written activities are offered, the Children’s Activity Book and Parent’s Guide offer a wide variety of activities using numerous strategies to impart and assess knowledge that do not rely on reading or writing.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM HANDLE SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION?
A Family of Faith does not treat the Sacraments as isolated events and is not designed to serve as preparation for receiving the Sacraments. Students grow in their spiritual journey through regular activities with their parents, prayer, Mass attendance, and participation in parish life. To register for Sacramental Preparation go to the Sacraments tab.
HOW WILL I KNOW MY CHILDREN ARE LEARNING?
You will undoubtedly see your children learn as they memorize Scripture verses and are able to define key words of our Catholic Faith. Children will demonstrate in conversation their understanding of concepts of the Faith, and you will see them begin to live their Faith through service projects, an enriched prayer life, and a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. The child’s desire to know, love, and serve Jesus is proof that they are learning and becoming a disciple of Christ. The Director of Faith Formation will also make time to meet with each family by the end of the year to review what they have learned and how they have developed in their domestic church.
Contact Kendra Baker with any other questions you may have regarding this program.
Family Liturgies have been a part of the Our Lady of the Lake Masses since the 1970’s. Under the direction of our Parish Pastors, Directors of Liturgy and Faith Formation, and the careful planning of parishioners like Mike Parks, Carol Buser, Diane Perry, Chris Miller, Michelle Andersen and John Zarek, Family Liturgies were born and nurtured into those we present today in the 2020’s. Our purpose has always been the same and that is to break open the word of God for children of all ages. We do this by choosing children’s stories that convey the message of the Gospel story of the given Sunday. That message is then woven into the fabric of the entire Mass and presented in “play” form as the Reflection prior to Father’s Homily.
Currently, Family Liturgies are planned quarterly for October, Christmas Eve, and February or March (First Communion in May is planned by Faith Formation families). Your Family Liturgy Team (Beth Voelk, Dianna Britz, Ellen Walker, and Patty Corum) will always welcome your participation in our quarterly Family Liturgies as readers or “performers”. You will be amazed at how blessed you feel when you stretch a little bit out of your comfort zone and we will help you do that!