DREs: Nurturing Faith in the Home

What CATECHISTS can do:

  • Prayer box: Each child has a prayer box, and each week a new prayer on a card is put in it to take home and pray. The prayer is also used to begin class. The children can make the prayer box.
  • Before a PSR class pray and sing a song with children and parents. Then parents leave.
  • Put take-home sheets on PDF documents and email them to parents. Email a newsletter weekly. Email helpful links to the parents
  • Sacramental preparation: encourage parents to view a video on line that presents a Scripture story, and information about the sacrament.
  • Invite grandparents to a lesson.
  • Once a month invite families for a family activity and serve breakfast or donuts.
  • Breakfast in Bethlehem: Give parents a role to play.
  • Prayer:

– Send home a prayer bear with a different child each week with instructions to help with memorizing prayers.

– Send home prayer rings with notecards attached to help with prayer. For example, “Formal prayers: Thank you, God, for . . . “

– Send home a tool box with prayer table items that goes home with a child each week.

  • Hold a birthday party for Jesus involving parents with decorations, the cake, etc.
  • Include parents in a Christmas party with words of songs for them to sing along.
  • Send a baggie of straw home. When the children do a good deed they may place a piece of straw in the manger. Parents supervise this.
  • Prepare two envelopes for each child to be used on alternate weeks. Stuff the envelope with communications for the parents, who sign off when they have removed the contents. Stuff the envelope ahead of time. OR Provide each child with a bag for taking items home.
  • Lend a DVD to families to watch at home during Lent.
  • Ask children to ask their parents about their First Communion, a time they were forgiven for something or forgave someone and how they felt. Chose questions that will result in positive answers.
  • Put a quiz online for each lesson for absentees and their parents. Make it voluntary but award a certificate for those who take it.

 

What DREs/Pastoral Leaders can do:

  • Every two months send home the Sunday readings with a question about each Gospel for the families to discuss.
  • During Lent hold a weekly family program incorporating the seven corporal works of mercy. Involve parents and children in the opening prayer and activity.
  • Give each PSR family a church bulletin to take home.
  • Designate a Sunday Mass as a PSR family Mass. Or once a month have a PSR Mass for which a grade level greets at the door, processes in, sits with their family, and brings up the gifts. Greeters distribute handouts. The priest acknowledges and welcomes the class.
  • For First Communion meetings, ask parents to provide the food to foster community.
  • “The Chosen” Challenge: Each week issue a challenge (do an act of kindness, tell someone you a grateful for them). Discuss it. Put it in the bulletin.
  • For parents of second graders: Hold a retreat for the parents.
  • Have children process into Mass to “When the Saints God Marching In.” wearing crowns they made.
  • For All Saints/ All Souls: A family Mass. Children bring in photos of loved ones to be displayed during the Offertory.
  • For All Saints Mass: Involve PSR children of all grades. All adults receive a heart with a website about saints, a holy card of Pope Francis with children and a prayer for discipleship.
  • Hold a Bible Bonanza reading program. Children earn a glow star for every five Bible stories they read.
  • Parents help make piñatas and organize posadas.
  • Invite parents to participate in the parish activities.
  • Hold retreats for children and parents.
  • Give families a prayer book or table prayers.
  • Plan for grade level Masses with special seating for families.
  • To encourage Triduum attendance: Give a ticket for each day attended. Three tickets earns a pizza party.
  • Invite parents to an open house.

•  Greet the parents and families as they come in and leave.

  • Provide an activity for parents during PSR, for example, a Bible Study, or a Pray and Chat for parents when they could learn more about the faith.
  • Hold PSR family rosary recitations after the last Mass on Sundays in October.
  • Have the children give saint presentations before Mass.
  • Hold a Sandwich Sunday and make sandwiches for those in need or host a meal at a hunger center organized by PSR families.
  • To increase Mass attendance: Have “Weekly Mass Reporters.” Children and parents fill out a take home page. In the next class a student gets to report what happened at Mass that week.