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How to raise "Cathlolics of Conviction" in an anti- Catholic world?
(01-09-2013, 05:09 PM)candyapple Wrote: [ -> ]How to raise "Cathlolics of Conviction" in an anti- Catholic world?

(01-09-2013, 05:09 PM)candyapple Wrote: [ -> ]How to raise "Cathlolics of Conviction" in an anti- Catholic world?

When they are young, keep it fun.  Mass should be enjoyable for very young children, not a torment.

Tell them the stories of our faith.

Homeschool if you can.

Pray as a family.
Tell them lots of stories about Saints, especially martyrs.
(01-09-2013, 05:59 PM)Warrenton Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-09-2013, 05:09 PM)candyapple Wrote: [ -> ]How to raise "Cathlolics of Conviction" in an anti- Catholic world?

When they are young, keep it fun.   Mass should be enjoyable for very young children, not a torment.

Tell them the stories of our faith.

Homeschool if you can.

Pray as a family.

I struggle with your first suggestion.  I am  always trying to balanced "fun" with  setting a positive example of the gravity of The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I let my young kids "play" with their rosary during Mass.  I also try to sit up close, hold them so they can see, help them follow along with their Children's Missal.

I try to find a health balance.

Do you have suggestion? What works for you?
Pray every day with your children. Be consistent. Pray every day for your children. don't just say, "We are Catholic." Live "We are Catholic." And smile.
Theresa of Avila said, "Save us Lord from sad saints."
Smile Smile Smile
Plenty of good suggestions.  One more that is perhaps needless to say is to keep them out of the NO structure.  That should be in the mix.  Surround yourself around that you want to be like.  Keep good magazines in the home(I know the net has a lot to offer, but nothing replaces being able to put the reading material in one's hand).  Hope this helps.

Nothing new to add, really, except to mention that I was Mormon for the first fifteen years of my life. They have a very high retention rate for their kids and it's simply because they are what they believe. It forms the core of their identities. (I'm quite aware that what they believe is false, except where it corresponds with the teachings of Holy Mother Church.) For the most part, all of the above are things I've seen put into practice successfully.


1.  Teach them the Faith starting when they are very, very young -- but do more than give them soundbytes. Start with the Penny catechism type things and rote memorization (all good as a starting point), but fill it all in as they grow and WHENEVER they ask questions. Kids need intelligent answers to the things they will hear and be asked.

2.  Know the questions Protestants ask and arm your kids with answers -- including answers found in Scripture (maybe especially answers found in Scripture).

3.  Know what's going on in the world and be able to respond to it without fear and ridiculousness. If you come off as ignorant of the world and the ugly realities out there and pass that on, you'd be putting your kids in the position of having to "choose" between feeling loyalty and respect for you and feeling like awkward social outcasts. There's a huge difference between innocence and ignorance. No kid should be ignorant.

4.. Anticipate what they will learn from our leftist, pagan culture and give them the intellectual arguments to defeat the premises put forth by them.  When doing so, don't exaggerate or distort the "others'" positions, don't mock to the point of dehumanizing the "other," don't underestimate the natural virtues that exist outside of the Church, don't belittle the "other," acknowledge Truth and goodness wherever you see it, even if it comes from a non-Catholic, etc. If you do what some parents do in setting up an "us" vs. "them" mentality and belittle or exaggerate the faults of the "other," when they are in the world and see that the lesbian atheist lady next door is actually a "nice person" who also wouldn't steal or cheat or lie, they will question your judgment and resent you for distorting their view of what the world is really like.  Make a list of the big issues (e.g., homosexual "marriage") and write down good, reasoned arguments that support the Church's position, using science as much as possible, with the "talking points" highlighted. Know the arguments inside and out, and whenever the topics come up, lay them out. Be ready. "Because I said so" and "because the Church says so" are good arguments if the premises are already accepted  -- "the Church is infallible in Her teachings" -- but if those premises aren't already accepted, use Science. Then it will be seen that "the Church is infallible in Her teachings" is a good conclusion -- which will later make that statement a premise when other questions come up. In other words, SHOW how Church teaching makes sense using data and logic and History.

5.  Pray together as a family and teach the kids to pray themselves, and stay close to the Sacraments.

6.  Be a good role model. Be kind, charitable towards others, prayerful, patient, a good and fair disciplinarian, spend time with your kids, teach them how to entertain themselves, have lots of good books around to read, take trips to the library, read a lot in front of them, read to them when they're little, emotionally affirm them (!!!), have things around to inspire their imaginations and creativity, encourage them to use their gifts (get them musical instruments if they're musical, art supplies if they're into drawing, etc.). If they're focused on learning and creating, they'd be less likely to have time for getting into trouble.

7.  Talk to them and have an atmosphere in which they know they can talk to you. Be honest with them. Apologize when necessary.

8.  Encourage your spouse to have good relationships with the kids that are of the opposite sex to him/her. If you want to keep your daughters off the pole, their having a good, respectful relationship with their father is key.

9.  Choose your battles. For ex., there's modesty -- and then there's, say, your conservative personal taste in clothes that might clash with your teenage girl's tastes. Know what the real bottom lines are and don't make things a matter of "Catholic teaching" when they're not.

10.  Don't make huge "mysteries" out of things and, so, turn them into matters of curiosity and things with which to rebel against you. Be realistic about and acknowledge, for ex., the pleasures of sex while also teaching how those pleasures are a gift from God meant for inside the Sacrament of marriage. See how Europeans deal with certain things -- e.g., give them watered-down wine with dinner once in a while so alcohol isn't seen as something taboo that only adults do, thereby pre-empting the insane binge-drinking nonsense that goes on.

11.  Teach them how to say no to peer pressure (including sexual pressure for girls especially) without coming off as ignorant or "uncool."

12. Encourage them to have solid friendships with decent kids.

13.  Encourage them to focus outward, on others, to be charitable -- maybe engage in charitable works with a group. Maybe adopt a kid through the Christian Children's Fund and write letters to the kid as a family, etc. Get them to think about how blessed they are and to be grateful and giving.

14.  Have a sense of humor.
Great post, Vox!

Just one more thing to add, though, and maybe it's basic.

So many families that I see with kids who stay in the faith have homes with many beautiful religious images.  The reminders are every where that the faith is very present and very beautiful.
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