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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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  • PART FIVE CATECHESIS IN THE PARTICULAR CHURCH
    • CHAPTER III Loci and means of catechesis
        • The family as an environment or means of growth in faith
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The family as an environment or means of growth in faith

255. Parents are the primary educators in the faith. Together with them, especially in certain cultures, all members of the family play an active part in the education of the younger members. It is thus necessary to determine more concretely the sense in which the Christian family community is a locus of catechesis. The family is defined as a "domestic Church", (247) that is, in every Christian family the different aspects and functions of the life of the entire Church may be reflected: mission; catechesis; witness; prayer etc. Indeed in the same way as the Church, the family "is a place in which the Gospel is transmitted and from which it extends". (248) The family as a locus of catechesis has an unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values. (249) On this human base, Christian initiation is more profound: the awakening of the sense of God; the first steps in prayer; education of the moral conscience; formation in the Christian sense of human love, understood as a reflection of the love of God the Father, the Creator. It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more on-going and daily than structured into periods. In this family catechesis, the role of grandparetns is of growing importace. Their wisdom and sense of the religious is often times decisive in creating a true Christian climate.




247) Cf LG 11; cf AA 11; FC 49.



248) EN 71.



249) Cf. GS 52; FC 37a.






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