‘Partnering with Parents’ workshop in Wichita, Neodesha Nov. 14-15

A workshop, Great Expectations: Partnering with Parents in Faith Formation, will be offered by the Office of Religious Education in Wichita and Neodesha.
Leisa Anslinger, a national speaker and writer, will present the workshop on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center at Newman University.
It will be presented on Sunday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 5 p.m. at St. Ignatius Parish Hall in Neodesha.
Anslinger will talk about the principles of coaching parents to form their children in the faith.
Here is a Q & A with Leisa Anslinger about some points she will discuss next week in the Diocese of Wichita.
What has changed in recent years when it comes to coaching parents in catechizing their children?
I think perhaps what has changed most is the realization that many – most parents truly want to pass on our faith to their children. Most need coaching, both as a way of helping them to deepen their own faith, and as a way of helping them learn how to explain the great mysteries of God’s love in ways their children will understand.
What are some principles of engaging and forming parents who can then share the faith with their children?
I think the first principle is “live your faith at home.” When I was a catechetical leader, I used to tease people about their perceptions of my husband, our family, and I think they imagined us sitting in idealized pose at the dinner table in prayer. The reality is, we did pray every night before meals, and we tried to eat as a family as often as we possible could.
But we also talked openly about the challenges of living as a Catholic Christian and how our faith called us to make decisions by putting God first. It isn’t that we were perfect parents, but we did what we were able to do, and relied on the Holy Spirit for the rest. Now, our children are young adults with their own struggles, and we continue to be people of faith together.
Does it take a lot of money and resources to form children? What are a few creative and inexpensive ideas you can share?
This is one of the least expensive endeavors a parent can embrace! Some creative and inexpensive ideas:
• Go to Mass, every Sunday, and during the week or on special feasts whenever possible;
• Participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
• Talk with your children about what they see, hear, enjoy, wonder about or don’t understand as you leave church;
• Prepare for Mass by reading the passages of scripture in advance and discussing them together;
• Invite your children to take brief passages of scripture or a text from their catechetical lesson and make a sign to hang over their bed or put on the refrigerator. One summer, our family put a passage on the fridge, and it stayed for a year. I started to take it off but our children said it reminded them of God’s love and grace every time they went to get a snack;
• Participate in the life of your parish, and bring your children along whenever possible;
• Talk with each other about how your love for one another is a re?ection of God’s love;
• Find a way to offer service to the poor and those in need as a family.

Want to help pass the faith to your children?
The workshop is $7.50 per person. For more information, contact the Office of Religious Education at (316) 269-3940.