• Eileen Morgan posted an update in the group Group logo of Whole Family CatechesisWhole Family Catechesis 1 week, 5 days ago

    The new catechetical buzz word is “Whole Family Catechesis.” However, one size does not fit all. There is the format where families gather once a month and for major Liturgical gatherings. Then they work with their child at home using the book and computer. This works well in areas that have computers. But in other areas a different model might be needed. I have the used the above model for Sacramental Catechesis when I was working in a rural area. I also have used the format where the families gather and pray or do an activity with their children and then the children go to their graded classes and there is a speaker for the parents. This worked well in a suburban parish. However, when I worked in a parish with many cultural and economic groups, I returned to the method Kathleen Chesto initiated many moons ago. Children and parents learn together. There is no book per say except for the Leader’s and Director’s Guide. Parents take home materials to facilitate continued conversation and practice of the focus of the lesson. For instance, one lesson was about parables. The take home directed the parents to again read the Parable of “The Sower.” Then they would talk about what are the thorns and rocks that keep us from listening to God’s work as they planted seeds the parish provided in soil, and in rocks. There also was a prayer for the family to say when they gathered for meals or bedtime routine. This worked for families with many cultures and languages. They not only grew in their faith but became a community when they once were in separate cultural groups. The best part of this whole process was that the adults learned from the children and parents had a way to talk about their faith in terms of their own experience.

    • At my suburban parish we have 2 options. Families can enroll children in age level classes, but are also expected to pray and do service on their own time (monthly) and “report” about it and to attend 2 of 4 large group events throughout the year. Other families homeschool the lessons, do family prayer and service monthly, and attend 3 of 4 large group gatherings. We have been able to create opportunities for families to strengthen relationships within families and build community in the parish while still meeting catechetical requirements of the diocese AND giving families flexibility to accommodate busy schedules. There are definitely families who are not truly committed to the process, but many families are having some pretty profound experiences.