Back to Religious Ed
September 13, 2018
With Catechetical Sunday on Sept. 16, religious education will be getting underway at most of the parishes in the Rockford Diocese.
Here are a few tips from online resources to help the family get the most out of faith formation for the youngsters and youth in the home.
Mix in religious books with your non-religious books
Chances are your child’s teacher is encouraging you to read to your children. Mix in religious books with your non-religious books. Our children’s bookshelf situates stories on the lives of the saints along with Bible stories for children right next to Dr. Seuss. We never know what the children are going to pick. This mixing and matching helps integrate faith in a natural way into family life and helps to keep faith from being just something we do on Sundays.
Urge teens to read one good book
Encourage your teens to read one good book regarding the faith this school year. There are hundreds to choose from, but I would recommend Made for More by Curtis Martin. It is a simple explanation of the faith which is highly engaging and intellectually formative. You can find it at
— Find these and more tips from Sara and Justin Kraft at
Hold family faith conversations
Christian values and faith are passed on to the next generation through supportive conversation. Listening and responding to the daily concerns of family members make it easier to have meaningful conversations regarding the love of God, and are ways to express God’s love to others. Hearing their parents’ “faith stories” is one of the most important influences on the faith of children and teenagers. “Caring conversations include more than simply telling our stories. At the heart of the communication recommended here is the sharing of faith, values, and the care of others. This can range from supportive listening, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with another, and simple praise and thanksgiving to challenging admonition, ethical discussions, and call to action on behalf of God’s creatures and creation . ... The story of Jesus and our life stories are woven together as one fabric that brings forth endless variety of caring conversation.” (Anderson and Hill, 112-113) . 
— Read more from John Roberto’s “Best Practices in Family Faith Formation” and find dozens of other resources at
Take the Family Faith Inventory
If you’ve ever wondered how well you’re doing as parents trying to pass on the faith, there’s a check-list that can help you figure it out.  The topics it addresses in a two-page printable form are family and community; prayer and worship; formation; and justice and service.
— The inventory is available at We found it through the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry at