It is often said that faith is better caught than taught. How are we helping parents to live the faith that they want to share with their children? Do they know how to connect faith and life and life to faith? Do they know how to speak with their children about their relationship with Jesus? Are you as a parish leader helping them to grow in their relationship with Jesus? Here are some resources to help make these connections.
Tools for Family Faith Sharing - Websites, Blogs and Activities
How to Help Your Child Develop "Sticky Faith" (Fuller Theological Seminary) Sticky Faith is what it says it is. It is faith last lasts. Faith filled parents want to form stick faith to their children. This website, connected with Fuller Theological Seminary has developed articles and resources to help parents pass on faith that lasts. This article talks about the importance of the parent making faith a priority for themselves.
Building Faith in the Home (Building Faith) This website offers 11 practical ways to build faith in the home including praying in the car, sharing blessings and creating a sacred space for the family.
Catholic Icing This website offers parents many ideas for faith sharing that are fun and practical.
Vibrant Faith at Home One of the best websites for building family faith at home, this site offers practical activities for families with children of all ages to enable families to talk, pray, celebrate rituals, and reach out to others.
Faith Sharing on the Sunday Lectionary
Commentaries/Questions on the Sunday Readings in English, Spanish & Vietnamese (Ascension Catholic Community) Complete faith sharing guides for each Sunday of the Liturgical Years A, B, C written by Fr. Eamon Tobin. Print and use in Small Christian Community, ministerial groups and at parish meetings. Easy to use for online faith sharing, too!
Gospel Reflections (Catholic Mom) This is a reflection on the daily Gospels with activities and discussion topics for families. Families can use these materials online or you can print, copy and distribute them.
Between Sundays (The Five Loaves) Video Reflection on the Sunday Readings. (Check out thefiveloaves dot com)
FAITH SHARING on the Sunday Lectionary - For Use in Families with Children
The Question of the Week (Lifelong Catechesis - Our Sunday Visitor) A great way to share faith on the Sunday readings (especially the Gospel) is to discuss the question of the week. A question is provided for each of the Sunday Gospels throughout the year.
The Sunday Connection(Loyola Press) God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection is a weekly email that provides useful background and activities (for children and the whole family) to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.
build. plant. grow. the word this week (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University) build. plant. grow. is a free faith formation program for schools, parishes, and families. Engaging lesson plans pair scriptural readings with children's literature and experiential education. Follow this link for an example of this resource that assists parents and catechists to share their faith with children to discover the hope Jesus offers us.
Faith Sharing on the Daily Readings of the Lectionary
Good News Ministries Receive by email life-enriching reflection on the daily readings from the Catholic Mass. On Sundays, the reflection include questions for private and group use, sent a week early to help you prepare for next Sunday's Mass.
The Text This Week The Text This Week features a wide variety of resources for study and liturgy based on the 3-year Revised Common Lectionary cycle. It includes a diverse variety of resources for scripture study, reflection and liturgy. The purpose of this website is to provide links to resources for study, reflection and liturgy which correspond to the RCL readings you may be using for study, teaching, and preaching.
Weekly Lectio Divina (American Bible Society) A weekly framework for a faithful and respectful reading of the Bible, coordinated with the Catholic lectionary calendar. (English and Spanish versions)
6 Reasons Ignatian Spirituality Appeals to Children (Ignatian Spirituality) Children have an inner desire to draw near to God, and with the help of sensitive guidance and encouragement from loved ones, are able to listen to the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit. Walking alongside children as we learn to listen for the voice of Jesus in our lives and to love him deeply is a beautiful experience.
Five Ways to Nurture Your Child's Faith (Loyola Press) A Month of Dinnertime Conversations (Archdiocese of Denver) Dinnertime is one of the best opportunities to strengthen your family, learn about each other’s days, and to share and grow in your Catholic faith. These dinnertime conversation starters are meant to help you discuss your faith and grow together in understanding of what it means to be a Catholic family. Try this for a month and you'll be amazed at how God will make himself present in your family!
Using Media to Explain the Faith (Archdiocese of Milwaukee) A picture is worth more than a thousand words. When it comes to faith a video may be worth more than ten thousand words. Many parents are speechless today when it comes to explaining the faith to their children. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a series of videos that explain facets of the Catholic faith in terms that older children and youth can understand.
Animated Saint Stories Parents can find a wide variety of short animated clips on YouTube about the saints and various aspects of the Catholic Church. Of course on YouTube parents must be very careful to preview the clip first, but what parents will find would be worth the effort.
Questions, Questions, Questions...How to Respond(Children's Ministry) When questions come up about faith in your family, how should you respond? No one can know all of the answers. How about questions that are challenging? Children's Ministry offers some sage advice about how to turn the questions into conversation that can bring parents closer to their children and discover some answers together. Another good resource is www.catholicanswers.com
Caring Conversation (Vibrant Faith Ministries) Vibrant Faith @ Home offers a wonderful video for parents on how to engage with children or youth in conversations that go deeper than the normal everyday "Do your homework" or "Get to bed" interactions between parents and children.
FAITH5™ (Faith Inkubators) The FAITH 5 connects church to home, faith to life, and parents to kids in a powerful way... Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless