Mary Fay
Mary Fay
As we celebrate Catechetical Sunday, we do not want to forget to honor families and parents, who are the primary catechists. The “Directory for Catechesis” reaffirms the important role families play in passing on our faith.

“The witness of Christian life given by parents in the family comes to children with tenderness and parental respect. Children thus perceive and joyously live the closeness of God and of Jesus made manifest by their parents in such a way that this first Christian experience frequently leaves
decisive traces which last throughout life.” (#226)

The lens through which we see the world, make decisions, seek comfort and learn to be members of society is formed in our family. Families have been tackling the hard question of Why bad things happen? Parents are answering this question every day, not just when they are asked, but by the modeling of their own life. Each day they teach faith through their kindness, caring and generosity; also by how they pray, how they mourn in times of sadness, how they celebrate joy despite a pandemic. God is with us all through the pandemic ... families are showing each other that right in their homes every day.

During these stressful months of pandemic, families have lost many of the support systems that they lean on: extended family members, churches and schools. The “Directory for Catechesis” reminds all of us: 

“The Christian community must help them (families) assume their responsibility — which is particularly delicate today — of educating their children in the faith … family catechesis precedes … accompanies and enriches all forms of catechesis.” (#169)

How we support families might be a bit more challenging during these times, from behind masks or keeping social distancing, but it is still possible. Encouraging words, patience and kindness are ways to spread God’s love and pass on the faith we each learned in our own families.

Mary Fay is the associate diocesan director for Marriage Formation Ministry and Family Life.