Faith and Life Family Guide

On this page: Introduction, Why Provide a Family Guide?, Family Resources

By virtue of their ministry of educating, parents are, through the witness of their lives, the first heralds of the Gospel for their children. Furthermore, by praying with their children, by reading the word of God with them and by introducing them through Christian initiation into the Body of Christ-both the Eucharistic and the ecclesial Body - they become fully parents, in that they are begetters not only of bodily life but also of the life that through the Spirit's renewal flows from the Cross and Resurrection of Christ.

Familiaris Consortio 39

The need of family (parental) involvement in the education of children is more and more recognized by parishes, schools and dioceses today. To answer this need and encourage parents to take the lead in the ongoing religious formation of their children, Ignatius Press was pleased to create an effective tool for parents of Faith and Life users. The Family Guide (Vol A – Grades 1-4; Vol B – Grades 5-8) is an attractive four color volume for parents. It provides parents with a format for weekly sessions with their children to review the important points covered in that week's lessons along with suggestions for life application. It is analogous to a simplified "parent manual" for parents to teach/reinforce the lessons covered in the school or parish classroom. Homeschooling families can even use it as a simplified lesson outline planner if they find the Teacher's Manual too intimidating to use. The Family Guide is written for both school and parish programs.

The Family Guide is easily understood, easy to implement and easy for any parent to use as it comes complete with answers to the questions and subject matter covered. With student textbook references and cross referencing of the main lesson points to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the new Family Guide also allows parents to deepen their own understanding of the essential elements of faith being taught.

Simply a wonderful and ready tool for implementing the need to engage parents in a more direct role, the Faith and Life Family Guide is a wonderful asset for every parent to use.

Illustrated, answers provided. Parish and school discounts available:
Vol. A FLA:FG-P . . . Four Grades, Spiral bound, 280 pp, $15.95
Vol. B FLB:FG-P . . . Four Grades, Spiral bound, 272 pp, $15.95

School/Parish discount price: $12.76. See the order page for more info.

Now also available by grade on CD so that teachers can email Family Guide review lessons directly to parents.

Grade level FG CD: $29.95 Originally $64.95. New lower pricing for schools and parishes, just $23.96 per classroom grade level CD.

Why should parishes and schools provide a family guide for each family using Faith and Life?

As catechetical leaders today it is crucial that we educate parents of their responsibilities as the primary teachers of their children's faith. The Faith and Life Family Guide will equip parents (in conjunction with school and parish programs) to pass on and live out the fullness of the Faith.

The Faith and Life Family Guide will serve as a means of parents participating in the Year of Faith. Archbishop Fisichella, the president of the new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, noted that the coming Year of Faith is a response to "a particular moment of crisis in which, first of all, many Christians are indifferent, far removed from the life of the community, and often confused by the events of history which at this moment has entered a serious crisis of identity and social responsibility." (Day of Reflection, Rome, 2-17-12)

In such times God blesses the Church with great wisdom. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have called Catholics to implement the New Evangelization. John Paul II states that the New Evangelization calls Catholics to proclaim the good news with "a new ardor and new methods." The Faith and Life Family Guide cultivates an environment for families to take on a new ardor with new methods. With this guide parents will be equipped to present the Faith in a way that will not only effectively evangelize and catechize their children, but it will also evangelize and catechize them.

Pope Benedict XVI stated that the New Evangelization is "dependent on the domestic Church." Because the family is the nucleus of parish life and of all of society, it stands to reason that the spiritual and intellectual needs of the family must be nurtured. The Faith and Life Family Guide will equip families to place faith at the center of their lives. It will equip families to look beyond the secular culture to seek the truth, beauty and goodness of God. It will provide parishes with a means of re-vitalizing the culture one family at a time.

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List Price Now ONLY $15.95; School price $12.76 (1-866-431-1531 to order).

Now also available by grade on CD so that teachers can email Family Guide review lessons directly to parents.

Grade level FG CD: $29.95. Originally $64.95. New lower pricing for Schools and Parishes, just $23.96 per classroom grade level CD.

See the order page for more info.

Other Church documents emphasizing the importance of parental involvement in their children's religious education

Parents as the Primary Teachers of Faith

Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them.

CCC 2223

Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.

CCC 2226

Education in the faith by parents, which should begin from the children's tenderest age, is already being given when the members of a family help each other to grow in faith through the witness of their Christian lives, a witness that is often without words but which perseveres throughout a day-to-day life lived in accordance with the Gospel. This catechesis is more incisive when, in the course of family events (such as the reception of the sacraments, the celebration of great liturgical feasts, the birth of a child, a bereavement) care is taken to explain in the home the Christian or religious content of these events. But that is not enough: Christian parents must strive to follow and repeat, within the setting of family life, the more methodical teaching received elsewhere. The fact that these truths about the main questions of faith and Christian living are thus repeated within a family setting impregnated with love and respect will often make it possible to influence the children in a decisive way for life. The parents themselves profit from the effort that this demands of them, for in a catechetical dialogue of this sort each individual both receives and gives.

Catechesi Tradendae 68

Family Resources

You can find the order form on the order page. For more religious education material, see the IP Religious Education site.

  • Familiaris Consortio - available several places online
  • CCC: Catechism of the Catholic Church (Duties of Parents 2221-2231)
  • Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft (Catholicism)
  • YOUCAT: Youth Catechism
  • Magnificat Books
  • The Vision Series: Books on lives of the Saints
  • The Domestic Church Series by Catherine and Bernard Scherrer. (Advent, Lent, Marian)
  • A Father Who Keeps His Promises by Scott Hahn (Salvation History)
  • The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn (The Mass as the Heavenly Liturgy)
  • Online resources for building Catholic culture in families with daily reflections, saints, seasons, calendars, prayers, activities, and recipes.