Jesus spoke to them... 'and know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.' (Matthew 28:20)
The With You Always programme is for parents and their children in school year 4, aged 8-9 who are preparing for Reconciliation and First Communion. The programme encourages parents/carers and children to meet together with parish catechists at St Marie’s Church, supported by school, to learn about the Sacraments using the Family Catechesis method.
In the Archdiocese of Liverpool, Family Catechesis has brought enormous blessings to families, catechists, clergy, parishes and schools. Family Catechesis is simply parents talking to their children about the Faith, in the context of the welcoming and supportive parish. One way to envision Family Catechesis is to picture a father, or mother, or grandparent sitting next to a child in a parish or school hall, chatting together and working through colourful booklets designed to deepen their understanding of Christ and the Church's Sacramental life. The outcome of Family Catechesis is the domestic church passing on the faith - parents passing on the faith to their children.
For many parents Family Catechesis is a handy reminder of what they themselves learned about the Sacraments in their own youth. For others, it is a gentle introduction to key information about how Baptism leads us to Eucharist, and about the grace given in Reconciliation for our Christian journey through life. Most importantly Family Catechesis puts parents in their rightful role and their child's 'first and best teachers'.
The With You Always resource aims to:
engage parents and children in sessions that are welcoming and active
offer time for parents and children to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ within the parish community
help parents and children learn about the Faith and respond to God's Word in their daily lives
prepare parents and children for the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in the primary school years.
Each Session has the same structure:
Introduction: catechists deliver a brief welcome to the session and its themes.
Gathering: parent/carer and child link the session theme with life experience .
Sharing Scripture and Tradition: parent/carer and child read about Scripture (Old and New Testaments) and Catholic Tradition.
Responding: parent/carer and child share an activity.
Celebrating: the Catechist leads prayer in the large group.
Taking out: sessions end with a task to complete at home during the month.
September: Come to the water (Sign of the Cross & Family/Baptism).
October: Called by name (Names/Saints).
November: Come back to me (Sign of Peace & Choices/Reconciliation).
Advent: Family Reconciliation (First Reconciliation).
December: Advent/Christmas (celebration to be decided by the parish or Pastoral Area).
January: A new way of living (Following Jesus & The Beatitudes).
February: Teach us to pray (Prayer & Growth/Lord's Prayer).
March: Jesus brings us together (Jesus Feeds Us & The Triduum & Community/Eucharist).
Lent/Holy Week/Easter: (celebration to be decided by the parish or Pastoral Area).
April/May: Jesus calls us to follow Him (Receiving Holy Communion &Jesus/Eucharist).
May/June: Rehearsal for the First Communion Mass for parents and children & Communion Mass with families).
The With You Always resource has 7 sessions, parent and child booklets; folders and catechist books can be ordered as required.