Fr. Steve’s Column 6-16-24

Happy Father’s Day!  Since today is Father’s Day, I thought I’d share an interesting resource I received during a presentation from Holy Cross Family Ministries.  Every practicing Catholic family wants to know ways to practice their faith together, especially insofar as it helps their kids grow up to be committed Catholic adults.  Here is some of what they found*:

“A new study by CARA (The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) commissioned by the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life has identified key traits for successfully raising children committed to being Catholics when they grow up. Not surprisingly, the data shows that supportive family life plays a crucial role in helping youngsters remain faithful to the Church as adults.

Research focused on successful families and how they helped their children become fully invested in their faith. Loving parents who demonstrate to their youngsters the importance of prayer and other Catholic rituals within the family were more likely to pass on their belief structure.

The study identified specific family practices that helped families pass the faith on to their adult children. These included:

· Prioritizing family time and being careful to not let extracurricular activities crowd out family                    activities and rituals

· Generous, healthy affection between parents and children

· A gentler approach to discipline that focused on teaching good behavior and virtue instead of  punishment

· Strong family rituals that enabled the family to regularly work, play, talk, and pray together, often             daily

· The rituals included regular Mass attendance, and regular family prayer, especially the Rosary

· Teaching good manners in and outside the home.

· Parents encouraged children to discuss personal and/or faith struggles freely and openly without    fear of receiving lectures or negative judgments.

· Families regularly discussed ways to take better care of each other.

· Families regularly discussed ways they could care for others, including simple things like being polite to strangers and more involved things like family service projects, family charitable giving, and hospitality.”

I hope there’s a tidbit here that you can apply to your own family.  After all, the home is supposed to a true “domestic Church”.  My prayer for every family in our parish is that you find your relationship with Christ deepening in this domestic Church every single day.


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