Keeping the Faith - in Crisis


Resources for Faith Formation at home:

For more Mass links, prayers and more see: Keeping the Faith Alive pages


Practical and Spiritual Tips
for Parents/Students during the Epidemic

This is a great opportunity for us to witness to each other and to the rest of the world that we Catholics can maintain Faith, Hope and Charity in a situation of great privation and widespread disaster. 

Scheduling: 
  1. Make up a workable schedule based on your family’s ages/ stages/ needs. Put it up in writing.
  2. Keep schedule regular – starting and finishing time - much the same each day.
  3. Break up the day into manageable units.  You do not have to follow our school’s exact schedule.
  4. Organise breaks around family needs. – eg shorter breaks more often or longer ones less often.
  5. Get older students to plan their studies for the day on a log sheet – tick off tasks when done (Parents sign?)
  6. Mum/dad – have your own schedule for attending to individual students. 
  7. Maybe have a review at end of each day. Discuss what worked/didn’t work.
Work conditions:

  1. Give each student a study space of their own. Require that they set it up and keep it in an orderly way.
  2. Make sure the learning environment in the house is quiet. Talk quietly if necessary. Do not let students study to music or audible media-distractions. Use earphones if needed for study-sessions.
  3. Schedule all ‘noisy’ learning to happen  at the same time so that one child/group is not distracted  by the noisy activity of another.
Motivations:

  1. Use competitions to encourage diligent/effective work. Give grades and rewards for effort and compliance.
  2. Compare notes/brag with other families on social media etc. Share pics of study spaces, creative activities, successful  projects. 

Mental/Emotional  Hygiene:

  1. Ensure that you have everyone engaged in family duties/chores – even the youngest  Expect them to be done well.
  2. Be super careful about hygiene habits for everyone.
  3. Make specific arrangements about use of technology.  Specify time-slots. Draw up rosters. If possible, put all technology in the one room for easy supervision.   
  4. Have a respectable dress -code.  No sloppy dressing, no quirks. no vanity, no immodesty.
  5. Have some rules for family time – avoid negative conversations,  effort to create fun for others, playing games to involve everyone,  family viewing and listening (maybe cater for a range of ages).
  6. Try to distance from popular music and experience more classical or religious forms.
  7. Expect older children to work/play with younger to show charity and build relationships.
  8. Explore creative activities – building, making, drawing, decorating etc.
Spiritual Exercises:
  1. Have a daily spiritual schedule for the family.  Do not make it too arduous. A little and often is best.
  2. Use the official devotions traditional in the Church to build up true devotion and life-habits.
  3. Pray as a family at least morning and evening.
  4. Pray the Angelus at midday and maybe at six in the evening.  Ring a bell if you have it?
  5. Set aside a period of five minutes (maybe at midday or after tea)  to do Particular Examen. (In this period, everyone examines themselves on their ‘main’ fault or sin and prays for God’s help in overcoming it.)
  6. Read one of the Gospels – a little each day. What is it telling us? Explain it to young children.
  7. Set up a shrine to Our Lady or the Sacred Heart or the Passion of our Lord. – indoors or outdoors. 
  8. Have a prayer board – (make one out of cardboard if you don’t have a pin-up board). Get family members to use “post-its” etc. to record intentions / thanksgiving etc. each day.Set up Stations of the Cross in the backyard, family room etc. Use simple home-made
  9. Look up audio-visual presentations  of Stations of Cross and pray them together.
  10. Rosary – say as usual or spread decades through the day with different intentions or meditations. 
  11. Make spiritual communions if Mass is not available. Get a prayer from  eg EWTN website. If you have a missal, do family readings of the Mass texts for the day.
  12. Image from YoungCatholicMums.com
  13. Tune in to reliable spiritual programmes on the internet: Spiritual talks, Masses. Education in the Faith.