It is in the home that children ordinarily first receive the faith
Lumen Gentium goes on to explain that this domestic Church has a particular role and responsibility in leading souls to heaven: “In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state” (Ibid). Through this letter, the Council Fathers intended to emphasize that Christ is the Light of the Nations, and that, as the Church, we each have a responsibility to bring the Light of Christ to others. Within the domestic Church, this means that parents are to cultivate a family life that is centered on Christ.
The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) provides some helpful ways that families can live out their vocation as the domestic Church. Suggestions include praying as a family daily, keeping physical reminders of faith (such as a crucifix) in the house, and celebrating the liturgical feasts of the Church. You may find more recommendations here.
The Catholic Church recognizes that grace builds upon nature. Family is one of the most basic, yet important gifts that God has given us. Through a firm marital commitment between men and women, and through their own active participation in the faith and their pledge to raise their children with a love for Christ and his Church, the domestic Church is one of first places that young Catholics experience the light of the faith in their own lives.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?