The Mission of the Family
“The Christian family is grafted into the mystery of the Church to such a degree as to become a sharer, in its own way, in the saving mission proper to the Church . . . Christian married couples and parents . . . not only receive the love of Christ and become a saved community, but they are also called upon to communicate Christ’s love to their brethren, thus becoming a saving community.” (St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 49)
The Role of the Christian Family in Religious Education
The premise of religious education for a child is to know that he/she is loved by God and is part of the family. This central premise is based on the act of the will from parents and guardians who seek to care for the soul of their child. Any child should have the opportunity to explore God and be open to His grace. The home reflects what St. John Paul II called the “church of the home.” This means that a child intimately experiences his faith at home by witness of a parent’s Trinitarian love.
For the process to bear fruit the parent/guardian must first and foremost actively live as a disciple in Christ by daily and weekly reception of the sacraments and affirm the teachings of the Catholic Church. Parents/guardians serve as the primary motive of credibility and the first example of authentic love a child will see and experience. This first instance of instruction reflects a two-fold process of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and second provide sound instruction on how to live Christ’s message faithfully.
What does the term “Catechesis” mean?
In the Greek (Katechein) the term catechesis means to reecho what Christ has taught. Thus, catechesis is the delivery of Jesus’ teaching found in what we call the Deposit of Faith which is made up of Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. The most visible form of the Deposit of Faith is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechesis is the organic, systematic, re-echoing of Catholic Church teaching to all who will listen.
Catechesis is an education in the faith for children, young people, and adults which includes especially, the teaching of Christian Doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to imitating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life. (CCC 5, CT 18)