Three Great Ways to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Faith

Three Great Ways to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Faith April 9, 2015

In a follow-up on the topic of getting the parent-Church relationship right, here are three best practices to add to your arsenal:

1. Peanut Butter and Grace

Susan Windley-Daoust writes:

Jen, thanks for the Patheos article on what’s wrong with parishes doing religious ed as first responders. A number of people have forwarded it to me, saying, PB and Grace is addressing this!

Well, we hope so. If you want to take a look, its a new small Catholic press dedicated to making family faith formation practical, solid, and easy–even if you are just returning to practicing your own faith. If you’re interested, the main website is, and the FAQ is at this link:

Peanut Butter & Grace

Peanut Butter & Grace

If you don’t know Susan (that’s Professor Windley-Daoust to you and me), she’s a theologian-mom with a sharp sense of humor and an even sharper sense of mission.  Put her on your must-follow list.

2. Easter Baskets You Can Use


Will Duquette of Cry Woof fame writes, in response to my April Fool’s column:


BTW, Jen Fitz—my parish actually gave away “swag bags” and plastic Easter eggs after each Easter mass. The swag bags included more information about the parish, some ideas for family devotions during the Easter season, and that sort of thing. (No dirt, though.) So you might be on to something.


I’ll remind late-planners that Easter isn’t over yet.  No reason the parish can’t offer useful festive items all season long.


3. Quit Whining and Invite the Annual Visitors to Put a Toe in the Water


A. Allow me to brag on my own parish for a minute.  (And on someone else — I have absolutely nothing to do with this stroke of genius, other than an intermittment habit of praying for our staff.)


Beginning just before the Palm Sunday visiting season, we started promoting a “Come Back to the Faith” class series for adults, scheduled to begin the week after Spring Break is over.  That means the pastor could plug it to all the Palm Collectors *and* all the Just Here with Grandma for Easter visitors, and then bam! class starts.


See?  Is that not brilliant?  AND: Signs on the side of the main road where all the locals drive by every day.


B. Bragging on Someone Else’s Parish: If you’re in the Greenville, SC area, take a look at the Summer Course of Study being offered at St. Mary’s. Free and top notch.  If you’re not in the Greenville area, you should (1) wail and gnash teeth, and then (2) take notes.


C. Back to bragging on my parish: At Confirmation rehearsal the other night, our youth minister gave a beautiful, heartfelt, short talk to the kids, parents, and sponsors, about their opportunity to make the sacrament not “Catholic graduation” but their personal, lifelong commitment to follow Christ.  Paraphrasing her from memory:


At the Sacrament of Marriage, what do you say?  You say, “I do.”  And it’s not just, “I’ve said it, great, done, got that sacrament checked off.”  It’s the beginning of a lifelong commitment, isn’t it?


When you renew your baptismal promises at Confirmation, what do you say?  You say, “I do.”  Just like you wouldn’t marry your spouse and then walk away, don’t stand up here and say “I do” to Jesus and then walk away.  Choose to stay and have that relationship with our Lord.



Lots of good work being done in the field.  Alleluia.


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