From Paul, Director of Religious Education (DRE) in Minnesota Already Family Formation has been a great blessing to our parish. True, there's a bit of tension here and there, but when you're pulling someone up by a rope who's been hanging hopelessly over a dangerous cliff, basic physics would say there's going to be tension. If the family is the basic cell of society, as the Church teaches, then restoring families to Christ one by one is perhaps the greatest missionary venture of our time. The New Springtime, it seems to me, is primarily the full manifestation of Vatican II in transforming the mind and renewing the heart of the Domestic Church for the Third Millennium.
From St. Mary's Parish in Iowa As our parish prayed about, debated, researched, discussed and discerned the adoption of Family Formation, we often focused on potential problems. What if families didn't do their Home Lesson packets? What will the effect be on students who only attend religious education classes once a month with no reinforcement? What if parents leave the Church over the demand on their time and involvement? But one question trumped the others: What if families DO complete their packets? And the answer has been a bigger blessing than we dared hope. What happens when parents take one hour a week to pray and learn with their children? What happens if families begin to understand even a small piece of our beautiful Catholic Faith? What happens when teachers and parents are encouraged to talk about vocations at a young age? Great blessings and fruits have already been seen and we are confident that this is just the beginning! Some of the fruits we have seen include an increase in Mass attendance by Family Formation families, the opening of a Eucharistic Adoration chapel and extending the hours of Eucharistic Adoration, the creation of a mother's group, the institution of a Corpus Christi procession, family events such as "Saints and S'mores," and huge growth in fellowship amongst our families. Only the Holy Spirit could have inspired such revitalization. All thanks and Praise be to God. We excitedly and prayerfully await the future blessings that will be born out of Family Faith Formation.
From Judy, a Director of Religious Education (DRE) in Illinois
Every time I go through the material ... I say to myself, "Why didn't I do this earlier?" I love your material. Our own family is benefiting so much. I wish my family did this when my kids were younger.
From Deena, a Catholic school principal in Houston, Texas
Our parents are so pleased with the content and format, and our children cannot wait until our next Family Formation night! My pastor and I are so impressed that this program strictly follows the guidelines of our Church. I have never seen such a program that is as solid in our Catholic teachings. Needless to say, we feel very blessed to be a part of Family Formation. Our Family Formation night highlights the religion classes the children have five days per week. Being with the children five days per week gives us a wonderful opportunity to encourage Family Formation night and to follow up on their Home Lessons. The children love to be questioned about their progress at home. The parents do not have a problem with meeting once every month (nor do the children). It is actually bringing us closer together as a school community. Please give my thanks to everyone involved. Your hard work and prayers are touching so many lives.
From Glenna, program organizer in Ontario
The parents are so appreciative to have such good, solid material. Please pass on these comments to the team that prepares the material. We marvel at how they develop such good ideas to explain the Faith.
From Mary Ann, program coordinator at St. Mary's in Two Inlets, Minnesota
Our sacramental prep teacher really likes this program; she has taught for several years and says this is the easiest lesson to follow and so thorough.
From Kristin, a family subscriber from New London, Wisconsin
We are having so much fun with the program. The kids look forward to it every week. We also do the Scripture for Sundays (Check out "Our Sabbath Scripture Book")... we laugh so much at the stories and how they relate. There is always a line or two that sticks with us and is repeated throughout the week ... like a funny family joke. Thank you for bringing this into our house and helping us live out our Catholic Faith!
From Cindy, a Family Formation parent from Brainerd Lakes Area, Minnesota
We are a first year Family Formation family. What a blessing this has been -- thank you! We homeschool, so we opted to send our two sons to Sunday School classes this year also for some extra "kid" time since we are in a very rural area with not many kids around. My older son is in second grade First Communion prep at our parish, and the lessons he is bringing home don't always reflect the richness of our Catholic Faith. I borrowed a friend's copy of your First Reconciliation and First Communion programs to try, and we love them! We still plan on sending him to the classes to lend support to the parish program, but we feel we would be remiss in our parental duties if we did not teach these sacraments a little more thoroughly -- and appreciate this month's topic of the Mass as our starter! Thanks once again for the wonderful program! We are so pleased with our materials, and our whole family is really enjoying the program very much. I just feel so relieved at the idea of knowing our son will be well prepared for these sacraments through our family preparation. (2004)
We're still enjoying Family Formation after several years, using the sacrament prep programs with our second son this year, and still praying that someday we can use the program with our entire parish! The addition of several CD recordings throughout the year as well as the updated activities, games, and crafts have made this program well worth the investment for our entire family! Thank you, Family Formation!
Nikki, Director of Religious Education (DRE) for a Parish Using Family Formation in Illinois
I have received a lot of positive feedback from parents. In fact, just this afternoon I had a parent come in for a make-up meeting, and we discussed the program for a good length of time afterwards. She shared about how much she is learning (having not previously received religious education), how much her husband is learning and/or relearning and reviewing from his years of Catholic schooling, and how much their older daughter (8th grade) is able to help teach the lessons and explain things in a way her younger sister is able to understand. They are definitely very pleased with the program.
From Michelle, a Family Formation parent from Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Thanks again, Family Formation has been such a good thing for our family. My husband is currently deployed to Iraq and will be home very soon. I am excited to share this with him when he returns. Wednesday nights are so fun. Learning more about the love the Lord has for us has been so good for our kids, and it's so nice to spend such good quality time with family.
Sonja, Spring Lake, Michigan
I just started subscribing to Family Formation in September and am very happy with it! We are a homeschooling family of 8, our children from the ages of 2 to 14. We use this material as part of our morning prayers. Words that I would use to describe this are positive, Catholic, Biblical, practical, complete. Thank you so much!! I am very grateful to have this to put before my children each day!
Cheri, Director of Family Formation, Illinois
We had such positive written statements from our families about the Family Formation program that I am making copies of their responses to share with the other parishes at our monthly meeting sessions. [The teacher presentations] are clear, simple, and complete. Thank you for all your gifted work in making this available for distant parishes.