Every now and then a bunch of issues start swirling around in my head and I discover they are all part of the same story. Much like blind men examining the elephant, I find the discussions are about the same issue from different perspectives. This is how I feel after completing another chapter of Keeping Your Kids Catholic, reading the controversy over religious education programs at Richmond Catholic, and reading Amy Welborn’s very long post on youth ministry.
How does one keep children Catholic? How does a parish teach the Catholic faith to children? What should a youth ministry provide? The answer to all of these questions hinges on Catholic children living in Catholic families. If we try to separate the Faith from families and present it to children and teens in isolation, we will fail. Pope John Paul II once again showed his wisdom when he emphasized the central importance of the family and called it the “domestic church”.
I really like the idea of whole parish catechesis. Young and old journey in faith together. Catholic families support each other in learning and living the Faith. I see references to this process occasionally, but I have never seen a good nuts and bolts description of how this sort of program works. It sounds like a very holistic approach to catechesis. Does anyone have any experience with it?