Growing in Faith Together (GIFT)

In the Rite of Baptism for a child the celebrant addresses the parents saying: “You have asked to have your child baptised. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?” The parents answer confidently: “We do.” Parents are the ones who have the most influence on whether their children continue to practice their Catholic faith when they reach adulthood (or while they are still children!). This is a big responsibility and we understand the challenges in fulfilling this promise. We want to help.

GIFT Family catechesis seeks to address the problem of teaching children without, or separately from their parents. It assists parents in their role rather than taking over from them. It forms parents and children in their faith together. In ‘The Joy of Love’ (Amoris Laetitia) Pope Francis encourages this method saying: “Family catechesis is of great assistance as an effective method in training young parents to be aware of their mission as evangelisers of their own family.” (AL 287) GIFT is for families with children aged between 5 and 11, whether you are already engaged with your faith and the Church or whether seeking the sacraments for your child is your motivation and you’re not yet as engaged as you would like to be. It is here to help you as a family to grow in faith together with the support of your priests and parishioners who have undertaken this journey with their own families and have wisdom to share with you.

We offer monthly Family sessions – on Saturday mornings – to which you will be invited. We will gather, pray, share and learn about our faith. Together we will engage in activities and conversations that will help us reflect on what faith means to each of us; children, parents, catechists and clergy.

In addition, we will offer Parents sessions on a weekday evening each month via Zoom, for parents to gain in their own understanding of the faith and to help you to explain this faith in the home. For many adults catechesis ended when we were children and we can therefore lack confidence and be intimidated by what passing on the faith entails. Through these session we aim to help parents to understand their faith better and to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. We can’t pass on what we don’t have! And all families are different. We know that many parents are not both Catholic and this too can be challenging. The Church is here to help.

Just like any relationship, the one with Jesus and his Church needs nurturing and supporting so that we can fully experience the life that was offered us when we were baptised and in turn invite others to experience the same. This is what GIFT is all about. Helping your family to truly experience and know God’s love. We are looking forward to supporting you as you grow in faith yourselves and in your role as the primary teachers of faith of your family.

Please register your family for GIFT via the parish office. Once registered we will send out a monthly email updating you about the times and dates of sessions. These will also be placed in the newsletter.
Tel: 01923 773387            Email: rickmansworth@rcdow.org.uk