A Parent’s Primary Vocation

A Parent’s Primary Vocation

It is said during the Baptismal Rites that parents are to be teachers; you are the first and best teacher of your child. ¬†With this being said some ask – “How?”. ¬†Below is a link and information from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that will provide answers to both new and seasoned parents.

Catechesis Within the Family

While the catechesis offered within the family is ordinarily informal, unstructured, and spontaneous, it is no less crucial for the development of the child’s faith. In a certain sense nothing replaces family catechesis, especially for its positive and receptive environment, for the example of adults, and for its first explicit experience and practice of the faith. The catechesis of infants and young children nourishes the beginnings of the life of faith.

Parents have shared the gift of human life with their children and, through Baptism, have enriched them with a share in God’s own life. They have the duty to nourish it. Their faith, their attitude toward other human beings, and their trust in a loving God strongly influence the development of the child’s faith. Parents are catechists precisely because they are parents. Their role in the formation of Christian values in their children is irreplaceable. They should speak naturally and simply about God and their faith, as they do about other matters they want their children to understand and appreciate.

Parents are also the most effective catechists of prayer for their young children. They know what their children are capable of understanding and can easily teach their children basic prayers and the fundamental attitude of prayer. By praying frequently with their children at special moments during the day and especially by praying with them at the Sunday Eucharist, parents introduce children into the prayer life of the Church. By incorporating prayer into everyday family experiences, parents teach their children by example. Their witness encourages their children to call upon God as their Father who loves and protects them; to look to Jesus, their Savior and brother, who leads them to the Father; and to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within their hearts.

Children ordinarily enjoy listening to their parents read to them and tell them stories. Reading stories from Sacred Scripture combines both these simple activities. Just as children learn their family histories through stories told by their parents, they learn about the Catholic faith as their parents introduce them to the person of Jesus and the beauty of the word of God and tell them the story of Mary, the Mother of God, as well as of the lives of the saints.

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