Why is Family Faith Formation replacing the traditional Religious Education program?
The idea of Famiy Faith Formation is that we, as the Church, help equip parents and families to bring the faith into their homes and for parents to become the main catechists of their children. I strongly believe that this component is what so many parishes are missing out on and why so many families (and children) are walking away from the faith. After being here for a year, I quickly realized that there are many parents who are not involved in their child’s faith formation and many families who do not attend Mass every Sunday – an obligation we all have as Catholics. I think that more often than not, these two things are a result of parents not feeling or not being educated in our beautiful Catholic Faith. The desire for the Catholic Faith to be lived out in all households and for children to absorb the faith from their parents is my main motivating desire for Family Formation.
Although, COVID-19 may seem like an obvious reason to move in this direction, this is not why we have decided to move toward a family formation platform for Religious Education; although, COVID-19, made it much more obvious as to why we need to be better at educating the parents instead of focusing only on the children. A family formation platform and mentality for many years to come will allow us to focus on formation for both the parents and child as well as forming all adults in our parish, regardless of age, children etc.
Saint Pope John Paul II said, “I wish to sow courage, hope and enthusiasm abundantly in the hearts of all those many diverse people who are in charge of religious instruction and training for life in keeping with the Gospel.”
This is my prayer for all of you, that you may see this time as an opportunity to courageously and enthusiastically bring Christ into the center of your home and lead your family to Heaven
St. Henry's Church is becoming a Family Formation Parish!
Family Formation is a unique family catechesis model which supports parents in their role as the primary educators of their children in the Catholic Faith. Family Formation is a tried-and-true curriculum developed over many years by regular parents who were searching for a better option to teach the Catholic Faith to their children. The materials are engaging, down-to-earth, and easy to understand. With the help of games, quizzes, stories, and music, the lessons transmit solid Catholic teaching and bring the Faith to life within the family. Since its beginning in 1988, Family Formation has grown to serve thousands of families all across the United States, in Canada, and beyond.
What is Family Formation?
Why Family Formation?
A careful reading through the documents of the Catholic Church quickly reveals the Church’s great expectations for the family. “The family is a domestic church.” Lumen Gentium, 11
It is so because it is in the family that the Truths of the Faith are taught and lived on a day-to-day basis. “The right and duty of parents to give education is essential … original and primary … and it is irreplaceable and incapable of being entirely delegated to others.” Familiaris Consortio, 36
As a Church, we recognize our ineffectiveness in catechizing children if their parents are not involved in the process. Through Family Formation, parents are evangelized and catechized and come to understand what the Church is asking of them. By giving them support and encouragement in their mission, we are responding to the Church’s call.
In a nutshell, this is the goal of Family Formation. The adult formation sessions teach and encourage parents and provide them with the tools to share the Good News and the beauty of the Catholic Faith with their children and to form them into true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Vision & Mission of Family Formation:
Vision: To transform the world one family at a time.
Mission: Family Formation is designed to help parents respond to the Church’s call to be “the first and foremost educators of their children”* and to help families grow in the transforming love of God by understanding and livingthe Catholic Faith.
* Gravissimum Educationis, 3 *
How does Family Formation work?
IN THE HOME: At the heart of Family Formation is the domestic church. Weekly Home Lessons provide the backbone for children’s spiritual formation and cover all the major principles of the Catholic Faith.
Saint John Paul II said, “Families, become who you are.” The teachings in the Home Lessons help families become the domestic churches they are called to be. By devoting approximately one hour per week throughout the school year, fully incorporating the Catholic Faith will soon become a way of life.
Lessons include hands-on activities for the whole family, memory verses, audios, stories, games, and booklets to aid families in developing traditions that integrate the liturgical seasons of the Church.
IN A PARISH: where Family Formation is utilized, families gather together once a month. Using the lessons provided, trained catechists teach the children in grade-level classrooms while parents attend an adult teaching on the same topic. Parents are then provided all of the Home Lesson materials they will need for the rest of the month to teach the Faith to their family.
"What I like best about this program is that it gives our family a guide for sitting and talking about our faith. It seems like that should be a natural thing, but it isn’t. It’s not natural for me to call a “family meeting” to pray or talk about a Saint or what we heard at Mass. But this program has really helped me, and my husband, to do just that."
"We had no idea what to expect when signing up for Family Formation, but I am blown away at how great this program is! What a blessing that my kids are not only learning the truth from me, but learning from other devout Catholics and seeing it as common place with their friends. I don’t even know what I want to say except thank you."
Family Formation Parent Testimonies:
"I wanted to take a minute and just thank you and the entire team there for this amazing program. It has brought our entire family so much closer in our faith and the lessons are great. We ordered the family program last year and it was incredible. I even started going to adoration once a week so I could use that time to prep and read over the lesson before teaching the kids. We love that we get to be our kids’ first teachers and we love that ALL our kids (9, 5 & 2) can (and DO) participate!"
"I get to learn, re-learn, and reinforce the Catholic teachings for myself (seriously – I get as much out of it as they do). My kids are in Catholic school, but by also doing these weekly lessons at home, and the discussions they bring about – both at the time of the lesson and other spontaneous times – are a great way for our family to bond through learning together. We have seriously great discussions that would not take place were it not for doing the Family Formation lessons together."
"We just started Family Formation this year. I am Catholic, my husband is not. I am doing the teaching myself, and I find it amazing that my husband has been listening more and more every month. My daughter is in the sacraments program, and I am learning things that I never knew right along with her! I finally have someone in my family to go to Reconciliation with! It's awesome - keep up the good work!"
(Available to all St. Henry's Parish & School Families, with children in grades K-12 and also available for home school families, additional option for families with a child in Pre-K)
(We are looking for people to volunteer for a number of different areas in our Family Formation Program)
Parishioners, the Church needs your gifts and talents!
(Family Faith Formation will replace our traditional Religious Eduation program)
F A M I L I E S
Family Faith Formation Schedules:
Family Faith Formation will look a little different depending on your family. Only click on the schedule that best describes your family (this will help to prevent confusion). As with any big change there will always be growing pains, I ask that you please be patient as we all adjust to something new. Read about Family Formation here, in the bulletin and on Facebook and ask questions as needed. :) We are praying for your family by name each week and will continue to do so.
Only a preschooler in Family Formation:
Only children in grades K-6th in
Only children in grades 7-12th grade
in Family Formation:
Children in both grades K-6th AND 7-12th in Family Formation (inlcuding PreK):
Our Family Faith Formation Program is based off of the Family Formation Program in Ham Lake, MN at St. Paul's Catholic Church. To view the original website please visit this link: