A recent article in America Magazine explains that while the Church does a pretty good job at marriage prep, it is falling short at preparing expectant parents for their role as the first teachers of their children in the ways of the Catholic faith.
Here are some statistics from the article:
- Only 22% of Catholic families attend Sunday mass
- Only 32% of Catholic families send their children to religious education, with only 21 in parish based programs (Catholic school, Parish School of Religion, CCD, etc.)
- Only 17% of Catholic parents who pray on their own also pray as a family
Why are we falling short? The article points out a few ideas:
- Parents feel overwhelmed and ill equipped to teach their children in the ways of their faith.
- With fewer families having grandparents and other extended family members living in the same household or even nearby there is less support and encouragement from older generations.
The article suggest that the Church offer its own version of childbirth education, providing support and resources for parents to be. It calls this a pre-Bethlehem companion to the current pre-Cana classes.
This is an interesting article with many more ideas than I have summarized here. Anyone who is raising Catholics or trying to support those who are would benefit from it. Read the full article at America Magazine.