Faith Formation and Education

Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. The right and duty of parents to give education is essential …  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #36)

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. This childhood religious awakening which takes place in the family is irreplaceable.  It is consolidated when, on the occasion of certain family events and festivities, “care is taken to explain in the home the Christian or religious content of these events.”  It is deepened all the more when parents comment on the more methodical catechesis which their children later receive in the Christian community and help them to appropriate it.  Indeed, “family catechesis precedes … accompanies and enriches all forms of catechesis.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #226)