We Hold a Treasure, Let's Share It!
By Anita M. Foley
When I was a child I grew up in a home with both my parents
and grandparents. I shared a bedroom with my sister, and each night as I drifted
off to sleep I heard my grandparents praying the Rosary together. Every time we
set out in the car on a family vacation my parents led us in a prayer asking God
to grant us a safe journey.
Other devotions surrounded me as I grew in my
Catholic faith. Our family went to Stations of the Cross on the Friday nights
of Lent, and we celebrated the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation regularly. We
participated in our parish May crownings and attended Eucharistic Adoration and
parish missions. Throughout my life, Catholic prayers and practices have been
an essential part of my journey of faith.
As faith formation leaders it is important to help
catechists and parents realize the importance of sharing with our children and
young people the rich tradition of the prayers and devotions of our Church. Catechetical
leaders should identify strategies whereby this vital dimension of our Catholic
faith can be shared and experienced by our young believers.
It is important to encourage catechists to utilize the
prayer resources contained in their basal religion books to help children learn
our treasured prayers and practices. Highlight the importance of allotting time
during their lesson to engage the children in the prayer service provided in
each chapter of their faith formation book. These weekly prayer experiences
help students learn the many forms and styles of the Church’s prayer life. If
your community is culturally diverse, provide catechists with prayer and
devotional ideas that respect the heritage of their families.
Offering opportunities to celebrate devotions in a community
setting is a great way to bring families together. For example, host an Advent
event when families come together to create an Advent wreath for use in their home.
During Lent, gather families together in church to walk and pray the Stations
of the Cross. Sponsor a “Mary Day” in May to celebrate our Blessed Mother as a
woman of faith; include the praying of a decade of the rosary during the
Our Catholic community is blessed with a richness of
treasured prayers and practices that can support a deepening of faith within
all believers. Let us continue to share and experience them in our parish and
Anita Foley is a senior sales representative for RCL Benziger. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.