A Family of Faith collection of parish-based family curriculum

A New Way to Think About Religious Education

We created A Family of Faith to help develop strong Catholic families in which children learn the joys of following Jesus Christ and the truths of our Faith through the witness of Christian life given by their parents. Although individual families can easily use A Family of Faith independent of the parish, we designed this program to be used by parishes as an alternative to faith formation classes.

Studies tell us that parental involvement in the faith-life of their child is by far the most important element in ensuring that a child develops into a practicing Christian. A Family of Faith provides both the parish catechist and the parent with an easy-to-use, turnkey solution to catechizing the whole family and helping parents lead their children to Heaven.

Questions? Email us or call (800) 888-9344

Why family faith formation is important

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Engage Families in Your Parish

Many parishes are looking for ways to help families practice their faith and participate fully in the parish. With A Family of Faith, families come together regularly — growing in relationship with one another and learning the truths of the Catholic Faith and how to apply them in their lives. In the parish and at home parents and children have the opportunity to build strong relationships through discussion and reflection on topics that matter in their lives.

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Learn to Follow Jesus

As families continue to come together to learn about the life of Jesus Christ, His teachings, and the Catholic Faith, they desire to know Him better. The home becomes the place of deep learning as families desire to follow Jesus more closely. Families are introduced to the spiritual treasures of the home, the domestic church. Parents can learn and share with their children practices such as grace before meals, reading and praying with Scripture, and learning about the lives of the saints. All these are included in the monthly Our Catholic Home feature.

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Rebuild the Domestic Church

As parents and children engage in discussion about what they are learning, spiritual curiosity is awakened and families desire to deepen in their understanding. Each month parents have the opportunity to choose from a variety of activities and discussion that they can do as a family to explore the concepts that are taught in each lesson. Younger children might learn through the experience of coloring one of the beautiful illustrations while older children might meditate on the Scripture.

Families using A Family of Faith attend Mass regularly, learn and practice prayers together, and engage in spiritual conversations at home, helping them to grow in holiness.

Questions?
Email us or call (800) 888-9344.
Patrick Madrid

A Family of Faith is a proven program that will instill in entire families not only a knowledge of our Faith, but a great love for Jesus Christ and His Church, the family of God.

Patrick Madrid, Father and Catholic apologist
Sr. M. Johanna Paruch

A Family of Faith is a must for every parish: a solid and engaging alternative to CCD that spiritual forms parents and prepares them to be their children’s primary catechists.

Sr. M. Johanna Paruch, FSGM, PH.D., Franciscan University
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

A Family of Faith is perfect for any family looking to catechize their children in an effective and structured way.

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Mother, EWTN Host, and Author

One of our families really wasn't on board with the at home concept.  They took the materials home and were won over after the first lesson.  The mom reported that they sat together, around the table and lost track of time.  They were sharing for over an hour and a half!

DRE, Minnesota

There’s a much greater connection to our religious education. We like the involvement of the whole family, parent meetings are terrific and we love the conversation with other parents.

A Family of Faith Parent
Scott Hahn

A Family of Faith is inspiring yet practical. This series has the potential to strengthen and renew the Catholic family as well as every parish that uses it.

Scott Hahn, Father, Catholic author, speaker
Mike Aquilina

These books are stuffed full of great material: beautiful Catholic art, a truly manageable reading plan, Sacred Scriptures, and stories from the lives of the saints.

Mike Aquilina, Father and Catholic author and speaker

The time spent together discussing the Faith is important to our family.

A Family of Faith Parent
Tim Staples

Children learn and retain the Faith best when their parents are models of Christian life. A Family of Faith provides parents with the knowledge, tools, and advice they need to fulfill this role — even if they weren’t catechized well themselves.

Tim Staples, Father and Catholic Apologist at Catholic Answers

How It Works

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A Family of Faith provides you the flexibility to meet the needs of your parish.

At the Parish

At the PARISH

Parents attend a monthly workshop, where they learn through teaching, discussion, and activities.

At Home

At HOME

Parents teach their children with clearly designed lessons and activities that involve the whole family.

In Community

In COMMUNITY

Families come together for enjoyable events, such as picnics, feast day celebrations, and activities.

A Family of Faith follows a four-year cycle: one pillar of the Catechism is covered per year from September through May. Parents are given a detailed picture of authentic and vibrant Catholic family life, the tools to implement this life in their home, and age-appropriate readings, games, crafts, and other activities to help them deepen among their children a love for Christ and His Church.

Each year is self-contained, and so families may join at any time in the cycle. After four years, families will have been guided through the entirety of the Catechism and will have developed a broad understanding of the Church's teachings. Families then cycle through the program again in order to deepen their knowledge and develop the habits needed for life-long spiritual growth.

How to Make it Work in Your Parish

Model 1: Whole Family/Small Group

AFOF Small Group

Ideal for large parishes serving many families.

  • Leader's presentation is recorded and shared to groups
  • Small groups of 5-6 whole families (with one as leader/coordinator) meet in small groups at the parish to complete a selected lesson and activities
  • Parents select monthly lessons for leading in their home

Model 2: Parent-led

AFOF Parent Led

Our original design for use!

  • Leader presents teaching once per month, at the parish, to parents who then engage in small-group discussion and activities to deepen their understanding
  • Parents assume the role as primary educators for their children using the Parent's Guide and Children's Activity Book for teaching at home
  • An optional second meeting each month helps families grow in relationship with one another and develops community among families. Use suggested agenda in the Leader's Guide or other parish activity such as family Mass and hospitality

Model 3: Parallel-learning/Hybrid Approach

AFOF Hybrid

Ideal for parishes transitioning from or wishing to maintain a classroom model

  • Leader presents teaching once per month to parents who then engage in small-group discussion and activities to deepen their understanding
  • Children participate in lessons with catechists using activities from A Family of Faith or our Spirit of Truth K-8 curriculum
  • Parents reinforce the learning at home through select, family-based lessons and activities

Questions? Email us or call (800) 888-9344

Content Overview

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The Parent's Guide

Parent Family of Faith materials
  • Background essays covering each month's content
  • Notes for conveying this content to children in age-appropriate ways
  • Instructions for activities and craft projects
  • Stories of the saints and other notable Catholics
  • Suggestions for living the faith at home, such as…
    • Guidance for creating and decorating a prayer space
    • Prayers for special occasions
    • Tips for talking about tough subjects
    • Ways to bring the liturgical year to life in the home

The Children's Activity Book

Student Family of Faith materials

The Children's Activity Book is designed to help children come to know the Catholic Faith through fun games and activities. The Parent's Guide offers talking points for how to use each activity in the children's book as a teachable moment, leading the child to a deeper relationship with Christ.

Activities in the Children's Activity Book include…

  • Age-appropriate readings and activities
  • Scripture memorization and copy work
  • Prayer memorization
  • Saints biographies
  • Games and crafts
  • Drawings and coloring pages
  • Journal pages
  • Prompts for original prayers and reflections
  • Student Family of Faith materials

The Leader's Guide

Student Family of Faith materials

The leader's guide allows the parish catechetical leader to make the most of each meeting with families. The leader's guide includes:

  • Start-up guide for organizing and leading the program
  • Trivia games and other ice breakers for adult meetings
  • Lecture notes and PowerPoint slides
  • Detailed plans with games and activities for community meetings
  • Instructions for integrating A Family of Faith into the life of the parish
  • Suggestions for ensuring accountability

Year One: The Creed

  • September: The Role of Parents in Education
  • October: What is Faith, Who is God
  • November: Created in God's Image
  • December: Annunciation, Immaculate Conception
  • January: Who is Jesus
  • February: Paschal Mystery
  • March: The Holy Spirit
  • April: Marks of the Church, Communion of Saints
  • May: The Way of the Creed

Year Two: The Sacraments

  • September: The Role of Parents in Education
  • October: What Is a Sacrament?
  • November: Sacraments of Initiation
  • December: Confirmation
  • January: The Eucharist, The Mass
  • February: Sacraments of Healing
  • March: Anointing of the Sick
  • April: Holy Orders & Holy Matrimony
  • May: Sacraments Jeopardy

Year Three: Life in Christ

  • September: The Role of Parents in Education
  • October: Heaven: Our Final Destination
  • November: Conscience: God's Law in our Hearts
  • December: Cardinal and Theological Virtues
  • January: The First Great Commandment and the First Four Commandments
  • February: The 5th-10th Commandments
  • March: The New Commandment and the Works of Mercy
  • April: The Beatitudes
  • May: Journey to Heaven

Year Four: Christian Prayer

  • September: The Role of Parents in Education
  • October: What is Prayer?
  • November: Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray
  • December: Prayer and the Our Father
  • January: Prayer and the Holy Spirit
  • February: The Prayer of the Virgin Mary
  • March: Praying with Scripture and Expressions of Prayer
  • April: Prayer as Spiritual Battle
  • May: Prayer Castle Game

Questions? Email us or call (800) 888-9344

Products and Samples

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Family of Faith Volume I: The Profession of Faith

Families learn this year about events that took place thousands of years ago. But the story of salvation history is not just in the past: it continues to take place in our lives in a deeply personal way. In the beginning, God created the universe out of nothing, and God continues to create throughout all ages each and every time a human person is conceived. And just as God spoke to our fathers in faith and showed them His plan of salvation, God still speaks to us and calls us to become part of the story of His saving love. These are not distant events to be memorized, but rather life-giving truths to be lived each day. God has called us each by name—this is the story of salvation history. This is our story!

Family of Faith Volume II: The Sacraments

In every way, the Sacraments are about God’s love, fully revealed in Jesus Christ. The seven Sacraments—the foundation of Christian living—are the focus of Volume II of Family of Faith. Families will learn about each of the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance and Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.  The Sacraments are important parts of each stage of life, in which we receive God’s free gift of grace. Through the grace given to us in the Sacraments, Jesus brings us into communion with Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, and with one another in the Church.

Family of Faith Volume III: Life in Christ

This year focuses on the moral life and what it means to live the way God wants us to live. From the Ten Commandments to the Beatitudes to the Great Commandment, throughout salvation history, God has provided us with models for living virtuously. Ultimately, He sent us Christ Himself, who gives us the perfect model of holiness and calls us to live like Him and in Him. Together, families will come to a deeper appreciation of Chistianity, not just as a set of rules, but as a complete way of life, totally immersed in Christ and leading to life with Him in Heaven forever.

Family of Faith Vol. IV: Christian Prayer

This volume focuses on Christian prayer, and why it is so essential for growing in relationship with God. After exploring the covenant drama of prayer in Scripture, families learn the richness of the Our Father, the major expressions of prayer, and the example of the Virgin Mary in conversations with God. Throughout the whole year, families are helped to put into practice all these learning through a fruitful prayer life.

Una Familia de Fe Volumen I: La profesión de fe

Las familias aprenden este año sobre los eventos que tuvieron lugar hace miles de años. Pero el relato sobre la historia de la salvación no está solo en el pasado: continúa teniendo lugar en nuestras vidas de una manera profundamente personal. Al principio, Dios creó el universo de la nada, y Dios continúa creando a lo largo de las edades cada vez que una persona humana es concebida. Y así como Dios habló a nuestros padres en fe y les mostró su plan de salvación, Dios todavía nos habla y nos llama a ser parte de la historia de su amor salvador. Estos no son eventos lejanos para ser memorizados, sino más bien verdades vivificantes para ser vividas cada día. Dios nos ha llamado a cada uno por su nombre: este es el relato de la historia de la salvación. ¡Esta es nuestra historia!

Una Familia de Fe Volumen II: Los Sacramentos

En todos los sentidos, los sacramentos son sobre el amor de Dios, completamente revelado en Jesucristo. Los siete sacramentos, el fundamento de la vida cristiana, son el enfoque del Volumen II de Una familia de fe. Las familias aprenderán sobre cada uno de los sacramentos: bautismo, confirmación, eucaristía, penitencia y reconciliación, unción de los enfermos, ordenes sagradas y matrimonio. Los sacramentos son partes importantes de cada etapa de la vida, en la cual recibimos el regalo de gracia de Dios. A través de la gracia que se nos ha dado en los sacramentos, Jesús nos lleva a la comunión con Él mismo, el Padre y el Espíritu Santo, y con los demás en la iglesia.

Una Familia de Fe Volumen III: Vida en Cristo

Este ano se centra en la vida moral y lo que significa vivir de la manera que Dios quiere que nosotros vivimos. De los diez mandamientos a las Bienaventuranzas al gran mandamiento, a lo largo de la historia de la salvación, Dios nos ha proporcionado modelos para vivir virtuosamente. En última instancia, nos envió a Cristo mismo, que nos da el modelo perfecto de santidad y nos llama a vivir como Él y en Él. Juntos, las familias vendrán a una apreciación más profunda del cristianismo, no solo como uno conjunto de reglas, sino como una forma de vida completa, totalmente inmersa en Cristo y llevando a la vida con Él en el Cielo para siempre.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does A Family of Faith replace faith formation or religious education classes?

It can, but doesn't have to. Some parishes offer A Family of Faith as an alternative to traditional faith formation classes, and some use it in place of these classes. Parents are also free to purchase and use the program on their own.

What if the parent doesn't know the Faith well, or know how to teach?

A Family of Faith is completely turn-key for the parents, giving them the easy-to-understand content and step-by-step instructions for each activity, helping them to gain knowledge of the Faith and confidence as they teach it. Various tools are also available to help parents turn potentially problematic situations into successes, such as what to do when a child asks a question you do not know.

