The Season of Initiation
The Season of Initiation is a time of beginning, of entering upon or starting the life of faith in Jesus Christ, a commencement period. Children in this season have learned their way around their environments and are beginning to learn how the teachings of the Church fit into real life. This season is broadly defined as the ages from 5 – 12 years.
10 Quick Tools:
- During this season a child receives the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. Continue the celebration by scheduling regular reception of Reconciliation. Besides Sunday Mass try and make a daily Mass.
- Schedule frequent trips to the Adoration chapel. These do not have to be long visits, but the practice of habitually going instills the importance of being in the presence of Christ. Bringing child appropriate material may help the young ones.
- Add an examination of conscience and act of contrition to your family night prayer.
- Pray a Family Rosary (each member leads a decade, and everyone shares intentions) or start off smaller and do a decade. Everyone can take turns leading a Hail Mary.
- The family has been called the domestic church because this is the first “school” where children learn the faith and how to live a life of virtue. Make family time a priority. The more time children spend in the presence of their parents the more they are exposed to the values and example their parents live.
- The liturgical year celebrates the life of Christ. Engage and plan specific events and activities during the liturgical seasons. You can learn about the season here. Kendra Tierney’s The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life gives helpful practical suggestions.
- A pilgrimage is a journey one makes to a sacred place and is a great practice for renewal of prayer and intimacy with God. Plan a local pilgrimage with your family. Here are some ideas on different kinds of pilgrimages to make.
- During Confirmation a person receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way that equips the individual for a life dedicated to God and service to the church. Use these gifts by participating in regular service to the church and in the community. Look at ministries in the church and find an area the family could get involved – cleaning the church, landscaping around church grounds, faith formation volunteer, and altar serving, are few ideas.
- During this age, children are creative and for the most part want to offer input or help out. Include them in planning and activities: meal planning, vacation planning, cooking, planning their birthday party or a sibling’s party are just to name a few. Children are excitable and have inspiring, out-of-the box ideas.
- Stick to the basics of leading a healthy life. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit so let’s care for it. Get good sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise, and limit distractions like tech time.
- List of articles for the Season of Initiation at the Catholic East Texas
- 12 Tips for Praying the Rosary with Kids
- This website offers great resources for Catholic parenting
- Paul McCusker, The Adventures of Nick and Sam
- John Bergsma, Bible Basics for Catholics.
- Ellen Rossini, 100 Activities based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church
- The Body Matters series by the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team
- Trent Horn and Leila Miller, Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues
- Greg and Lisa Popcak, Parenting with Grace
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
- Sacrament of Reconciliation (CCC 1422-1498)
- Sacrament of Confirmation (CCC 1285-1321)
- Sacrament of Eucharist (1322-1419)
- Article 4, The Fourth Commandment (CCC 2197-2233)
- Prayer (CCC 2685, 2688)
- Forming Conscience (CCC 1783-1785)
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (1981)
- Pope John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae (1979), most especially Section V #35-42, and the subsequent sections
- Pope Paul VI, Lumen Gentium (1964)
- Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis (1965)
- Join the Word on Fire Institute