Nurturing Faith

Nurturing Faith

To awaken or initiate a child into the faith is to accompany them in their discovery of God. It is to help them to become aware of the treasure of love that God has placed in their heart, inviting them to meet Him and to live with that love which fills the heart. To awaken a child to faith is to initiate them into Christian life through prayer, participation in rites and sacraments, and the celebration of Christian liturgical feasts.

Indeed, becoming a Christian does not mean mastering scholarly notions; rather, it is about living an intimate experience at the depths of our being. It is a personal and ongoing encounter with Jesus Christ, the God who made himself one of us more than 2000 years ago on the roads of Palestine, God-man eternally alive and present since his resurrection from the dead. Eternally, madly in love with the human race, Jesus Christ wants to enter into a personal relationship with each and every one of us to share his joy, light and life, which radiate from the very heart of the Father in the Holy Spirit.

From the beginning, the human family has been the first place for initiating pre-school or primary school-aged children into the spiritual world. This "first church" comprises the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, who create and embody the spiritual family life. The catechetical path that your child will follow as a member of the Christian community will allow him/her to develop their faith, which has been planted and nurtured as part of your home life.

Then, thanks to the catechesis, rites and sacraments that he or she will receive over the years, your child’s Christian personality will develop and be strengthened more and more. So that, he or she becomes a Christian adult who embodies human and spiritual virtues, a free, fulfilled and loving adult who wants to serve others and society at large.

On the day of his/her baptism, your child was "adopted" by God the Father and received the gift of faith. Nevertheless, baptism is not a magical rite: to grow, your child's faith needs to be nurtured, supported and stimulated by other believers. It is you, parents, who are primarily responsible for the growth of your child’s faith. Yes, your child really needs you in order to flourish in the faith. Your witness of faith and Christian life is, therefore, vital for your child’s faith development. It is by your prayerful example that your child will have their first experience of the presence and love of God within themselves. It is through your prayer that he/she will learn to pray; it is by watching you live with an ardent faith that the fire of God's love will also fill his/her heart. For the love of God, such a flame, seeks to set everything on fire, especially the hearts of little children.
 

There are several ways to bring your child closer to the loving heart of the Eternal Father:
 

  • By repeating a simple prayer: "Jesus, I love you."

  • By a prayerful melody whispered in the ear – and heart – of your child.

  • By a gesture made for the love of God, just enough to direct your child’s attention toward Him.

  • You can also register your child in faith-enrichment activities held during Sunday Mass.


Need help or more resources? Contact the Office for Faith Education!

A child who is baptized and raised in a Christian family will be driven by an inner strength – the Holy Spirit – that will draw him or her closer and closer to Jesus in everyday life. Among other things, the child will be able to recognize the infinite grandeur of creation, to marvel at the beauty of nature, and to give thanks to God with all their heart for the beauty he creates: the joy of springtime, flowers in summer, autumn colours, the first snowfall of winter, a blazing sunset or a starry sky.
 

As a Christian parent, I will endeavour to teach my child to:
 

  • Set up a small prayer corner at home

  • Pray in all circumstances: in the morning, in the evening, before meals, before making important decisions, before an exam, etc.

  • Cultivate silence to taste the inner peace that God gives

  • See the beauty of the world and give thanks to God

  • Read children's books about biblical stories or the lives of Church saints

  • See in the moments of his/her daily life a reflection of the Word of God

  • To know important moments in the life of Jesus and be able to retell them

  • Participate in church celebrations (Mass, baptisms, marriages, funerals)

  • Engage actively in faith-enrichment programs offered by the parish

  • Learn the Church’s principal prayers (Our Father, I Believe in God, Hail Mary, etc.)

  • Perform small acts of kindness at home and at school

  • See the good in others and to see oneself in a positive light

  • Respect life and the environment

  • Take care of himself or herself and the living things that surround us (favourite animal, plants, etc.)

  • Tell the truth

  • Recognize his/her share of responsibility for what one does right or wrong

  • Ask for forgiveness

  • Share (participate in food drives, give to clothing and food banks, etc.)

  • Participate in activities for the family.

 

Need help or more resources? Contact the Office for Faith Education!

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Your child is more autonomous; he or she now wants to be consulted before decisions are made on their behalf. Since birth, as a responsible parent, you have introduced your child to the Christian faith and way of life. The time has now come to let them fly a little on their own. To do this, we propose some activities (below) to help him or her be aware, first, that to be a Christian is to choose personally to follow Christ – with the emphasis being: “I choose” –  and, second, to make life choices in keeping with Him. Throughout this formation, and for a long time to come, your child will need your support and your good counsel. To embrace fully the dignity of our vocation as a son and daughter of God is the ongoing challenge of Christian life, from birth to death.
 

As a Christian parent, I will endeavour to teach my child to:
 

  • Continue to participate in the Sunday Eucharist, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the great liturgical moments in Church life

  • Get involved in one or more activities in the parish (choir, movements, scouts, altar servers, lectors, etc.)

  • Participate in parish life

  • Give witness to his or her faith or in the name of his/her faith in Jesus

  • Accept constructive criticism concerning his/her behavior

  • Take the first step toward forgiveness after a disagreement

  • Know how to work and have fun as a team

  • Respect seniors, people with disabilities, anyone different from oneself

  • Visit the sick, accompanied by parents (family, neighbours, friends)

  • Share (talents, ideas, goods, friendship, joys, sorrows) and give (of his time, goods, money)

  • Meditate upon the texts of the Word of God at home or at church, alone or as a family

  • Pray alone, with family or friends, at home or in church
     

Need help or more resources? Contact the Office for Faith Education!

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