Shouldn't the religious education of children be left to the parish?

Since the current faith formation and religious education model is struggling to transform family life, and since many young people who go through faith formation are leaving the faith, we are proposing a new model (which is actually an ancient model) where the parish focuses on catechizing the parents in order to strengthen parent/child engagement in the Faith. This increases the likelihood that a child will receive an authentic education in the Faith and develop into a knowledgeable and practicing Catholic. Countless studies have shown that parental engagement with the child is the single most effective way to develop young people into disciples of Christ.

But what if parents don't want to be bothered and remove their child from religious instruction altogether? Wouldn't we be better off just maintaining the status quo?

This did not prove to be the case in the pilot tests we conducted among nine parishes nationwide. While it is true that some parents will likely decide to offer no instruction than to participate in this program, the vast majority of families are finding A Family of Faith to be far more flexible, enabling them to transform the family activities they already do into encounters with God. Parents are able to enter into those “teachable moments” of everyday life. A Family of Faith leads parents into a conversion to Jesus Christ, which is beneficial to the parish, but most of all to the children they are raising.

Is there a lot of work involved for families? How much time will this program take?

No. There are two lessons to teach each month, along with a variety of family and child activities. Each lesson should take no more than 30-45 minutes to complete, and requires minimal preparation on the part of the parent. For the parish catechists, our leader’s guide provides them with ice breakers, presentation notes, discussion questions and answers, and step-by-step instructions for activities, freeing the catechist from the burden of developing all of this on his or her own.

For what age children has this program been developed?

Because this program focuses on teaching the faith to parents and helping them make it an organic part of family life, it is perfect for parents with children of all ages. For example, a monthly feature called “Your Catholic Home” gives specific advice for ways to make the Faith a regular part of each day. The Children’s Activity Books are recommended for children in grades K-8, and features engaging activities at various grade levels. Parents can skip the activities they believe are too elementary or too advanced for their child.

Does my child have to be a strong reader?

No. Although readings and written activities are offered, the Children’s Activity Book and Parent's Guide offer a wide variety of activities using numerous strategies to impart and assess knowledge that do not rely on reading or writing.

How many meetings are required per month?

We recommend and provide everything you need for two meetings per month: one 90-minute session early in the month with parents only, and a second 90-minute community meeting after Sunday Mass near the end of the month. The 90-minute session catechizes parents and helps them to deepen their knowledge of the Faith. Entire families attend the 90-minute community meeting, which is meant to help ensure accountability and build community through games and other family activities.

What tools does the program offer to ensure accountability?

The program offers several options, along with a planning worksheet for parish teams to determine how they will build in accountability. For example: Families are given a year-long project that they will add to each month; catechists may require parents to bring these projects in occasionally to check progress. Each community meeting begins with a question and answer session with children, which gives the catechist a chance to assess the knowledge of individual children. Finally, the last session of each year features a fun and interactive game with dozens of questions covering content from the whole year. This game could be used as a final written assessment if desired.

How does the program handle sacramental preparation?

A Family of Faith does not treat the Sacraments as isolated events and is not designed to serve as preparation for receiving the Sacraments. Students grow in their spiritual journey through regular activities with their parents, prayer, Mass attendance, and participation in parish life. Because this program moves away from grade-based cohorts and focuses on transmitting the faith as a whole, preparation to receive the Sacraments occurs as the child naturally matures and shows evidence of understanding. Each child’s readiness to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation should be assessed on an individual basis. If a parish has a sacramental preparation program assessment, it may be offered in addition to the content presented in A Family of Faith.

How will I know my children are learning?

You will undoubtedly see your children learn as they memorize Scripture verses and are able to define key words of our Catholic Faith. Children will demonstrate in conversations their understanding of concepts of the Faith, and you’ll see them begin to live their Faith through service projects, an enriched prayer life, and a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. The child’s desire to know, love, and serve Jesus is proof that they are learning and becoming a disciple of Christ.

Does the program offer help for getting families involved?

Yes. We offer tools for planning, tips for developing an “elevator pitch” and getting the word out, strategies for recruiting and retaining families, a sample bulletin announcement, and much more.

What is your return policy?

New Return Policy Effective December 2017: We are delighted that you have selected A Family of Faith for your parish. We encourage you to order all that you need for your parish program, you may choose to order extra copies as you anticipate growth. If you ordered more than necessary, you are welcome to return unused copies in new condition within 90 days of purchase. After that time we not be able to accept returns. As a not for profit apostolate this allows Sophia to manage resources prudently. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Questions? Email us or call (800) 888-9344