Welcome to our second newsletter!
A “Faith Walk” and a “Thank You” Action-Prayer
Take a “Faith Walk” with your child. Notice and talk about everything that God has made. Collect a sampling of seeds, pine cones, rocks or leaves to show the amazing variety and beauty that God created—all for our pleasure! Since it is May, pick some lilacs, violets or dandelions to honor Our Lady. Tell your child about the beautiful tradition of May Crowning and place the flowers next to an image of Mary when you return home. Pray the “Hail Mary”.

One important sign of faith is gratitude. Talk to your child about being thankful. God has graciously given everything. He continues to give us each new day. Our proper response is always: “Thank You, God”. Teaching children gratitude is most memorable when it is fun and expressive!
Try a "Thank You" prayer. This rhyme is a prayer with fun actions children can do anywhere - on a walk, in your backyard or just looking out the window together.
God made the sun ( action: form a circle with arms above the head)
And God made the trees. ( action: form branches of a tree with arms spread out above your head)
God made the flowers, (action: cup one hand for the flower and forearm as stem. Place other hand under elbow as foundation of the flower)
And God made the bees . (action: thumb and pointer finger together, dart about with buzzing sound)
Thank you, God, for the sun, (action: same as sun above)
And the trees, (action: same as trees above)
For the beautiful flowers, (action: same as flowers above)
And the buzzing bees. (action: same as bees above)
For the sounds I hear, (action: cup hand behind ear)
And the sights I see, ( action: hands above eyes as though trying to see far away)
But most of all, thank you for me! (action: point to self—give self a hug)
from: "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep," by Debbie Trafton O'Neal
Catholic parents sometime worry that their child’s formation in the faith is going to be overwhelmed by the culture, by media, etc. Who could blame them? But they are underestimating how powerful they really are!

You do have just what it takes to form your child in our beautiful Catholic faith – starting right now when they are little. And rest assured that to be successful you do not need a perfect understanding of all the church teaches.

That is because instilling in your children what they need to be sustained in Catholicism is less about teaching them the facts, and more – way more – about witness. What do they observe in you? Is it obvious that you treasure your faith?

The quotes highlighted here are from a wonderful study written by sociologists Justin Bartkus and Christian Smith and published by the University of Notre Dame: “Ask Your Father and He Will Tell You, A Report on American Catholic Religious Parenting.” We want to bring this document to your urgent attention because it’s chock full of hopeful messages for Catholic parents. (It is available online.)

The Early Catholic Family Life program is well aligned with the findings of Bartkus and Smith. Our focus and many of the takeaways in the study are aimed at helping parents to build a home that has a Catholic Culture.

So we encourage you to read this important study – and become a part of the Early Catholic Family Life program.
“The role of parents is based not on such competencies (perfect knowledge of the faith) but on something simpler and more radical: they are their children’s most intimate companions, their most familiar role models, and as a result, their most powerful formators.”
“What this means is that parents with genuine faith and a deep desire to transmit it already possess the single most indispensable resource needed for successful religious transmission.”
We are very excited about these four new features of the Early Catholic Family Life program:
1. ECFL in Spanish - the ECFL program has now been translated into Spanish, and we are excited to partner with a Diocese or parish that has a significant young Spanish speaking component, to pilot the new offering. Please contact us to discuss!
2. ECFL for Grandparents - we have recently successfully piloted a new ECFL curriculum that is aimed at grandparents and their grandchildren. Its focus is to help grandparents to bring the Catholic faith to the next generation.

3. New Parent Ed lessons - ECFL now features a second set of seven Parent Ed lessons, so that parishes and schools that have already implemented the program can offer a second round of ECFL classes for their parents. The original children's lessons 1-8 are re-used with the new Parent Ed sessions.
4. Online training for ECFL - Beginning in June of 2020, Early Catholic Family Life training can be accessed online. At the request of many, we have developed a way for individual parishes that are not able to attend a "live" training to become trained and to implement Early Catholic Family Life. 

Early Catholic Family Life has also received its designation as a non-profit in the state of Minnesota and its status as a 501c3 organization is now pending with the federal government.
We've had to cancel our June 20th training due to Covid-19.
We're sorry for this change and will share future training
dates as soon as we are able to schedule them.
Questions? Please email or call anytime at:
ECFL is dedicated to helping parents with small children to create a home that has a Catholic culture a home with Jesus at the center.