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Families of Faith

Sep 30

Written by:
9/30/2018 12:00 AM  RssIcon

In the Rite of Baptism, the parents of the child or children being baptized are commissioned as the ‘first teachers of their children in the ways of faith, may they be also the best of teachers,’ witnessing to the faith by their words and actions. It is a beautiful and tender prayer, as these (typically) small children are welcomed into the family of faith and called Children of God for the first time.

In times long past, I think it was much easier to raise children in the ways of faith. Our world was more explicitly Christian than it is today. Some might remember the ‘blue laws’ which prevented many stores and businesses from being open on Sundays, for example. (Chik-Fil-A still practices this!) I can remember growing up and we ate dinner together most evenings, and we always started with grace before meals. Interestingly, we always included the Hail Mary as part of our prayers.

Teaching Children in the Ways of Faith is more, though, than just prayers before meals. It involves the example that the parents make before their children. It also involves, today more than ever, the ability to talk about the faith as the children grow in wisdom, age and grace before God and all. ‘Now more than ever,’ because our world has slid into a ‘post Christian’ epoch and we no longer assimilate the Christian ideal from what we see around us.

But this ‘post Christian epoch’ has impacted parents as much as it impacts their children. And as a pastor and parish staff, we want to help equip the parents and families in our parishes to be ‘the best of teachers,’ as they were commissioned at Baptism. We want to help give our families a critical eye in order to see the Grace of God at work in their families and in our world. We want to provide the vocabulary of the Church in order to be able for us all to speak intelligently and competently to our neighbors and co-workers so that we can all invite them into a relationship with Jesus, as well.

To all this end, as many of you already know, we are starting a new program here this year for our faith formation of our young people: Families of Faith. On the first Monday of the month, we will gather between the three parishes of Corpus Christi, St. John the Baptist and St. John Neumann, to host an evening of prayer and formation for our young people and their parents, this year centered around the Creed. Our first session is scheduled for this Monday, October 1 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and is being held at St. John the Baptist.

But these sessions are not just for families with school aged children, everyone is welcome to attend. I am addressing the parents on the topics that their children are covering that night, as well as topics to cover at home over the rest of the month. These topics will be just as applicable to all adult Catholics, as well. Three separate catechists will be teaching our young people each evening, as well. There will be more information elsewhere in the bulletin this week.

Finally, I am aware that these evenings will be most effective only with the prayers of all our parishioners. Please keep these events in your family prayers at home. In particular, keep our young families in your prayers. It is a particular challenge to rise up to be the ‘best of teachers’ in the ways of faith. The prayers of the entire parish community assist them in rising to this greatness in Christ Jesus!

In Christ the Great Teacher,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel

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