Family Enrichment is a program that focuses on family and is meant for every person, because each individual is part of a family. Family Enrichment is a Church-centered, lifelong, intergenerational faith formation program that is guided by foundational insights drawn from Church documents, such as the General Directory for Catechesis and current research on effective learning.
Faith formation seeks to make disciples- “to put not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ.” GDC #80
Discipleship is at the heart of all faith formation. Guided by the goal placed before us in the GDC faith formation seeks to inform, form, and transform individuals, families, and the entire community in the Catholic Faith.
1- It seeks to nurture people’s minds and hearts in the wisdom of the Catholic faith so that who they are and how they live is deeply influenced by what they “know”. (inform)
2 – It seeks to nurture people’s identity and lifestyle in Christian discipleship. (form)
3 – It empowers people to live their faith so that the world is transformed by the Christian vision. (transform)
Faith formation is comprehensive and Church-centered-promoting an integrated and holistic approach to learning.
The comprehensive vision proposed by the General Directory for Catechesis includes 6 essential and connected tasks for catechesis” (1) promoting knowledge of the faith, (2) liturgical education, (3) moral formation, (4) teaching to pray, (5) education for community life, and (6) missionary initiation.
The GDC emphasized that all of these tasks are essential. The aim of catechesis/faith formation is realized through a comprehensive approach to faith formation that incorporates but goes beyond “promoting knowledge of faith”. This comprehensive understanding of faith formation requires utilizing the entire life of the church in faith formation. The Church is both curriculum and catechist.
Faith formation immerses people into the life of the faith community, providing the opportunities to learn by participating and experiencing. The faith community is a “school of faith, an initiation and apprenticeship in the entire Christian life.” GDC #90
If the church is the curriculum and catechist, then participation in the events of church life is learning. The General Directory for Catechesis supports this communal view of learning. It speaks about catechesis as a “school of faith, an initiation and apprenticeship in the entire Christian life.”
The Directory also reinforces the interconnectedness of transmitting the Gospel and experiencing the Christian life. Learning is fundamentally experiential and social. “The process of coming to faith and growing in the life of faith is fundamentally a process of participation. We come to recognize and live in the Spirit as we participate more and more broadly and deeply in communities that know God’s love, acknowledge it, express it, and live their lives in the light of it.” Growing in the Life of Faith—Education * Christian Practices Craig Dykstra
Faith formation is developed around events in the life of the faith community: the Church Year, sacraments and liturgy, prayer, justice and service, community life, and proclamation of the Word.
If the church is the curriculum, then the events of Church life are learning experiences. To uncover the curriculum already present in the life of the faith community, we need only look to the communal events which shape the life of our parish community and embody the story, the beliefs, and the practices if the Catholic faith.