It doesn’t matter which parish or PCL I visit, this is one of the common complaints I hear. “I have drop-off parent mentality!” Ugh!! “My parents think everything else is a priority in their life except their child’s faith!” Aargh!! “They only will bring their kids for sacrament prep and then I don’t see them again!” Grrrr! Julie….what can we do????
Since the publication of Our Hearts Were Burning and with the promulgation of The Catechetical Framework for Lifelong Faith Formation, the primacy of adult faith formation has been stressed as the pinnacle of parish faith formation. You can’t expect children to be engaged in their faith if the parents are not engaged in their faith. If they have not had an encounter with Jesus Christ or realize how He is present in their lives they will continue to bring their children only for the sacrament years because it is family tradition.
So….what are we to do and how do we approach this dilemma in the 21st Century? I highly recommend, if you have not done so already, to read the book The Seasons of Adult Faith Formation edited by John Roberto of Lifelong Associates. It is a book of collected wisdom from various authors who open up the approaches to adult life-stages: Young Adult, Midlife Adult, Mature Adult, and Older Adult as well as a primer on designing 21st Century Faith Formation in your parish.