April 29

Engaging Parents Workshop

The Way


Engaging Parents Workshop PowerPoint Presentation

Engaging Parents Workshop Handout


Key Takeaways

  • Parents are the primary catechists and most influential agents in their children’s faith formation. The home is the fundamental field of catechesis.
  • Parishes and schools must partner with parents, empower them, and integrate them into faith formation efforts.
  • Practical ways to engage parents include communicating The Way vision, inviting them to best practices, using existing resources, and requiring parent retreats.
  • Parent faith retreats help stir up faith and motivate them to participate in children’s faith formation.
  • The curriculum will not be replaced, but parent engagement and empowerment will be critical to fully implementing The Way. This is a long journey requiring continued effort.

Introduction and vision

Dino introduced the vision of The Way to equip parents as the primary educators of faith for their children. He outlined the stages of faith formation from baptism to vocational discernment.

Role and responsibility of parents

Dino reviewed church documents emphasizing parents’ duty to pass on faith. Marc discussed Christian Smith’s research, which found parents to be the most influential factor in the faith formation of their children. He called for parishes to mobilize parents and empower parents as agents of change in their children’s faith lives.

Research on parental influence

Marc detailed Christian Smith’s findings that religiously active teens fared better across measures. Faith functions best when discussed regularly at home versus one-hour weekly classes that leave parents uninvolved the rest of the time.

Practical ways to engage parents

Dino proposed welcoming parents into existing programs, using at-home materials, inviting parents to discipleship retreats, and over-communicating The Way’s vision and parents’ role throughout children’s formation.

Invitation retreats for parents

Dino explained that invitation retreats help parents encounter Christ, internally motivating them to fulfill their faith role.


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