The Importance of Catechesis…
Teaching our children about our Catholic faith helps mold who they will become as adults:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord. -Ephesians 6:4, NAB
Growing up, we often do not understand the importance of catechesis. After spending many hours in a classroom each week, many kids are not exactly thrilled to do it again at church. Despite our best efforts as parents, if our kids are not open to learning about the faith, the material may not sink in.
My parents raised me Lutheran, and the process to becoming confirmed is similar to the process in the Catholic Church. I had little interest in learning about Christianity at the time. Consequently, I learned some of the basic material, but I retained very little of it.
Many adults will say the same thing. My wife still has friends from her CCD days, and some of them have told me how little they remember about the Catholic faith. More importantly, many of them no longer practice the faith. How can we change all of that? How can we make sure that our kids understand the importance of catechesis and the Catholic faith?
I believe that the key is engagement – not just in the religious classroom, but at home, as well. I went to Sunday school every week, but we talked very little about our faith at home. At our parish today, I see similar situations – including parents who put their kids through the confirmation process but do not even attend Mass each week.
For our kids to get the most out of their catechetical instruction, we have to reinforce what they’ve learned at home. We cannot put the responsibility solely on the parish. It is our job, as parents, to ensure that our children learn and understand the faith.
The number of Catholics slipping away from the Church continues to grow. To cure that problem, we need to extend catechesis beyond the parish and into our homes. The Church has a wonderful team of volunteers and catechists to teach our children about the faith, but the real key to raising Catholic children is the work done by Catholic moms and Catholic dads.