As a young adult catechetical leader working at the diocesan level, I realized I had no power and authority to effect change. I walked into my supervisor’s office with my complaint. The advice I received has served me well in ministry over the years. All we have is influence to which I added holy: holy influence.
Implementing the AMS Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization and now the AMS Family Faith Assessment in this global Archdiocese is a grand task. Effecting a change from focus on children’s religious education to family faith formation supported by the Chapel religious education program is an ever greater challenge because it implies changing mindset and long standing tradition of teaching only the children.
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhartation on The Joy of Love is a gift from Pope Francis to the family of the 21st century. The Holy Father stresses that “The family is called to join in daily prayer, to read the word of God and to share in Eucharistic communion, and thus to grow in love and become ever more fully a temple in which the Spirit dwells” (The Joy of Love, no. 29). The family is that opportune fertile ground where children are not only taught to know God and the Church but to fall in love with God and God’s Church. It is the place where knowledge leads to understanding, knowledge and understanding leads to living the faith in service to others we encounter in our faith journey. Thus, families connect faith and life.
The AMS Family Faith Assessment has been designed to support active duty families grow in knowledge, understanding and living of the faith at home online. The Assessment is a year-round family centered process based on the standards and indicators of Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization: Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide. It comprises of age appropriate (grades 2-8) questions and answers with pop-ups to pause, learn and to pray. The AMS Family Faith Passport is the score keeper to ease family transitions.
The 111 installations using the AMS Family Faith Assessment know that there is a Family Assessment in the fall. The parents and children continue to engage in the Family Play throughout the year. This journey leads to a Student Assessment in late spring.
All students in grades 3-8 must be encouraged to take the Student Assessment from 1 April to 31 May 31, 2016. The scores from the Student Assessment should give catechetical leadership and the family a good sense of how much youth and children have progressed in the knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith.
What outcomes do you expect from those families using the AMS Family Faith Assessment?