Strong Catholic Families Strong Catholic Youth
Building Strong Families from the Ground Up: All across North America, Church leadership is asking for effective ways to engage parents in the life and mission of the parish as well as seeking ways to help them take ownership as the primary leader of faith within their families. Instead of throwing our collective arms up in the air in despair, we invite you to consider a dynamic grassroots process designed to reach out to parents in a way that empowers and challenges them to form Strong Catholic Families.
An exciting new initiative has begun in the Diocese of London… Will you be a part of it? The recent research on passing on our faith is clear: Parents matter… a lot!
Consider this statement from Dr. Christian Smith, principal researcher for the National Study of Youth and Religion: "The best social predictor, although not a guarantee, of what the religious and spiritual lives of youth will look like is what the religious and spiritual lives of their parents do look like. Parents and other adults . . . most likely 'will get what they are." (From Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, p. 261)
Dr. Smith also makes the following observation about the Catholic Church: "It appears that the relatives religious laxity of most U.S. Catholic teenagers significantly reflects the relative religious laxity of their parents. Once again, teens effectively embody and reproduce the larger adult world of which they are a part. Thus, we think the evident 'problem' of Catholic teens is rightly seen in part as a larger challenge of Catholic adults generally and parents specifically." (From Soul Searching, p. 216-7)
So for church leaders, our call to action is clear: If we want to more effectively engage our young people in faith, we MUST focus our energies on engaging their parents.
To this end, the Diocese of London is pleased to launch the Strong Catholic Families: Strong Catholic Youth initiative, developed by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.
The Strong Catholic Families: Strong Catholic Youth initiative consists of two components.
Parent Sessions at your location: Diocesan trainers are prepared to facilitate sessions for parents at your parish or school. The foundational session is designed to motivate parents to embrace their role as the primary faith formators of their children. Additional follow-up sessions that help teach parents specific skills and strategies for sharing faith are also available.
Sessions can be designed to meet your parish’s needs. Options include:
Consultations for Church Leaders. Offered for Parishes, Schools, or Clusters: Diocesan staff are available to visit with parish and school leaders (at individual parishes or in groups) to help your team identify the new vision, models, roles and relationships required to bring about the change that is necessary to strengthen the Catholic faith of the next generation of believers.
Need more details about the content of this program? Download the Content Summary.