Studies say the two things that matter most in passing on the faith are "God-talk" and "faith practice". See this report on American Catholic Religious Parenting by Christian Smith and Justin Bartkus to read more about this topic. Check out each of the areas below for a multitude of resources that equip families to have conversations about faith and God ("God-talk) and encourage them to live out that faith ("faith practice).
Faith is learned in the home, in the parish, and in the community. We learn through Scripture, through relationships, through beauty. We learn in small groups, large groups, and independently. We learn in conversations and online.
Strong Catholic Family Faith provides learning resources for leaders, parents, and families. We look for the best sites that provide these resources. This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but we hope it will create the space to explore our faith, and spark some curiosity in those that want to learn more. We highlight free resources, but remember to check with your publisher's representatives for USCCB approved curriculum, and resources for RCIA, Adult Faith Formation, Small Christian Communities, and more.
"Pray without ceasing," said St. Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Traditional Catholic Prayers
There are many volumes written on prayer, on praying a certain way, or praying a particular prayer, the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Nicene Creed, or the Rosary. There are even books written on the power of the simple little prayer of the Sign of the Cross. Our traditional prayers connect us to those who have gone before us, to our tradition, to the saints, to our community, to others who pray with us.
Praying is turning our thoughts, our minds, and our hearts to God.
"The family is defined as a "domestic Church," that is, in every Christian family the different aspects and functions of the life of the entire Church may be reflected: mission; catechesis; witness; prayer, etc. Indeed in the same way as the Church, the family "is a place in which the Gospel is transmitted and from which it extends." The family as a locus of catechesis has an unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values. On this human base, Christian initiation is more profound: the awakening of the sense of God; the first steps in prayer; education of the moral conscience; formation in the Christian sense of human love, understood as a reflection of the love of God the Father, the Creator. It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more on-going and daily than structured into periods."
~ The General Directory for Catechesis #255 (emphasis is ours)
“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done... he commanded our ancestors to teach their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” ~ Psalm 78: 4-7
From generation to generation our faith has handed down through Scripture. In her book, Listening to God's Word, Alive Camille reminds us, "Next to actually living, telling stories is probably our most important activity... Our insatiable appetite for stories is a good thing. Stories tell us who we are and why we are... It can't be stressed enough: the Bible is not primarily about the past, any more than your life is primarily about what's behind you...A living word does say something about the past, for sure. But it also speaks of tomorrow and, more importantly, of today".
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40
Love one another. Simple... yet challenging.
Catholic Social Teaching combines Scripture and Tradition to remind us all the ways we are called to live out the Gospel message.
Life & Dignity of the Human Person
Call to Family, Community, & Participation
Option for the Poor & Vulnerable
Rights and Responsibilities
Care for God's Creation
The Dignity of Work & the Rights of Workers
Rituals bring us together. They are prescribed by the traditions of a culture, a community (including a religious community) or even of a family. Rituals strengthen our bonds and they express our values. They help us create a sense of identity, security, and belonging. They create shared memories. We have rituals around holidays like Advent, Christmas, Lent & Easter. And we have rituals around other milestones and celebrations, like birthdays, Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day. Rituals help us celebrate these special moments, celebrate life, and even to remember those who have gone before us, like on Dia De Los Muertos
What are some of your family rituals?
"All Catholics, whatever their circumstances in life, have been called to proclaim the Gospel." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 905, 1816; Evangelii Gaudium, no. 120)
Evangelization takes place in obedience to the missionary mandate of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20). In these verses we see how the risen Christ sent his followers to preach the Gospel in every time and place, so that faith in him might spread to every corner of the earth. (Evangelii Gaudium #19)
~ Pope Francis
I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and clinging to its own security." ~ Pope Francis
We're called to serve, whether it's feeding the poor, caring for the sick, or advocating for the marginalized. Families who serve together learn compassion, empathy, and mission to Jesus' gospel.
Matthew 35-36, 40
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me."
"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."