Family Faith Formation/formerly Religious Education

Click here for online registration!

In Fall 2019, St. Lawrence adopted a Family Faith Formation program to empower parents/guardian to pass on the faith.

Families meet once a month, Sunday after 11:15am Mass for some food and fellowship and youth/children activities.(Alternate date will be the following Wednesday.) After some food and fellowship, parents/guardians are taught that month's subject by some of the parishes best. These lessons prepare them to share each week with the rest of the family. Program activities involve the whole family at any level so no one need be left out.  


The program's flexibility is only one of many benefits - the primary ones being the "catechetical culture" we hope to bring back to the home and empower the parents/guardians where it is most fitting. Another benefit is that after the program's four-year cycle (following the four "pillars' of the Catechism), the program repeats. This allows the faith to be reinforced for repeat students as they learn this important material at a higher level. 
Our curriculum is a Family of Faith program from Sophia Institute Press. 


 

SIGN UP HERE TO HELP WITH THE MEAL FOR FAMILY FORMATION

2020-21 Family Faith Program Dates

Parent Workshop Dates                              Theme                              Alternative Parent Workshop Dates

(Held in the upper level of Parish Hall)                                                      (Held in the lower level of Parish Hall)

Sunday Sept. 13 12:30-2:30pm           Role of Parents in Education       Wednesday Sept. 16 7-8:30pm

Sunday Oct. 11 12:30-2:30pm            What Is a Sacrament?                  Wednesday Oct. 14 7-8:30pm

Sunday Nov. 1 12:30-2:30pm              Sacraments of Initiation              Wednesday Nov. 6 7-8:30pm

Sunday Dec. 6 12:30-2:30pm              Confirmation                                Wednesday Dec. 9 7-8:30pm

Sunday Jan. 10 12:30-2:30pm             The Eucharist, The Mass              Wednesday Jan. 13 7-8:30pm

Sunday Feb. 7 12:30-2:30pm               Sacraments of Healing                Wednesday Feb. 10 7-8:30pm           

Sunday Mar. 7 12:30-2:30pm DM         Holy Orders & Holy Matrimony     Wednesday Apr. 14 7-8:30pm

Sunday May 2 12:30-2:30pm               Sacraments Review                      Wednesday May 5 12:30-2:30pm

PDF Image  Registration Form 2020-21 Family Formation & Confirmation

Click here for online registration!

 

 PDF Image Sept. Reminder & Checklist                       Family faith church

PDF Image  Oct. Reminder & Checklist 

PDF Image  Nov. Reminder & Checklist

PDF Image  Dec. Reminder & Checklist

PDF Image  Jan. Reminder & Checklist 

PDF Image Feb. Reminder & Checklist 

PDF Image March Reminder & Checklist

PDF Image April Reminder & Checklist 

If you would like more information or have questions, please contact the parish office at  765-742-2107.  


Why Family Faith Formation?


According to various studies, the Church is losing a large amount of members annually. One report stated that 3,000 people leave the Church every month.  What is perhaps more shocking than the total is the timeline. About 80% are walking away from their faith by the time they reach college age. The median age, however, is 13 years old. That alone should make us pause, especially when we realize that if the fruit of apostasy is ripening in the tween years, its seed started growing in childhood.

​Catholics often blame many of the Church's woes. Here's a reality check: Regular Mass attendance plus the typical weekly catechism class equals barely 1% of a person's life. That means that even during the school season, 99% of a child's experience is outside of parish catechesis.

No matter how good a program is, classroom catechesis only effective in the context of a faithful community (family, parish, etc.). If the one percent of a child’s life has to receive the teaching of the Church, it will be a very difficult for that person to overcome the other ninety-nine. When faith formation is limited to just the classroom, its impact may have a small impact on the childs faith life.  Saddly and sometimes catechesis becomes just another hoop to jump through to get those sacraments checked off.  It can produces a "faith" that is easily dismissed once all the boxes have been checked.

Of course this is never the goal of families participating in parish religious education - We want to have a program that empowers and supports the parents/guardians.  To often the parish ends up supplanting the parents/guardians. It becomes solely the parish's – not the parent’s - job to catechize the children. 

The Church calls parents their children’s “primary catechists.”  This shows up in many writings over the last several decades:
  • "Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. . . . Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God." [Catechism of the Catholic Church 2223, 2226]
  • "The right and duty of parents to give education is essential... irreplaceable and incapable of being entirely delegated to others." [Familiaris Consortio, 36]
  • "Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators.” [Gravissimum Educationis, 3]
  • "The family's catechetical activity has a special character, which is in a sense irreplaceable."  [Catechesi Tradendae, 68]
  • "The right of parents to beget and educate their children in the bosom of the family must be safeguarded." [Gaudium et Spes, 52]
​The Church’s expectation that parents act as catechists to their children might sound frightening but it really is a simple reflection of everyday reality. Parents teach their children how to walk, talk, think, and behave - it's just what happens in parenting. Most often these lessons are "caught" more than they are "taught", because children learn from their parents simply by being around them.

The same is true of living the faith. For example, if parents skip Mass anytime it is inconvenient, that is the lesson their children will learn about the importance of Mass. If parents pray before meals, that is the life of prayer the children will learn. If parents spend time in reading Scripture, say a rosary, or some other catholic devotion that is what the faith will look like to their children.
 
Family Faith Formation (FFF) is a new model based on an old idea (parents as primary catechists to their children). This represents a noticeable role reversal in typical Catholic religious education, but it’s really just an application of the Church’s mandate to form adults so that families can catechize their young. When this occurs, children are taught the faith as a way of life and not just as a weekly class.
 
Family Faith Formation is basically the principle of subsidiarity applied to children's catechesis. The parish’s role is one of equipping – not replacing. The focus is on giving parents tools to help them succeed at being the religious educators that they already are. For most families, high-level theological training is not as important as faithful practices, and Family Faith Formation can help with both.

We are aware that no single parish program can meet the particular needs of all families. No matter how perfectly planned a parish school model(RE) is, there will always be those for whom it will not work. Schedule conflicts with school, work, sports, and other extracurricular activities are sometimes impossible to fully mitigate. Family Faith Formation makes for a program flexible enough to accommodate a wider range of schedules, learning styles, and abilities.

The fact is that "Primary Catechist" is an unavoidable and irreplaceable role for parents. It is one that parents have by nature - not one that is awarded by experts. This maybe a challenge but the biggest blessing come from overcoming challenges.  The Church has made it an important task of the parish's role to support parents—not supplant them, and St. Lawrence's department of evangelization is committed to doing so!  
 
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