Faith at Home
Faith at Home
“Look for graced moments in the uncertainty of our time”
In a video address to the people of the Diocese of Broken Bay, Bishop Anthony Randazzo, spoke of the need for “social solidarity’, even whilst practising physical distancing. Reflecting on his pastoral visits to parishes and schools, Bishop Anthony, praised those making enormous efforts to connect with each other and “to remain close in a spirit of charity and compassion”. He urges us all to stay ‘Connected in Christ’.
Bishop Anthony encourages us all to seek out all those who might “fall between the cracks”. He identifies the great effect of simple acts of kindness such as checking in on a neighbour, phoning a friend, writing a note to a relative. Finally, he encourages us to pray for each other, especially the sick and those who care for them.
A time for rediscovering faith and life as a family.
The role of the family is especially important in these times. While church buildings are eerily empty, many of our homes are full of life and activity.
In our lives together as families and households, we are the Church; and the Church is found wherever we dwell. Our family homes are “domestic churches”. These “little” churches, comprising the front line of children’s faith education, are very much alive. Pope Francis offers a number of practical suggestions to families that can not only sustain them but even strengthen them during this time. (Faith and Family)
Now more than ever, it’s time to rediscover the power of family prayer, home rituals and the importance of faith/life conversations with our children. Working and learning at home can be a surprisingly positive experience. It can be a time for exploring fresh ways of showing love and concern for one another and ritually celebrating the gifts and opportunities of each day.
Home-based spirituality is infinitely flexible, just like working and learning from home can be. You set the pace and style, in keeping with the circumstances of your household and the needs and personalities of family members.
There are countless ways to share your faith at home like:
- Dedicate your dining table as a sacred gathering space for sharing food, conversation and little rituals of prayer, gratitude and blessing such as grace before meals.
- Explore the Scriptures with your children, using a children’s Bible, video or online resources. Let the central pillars of Catholic life – ‘Word and Eucharist’ – find expression in the home around the dinner table, the kitchen bench, on the lounge and in beds as stories and conversations are shared of life and work, of achievements and disappointments, of joys and worries.
- Games that unite the family; just having fun together
- Choosing music in the home that uplifts the human spirit, and perhaps reflects the liturgical season
- Arts and crafts with a faith message
- Creating a designated prayer space in a corner of your home or garden
- Lighting candles next to photos in remembrance of loved ones
- A traditional go-to prayer, such as the Rosary, or the Daily Awareness Examen.
- Acts of service and outreach e.g. write a letter or compose a family e-card to residents in the local nursing home, with each child adding to the message
Explore Walking the Way for an archive of free weekly e-Bulletins, containing brief tips for parents as they share faith with their children. To subscribe to the Walking the Way e-Bulletin email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Family Prayer Book is the fruit of school-parish collaboration in our Diocese of Broken Bay.
The following resources may also be of interest:
The Australian Catholic Bishops have a site with a variety of resources for praying at home, in the absence of Mass participation. You will find them at Pray at Home
Catholic Education Townsville offers this Christian meditation for children: Coming Home
The Broken Bay Diocesan Chancery is also producing a range of resources for Catholics during this difficult time. Click here for a sample.
Home-based Religious Education
Catholic education at its best is a partnership between the family, parish and school. Teachers have the privilege of assisting you in the religious education and formation of your children. Thousands of students from Kindergarten to Year 12 taking Studies of Religion for the HSC are now learning at home and at school during Covid-19.
The Catholic Schools Office has provided all teachers and students with access to an online Australian Religious Education resource called ‘Understanding Faith’. After logging into this resource, students can navigate learning pathways enriched by a range of multimedia resources. If your child does not have the Primary or Secondary login details, please email email@example.com with your child’s name and school.
Home-based Spirituality session for parents
We have redesigned our Parent Reflection Mornings to give parents the flexibility to enjoy a session at home at their own pace and at a time that suits their family. Articles, videos and other resources have been put together to continue to support families on their faith journey during this challenging time.
Our first topic is The Ignatian ‘Daily Awareness Examen’. The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day, in order to detect God’s presence and discern God’s direction for us.
‘Let us never cease in our care for one another’
“Throughout this time of uncertainty, let us never cease in our care for one another. . . Let us also not forget that it is often the small, simple gestures of love and concern for one another that can have the greatest effect.” (Bishop Anthony Randazzo, 20 March)
Together, we’ve got this!
Click here for helpful resources on supporting your wellbeing at home