What is Family Faith Formation?

Family Faith Formation is a partnership between parents and the parish. Family faith formation empowers the parents to be the primary educators of faith in their family. OFD is providing Families Forming Disciples as an adaptable model and content that can be utilized by parishes to advance family catechesis. Please see the resources available in English and Spanish. Contact us if you have any questions.

In our continuing catechesis on the family, we reflect today on the connection between the family and the Christian community. The Church is the home of those who believe in Jesus Christ as the source of the unity of the entire human family. Christ chose to enter our history, to become part of a human family, and to form a community which welcomes all who wish to hear his good news of the Father’s love.”

Pope Francis’ Statement concerning the link between Parents and the Parish

Why consider Family Faith Formation?

The Declaration on Christian Education from Vatican II states, “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 the principal educators.”

What is the role of the Parish Catechetical Leader?

Parish Catechetical Leaders support and resource families in their faith formation efforts which can include providing appropriate resources and access to parent faith formation on a regular basis.

…The Christian community must give very special attention to parents. By means of personal contact, meetings, courses and also adult catechesis directed toward parents, the Christian community must help them assume their responsibility…” (GDC 227).

Family Formation Models

These models are designed for Parish Catechetical Leader (PCL). They are intended to provide options for Pastors and PCLs in directing a comprehensive Faith Formation Program. Parish Catechetical Leaders along with their pastor may design other models or use any combination of those listed.

Last Updated: April 6, 2016

Four Keys For Practicing the Faith Handout

Faith Formation 2020 guides churches in imagining new directions for faith formation and engages leaders in designing faith formation for the second decade of the 21st century. The book presents four scenarios for envisioning the future of faith formation with 1) people of vibrant faith and active engagement in the church community, 2) people who participate occasionally but are not actively engaged or spiritually committed, 3) people who are spiritual but not religious, and 4) people who are uninterested in the spiritual life and unaffiliated with religion. The book offers practical strategies, ideas, innovations, and resources for targeting the spiritual and religious needs of people in all four scenarios.  Purchase the book

Last Updated: April 7, 2016

Selected Resources for Parish Catechetical Leaders

Many catechetical publishers offer leader guides or supplemental materials adapting them for family catechesis.

Consult the publisher or contact the Office of Formation and Discipleship for information.

Last Updated: April 8, 2016

Stages of Family Growth Cycle – National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLAM)

In planning for any parish ministry you’ll first want to consider your audience and the circumstances of their lives. This tool highlights various life stages and the rewards, challenges, the spiritual tasks, and suggested ministry models associated with each stage. Keep in mind that cultural and ethnic backgrounds play an important role in how life stages are understood and handled. Also note that divorce, death, remarriage or a catastrophic event may interrupt this growth cycle at any point and thus raise other rewards, challenges, spiritual tasks and ministry resources.

Last Updated: February 11, 2020

What is the role of the Parents?

With the support of the pastor and parish catechetical leader, the parents provide regular, systematic faith formation to their children. This includes regular attendance at Sunday Mass, spending dedicated time teaching about Catholic traditions and prayers and attending parish training sessions.

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