Jesus spoke to them... 'and know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time." (Matthew 28:20)
Family Catechesis is a method of catechesis that supports the 'domestic church' by assisting parents in leading their own children in the lifelong call to holiness within the community of the church.
The With You Always resource is for parents and their children in school year 4, aged 8-9 who are preparing for Reconciliation and First Communion. The resource encourages parents/carers and children to meet together with parish catechists, supported by the school, to learn about the Sacraments using the Family Catechesis method.
In the Archdiocese of Liverpool, Family Catechesis has brought enormous blessings to families, catechists, clergy, parishes and schools. Family Catechesis is simply parents talking to their children about the Faith, in the context of the welcoming and supportive parish. One way to envision Family Catechesis is to picture a father, or mother, or grandparent sitting next to a child in a parish or school hall, chatting together and working through colourful booklets designed to deepen their understanding of Christ and the Church's Sacramental life. The outcome of Family Catechesis is the domestic church passing on the faith - parents passing on the faith to their children.
For many parents Family Catechesis is a handy reminder of what they themselves learned about the Sacraments in their own youth. For others, it is a gentle introduction to key information about how Baptism leads us to Eucharist, and about the grace given in Reconciliation for our Christian journey through life. Most importantly Family Catechesis puts parents in their rightful role and their child's 'first and best teachers'.
Overview of the resourceThe With You Always resource aims to:
September: Come to the water (Sign of the Cross & Family/Baptism).
October: Called by name (Names/Saints).
November: Come back to me (Sign of Peace & Choices/Reconciliation).
Advent: Family Reconciliation (First Reconciliation).
December: Advent/Christmas (celebration to be decided by the parish or Pastoral Area).
January: A new way of living (Following Jesus & The Beatitudes).
February: Teach us to pray (Prayer & Growth/Lord's Prayer).
March: Jesus brings us together (Jesus Feeds Us & The Triduum & Community/Eucharist).
Lent/Holy Week/Easter: (celebration to be decided by the parish or Pastoral Area).
April/May: Jesus calls us to follow Him (Receiving Holy Communion &Jesus/Eucharist).
May/June: Rehearsal for the First Communion Mass for parents and children & Communion Mass with families).
The Christmas and Easter sessions (December and April) are an opportunity to bring families together with the parish community outside the Mass and Family Catechesis sessions. In Advent there may be a nativity or party, for example. During Lent parishes might choose to make an Easter garden or pray the Stations of the Cross together.
The With You Always resource has 7 sessions, parent and child booklets; folders and catechist books can be ordered as required.