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Our Faith » Domestic Church and Family Covenant

Domestic Church and Family Covenant


According to Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church promulgated at the Second Vatican Council by Pope Paul VI in 1964, the family is the Domestic Church.  This means that parents are the first ones to teach their child about God.  It is within the family that the child is formed first in the faith through prayer, sacred scripture, service and celebrating the sacraments.

 

Your child should learn how to pray and how to worship God from you.  They should hear sacred scripture read in your home.  They should be able to look around your home and see items that speak of your faith.

Through you, your child will learn how to care, and how to love.  They will learn to be kind to others.  They will learn how to respond and react, appropriately, to others, by watching you.

We, at Holy Family, are excited to partner with you, and your home parish, in the faith formation of your child(ren). 

Our faculty and staff have been hired to this great school because of their expertise in their field of teaching, and service, but also because of their active faith.  They are expected to worship regularly and to bring their faith into everything they do at Holy Family.  This is not just our expectation but our obligation through baptism, to live out our faith.

 

As you have expectations of us, we also have expectations of you.  You most likely chose this school because of its high standards, excellent academics, it’s family appeal and the religious and spiritual environment.  Being true to the church, we will build on what you do at home.  We, in turn, will ask you to integrate what your child is learning in school into what you are teaching them at home, so it truly becomes part of their lives. 

Imagine the Domestic Church of Jesus.  He was born into the loving family of Mary and Joseph who taught him to pray and taught him how to observe and keep the Sabbath holy.  He journeyed with them to Jerusalem for the Passover.  He saw them pray, he saw them worship, he saw their humble lives devoted to God and he learned from them.

 

St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “The best and surest way to learn the love of Jesus is through the family.” 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) tell us, “The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason, the family home is rightly called ‘the Domestic Church,’ a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity” (No. 1666). 

“It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way ‘by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.’ Thus, the home is the first school of Christian life and ‘a school for human enrichment.’ Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous — even repeated — forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life” (CCC 1657). 

Please talk to your children about when you will pray together.  Decide what Mass your family will attend on weekends.  Talk together about what service you will do for one another, what service you will offer your church, your community and the world.

 

Discuss and plan how your family will practice peace and spread it?

Below are a few things you might consider promising one another as a Family Contract or Covenant. Share this with your family and sign together your promise to learn together, worship together and spread God’s Word, Love and Peace to others.

  • We promise to pray at least one time together each day
    • Our prayer will include petitions for others and ourselves, and thanksgiving for the blessings of the day (name them)
  • We promise to read scripture together and talk about it at least once a week
    • Looking ahead to the upcoming Sunday Readings is idea to prepare for the weekend Mass
  • We promise to attend and participate in the (name day and time) weekend Mass
  • We promise to contact our home parish regarding sacramental prep for our children in First Reconciliation and Eucharist (typically fall of 2nd grade), as well as Confirmation (typically fall of 7th grade)
  • We promise to practice peace each day
    • We will be kind and patient with others
      • We will listen first, respond later
      • We will get the full story and try to understand the big picture
        • We will then form our response
  • We will remember that every move we make, every word we speak, every facial expression we make and the tone of our voice, should imitate Jesus.

 

We promise to recognize our family as the Domestic Church and strive to meet the above goals (and try to exceed them). Extend this to more paper for additional family members.

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