I wanted to take the time to pass on some forgotten wisdom from the past. This quote is from Pope Pius XI, from his work On Better Care for Catechetical Teaching from 1935
“Furthermore, let pastors and their assistants endeavor so far as they can to make the children eager to attend the parish catechism classes. To this end the most successful and tried means should be employed, for example, the celebration of a Mass for the children on all holy days, catechetical competitions, offering of attractive prizes, and the use of suitable projects and moderate forms of amusement.”
Did everyone get that? How do you pass on the faith to children? The answer is to treat them like children. Children love competitions, prizes, games, and fun. Be sure to include as much of these as possible at home as well as in the classroom. (Thankfully Family Formation incorporates most of these options in each lesson. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own games and contests to a lesson.) It may seem obvious to us now, but back in 1935 this would have been quite a new idea. Even today, how many parish programs forget that competition, prizes, and fun, along with strong content, are sure fire ways of passing of the faith to children? Great practical advice for anyone educating a child in the faith!
Yours in Christ,
I’ve always found this to be true in my own family’s life. My kids loved the lessons with competitive games and silly puns like Uncle Luigi teaching how the Church is like a pizza (the cheese is like the Holy Spirit, binding us all together). Not only are they fun, but they often turn out to have been the most memorable lessons.
St. John Bosco approves!