Recognizing that family life is the most essential component of a person’s faith formation, it is important to nurture spiritual growth within the context of that environment. Research on the spiritual formation of children is indisputable, parents are the primary influencers of their children’s faith lives. While this influence is most readily evident with younger children, teens and tweens are also significantly affected by the ways that parents model their faith. Although teens will often push back as part of their own development as individual beings, children of all ages are keenly aware of parents’ actions and perspectives.
As they mature, our children learn and grow in many environments – home, school, sports, arts, music, etc. The things that are taught, practiced, encouraged, and celebrated consistently within the context of family are the things that stay with a child into adulthood. If effort is to be made to bring a child up as a faith-filled person, our prayer is for that effort to be realized by providing support, guidance, learning materials, and community.
Components of Children’s Faith Formation
To acknowledge and respect the influence of parents and the importance of faith as a lifestyle, our formation emphasis is on faith lived in family and community.
- Our approach is based on parent feedback desiring more control over where and when formation takes place, accommodating a stated need for flexibility for families to create and adjust their own schedules, and to participate at their own pace.
- We provide primary resources for each child including a grade-level workbook, scripture reflections and activities, and access to an interactive faith game.
- The Saint Anne Faith Formation website – www.saintannefaithformation.org – offers outlines for each week, direct access to each Session Review, and a brief, entertaining teaching video to accompany each Finding God session. The site also includes resources for families and parents.
There are three important ways families participate: as parents, as families, and as a faith community.
Often, parents believe that they do not know enough about our faith to share this important aspect of life with their children; this could not be further from the truth. If you are feeling less knowledgeable than you would like, perhaps consider how your own faith was formed and how you can do things differently to help your children.
- Parent forums provide information on ways to discuss faith with your children, recommendations for use of the materials, and other helpful information.
- Drop-ins create opportunity to share ideas, solicit advice from other parents, and to be inspired and encouraged by one another.
Family Faith Formation
- Share in formation sessions as a family at home on your schedule.
- Each week’s sessions are aligned by topic across grades so that families with multiple elementary-age children can all participate in formation at the same time together, creating an opportunity for children to also learn from siblings.
- There are two ways to share in these sessions:
- as individual families
- as small faith communities of two to four families which we will help you form provided there is enough interest
- Seek deeper understanding of God’s word through family engagement with weekly scripture discussion prompts and activities.
- Attend Mass each week to hear God’s word, pray, and share in Eucharist with our parish community as the body of Christ.
- Participate in periodic Children’s Faith Formation Family Faith Events throughout the program year. Family Faith Events provide opportunity for families to come together to learn and share faith through activities and service.
Some ways that parents can effectively model faith throughout their lives are through personal involvement in faith activities within the church community, as a family, and as individuals. This involvement can include participating in daily and/or weekly Mass, praying and reading from the Bible and other faith-focused books, engaging in adult formation programs, participating in church service projects as a family, employing faith traditions as a basis when making decisions, and sharing faith with their children through formation activities and personal witness.
We look forward to welcoming your family
to Saint Anne Faith Formation!
To register for Children’s Faith Formation and Journey – click here
Middle school Journey program information
For information or questions, please contact:
Mary Jane Kurowski, Director of Lifelong Faith Formation
Marianne Bondi, Administrative Assistant