Weaving The Catholic Faith Into Your Child’s Life

The most important thing to me in raising my children is that I instill a life-long faith of God in them. After a lot of thought and observation of other Catholic families, I came up with a theory about weaving the Catholic faith into the lives of my children.

weaving the faith into your child's life

 

 

Here’s my theory: If going to church is just one thing we do in a long list of things that we do, it can easily be removed from our lives. Just stop going to Mass, and voila! You’re not Catholic anymore. It’s just like taking out one puzzle piece out of the puzzle of life. The church piece can just get pulled right out. It may leave a hole, sure, but it is removable.

faith as a puzzle piece in life

When Lydia was 2, I made the decision that the idea of her faith being removable from her life… that would never do. I needed her faith to be so interwoven into her life, that if she tried to remove it, she wouldn’t even know where to start.  My theory was that if I could intricately weave the faith into all aspects of life, it would become un-removable. This thought was the birth of Catholic Icing.

weaving the faith into your life

Upon making this decision, I started making sure our family traditions at holidays revolved around the Liturgical year, Saint feast days, the true meaning of Christmas and Easter, and so on. If I was baking cookies, or doing a craft project, I decided I may as well spend the effort (and mess) in weaving the faith into our lives rather than just doing fun, but meaningless, things.

I tried to look at being Catholic through a child’s eyes. Let’s face it: going to Mass is no picnic for a preschooler! We’re asking them to put on their most uncomfortable clothes, and sit still and quiet for an entire hour with minimal to no entertainment. I wanted to find a way to make it more appealing and accessible to them. I wanted to meet them at their own level.

This is why I started weaving in the faith when they were preschoolers. I wrote Catholic ABC’s, and all of my children have enjoyed the crafts from that book. They love stringing their own rosaries and decorating their own monstrances! Even if my preschooler is thinking “Man, this Mass thing is boooooring!” I want them to also be thinking “But that’s ok, because look at all of this other really awesome stuff I get to do because I’m Catholic. Being Catholic actually rocks!”

So that’s my goal in starting them at such a young age- good associations with the faith. As they got a little older, their needs have changed. About 2 years ago, our family started the tradition of going out to lunch every Sunday after Mass. This was a big deal for us because we really try not to spend our money eating out. I have to say, since starting this, the kids really look forward to Sunday. It’s a good association, and something our whole family really enjoys together.

eating out

Another one of my big goals in celebrating the Liturgical year the way I do is having lots of Catholic associations with holidays. People end up nostalgic for what they remember from their own childhood. Unfortunately for my husband (or rather, unfortunately for me) almost every year on Christmas as a child, my husband received video games as presents, which he would happily play for a good portion of Christmas day. To him, it doesn’t feel like Christmas unless he plays some video games. Now, even as an adult who doesn’t play video games very often, and certainly didn’t receive any as a present, he naturally gravitates to doing this when we’re done opening our presents. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas otherwise. For my kids, I’m hoping it doesn’t feel like Christmas unless they have a Baby Jesus hunt, get treat in their shoes on St. Nicholas day, make St. Lucia buns, have an Advent wreath, and of course- attend Christmas Mass.

So there you have it- my reason for starting and running this entire website. When Lydia was still just 2 years old, I went looking for ideas on incorporating the Catholic faith into our everyday lives, and what was available on the internet in 2009 wasn’t much. So I started this website as a self-motivator to  make sure I followed through with this idea myself, and to hopefully help other moms who were looking for the same thing.

keeping kids catholic

It is important to also remember that building an actual foundation of the Catholic faith and a lasting relationship with Jesus is crucial, and that all the fun traditions etc. truly are icing on the cake. That’s why this site is called “Catholic Icing”.

Even given this theory of mine, the truth is, we can only do what we can do and in the end, our children will make their own decisions. I once heard that if you were going to say that Adam and Eve had a parent, that parent would be God. He did everything perfectly for them, and guess what? They still fell! Free will is a substantial gift, and one that has indeed been given to our children. So I’m going to do what I can, and try to remember to ask for God’s guidance each step along the way.

passing on the catholic faith to your children

So, do you agree with my faith-weaving theory? If so, what do you do to weave the Catholic faith into the lives of your children? Here are some ideas you can find here on Catholic Icing:

Living The Liturgical Year At Home

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post! I couldn’t quite articulate my feelings on this topic and you have captured them perfectly. 🙂

  2. I absolutely agree with this theory & process. I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of seeing that it doesn’t always work to keep our children in Church and the Faith. My husband is not a practicing Catholic so when our oldest son turned away at 18, I wasn’t really surprised. Hurt beyond words but, as my confessor told me, I “did everything” I could do and this is his journey to find his own way. I pray & pray & pray for him constantly knowing that his Faith had him feeling the calling to priesthood when he was younger & maybe, just maybe, it’ll turn him back around someday (he’s only 22 now). The hardest but most important part, I have found as a parent in this situation is to NOT blame yourself for the departure. As you said, Adam & Eve still fell!

