In this feature article Janette Davidson, from Broken Bay diocese, reflects on the role of accompanying families in faith formation. The family is the domestic Church and parents the first and primary educators of faith for their children.
Family as Gift
Family is the first natural community. The family can be the place of love where all members are supported and faith is nurtured. From this secure place members are empowered to reach out beyond the family in life-giving ways.
Reviews & Resources
Jan Grajczonek reviews Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village by Fang Suzhen, Just the Way We Are by Jessica Shirvington, and Where Peter Pan Began: Sixteen String Jack and the Garden of Adventure by Tom Pow.
Resources for Religious Education
Melanie Dooner reviews Living Faith by Helen Carboon, Before I Sleep I Say Thank You by Carol Gordon Ekster and Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn.
For Those Who've Come Across the Seas: Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Social Justice Statement 2015-2016
Peter Arndt sets out a few ideas for promoting awareness and action based on this year’s Australian Catholic Bishops’ social justice statement.
What Is It Like To Be A Refugee Child?
Beginning with Matthew’s account of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt, Peter Arndt looks at teaching students about the refugee experience from the perspective of refugee children.
For the Catechist
Assisting Families With the Faith Education of Their Children
In this article Michele Purcell suggests ways parents can be invited to participate in the religious education lesson. Three suggestions are elaborated on, from parents as audience to parents sharing their expertise with the class.
Connecting Family and Parish with Trinity
To Be Human is to Be in Relationship - Reflecting the Mystery of the Triune God
Michele Purcell makes connections between human relationships and our belief in the Trinity. Catechists and teachers are often the first human faces of the Church and are ideally in a position to build community.
Sacred in the Secular:
Using Pop Music in Religious Education
Peter Olley explains the benefits of using pop music in religion classes and offers some strategies for analysing songs in the pursuit of Religious themes.
Balloons, Bubbles and Dandelions:
The Breath of God's Spirit
Cate Tibbertsma uses dandelions to help pre-school children reflect on the Holy Spirit and Pentecost.
Part 2: Say Thank You and Mean It
Paige Bullen continues her 3-part series on Gratitude. This article focuses on expressing gratitude, which is a process to be practiced. Gratitude connects us as giver and receiver and recognises that blessings happen in the spaces between us.
Introducing and Teaching the Holy Family in the Early Years
Jan Grajczonek presents a way of telling the story of Jesus found in the temple to early years students. She outlines what material is needed and a suggested script for the story.
A Strange and Holy Family
Stuart Moran explores what the Gospels tell us about the Holy Family. The Gospels challenge our iconic and pious images of the Holy Family and present us with a “strange” family who are at the same time holy.
Family in the Modern World
Family life poses various challenges for the Church today, as demonstrated in the recent synod. Tony Densley raises questions about family and how the Church serves families in our schools and parishes.
Liturgies & Activities
Jesus' Family Escapes to Egypt
Anne Victor uses the students’ experiences of moving house to explore the story of Jesus’ family travelling to Egypt, in Matthew’s Gospel. The activity provides the opportunity for students to briefly explore the experience of refugees travelling to safety.
Jesus' Family, My Family
Anne Victor focuses on Jesus’ family and the students’ family in this series of activities. She moves from the students’ experiences of family to the experiences of Jesus and his family, emphasising His historical context.
We Are Family
In this ritual Jennifer Callanan celebrates all families and the human family. We are all interconnected and belong to one human family.
Welcome To A Little Baby Who Will Change the World!
Beth Nolen explores the story of Jesus’ escape to Egypt in Matthew’s Gospel as a tool for presenting Jesus as the new Moses. This activity relates Jesus to modern day refugees and asylum seekers.
What Do We Know About Jesus' Family?
What does the Bible tell us about Jesus family? Beth Nolen invites students to be Scripture detectives in order to find out about Jesus’ family.