I dream of a “missionary option,” that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.
(Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, no. 27)
Dear Ministry Leaders and Parents:
Thank you for your witness and for all the sacrifices you have been making. COVID-19 has caused many challenges for our homes, parishes, schools, and communities. Jesus reminds us especially in these times: Be not afraid! The Church’s mission of evangelization and faith formation continues even in difficult times. Leaders and parents have been called to a new level of creativity in making use of available resources at home and online. At the same time, for parents, this is an opportunity to be renewed in the mission of being the first and primary catechists and teachers of your children. Even as we begin to increase sacramental access, we will still need to prepare for adjusted ways of handing on the faith. We can do this together!
Below are suggestions for various resources that can assist leaders and parents in advancing faith formation and prayer in homes. We encourage parents/guardians whose children have been or are expected to be enrolled in a parish religious education or faith formation program to be in contact with your local Parish Catechetical Leader (Director of Religious Education, Coordinator of Religious Education, Youth Minister, etc.) for particular guidance and recommendations. As we approach summer and prepare for the fall, please check for continued updates.
Planning Ahead: Ten Recommendations For PCLs
See here for suggestions when planning for the fall and considering hybrid models that rely on virtual family faith formation in the home.
Homes As Safe Havens
When accessing and relying upon technology more frequently in the home, it is important for parents and guardians to be smart and safe with technology use. The Archdiocese of Atlanta observed Safe Haven Sunday on March 22, 2020. Please see the resources available to help parents navigate and lower the risk of online exposure to pornography and other dangerous content. In particular, view the video message from Bishop Konzen (in Spanish by Bishop Shlesinger).
The website Clean Heart Online for the Archdiocese of Atlanta has many resources for parents, leaders, and more. In particular, sign up for a free 7-day package of email tips to help you with the latest parental control ideas for your home: The Safe Digital Family Challenge. Also, if you are looking for ways to limit the digital intake over the next several weeks, sign up for 7 days of emails (free, of course!) offering tech-free family activities and conversation starters: Digital Detox.