Creating a Home in the World: The Gift of Family Catechesis Within and Beyond the Archdiocese of New York

Caroline Cunningham, Fordham University


In the Fall of 2007, the Archdiocese of New York mandated that parishes in New York offer five hours a year of family catechesis. This initiative was a response to Cardinal Egan’s request for greater faith opportunities for children and their families. Today, the archdiocesan mandate for family catechesis continues to require children, K-8, to participate in five hours of Family Catechesis each year from September to August. There have been no comprehensive research studies undertaken to illuminate the impact of family catechetical programs in the Archdiocese of New York. As a contribution to the educational ministry of the church, this study is the first attempt at such an analysis. Using the qualitative research approaches of personal interviews and personal observations, the study examined family catechetical programs in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of New York. The main purpose of the study was to understand if family catechetical programs are effective in their efforts to religiously educate families in a Roman Catholic way. The study concludes with a presentation of the pastoral and educational implications of the research. Recommendations for affirming and improving family catechetical programs and curricula are offered. The study highlights the value of family catechesis and the overall impact it can have in our postmodern age in forming God’s children for an active, conscious, living faith. The hope of the researcher is that this study will begin an ongoing dialogue among parishes about how best to serve the faith formation needs of families.

Subject Area

Religious education|Religion

Recommended Citation

Cunningham, Caroline, "Creating a Home in the World: The Gift of Family Catechesis Within and Beyond the Archdiocese of New York" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI22617692.