Why is SaintAndrew Parish making this big change in religious education?
To put it bluntly - our "traditional" Religious Education program no longer works. Its past success depended on families regularly participating in Sunday Mass and actively practicing their faith at home…but these can no longer be taken for granted. A Family of Faith fosters both. And as a diocesan pilot program we can lead the way!
How does A Family of Faith work?
A parent session is held in the middle of each month, to help parents deepen their own knowledge of the Catholic faith. We encourage both parents to attend, and child care will be provided. There are two at-home lessons (30-45 minutes each) to be completed per month, with a few additional activities to help make the Catholic faith a part of your family's daily life. Near the end of the month there is a community meeting which is for the entire family, building community and to ensure accountability.
Where is this all happening? And what's the schedule? We're a busy family!
There's a lot more flexibility in A Family of Faith than in a traditional religious education program. Parent sessions will usually be held in the church on the second Wednesday of the month, from 6:30pm – 8:15pm. The community meeting will usually be on the fourth Sunday of the month from 10:00am – noon, in order to allow your family to attend Mass either beforehand or afterwards. For those with Sunday scheduling conflicts, an alternate community meeting will be on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 7:00pm – 8:45pm. Your family need attend only one of the community meetings. During the month, you the parents, determine when to do the two monthly lessons—at home, on your family's schedule, and at your child's level. The program runs from September to May. A schedule for the year is provided.
Who is this for? What if we don't have children or our kids are grown?
The at-home lessons are geared for kids in grades K-8…but all parishioners are most welcome to get involved. Teens can help teach younger siblings, or assist with childcare. Adults can come and benefit from the teaching during the parent sessions, and those without their own children might consider volunteering to accompany and mentor another family that could use a helping hand.
What about First Penance and First Holy Communion?
Sacramental preparation has always been the responsibility of the Parish. Specific preparation to receive these Sacraments is separate from A Family of Faith, additional information will be provided. However, families who have children that will receive one of these Sacraments in the next two years, should be enrolled in either A Family of Faith or be enrolled at Saint Andrew School.
Who is running this program?
A team of over two dozen volunteers from the parish is coordinating A Family of Faith. Thank them when you meet them at parent sessions and community gatherings, and pray for them as you benefit from all of their hard work behind the scenes.
Is there a cost for registration?
Yes, we believe this investment by each family will make a big return, while also encouraging a family's ongoing involvement. The annual fee of $40 per child, covers the cost of the books used for the program (maximum $115 per family.) Other supplies and materials are provided on the parishes' very tight budget! Please know that no family will be turned away because of an inability to pay.
Do you want to learn more about A Family of Faith? Visit the publisher's webpage at: https://sophiainstituteforteachers.org/shop/family-of-faith