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.
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
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.
- "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 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.
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.