  3. Mothering From Scratch says:

    {Kathy} Thank you for this perspective. You’re right! If going to Mass is the ONLY we do as a family to encourage our Catholic faith then it is too easy to lose it.

  4. Thank you so much for your incredibly wise idea to weave your Catholic faith into your lives. My soon-to-be 13 year-old told me last week after attending Christian camp that she just doesn’t feel a connection to her Catholic faith. She is incredibly faithful and loves God, but just feels like she appreciates the way her friends of other religions worship. This broke my heart and made me feel like I failed at helping her form her Catholic identity. Thank you for being creative, thoughtful, and most of all for sharing how we as parents can be more instrumental in helping our kids feel a connection to their faith!

    • You read the bottom of the post, right? They will all make their own decisions in the end, and it doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. My oldest child is 8, so not really big enough to think for herself yet. It is true that it can be easier to get that “warm fuzzy” feeling from the protestants, and they certainly know how to minister to children. Maybe you could look into some Catholic conferences. I went to my state youth conference in South Carolina every year, NCYC every other year, and was even lucky enough to attend 1 World Youth Day. Don’t lose heart. Just work on building the connections she’s sure to desire in her heart. 🙂

  5. Agreed! And I’ve always liked the “icing” analogy, because there are times in life when liturgical crafts and such fall to the wayside, and that’s ok….we are still getting fed. lol. We just return to it when times are sane again. One thing I want to do this year, besides weaving the faith through our year, is weave it through our day a bit more…stopping at noon and six for the Angelus, at 3 for Divine Mercy, maybe some Divine Office for Mom, etc. It may not be doable all the time, but if I set the alarms on my phone and I am prepared for it, those prayers don’t take long.

  6. I am not Catholic, but I so completely identify with this desire to bring Christ into all aspects of our lives. More days than I want to admit, I fail, but blogs like this encourage and buoy me up. This post lays out the reasons I homeschool, the reasons I push back when the world pushes in on us. Thank you.

  7. Thank you for the Adam and Eve thought, I will try to remember that throughout my parenting struggles!

  8. Love this… & thank you!!!

  9. Lacy,

    Your website here is truly a treasure! I am a DRE at a parish in Southern California, and I have shared many of your great ideas with my catechists. This particular post you have here is exactly what families in my parish need to hear. I’d love to share it with them in our new family catechesis program that we’re beginning this year, with your permission. Thank you so much for your ministry! God bless you and your family!

    • Yes, please share it with as many parents as you can! Thanks for asking! I don’t always allow my stuff to be re-published, but this is one that I would really like to be “out there”. 🙂

  10. Lacy, thanks for sharing the story of how things began! I wish that I had known about you many years ago. My youngest is 13 and my oldest is 21. As they get older, I think the most important thing has been modeling a strong faith in our marriage and lives. We try to stay strong in our convictions on living God’s way. We try to be careful about the things that come into our home, ie. TV shows, music, etc. and what our children see us doing. We all try to serve at church and keep them involved with things like VBS and serving the Lord. We can always look back and wish that we had done more, especially when our kids don’t embrace our beliefs. It’s better to look ahead and keep working on our faith and incorporating it into every aspect of our lives.

  11. Thanks for being an inspiration to many Catholic moms! I do my best also to weave into our family-life our Catholic faith. We try to go to Mass daily even with the little kids. I do a lot of art and craft activities too and activities on holidays so that they become holy days as well. I want my kids to remember the real reason for Christmas , Easter and All Saints Day. These holy days have been commercialized and many kids nowadays no longer know why we really celebrate these.

  12. Sister M. Lalemant Pelikan, RSM says:

    Lacy, I’m like Diana from Southern Cal. I love your ideas and philosophy, and share them with the Parish Catechetical Leaders (DREs) in our diocese regularly, since finding your website on 2-11-13, as well as with friends and coworkers who have small children and/or grandchildren. You are doing a great service to us all in the Church, and I want you to know that we do appreciate you! May God continue to bless you and your family!

  13. Thank you for this post! This is just what I needed this morning. 🙂

  14. Sanda Di says:

    I’m glad you do this — God is present throughout time and space, not just at church once a week. I grew up in a denomination where children’s religious education is the expectation, from months old through adulthood, and it’s something that I’ve been sad to see little of in the Catholic tradition. I don’t have my own children yet, but when I do, I will certainly be doing a lot of weaving. (:

  15. I love this post. Thank you for your website. I have been a follower for awhile now. Your children are all one year older than mine so I feel like you are paving a path for me. I too try to weave our faith into everything we do. Sometimes it is as simple as thanking God for a beautiful flower we see on our walks. I grew up in a home that meal prayer and Mass were the only faith things we did. For my children, I want their faith to just be a normal everyday part of their lives.
    Thank you again for all you do. It is a true ministry.

  16. Thank you so much. This is so inspiring. I hope I can be like you.
    Jesus loves you and your family

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