If you don’t have a little one, you may not understand the bold change that took place last year. We went from weekly catechism classes that were often poorly attended to a monthly gathering that includes the whole family. On the second Sunday, families fill the 9:30 Mass, and then move to the activity center for a continental breakfast together, where they can talk to other parishioners. Then, the students go off by grade level with a catechist while the parents are treated to a session that empowers them to be witness to their children. The families are sent with projects to work on together during the next month. Instead of 24 mediocre sessions, we now have 9 home runs every year. It was exciting for all our catechists to see the impact they were making each month.
And now the word has spread. We have families from other parishes not only making inquiries but registering! Parishes, not just in the Archdiocese, but all over the country are asking how we do it. Our own families are reaching out to those who initially did not like the idea of change and encouraging them to come on board this year. Parents are talking to peers about their faith developing at St. Aidan.
I say all this not to pat our team on their backs, but for two reasons. One, to thank Fr. Kevin and our community for supporting the idea and generously funding the endeavor. Also, as a reminder that each of us should be sharing this cutting-edge approach whenever we hear complaints of lackluster formation or identify a Catholic parent who stopped their child’s formation after Baptism. We have one year under our belts and worked to improve every step. Year two of this approach is only going to get better. Led by the Holy Spirit, both the Archbishop’s letter and St. Aidan’s Family Formation are going to make a difference and empower our parents to be witnesses.