Family Witness Statement
For those seeking to enroll their children in a Catholic School or a Parish School of Religion.

Our Parish School of Religion Witness Statement commits us …

“To teach as Jesus did. Through education, we seek to empower our members to proclaim the Gospel and translate the Good News into action. In building up the Kingdom of God,
Community is not simply a concept to be taught, but a reality to be lived. As we call forth
discipleship, our community is strengthened by the Gospel message of hope and illuminated by the light of mature faith. We invite all believers to grow in faith and worship together in celebration of the Word and Eucharist from which we are nourished and renewed. Through personal witness, outreach and evangelism, we share our gifts in humble service to the Christian community and the world, as we strive to grow in the likeness of Christ.”

One of the blessing of marriage is bringing forth new life. God entrusts children to parents who have a primary right and duty to educate their children in the practice of the faith. Parents carry out this responsibility by creating a home full of love, forgiveness, respect and fidelity. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one honors God and learns moral values.

In the rite of the Sacrament of Baptism, parents receive the following call from God to evangelize their children:

“You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor…You will be the first teachers of your child in the ways of the faith. May you be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what you say or do, in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

No wonder, then, that the Church understands the home to be the domestic church. It is in the intimate environment of the family that parents are, by word and example, the first heralds of the faith with respect to their children. This environment is enhanced and deepened through the parish Eucharistic community that is the heart of the spiritual life for Christian families.

Catholic schools and parish religious education programs are in partnership with the family in proclaiming and witnessing to the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. They assist parents in fulfilling their responsibility as the primary religious educators of their children. This partnership works best when parents respect the beliefs of the Church and live lives in a manner that reflect these beliefs. If parents reject the beliefs of the Church or live lives in conflict with these teachings, catechizing young people becomes very difficult.

Aware, then, of the dignity of this holy parental call, and with a reverent awe for that responsibility, which is mine, I commit myself to be, in word and example, the first and best teacher of my children in the faith. Practically, this means I will:

 Understand that the authentic teachings of Jesus as taught by the Catholic Church will be part of my child’s education and formation

 To the best of my ability, respect the teachings of the Church and help my children respect the Church and its teachings

 Regularly participate in the Sunday Eucharist with my family (if not Catholic, support my children’s participation in the Church of Baptism), include prayer in my daily life and form my children in the faith.

 Commit to speak frequently with my children about God and to include prayer in our daily home life

 Participate in and cooperate with the parish School of Religion in programs that enable me as a parent to take an active role in the religious education of my children, including sacramental preparation for Catholic children.

 Support the moral and social doctrine of the Catholic church to ensure consistency between home and school

 Teach my children by word and example to have a love and concern for the needs of others

 Meet my financial responsibilities in supporting the Parish School of Religion

 Practice stewardship in support of the parish.

We realize that by not fulfilling the above responsibilities, we are in disagreement with the Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish School of Religion Philosophy. If we are unable to financially support the program with tuition payment, we will contact the Director of the Parish School of Religion and complete a Financial Assistance Application Form.

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