Bringing up our children in the Catholic Faith with all the secular influences of our society is a challenge. Our children/youth have a myriad of negative role models sending them the message that sin is “cool” or normal. They are being regularly challenged by the media, as well as people from other faith backgrounds. Without a firm foundation, they are being tossed by “every wind of doctrine” or philosophy (Eph. 4: 14-15).
So how can we help our children grow strong in our faith?
- Foster a relationship with Christ and His Church. A solid foundation will help to withstand the attacks on our faith by creating a relationship with Christ, the Rock. The more we know Christ, His Teachings and the truths of our Faith, the more we can stay strong. In Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can stand against the worldly influences and the secular world view. The Church’s Mission is to evangelize and bring all closer to Christ and His ways. The Sacraments give us the Grace to follow Christ faithfully.
- Prayer is the key to our children staying Catholic. Regular daily prayer will absolutely make a difference in their lives. Praying with and for our children is essential.
- Make religious education a priority in our lives. Giving them the tools to stay on the straight and narrow will help them make good decisions even in the midst of temptations and challenges. Our lives can be so consumed by many other things like social networking, sports, and other extra-curricular activities that religious education fits in to our lives “just barely” or not at all.
- Positive peer pressure: Good friendships with those matching our values is extremely important in faith development. For the younger ones, it is easier to foster healthy friendships. When they get older it is also important, but different. It is not enough to just send them to Faith Formation classes or Catholic School, but also to send them to Catholic Retreats/Conferences, DYMO Camp, Youth Group, etc. These help increase the chance of them staying Catholic
- The Domestic Church: Studies have shown that parental influence is more important than any other influence in the life of the youth even over peers and teachers. Your house is a mini church and you are the priest(s). It is essential to continue to grow in your faith development to better assist the youth under your care.
We need to do all we can in our power to pass our faith on to our precious youth, our future Church.
~Cheryl Sokolowski, Faith Formation Director