‘The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1666)
The family is a community of love and life, made up of 'a complex of interpersonal relationships … - married life, fatherhood and motherhood, filiation and fraternity – through which each human person is introduced into the "human family" and into the "family of God" which is the Church' (John Paull II, Familiaris Consortio 15)
The new Directory for Catechesis tells us:
‘The family is … the natural place in which faith can be lived in a simple and spontaneous manner. It has a unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values:
On this human base, Christian initiation is more profound:
- The awakening of the sense of God;
- The first steps in prayer
- Education of the moral conscience
- Formation in the Christian sense of human love
- Understood as a reflection of the love of God the Father, the Creator
- A Christian education more witnessed to than taught
- More occasional than systematic
- More on-going and daily than structured into periods.’ (227)
These images and descriptions of the Christian family offer a wonderful vision of Christian family life, carrying both great joys but also significant challenges.
The Christian community itself is a ‘family of families’, thus ‘Family Catechesis’ recognises a number of dimensions; catechesis with the family, of the family and in or by the family.
These pages will offer various resources which will help to support each of these dimensions.