Continuing along in our examination of that first GMD goal, enlivening faith and sharing it, section 101 addresses households.
The strategies offered are what you might think: praying daily, home rituals, forming groups for parents.
Two possible strategies struck me. The “establishment of times of family sharing” (GMD 101) suggests that parents and children have tools to be able to make this work. I don’t think couples are given too much in the way of sharing faith during marriage preparation. This really needs to be moved to the top of the list.
That leads us to this gem: “adaptation of new and meaningful faith practices within the family in view of the decline of family prayer.”
Making the assumption that family prayer is in decline is likely accurate, but how did the bishops substantiate it? This matter needs more observation and listening. My own sense would be to attempt to incorporate brief rituals or prayers into family trips (the routine of multiple suburban drop-offs), before or after sporting events, prayer at breakfast (for families that manage to get most of their members into the kitchen before work/school), or even encouraging an entire family to pray quietly in church for ten minutes sometime during the week.
Catholic schools and faith formation programs aren’t always helpful–many of them struggle to place prayer in their own busy routines.
Someone could write a book on this objective. Doubtless some have done so. But how many of us pay attention?