Let’s read two more of the Aparecida bishops’ suggestions for ministry to children:
e) Support pastoral experiences of care for early childhood.
f) Study and consider suitable pedagogies for educating children in the faith, especially as related to Christian initiation, with emphasis on the time of first communion.
Pastoral experiences, yes. The Church’s ministry to children must be conceived as something more than mere education. Once adults place themselves in the role of teachers, it is hard to get out from under that burden. We also outsource much of the formation of children to “professionals.” Instead of mentoring, apprenticing young people, we treat religion as exclusively a thing of the mind. Sacraments are experiences that lead us deeper in our relationship with Christ. When we speak of experiences in the faith, we can look deeper into liturgy, prayer, and Christian mysticism.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.