During the past few months, our lives have been focused on navigating through uncharted territory. The same is true with the Church. We have been working hard on figuring out how we continue to minister to our parish and community in light of the new ’normal’. Growing in our faith is a lifelong journey and it is important that we continue to encourage and support this growth in our families. A few months ago, we introduced our new GIFT process which combined in-home catechesis with virtual classrooms and in-person experiences. Unfortunately, the number of responses we received prevent us from carrying the process to its fullest potential. This can be due to several different reasons. Families may find it difficult to devote the time of another ‘class’ to their busy schedules; children (and parents) may be suffering from virtual ‘fatigue’; there may be technology limitations in certain households; anxiety in attending in-person group events and finally, parents may not feel they have enough knowledge to catechize their children at home. We understand that there may be pressures from different and many directions.
With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the encouraging words of Pope Francis; “In the call of the first disciples, with Jesus who went to encounter them and to invite them to follow him, we also see the invitation to use all media, in all their forms, to reach people as they are and where they live.”
We have reshaped our approach to family faith formation so that we might encounter our parishioners as they are and where they are. Our new approach involves engaging our families to build up the Domestic Church, a term used to refer to growing a home faith environment, by directly sending the parents daily “faith moments” to their cell phones by text so that they can share and participate as a family anytime during their day. These moments will be simple and doable even in the most busiest of lives, only taking a couple of minutes to complete. We have chosen texting as the platform in order to keep the materials quickly accessible and spontaneous. Our hope is that in the absence of a formal faith formation process, we may keep alive the flame of faith in the foundation of the family – the first church. Open to all registered parishioner families.