The Church recognises our foundations in family life, teaching that family is the primary place of education in all things, including faith, and that parents and carers are the ‘first heralds of the Gospel’.
This is so because family relationships reflect, however imperfectly, God’s creative and complete Love. Home really is a holy place! When we first hear this most people’s reaction tends to be ‘not my family!’ Yet the Church upholds the essential holiness of family life despite our own experiences being – at times – less than ideal: it is in the challenges of life that we find that God is with us – always.
The task of parents, carers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and godparents is to live life in Faith, as Mary, the mother of Jesus did. Raising a family is not easy – and it is even harder for parents and carers who feel alone. This is why the wider family is so important – both our own family and our parish family. Through the sacrament of Baptism we bring our daughters and sons into the family of the parish and of the whole Church. In Catholic schools they can learn as they grow so that, in time, they can enter the full life of the family of God: though the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. As adults they are ready to embark on their own adventure, creating new families – and so the Faith is passed from generation to generation.
Catechesis means ‘Echo’. Like an echo, our Faith is handed from parents and carers to their children as the generations pass. For Family Catechesis the Diocese offers resources to help them to share their Faith with their children, particularly when preparing for the sacraments of first Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Family catechesis supports parents and carers so that, with their school and parish community, they are able to work alongside their children as they grow in understanding and prepare for these Sacraments.
You can view the diocesan resources for First Sacraments for Children and Young People here.