I have posted a similar thread earlier but was just wondering what kinds of things maybe the church with families can to make kids not stray away from the faith when they get older?

The Church can not “make” any one do anything. We have free will.

The leaders of the Church in all Her endeavors are working hard to find a way to teach families and children Her beauty. I believe that the greatest help is the love a congregation can give their children. If children can walk into a Church and feel loved, protected and cared for by all the adults in attendance, this would go a long way toward keeping an young adult wanting to be “home” where they are loved.

Strong youth group programs would by my thought. I also like to see Bible Study for youth and maybe a short, apologetics program for teens so t hey can defend the Faith in charity and love.


I think you need to ask what parents are doing. From where I sit, the answer is, “not much”.

To be examples for the children. Children best learn from examples not so much when they are only told so. Pope John Paul II has said that his first seminary was his own home. He would see his father get on his knees whenever he prayed and this impressed the young future Pope to do the same.

Agreed. I teach CCD and the vast majority of kids do not attend weekly mass. My first thought was why allow them to participate in the sacraments without requiring attendance but then I realized that “some” is better than “none”.

A fellow mom shared this with me recently and your post made me think of it again:

3 Things That Almost Guarantee Teens Stay Catholic

The first factor is a teen attends Sunday school. We have to remember that Christian Smith is a sociologist of religion goes beyond the Catholic Church – as most Catholics don’t have “Sunday school” but rather either CCD and/or some form of youth ministry. The point is that teens have to attend something weekly which teaches them that they both their head and their heart in a systematic way. Mass is the practice of the things, and although it catechetical, it cannot be the primary means of catechesis.

The second factor is teen had many religious experiences. We can never create a religious experience but if we provide a wide plethora of retreats, adoration, service to the poor, evangelization opportunities, and other spiritual opportunities the probability that a teen will have a subjective religious experience is very high. I’ve done a lot of weekend retreats for teens and I would say that there are very few who go on multiple retreats and have not had a religious experience – probably the majority have it the first time they go.

The last factor is: teen has many adults in religious congregation to turn to for help and support. In simple terms this means that teens can talk adults other than their parents about their faith. Many times this will be a young adult, other times it will be an older volunteer (someone else’s parent). The point is that we need to cultivate those relationships between teens and adults so that the teens will feel like they have at least a few of those adults who they can talk to. In fact, in Sticky Faith they recommend that we attempt to put five adults in every teen’s life with whom they can develop such a relationship.

That’s what I’m seeing too. What message does it send to children when their parents don’t attend Mass? It’s an uphill battle for CCD teachers, but with God all things are possible. :crossrc:

For the family to raise children that will grow up to be Lions, the parents must be full fledged Catholics that would die for their faith. The parents must live the faith and accept the growth of love and apply it everyday as best they can even in their faults. No one can make anyone do anything is true but, the faith is imparted more than taught intellectually. So parents must live the faith and be like ticks on a dog to their children to make sure things are kept in order. And a parent can never cowar to the world and what the world considers to be normal. Because most things the children of today are exposed to are horrendous and abnormal but the world is so well cloaked it appears normal to most people.

Also good faith formation classes but the teachers are only as good as their loyalty to God. And that is at the individual level which in today’s world of corruption is hard to keep in check.

I agree with this completely. I taught CCD for 5 years and most years few attended weekly, some only at a wedding etc. I prayed God could use me to plant the seeds of Faith for some young elementary children.

I hope so…


I also agree that it is all on the parents. I am the Asst DRE at a large parish and the best we can do is offer the parents support in raising their children. At our parish we are continually offering classes/meeting for parents.

One of my friends is having trouble with his youngest as the child works towards Confirmation. The parents have recently divorced and their marriage was annulled. The husband is a cradle Catholic and the wife was a college-age convert. She has reverted back to a Protestant church since the separation. Children have been attending both churches. Youngest son is a well trained altar server (was MC at the Easter Vigil) and was even recently discussing the priesthood. More recently he announced to his father that the Catholic Church is a lie and he is not going to continue his Confirmation prep. Dad is guessing there is brainwashing going on at mom’s church.

If the family isn’t holy, there’s absolutely no reason to wonder why the children stray.

Parents absolutely, positively need personal conversion, and they need to make their home Christ-centered.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit