The best way to work family catechesis into family life is to learn to live the rhythm of the liturgical calendar. Keep an eye on the feasts days and use this tool to teach your children about the saints and celebrated Church doctrine. Tomorrow, September 29th, is the Feast of the Archangels and Tuesday, October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. These are great opportunity to talk to your children about angels. Recite the St. Michael prayer or the Guardian Angel prayer together as a family.
In addition to marking the feast with catechetics and prayers, use the liturgical calendar to plan your menus. I just received my copy of Grace before Meals by Fr. Leo Patalinghug. This book takes the liturgical calendar and weaves a series of reflections, Scripture, and recipes for these special days. Each chapter begins with a short lesson. Then there is a Let’s Talk heading with a choice of questions to stimulate family conversation. The Let’s Listen heading offers Scripture readings to consider. Finally, the Let’s Cook section gives a recipe to use for a family meal. In addition to chapters for designated feast days, there are also chapters to reflect on special family times like sporting events, getting a first job, or a child leaving home for college or the work force.
I know I have not gotten everything right in this parenting adventure, but the one thing that was definitely a good strategy is our effort to maintain the habit of family meals. Now that the children are teens it becomes harder to get everyone to the table. But because we established this family ritual early on, everyone understands when the dinner schedule fluctuates to accommodate as many schedules as possible. I definitely think this book would be especially valuable to young families trying to bring their faith into their homes and make it part of the fiber of their families.