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Refined over 30 years, Family Formation is a Catholic family-based catechetical program developed by the Church of Saint Paul in Ham Lake, Minnesota.

Our Mission

Our mission is to help parents respond to the Church's call to be "the first and foremost educators of their children"* and to help families grow in the transforming love of God by understanding and living the Catholic Faith. *Gravissimum Educationis, 3

Our vision is to transform the world, one family at a time.

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Family Formation: An Introduction

Family Formation is a tried and true model and curriculum developed by parents who were searching for a better way to convey and pass on the Truths of the Faith to their children.

History of Family Formation

Since its beginning in 1988, Family Formation has grown to serve thousands of families and parishes around the world. 

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Many parents in our parish have shared inspiring stories of Truths of the Faith they were finally able to understand, or were introduced to for the first time, through teaching their children with the Home Lessons.

With the desire for better and more successful religious education for their children, Family Formation was first developed in 1988 by the Church of Saint Paul in Ham Lake, Minnesota. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit through focused prayer, the model was set.  Curriculum was written and developed over a number of years by ordinary parents with regular lives. The lessons eventually underwent rigorous theological review.  Although it grew organically to meet a need we saw in our own parish, word began to spread about this unique model of catechesis that was bearing great fruit.  We began to receive requests from individual families, and then parishes, who wanted to follow suit. Through the use of Family Formation, parents report learning their Faith for the first time, families are returning to Sunday Mass and the sacraments, and family life and parish communities are being transformed.

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Family Formation is flourishing throughout the world!

Family Formation’s model and curriculum are being used by parishes and families across the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

Support for Parishes and Families

We work to make sure parishes and families have everything they need to implement the program successfully.

Beginning a new parish program can be very challenging. With 30 years of experience using Family Formation at the Church of Saint Paul, as well as insight gleaned from working with many other parishes, we are able to provide ongoing support and direction as you discern, implement, and use this family catechesis model.

Prayer is and always has been a critical component of Family Formation. Our parish maintains a core team of people that have been praying since its development for all parishes and families using Family Formation! While members of the team change over the years, their steadfast commitment to prayer remains constant. We strongly recommend to each parish that they also develop a “Core Team” to pray for the families in their program.

Ultimately, it is our hope that with each Home Lesson and gathering at church, you will begin to see sparks of light and conversion in parents and in their children!

Leadership and Staff
Laurie Mueller, Director of Distance Family Formation

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Laurie first experienced Family Formation as a young parent. She learned about the responsibility of parents to be the primary educators of their children in the Faith. Over time, the Lord transformed her and her family through Family Formation. Laurie is passionate about encouraging parents to embrace the awesome privilege and responsibility of passing on the Faith. She played a key role in the implementation of Family Formation at her parish and has assisted other parishes transition into family catechesis. She is now the Director of Distance Family Formation working to support parishes across the country as they implement this unique model of family catechesis.

Caroline Lyngdal, Assistant to Director of Distance Family Formation

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Caroline and her family have been greatly blessed by their involvement with Family Formation since 2003. Caroline has experienced Family Formation as a parent, a volunteer catechist, and as a coordinator of the First Sacraments preparation program. She enjoys speaking with parish leaders from across the country and helping them implement Family Formation.

Verónica Arias-Pantoja, Family Formation Spanish Associate

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Verónica was born and raised in Peru. She worked as the Family Life Coordinator in the Office of Latino Ministry at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. There she came to understand that the best school and catechesis for children is with the participation of parents, the true domestic Church. She has studied Theology and Liturgy at the University of Saint Thomas. The most awaited moments for her each week are her time in the Adoration Chapel and Holy Mass on Sundays. She uses her skills in Spanish, and her understanding of what families need, to translate and edit the Family Formation lessons. Veronica is also available to assist and support Spanish-speaking parish leaders who have questions about Family Formation.

Amanda Sanoski, Family Formation Administrative Assistant

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Amanda became familiar with Family Formation while previously working at the Church of Saint Paul in Ham Lake, MN. Over the last couple years, her family has used Family Formation at home and they have fallen in love with the lessons, especially the opportunity it provides for them to sit down as a family each week and talk about their faith, share stories, and have great discussions. Now officially part of the Family Formation team, Amanda is grateful to be a part of this ministry which gives parents the tools to teach their children about Jesus. With her eye for detail and creativity, Amanda helps prepare a variety of materials for parishes using Family Formation.

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Sue Klejeski, Family Formation Content Developer

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Sue and her husband were searching for a better method of passing on the Faith when they stumbled onto the newly-formed Family Formation program at the Church of Saint Paul. In the years since then, she’s been surprised to see how God wants to use her, and has wondered why she wasted the first decades of her life as a wishy-washy Catholic. Sue has presented Family Formation to parishes and professional conferences, does a little bit of everything with her parish program, and loves to help parents more effectively teach their own children. She knows from first-hand experience in teaching her own five children that Family Formation works.

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Sheila Bauer, Family Formation Editor

Sheila and her husband learned and taught the Faith to their children with the help of Family Formation at the Church of Saint Paul. She has also served as a catechist in the classroom and in a variety of other roles with children’s ministries. Going through the lessons with her family and teaching in the classroom helped increase her knowledge in the Faith and appreciate all the Catholic Church has to offer. Her gifts of creativity and attention to detail serve her well as she edits the English lessons and formats new resources to assist others in the implementation of Family Formation.

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Donna Shogren, Volunteer Coordinator and Office Assistant

Donna and her husband were introduced to Family Formation when searching for a sound preschool program for their oldest daughter.  Through the years, Family Formation has provided the support and resources needed to raise five children in the Faith and grow spiritually as a family.  After many years working as a volunteer, Donna now uses her gifts to help prepare lesson materials and coordinate the many committed volunteers.

Cristian Reyes Rodriguez, Family Formation Spanish Associate

Cristian is a bilingual native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Mexico until age fourteen. He entered the Seminary and attended Saint Mary University in Winona, MN where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, and then Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland for Theological Studies. He moved back to Mexico and did two more years of Theological Studies at the Pontifical University of Mexico. He eventually discerned that God had other plans for his life. He met and married his wife, Ann, and they now have one child. Cristian assists in the creation of audio and video materials, which are available for Spanish-speaking Family Formation communities.

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