Catechesis in the Home

The Church teaches that parents are the first and primary educators of their children in the faith. Some parents, in fulfilling this role, will choose to decline the assistance of parish catechetical programs and provide systematic catechesis in their homes. Some families also home-school their children in their academic subjects as well as their catechetical formation, while for others this is a decision limited exclusively to their faith formation.

Parents of children who receive systematic catechesis in their home are strongly encouraged to visit the parish and have a discussion with the parish catechetical leader. Leaders have been provided guidelines about how to proceed with this endeavor. Parents are to be provided a textbook that correlates to the child's age and is the same textbook used in the parish religious education program. Cardinal DiNardo has directed that those books that serve as primary resources for catechetical instruction be among the texts reviewed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Committee to Oversee the use of the Catechism, and found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The parish catechetical leader will want to have a conversation with the child(ren) to determine readiness for the appropriate grade level. The leader will request parents bring the child in on a regular basis (perhaps monthly, maybe at the end of a textbook unit, etc.) to "check-in" regarding progress and to see if there are any parental needs.

Immediate preparation for and the celebration of the sacraments is done in the parish setting. The parish provides the community into which a child is initiated as well as the locus for worship. Children who are catechized in the home for systematic catechesis are expected to be a part of the total sacramental preparation experience in the parish, which includes retreats, days of reflection, and other communal activities.