New Program makes learning the faith fun with games and quizzes
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Catholic families in the United States Military now have home access to a new, online educational tool to help children in grades 2 through 8 learn the faith even as they play games and have fun. Today, theArchdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), launched the AMS Family Faith Assessment on its website. The program is intrinsically linked to the standards and indicators of the Archdiocese’s faith instruction protocol,Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization: Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide. It is designed to accompany military families wherever they go, as they move between assignments and deployments, by way of theAMS Family Faith Passport, a feature that tracks their religious educational scores and progress.
The timing of the launch is no coincidence. Today—the Feast of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary—is the fourteenth anniversary of the 2001 episcopal ordination of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the U.S. Military Services, at the hands of Pope Saint John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. In his letter of introduction to the AMS Family Faith Assessment, Archbishop Broglio writes:
The National Directory for Catechesis (no. 29.D) and Familiaris Consortio (no. 38) both affirm that “within the Christian family, parents are the primary educators in the faith and ‘the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children.’” Equipping families to exercise their baptismal duty strengthens the faith formation efforts of the Catholic faith community at every military chapel and those of the Archdiocese in its entirety (GDC, no 254).
As I affirmed in the decree of promulgation (of Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization: Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide), the purpose of the curriculum guide is to provide a standard instrument for ensuring that the Catholic faith is taught in a complete, systematic, and consistent way in the Catholic faith communities throughout the Archdiocese. The standards and indicators clearly state what participants in every Catholic faith community religious education program must know, understand, and do at each grade level.
Mr. José Amaya, AMS Director of Faith Formation, said the AMS Family Faith Assessment’s “dynamic and user-friendly resources” are designed to help families to learn and share the content of the faith together, using a step-by-step process of learning and evaluation. First, between the months of September and October, parents take the Family Assessment together with their child or children. The results will be shown immediately to the family. Second, the family has fun engaging in faith learning with the Family Play feature. There are 13 categories of games and quizzes to select. Third, between the months of April and May, the child or children will have an opportunity to take the Student Assessment. The progress is carried over to the next grade level or to the next installation through theAMS Family Faith Passport.
Mr. Amaya said families who use the AMS Family Faith Assessment can expect to see their faith lives flourish with greater talk about God, more engagement in social service, better reading of Sacred Scripture, increased family Mass attendance, higher accountability between parents and children, and improved quality time spent together.
Mr. Amaya said:
The AMS Family Faith Assessment supports the continued implementation of the AMS Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization: Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide. It takes into account the Church’s understanding of parents as the primary educators in the faith of their children. This online Assessment provides a tool to assist them in their vital and necessary role as collaborators with the religious education program in their Catholic faith community. The Assessment is a year-round at-home process to support active duty military families and those working for the federal government outside the borders of the United States. The tool will equip families to learn and live out their faith as missionary disciples in light of the new evangelization and the Synod on the Family.
Information about the assessment is available on the archdiocesan website, www.milarch.org/assessmentinstructions, or by contacting the Office of Faith Formation. The AMS priest at each installation will be the Administrator and responsible for initiating and maintaining the installation’s AMS Family Faith Assessment account. The instructions are located on the AMS website in the password protected site for Clergy in PDF format. The priest will need the name and email address for each catechist for grades 2 through 8 to start the process. The catechist will need the name of each student and his or her parent’s non-government email address in order to invite families to participate.
Priests should be sure to save the URL link and the Username and Password for the account.
They may also contact Mr. José Amaya at email@example.com, (202) 719-3623, regarding the content of the AMS Family Faith Assessment and the AMS Family Faith Passport. For answers to technical questions, contact www.AMSFamilyFaithAssessment.comat firstname.lastname@example.org