Wednesday, August 4, 2010


There are exceptions to the rule of course but the primary place where the faith is handed on is not in Church or PSR/CCD or in the day school of your parish. The primary place where faith is passed on is the domestic church – in the home. It is modeled and nourished and directed at the parish, but it is passed on in the home. It is the same thing with math. If parents do not place some amount of importance on math and grades then there is nothing a teacher can do to force a kid to learn. If faith is not important in the place where they eat, sleep, and be family, it is rare that an outside influence will bring them to faith and God.

So how does your home stack up as a domestic church?

1. Could you be caught in prayer in your home?
2. Do those who live in your house ever pray together – even grace? Do the heads of the house offer blessings?
3. Are Christian/Catholic ideals in manner, speech, and action upheld, fostered and honored?
4. Is Mass and regular confession a priority in scheduling?
5. Do images, shows, stories, or any other manner of media invited into your living room through television, computers, and other electronic or print media noble or at least not scandalous?
6. Are the poor served in some fashion from your home? (For example donations to charitable organizations etc.)
7. Is the liturgical calendar celebrated in your home in anyway? (For example – does Christmas really seem Christ centered? Do you recognize your feast day?)
8. Is the faith ever discussed (even the weekend’s homily)?
9. Does your house show any sign of housing a people of faith? (For example – is there a crucifix well displayed and honored or do you have a holy water font?)
10. Has your house been blessed or given a patron?
11. Are there resources for learning or being inspired about the faith? Do you a book blessings and use it?
12. Is your home a place of love and joy?

Some of these in some places these are more easily achieved than others. What does one do in a home of mixed religion for example? This may not be a complete list but is a start. You will come up with more. There is an ideal atmosphere in which faith grows just like there are perfect conditions for plants to grow and we are called upon to do our best to achieve them.


Anonymous said...

What parents spend time on is perceived (unconsciouly) by the children as being important.

We had EWTN on the TV all day. My son, even as a four year old, began to hear and remember things from the adult programming.

We had a morning Bible story and discussion every day. Each afternoon, even though he attended parochial school, I taught him from a children's catechism (Faith and Light series) through 8th grade. We made time in our day for those things, in addition to Mass, prayer before meals etc.

By the grace of God, my now-grown son is a faithful Catholic, married to a faithful Catholic young woman.

What we spent our time on gave a subliminal message regarding what was important, in addition to the overt teaching that we did.

MJ said...

Great post!! It still amazes me that some Catholic parents will send their children to a Catholic school and not make practicing the faith a priority. When they miss Mass because sports and/or other activities take precedence, the children get the message loud and clear. As a teacher and a parent I know every decision I make and how I act sends a message to my students and my sons.

Cammie Novara said...

"If faith is not important in the place where they eat, sleep, and be family, it is rare that an outside influence will bring them to faith and God." You're totally correct.

Anonymous said...

#s 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (twice; once before and once after renovations),11, and 12 - yes

Thank you for such a practical tool.