Children are much more enthusiastic about their faith and make far more progress when their parents show a keen interest in what their children have been doing at catechism, so parents are encouraged to ask your children what they have learned each week. Ask them to show you any worksheets, homework or notes that they have received and assist them when necessary. Share your own faith with your children, teach them common prayers, pray with them, 'say grace' before and after meals, come as a family to Adoration and bring them to catechism every week.
Continuous Faith Formation
Some parents bring their children for First Communion preparation in Grade 4, after which they withdraw their children for several years and bring them back in Grade 11 to prepare for Confirmation. In the schooling system it is not possible for children to skip even one year and advance to the next grade, because they would lack the necessary knowledge and skills. The same applies with catechism. Year by year our teachers are building on what children have learned already. Children who miss catechism struggle to understand or find meaning in the faith. Regular attendance throughout their school years therefore is crucial for their spiritual growth. If your child is not able to attend a particular session, because of illness or other serious reason, please let his or her catechism teacher know, preferably in advance.
Many children who do attend catechism do not attend Mass regularly. They say it is because their parents like to sleep in, or go shopping, or go to the beach, or read the Sunday papers, or visit friends etc. Such children, who don’t attend regularly, find it difficult to understand the Mass because they hear about it, but rarely, if ever, experience it. Those who do attend Mass regularly, with their parents, experience the joy of worshipping God in word and song, listening to God’s Word, praying for the needs of the Church and the world, and receiving Christ himself in Holy Communion. We have fairly regular Masses which are aimed more specifically at younger people; they are given more active roles in proclaiming the Word of God, reading the Prayers of the Faithful, bringing forward gifts of food for the poor and so on. Naturally those who don’t attend Mass regularly in the years in which they are preparing to receive sacraments will not be able to receive those sacraments because they won’t understand what they are receiving. If you have not been bringing your child/ren to Mass every Sunday, I strongly urge you to do so, for the good of your child/ren and your whole family. Sound habits acquired in their early years will stand them in good stead for years to come.