“Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them on your arm as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’ The right and duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable” (CCC #2221.)
The National Survey of Youth and Religion published in 2004 brought new insight to the religiosity of post modern Catholic youth and led to the Strong Catholic Families: Strong Catholic Youth initiative. St. Mary’s hosted a Strong Catholic Families: Strong Catholic Youth event in April, 2012 which marked the beginning of the parish’s partnership with parents to support them as the primary educators of their children in the faith. Recent research continues to support the parish-parent partnership: “the crucial location where youth’s religious outcomes are largely decided in the congregation or the parish, but the home” (A Report on American Catholic Religious Parenting, pg 7.)
St. Mary’s affirms the role of parents as the primary catechist and educator of their children. St. Mary’s Family Formation ministries seeking to partner with parents by offering resources and programs to assist them to raise their children in the faith. St. Mary’s family formation ministries are open to all families, regardless of parish affiliation. Families in need of specific or special resources are invited to contact the parish office.
St. Mary’s primary monthly resource, Family Formation, is designed to help enable parents to be the first educators of the faith to their children. St. Mary’s hosts one catechist-led session per month for children and for parents. Parents receive their own education as well as instruction on how to use the home lessons the other three weeks of the month. St. Mary’s begins each formation year on the fourth Sunday in September (the weekend after the Latah County Fair.) Monthly family sessions are held on the second Sunday of the month, October to April (except March when it is moved to the first Sunday to avoid conflicts with the University of Idaho spring break.) Families are invited to contact the parish office for additional information about Family Formation. The current schedule with monthly topics is available in the parish office.
Parents with children with developmental disabilities are invited to contact the parish office to learn about available adaptive learning resources. St. Mary’s provides Loyola Press’s complete Finding God Adaptive Program as well as Adaptive Sacramental Kits for families to use at home. Parents are welcome to check out catechist guides and components for particular lessons to use at home. There are additional resources, like laminated flip books and a soft Jesus, families may either borrow or purchase. Please visit the parish office to find out how to access and use these adaptive learning resources.
St. Mary’s understands that some families have conflicts with work or other serious obligations that prevent their family attending monthly catechist-led sessions. Families with such conflicts are invited to contact he parish office to discuss other options. Families seeking suggestions for other faith programs to use in the home are also invited to contact the parish office.