Catechesis in the Family
Parents have shared the gift of human life with their children and, through Baptism, have enriched them with a share in God's own life. They have the duty to nourish it. Their faith, their attitude toward other human beings, and their trust in a loving God strongly influence the development of the child's faith. Parents are catechists precisely because they are parents. Their role in the formation of Christian values in their children is irreplaceable. They should speak naturally and simply about God and their faith, as they do about other matters they want their children to understand and appreciate.
Parents are also the most effective catechists of prayer for their young children. They know what their children are capable of understanding and can easily teach their children basic prayers and the fundamental attitude of prayer. By praying frequently with their children at special moments during the day and especially by praying with them at the Sunday Eucharist, parents introduce children into the prayer life of the Church. By incorporating prayer into everyday family experiences, parents teach their children by example. Their witness encourages their children to call upon God as their Father who loves and protects them; to look to Jesus, their Savior and brother, who leads them to the Father; and to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within their hearts.
Catechesis in the Parish
Having introduced them to the person of Jesus Christ within the family, catechesis for school-age children presents his teachings, his ministry, and the major events of his life. Children can begin to appreciate the parables of Jesus and capture glimpses of the Kingdom of God; they can learn more formal prayers; and they can commit brief passages of Sacred Scripture to memory.Catechesis for the Sacraments of Penance and Reconciliation and of the Eucharist is ordinarily provided in these early years of schooling.
The most important task of the catechesis of children is to provide, through the witness of adults, an environment in which young people can grow in faith.