Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Three Ways To Nurture Your Catholic Faith in Your Children

In this day and age of technology and instant access, there is much to compete with in our children's lives. It can be more than difficult to connect and create strong enough bonds to our faith and family without added distractions. I truly believe that knowledge is power and understanding your obstacles is the best way to create a plan to succeed in any endeavor.

The endeavor that is most important to me right now is helping to cultivate a love for God, family and the Catholic Church in my children. This has been a topic of interest for me for quite awhile actually. I am a cradle Catholic. Born and raised to go to Confession on Saturday afternoon, attend Mass on Sunday mornings and participate in Catechism classes and Youth groups as needed. That was the recipe to create a love for my Catholic faith. I am not knocking this recipe because obviously something went right. I am now thirty years old, still Catholic and attempting to nourish a faith in my own children and family. I am here to share what I have learned through many trials, more errors and things that I still do today.

Find a Parish to call Home

This is probably one of the most important things you can do to establish a real relationship with your children and their faith. A Parish is not just the church you attend on Sundays or other Holy days of Obligation. A Parish is a second family. They will be present for some of the biggest milestones and memories of your family! Baptisms, First Communion, First Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage and even funerals. They will be there when you need help, whether prayers or other types of assistance.

Create relationships with the people sitting with you in the pews and go say hello to your priest. My children have always been enamored by the priests of our parish. They love to give hugs, high-fives and always smile when they see people from our parish around town. My oldest son's teacher is even in attendance at our parish!

Another important aspect of being in a Parish is participation. Sign up to attend bible studies and other Parish hosted events as a family. Allow your children to make friends with kids at Religious Education and youth groups. Embrace what your Parish can offer your family but remember that it is also important to volunteer and give back as well. 

Decorate Your Catholic Home 

As a child, I remember the beautiful gold display that had the Ten Commandments engraved above my dining room table. The nostalgia of childhood rings so strong when you become an adult. Bring your faith into your home and allow it to have a place in your everyday life, not just Sunday worship.

The Liturgical season is full of distinct colors, sounds and beautiful scenes that can be displayed in your home. Add Holy Water Fonts, Crucifixes and display portraits of Our Lady and the Holy Family. I have incorporated a Home Altar that we update with the Liturgical colors, special Saints of the season, candles and rosaries.

The more these special reminders of our Catholic faith become apart of your families everyday life, the harder it will be for your children to go out into the world without them. These additions to your home can also be passed along to your family as they grow. There was a gorgeous statue of Mother Mary that was my Grandmother Mary's that my dad gave to me when I had children. It was something that I was able to bring with me from my childhood and I hope to pass along to my children one day as well.

Create Happy Memories and Traditions

This suggestion is probably the most important. Creating memories that are warm, happy and include our faith will be what our children think about in times of turmoil. The Liturgical year makes this super easy! Celebrate anniversaries of your children's Sacraments and Saint's feast days. Make new traditions with baking special dinners or desserts on certain days. There are several Liturgical seasons to embrace and each month is dedicated to a special devotion too. I include those days on our family calendar so everyone can see it. My children have started to remind me about certain activities or movies we are suppose to watch on certain feast days now! We incorporate special blessings and prayers. Create candles, crafts and so much more. Make the Catholic faith come to life.

If you need some ideas for ways to incorporate faith into your everyday activities, check out some of my ideas under the Liturgical Celebrations tab. Let your creativity free! You will be creating memories for yourself and your children! The positive association between happiness, love and faith will be something that your family can tangibly look back on as they grow older and venture into the world. My favorite thing about my faith is that we Catholics know how to celebrate! We do have many traditional ways you can incorporate but do not let that interfere with trying out some new family traditions that will be passed on to your children's children.

Interested in more ideas to keep your children Catholic? Checkout this month's CWBN Blog Hop with several articles written on this very intriguing and important topic. Several of my friend's from Everyday Ediths are contributing to this Blog Hop as well.

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