“The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the foundational cell of society.” (Evangelii Gaudium #66)
"The family called together by word and sacrament as the Church of the home, is both teacher and mother; the same as the worldwide Church." (Familiaris Consortio #38)
As the statement above suggests, we are each called to live our daily lives at home, work, and school or wherever we find ourselves as a holy people – God’s Church. Home life comes in many forms and the parish seeks to support a family in its endeavour to be the ‘Church of the home’, the Domestic Church.
The family is the fundamental unit of Church and society and the primary place of Christian development and parents are the first educators of their children. Passing on faith is a privileged and joyful task of parents and also grandparents (who often play a key role) but it can seem daunting at times.
The Family Life page provides resource ideas to assist families to grow in faith and to nurture their family spirituality. We aim to enable parents to enrich their family life and to recognise the presence of God in their daily family activities.
From Pope Francis:
"The strength of the family "lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love. For all a family’s problems, it can always grow, beginning with love”. Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia 53
Walking the Way
Inspiration for the journey as we walk with our children.
This resource, published in 2017 by the Catholic Schools Office in the Diocese of Broken Bay, is a resource for parents, grandparents, carers and all who accompany our children on their journey with God, and contains ideas and inspirations for this journey.
The resource is available as an 88-page booklet, which can be viewed online, or purchased in hardcopy. A weekly e-Bulletin is also available for mobile phones.
To access these resources, please visit: http://walkingtheway.dbbcso.org/
Nurturing Faith in Family Series
The resources below offer families many suggestions and ideas to assist in living and celebrating faith in their family across the year, and in different liturgical seasons.
Faith and Families: How do we Nurture and Support the Domestic Church?
Dr Aoife McGrath, an adjunct professor in pastoral theology, currently visiting Australia, presented a session on the ‘Art of Accompaniment’ Walking with Families and Young People on their Faith Journey, around the diocese in March 2015. See brochure (PDF 1MB) for details.
Dr McGrath invited us to reflect on what Pope Francis says in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel) about ‘the art of accompaniment’, particularly:
#120. In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples. All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized….
#169. …In our world, ordained ministers and other pastoral workers can make present the fragrance of Christ’s closeness and his personal gaze. The Church will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment” which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other. The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life.
Download Dr McGrath's presentation slides (PDF 1MB)
Grandparents Day can be celebrated on or close to the Feast of Sts Joachim and Anne on 26 July.
Grandparents Parenting Support Group Central Coast Region
Group meets for discussion and support, sharing information among Grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. 1st Monday each month from 9.30am to 12 noon during the school term. Does not meet during school holidays.
For more information contact Mary Surman Woy Woy Parish firstname.lastname@example.org and see website www.raisinggrandchildren.com.au
Parents Passing on the Faith
Supporting Faith and Family
Gather Proclaim Break Send (GPBS) Online Resources
The Diocese of Broken Bay has paid the subscription for all our parishes to this Australian online resource for a broad range of ministry areas including family ministry.
GPBS is a multimedia website which provides contemporary online resources that support the four key principals for liturgy, worship and ritual: gather, proclaim, break and send.
Online resources include the following:
- Lent and Advent Reflections for Families
- Lent, Easter and Sunday Power Point Resources;
- Resources for children and young people;
- Question of the Week based on the Sunday Gospel for individual and family reflection;
- Francis, Rebuild My Church! The Words & Wisdom of Pope Francis;
- Weekly Reflection resources on the Sunday Gospel;
- Parables, a ENewsletter (for parishes and schools) that subscribers receive each week. Parables offers a fresh approach to the following Sunday’s Gospel (Gospel Connection) and is accompanied by story/reflection (In Focus) that brings the key points together for contemporary Catholics.
Username and Password are available from your parish office.
For further information on the available resources visit the website at www.gpbs.com.au or contact Janette Davidson.
Parent and Grandparent Reflection Mornings
Reflection Mornings are held in parishes and schools around the diocese. Experience includes coffee, meditation, discussion and blessing. Details advertised in parish bulletins and school newsletters
Families with Members Who Have Disabilities
A free e-magazine you can subscribe to on the CathFamily web site. This site is dedicated to assisting families in making the home the living heart of the church. The site aims to provide innovative and contemporary resources to further this tradition — by identifying both traditional and contemporary rituals that Catholic families can adapt to their own family rituals.
My Family My Faith
Is produced by the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn. This magazine focuses on real stories and celebrates the joys and challenges of modern family life. It aims to support parents, celebrate the gift of children and strengthen family life.
Some further resources which may support family spirituality:
- CathFamily website – articles, activities (including craft and recipes) CathKids section
- Young Catholic Mums Online The aim of this website is to bring together Catholic Mums of Australia and is geared towards young families.
- Family Groups – Family Groups were established in 1972, the aim of the Passionist Family Group Movement is to build up Christian community through the development of extended families. Many parishes in our Diocese have active Family Groups. For more information contact Mary Ingham on 9451 4795 or at email@example.com or see website at www.pfgm.org
- Archdiocese of Brisbane – Youth and Children's Ministry
Resources for families – meditation, scripture and family prayer
- Archdiocese of Brisbane – Liturgy Centre
Encouraging family prayer. Keep Roll-A-Grace on the meal table. Roll the sturdy prayer cube and pray the prayer on top. The simple rhyming prayers are again memorable for children.
Encourage family prayer. Keep Roll-A-Prayer beside the child’s bed. Roll the sturdy prayer cube and pray the prayer on top. The simple rhyming prayers are memorable for children.
- Rina Wintour - Mountjoy EnterprizesThese books provide ideas, prayers and rituals for use with youth and adults in a variety of contexts: school, liturgy, retreats, kids clubs, youth groups and many others.
- Emmaus Productions - Online video prayers and meditations for children
- Weekly Children’s Resources for bulletin or church - Liturgy Help Australia
- The Living, Loving & Learning Series Family Discussion Papers by Carmel Stuart CEO Perth WA
- Sunday Connection Reflections and activities on