How Does It Work?

The Time Is Now

We hear concerns from parish leaders all the time:

  • Families are not attending Mass regularly. Not even the ones with children preparing to receive their sacraments!
  • Once children receive their sacraments, we never see them again.
  • Kids don't understand or prioritize their faith.

Studies have consistently shown that parents are the most influential factor in whether their children remain Catholic into adulthood. Catholic parents who show that faith is essential to them—through their words and actions—are much less likely to have children who leave the faith. No matter how hard we try, we cannot replace parents and their essential role in sharing faith.

Coaching Parents

The answer is to partner with and coach parents, giving them the tools and support they need. We have seen, again and again, that when this is done well it is incredibly effective. The key to evangelizing and catechizing children is evangelizing, engaging, and equipping their parents. And the Eucharist sits at the very center of this challenge.

This looks rather different from the drop-off classroom model that we have become accustomed to in parish life. It requires a new kind of catechetical event:

  • Parents and children attend the event.
  • Parents will practice teaching their children about faith.
  • Parish facilitators will coach the parents.
  • Both parents and children will grow in their faith.

Growing Up Catholic Is Designed for This Challenge

Our team has been testing and refining our resources to coach parents for over 15 years. We have found that parents are delighted to step into this role when given the opportunity and good support. Our approach is:

  • Evangelization-first, making a convincing case for our faith (assuming a skeptical audience) and drawing families closer to Christ and the Church.
  • Focused on the most central aspects of our faith: the Gospel message and our call to live it out as disciples in the world.
  • Humorous, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Faith formation should not be dull.
  • In plain English & Spanish, not advanced theological language that may confuse or turn off families.
  • Inviting and accessible to parents. We don't scare them with a heavy textbook or assume they know the answers, but help them grow into their role as primary catechist.
  • Family-focused, helping them to bring faith into their homes in concrete, practical, long-lasting ways.

Why Two Curriculums?

The Eucharist and Mass are at the very core of our challenge. If families do not appreciate these central parts of our faith, what hope do we have that they will draw closer to Christ and the Church?

First Eucharist preparation resources teach about these topics, and our Growing Up Catholic does so in a particularly enlightening way. The content will be fresh, relevant, and helpful to all families, not just those with children preparing for First Eucharist.

For these reasons, the two products are almost identical, with the exception of direct references to receiving First Eucharist. This means that you can easily host whole family events including families using both resources (especially during this time of Eucharistic Revival in the United States).