Catholic schools play an important role in evangelization and the mission of the Catholic Church. For many students, the Catholic classroom will provide an introduction to the faith not only for them, but also for their families. It is hoped that the Catholic classroom will draw the family into the life of the Church. For some students, the school will clarify beliefs and values introduced in the home. It will serve as an extension and reinforcement of the Catholic faith culture lived within the family. Providing faith experiences that meet the needs of each of these groups of students is a primary goal of the Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ program.
The Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ program is organized into units which follow the cycle of the liturgical year.
Key documents informing the development of Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ include:
The home, school, and parish are partners in growing the faith of students. Through Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ, the school can assist families in supporting the faith development of their children and help them to nurture an understanding that God is present in the family and the lives of their children. Parents are the most important educators of children, as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
...“The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.” The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues...
Catholic schools can be a vital link to parents in bringing the faith to their children. They can also be the connection between the home and the parish. Schools should be advocates for the parish and support its efforts to bring the Gospel of Christ to the families it serves. The parish, in turn, can support the efforts of the school in its mission of evangelization by participating in faith instruction wherever possible. Individual members of the parish, both clergy and lay members, can provide valuable lessons in faith and outreach and serve as role models for students.