One of the joys of doing a little cleaning is running across treasures from years ago. Today Deb found this article about Family Formation from the March 7, 1993 edition of Our Sunday Visitor.
“When the weekend Masses finish at St. Paul’s Parish, the pastor’s vestments may have been put on almost 300 times.”
“‘Helping Father dress for Mass’ is a popular activity in St. Paul’s home-based Family Formation program.”
“The first year was hard. We had to convince parents they had capabilities to teach this material well, plus we assured them God had bestowed power for them to be their children’s primary educators of faith.”
“Our main point was, ‘This isn’t Father Tim’s plan or Cathy’s plan; it’s God’s plan, part of His right order for the family.'” This point reflects Church teaching on parents’ right and duties. Pope John Paul II reinforced this teaching in his 1981 apostolic exhortation, Familiaris Consortio. That document’s concepts provide major inspiration for Family Formation.”
“Not all parents had confidence in their use of this grace. During the first year, only about half the eligible families took part. Currently, a vast majority are involved, according to the two women who now coordinate the program, Trudy Swanson and Mary Jo Weinreis.”
“Overall, however, ‘openness and cooperation have arisen from Father Nolan’s supportive, enthusiastic involvement and from good public relations. One family sees the program helping another. Families have told one another about improved relations and generations gaps closing,’ because the program encourages family members to live out their faith while learning it.”
So on today’s list of thankfulness:
- For Father Nolan’s vision that there had to be a better option than the typical drop-off program.
- For his courage to leave behind a model that no longer worked to try something bold and new.
- For his confidence in the work of the Holy Spirit and constant encouragement to parents.
- For all those original volunteer leaders who developed a plan, wrote lessons, and persevered to implement it all.
- For thousands of families, over the years, who have trusted in the grace Christ gives them to be their children’s primary teachers in the Faith.
- And for the faithfulness of Jesus who gives us the longing to bring our families to Him, and the means to do so.
Happy Thanksgiving, all! And if you’d like to learn more about how to transform the families in your parish start here: familyformation.net