Catholic Religious Ed Teacher: I Look at My Students, See Future Ex-Catholics
Religious instruction needs to start in the family, but parents have been too long left unfed
I heard the same refrain time and again from adult Catholics disconnected from the faith: “Why didn’t I learn any of this when I was growing up?” Many of them were raised, as I was, in what I call the “Era of the Collage,” with lots of cutting and pasting of happy Jesus, but little basic information about the things that sustain you for a lifetime, the beauty of a living, breathing faith. […]
Catechesis must begin by drawing families in, by making them feel welcome, by giving them something more than registration deadlines and weekly envelopes. Only when they feel as though they belong in this Church—to this Church—will they be open to retracing the spiritual steps of their childhood and embracing the path of faith as an adult. When they do that, they will bring their children with them, and faith formation will no longer be seen as a ticket that must be stamped in order to receive a sacrament and then “graduate” from religion, but rather as a first step on a lifelong journey.
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