For Those Whose Children
Attend Catholic Education Programs
One of the supreme gifts of marriage is bringing forth
new life. God entrusts children to parents who have a primary right
and duty to educate their children in the practice of their faith.
Parents carry out this responsibility by creating a home full of
love, forgiveness, respect, and fidelity.
The family is the community in which, from childhood, one honors
God and learns moral values.
In the rite of the sacrament of Baptism, parents receive the call
from God to evangelize their children, as here summarized:
"You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you
are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice
of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep
God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor.
You will be the first teachers of your child in the ways of the
faith. May you be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to
the faith by what you say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord."
No wonder, then, that the Church understands the home to be the
domestic church. It is in the intimate environment of the family
that parents are, by word and example, the first heralds of the
faith with respect to their children. This environment is enhanced
and deepened through the parish Eucharistic community that is the
heart of the spiritual life for Christian families.
Catholic schools and parish religious education programs are in
partnership with the family in proclaiming and witnessing to the
person and life of Jesus Christ. They assist parents in fulfilling
their responsibility as the primary religious educators of their
- Aware, then, of the dignity of this holy parental call, and
with a reverent awe for that responsibility which is mine, I
commit myself to be, in word and deed, the first and best teacher
of my children in the faith. Practically, this means I should:
- Regularly participate in the Sunday Eucharist (if not Catholic,
regularly participate in worship and prayer) with my family
- Commit to speak more with my children about God and to include
prayer in our daily home life
- Participate in and cooperate with School or Parish School
of Religion programs that enable me as a parent to take an active
role in the religious education of my children, including sacramental
preparation for Catholic children
- Support the moral and social teaching of the Catholic Church
to ensure consistency between home and school
- Teach my children by word and example to have a love and concern
for the needs of others
- Meet my financial responsibilities in supporting the Catholic
School or Parish School of Religion.