As a Catholic, my faith permeates all of what I do.
As a Catholic mother, I want to pass my faith on to my children.
How do Catholic parents keep our children in our faith?
1. Go to Mass.
Seems simple, no? We know how important Mass attendance is – for every member of the family, yet it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and put it on the back burner. Get it on your calendar.
2. Head to Confession.
How long has it been since you’ve sat inside the confessional? It’s going to take loads of grace to parent your children in our wonderful faith. Stop in this weekend. You can always take your little ones, and show them what you’re doing.
3. Be an Example.
Let your children see you live your faith. Go to Mass, to Confession, to Adoration. Have a Bible on your bedside table, and let your children see you reading it. Make sure they see you writing a check to put in your church envelopes.
4. Explore Your Church.
Get to Mass early one day (a struggle, I know, with small children), or stay over later one day. Walk around the sanctuary, and SHOW them everything. Where is the statue of Mary? Of St Joseph? What do the stained glass windows represent? Touch the holy water font. Smell the incense and candles. Get them interested in what goes on there.
5. Pray Together.
Start out small, but don’t underestimate what your children can learn. We do “Bless Us O Lord” before meals when we remember, and we always do bedtime prayers. We keep it simple, with a “Hail Mary”, “Our Father”, and “St. Michael” prayer right before lights out. Some day, I’d like to do a family rosary.
6. Make a Priest a Part of Your Family.
We consider our priest a dear friend, even though he’s moved on to a new parish. He’s seen us through a wedding, RCIA, confirmations, and baptisms, all in the past 10 years. I’m hoping one day that he’ll preside over one of my children’s weddings. We’ve had him over for dinner before, and we will always drop off a gift of some sort at Christmas. My children love him, and he always has time for a big hug when they see him.
Most importantly, we keep him in our prayers.
You’re spending time reading your Bible, right? Don’t forget to share that with your children as well.
Read them Bible stories and stories about our Saints. Teach them about the important roles in our Church -priests, deacons, sisters, laypeople and more.
8. Protect Little Eyes and Ears.
We cut out cable years ago to save money, but it’s had a two-fold benefit in our home. We save about $500 per year, and we escape a huge amount of cultural drama of celebrity divorces and jail time.
I’m careful to monitor our children’s Internet time and check out what they’re seeing on Netflix. In short, I’m involved in what they are seeing on the screen.
9. Lean on Our Lady to Help.
Mary is our model for Catholic motherhood and understands our desire to pass our faith on for generations to come. Ask for her intercession.
10. Tap into Strength in Numbers.
Don’t forget to seek out other Catholic families. You’re not the only parents trying to raise children in the Faith. Look for Mom’s Clubs, preschool, religious education or VBS.
Somewhere along the way, you’ll find someone on the same journey.
Link arms, and strengthen each other.
Copyright © 2012, Dianna Kennedy