Excerpt from Forming Faithful Families Program

Excerpt from Forming Faithful Families Program

 

Visit http://www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com/home

 

Purchase books at http://www.lulu.com/littleton

 

Email authors at formingfaithfulfamilies@gmail.com 

 

Register for program at http://www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com/program_registration

 

Forming Faithful Families Program

Parish Based and Small Faith Community Program

For Marriage and Family Life Faith Formation

IN SERVICE TO THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

Including

THREE PROGRAMS IN ONE

MOMS Matter! – Mothers Offering Mentoring and Spirituality

DADS Matter! – Dads Achieving Devoted Surrender

FAMILIES Matter! – Married Couples Sharing Together

By James and Kathleen Littleton

http://www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com

Forming Faithful Families Program Guide

Our materials and programs are perfect for:

Lay Formation and New Evangelization

Living Counter-culturally

Spiritual Growth and Prayer

Men, Women, Couples or Co-ed

Pre-Cana and Engaged Couples

Marriage, Family Life and Baptismal Prep

Creating a Domestic Church

Healing through Suffering and Loss


Completed and dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Blessed Virgin Mary, on her feast day, December 12, 2012

 

Overview

Mission Statement of Forming Faithful Families Program

• to offer practical support, intellectual stimulation, fellowship, and faith formation to

mothers and fathers of all ages to better live out their vocations as Catholic parents or

parents-to-be

• to build relationships amongst mothers and fathers as friends and mentors so they may

witness, share and support each other in their essential roles as Catholic parents

• to help mothers and fathers appreciate their role as Catholic parents as more

rewarding and challenging than any career or other endeavor, and much more pivotal

in terms of getting themselves, their spouses and their children to heaven!

• to realize and embrace the God given responsibility and privilege that is the unique and

nontransferable mission of being a parent.

***************************************************************************

Mission in Service to the New Evangelization

From Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization, Part IV, p. 10

USSCB, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis (2012), Washington DC:

“Christ teaches us how to evangelize, how to invite people into communion with him, and how

to create a culture of witness: namely, through love. A Christian life lived with charity and faith

is the most effective form of evangelization. Evangelization testifies to the transformative

power of the Gospel and the mission of the Church to sanctify society, hand on the

faith to future generations, strengthen the faith of her members, and renew the faith of

those who have slipped away from the Church:

5

Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does

listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” G It is therefore primarily by

her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by

her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus – the witness of poverty and

detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of

sanctity.”

Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 41

The faithful become agents of evangelization through living witness and commitment to

the Gospel. The everyday moments of one’s life lived with Christian charity, faith and

hope provide witness to family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others

who have stopped actively participating in the life of the Church. This witness is

essential for reaching others in today’s modern world.”

*******************************************************************************************

From Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization, Part IV, p. 13

USSCB, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis (2012), Washington DC:

The Christian Family

“A culture of witness is sustained within the Church through marriage and the family.

The communal relationship that exists between and among the three Persons of the Trinity is

the model for Christian marriage (National Directory for Catechesis, no. 13) and through the

Sacrament of Matrimony that the husband and wife evangelize, become evangelized, and

share their witness of the faith to their children and to society. “Spouses, ‘not only receive

the love of Christ and become a saved community, but they are also called upon to

communicate Christ’s love to their brethren, thus becoming a saved community’ (see

Familiaris Consortio, no.49a0. The family founded on the Sacrament of Matrimony is a

particular realisation of the Church, saved and saving, evangelized and evangelizing

community” (Benedict XVI, Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the

Family http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=542493 (accessed December 1, 2011).

The family, called the domestic Church, (USCCB, pastoral letter Marriage: Love and Life in the

Divine Plan (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2009) 38-42) is often the first place where one

experiences and is formed in the faith. In fact, “the new evangelization depends largely on

the domestic Church” (Benedict XVI Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical

Council for the Family, citation above). It is through the example of mothers and fathers,

grandparents, siblings, and extended family members that one most concretely

witnesses how to live a Christian life: “Family members learn more of the Christian life by

observing each other’s strengths or weaknesses than by formal instruction. Their shared

wisdom and experience often constitute a compelling Christian witness” (National Directory for

Catechesis, no 29>D). It is vital that multiple generations, including grandparents, are

engaged with the faith formation of younger family members. It is through the family

that one journeying back to the faith can be awakened to, affirmed in, and encouraged

by the love and mercy of Christ.”

Forming Faithful Families Program

6

Three-in-One Program Guide

The program is really three programs in one. The content consists of fourteen sessions for use

with mothers only, fathers only or couples together. The content of the program remains the

same for each group.

• MOMS Matter! Mothers Offering Mentoring and Spirituality

• DADS Matter! Dads Achieving Devoted Surrender

• FAMILIES Matter! Couples Sharing Together

Specific promotional flyers for each of the above types of groups are available at

http://www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com for download and personalizing for your use in promoting

the program of your choice in your parish or group.

How to Use This Program

Forming Faithful Families Program is meant to be used for and by mothers and fathers of

all ages and stages including single persons, engaged couples, newly married, new parents,

experienced parents, and grandparents. The groups are meant to be varied in ages and

stages. It is a mentoring and sharing program and all are welcome to participate!

The program is very adaptable to use for small groups of mothers (MOMS Matter!), fathers

(DADS Matter!), and mothers and fathers together (FAMILIES Matter!).

The program can be run in a parish, or in a home or non-parish setting, weekly or twicemonthly,

for a semester or for a full year. There are 14 sessions to the program.

A typical session is flexible and could run 90 minutes and include:

• 15 minutes: Social Time, Opening Prayer and Scripture

• 60 minutes: Content Presentation, Discussion and Interactive Sharing Time

• 15 minutes: Resolution, Closing Prayer and Social Time

Note:

“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and

help youG” (Isaiah 41:10, NAB)

You do not need to be an expert on the Catholic Faith to lead a group. Have confidence that

the Holy Spirit will use this Program, which is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind,

to accomplish the work of evangelization and grace in the lives of all it touches, including and

most especially you who are so generous and trusting to “put out into deep water” (Luke 5:4,

NAB) for Jesus and souls.

7

Materials

Forming Faithful Families Program Guide is meant for use in conjunction with the content of

these books and audios by James and Kathleen Littleton:

• Book Better By the Dozen Plus Two

• Book Better By the Dozen Plus Two, Part Two

• Free Audio downloads or as CDs for purchase

• Optional: Book Healed Through Cancer and Other Adversities

It is highly recommended that each participant purchase at least the Program Guide

and the two required books in print or more economically in eBook form. This will allow for

appropriate preparation for each meeting and contribute to a more rewarding small group

experience for everyone. The materials are also highly useful for ongoing personal learning

and reflection.

Program Participation and Promotional Materials

Please visit http://www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com to register for the program, purchase the

program guide and desired accompanying materials, and to download promotional flyers and

other free resources.

Note: In addition to practicing Catholics please reach out and invite friends and

neighbors who do not attend church regularly including non-Catholics who are open to

the program. We are called to share the awesome gift of the Catholic Faith with the

whole world, not just within the walls of our church. Be not afraid. God is with you!

Important note: It is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to accept and invite

new participants into the group at any stage as they will most certainly benefit. As a

matter of fact you will likely find that as you share your witness and enthusiasm about

what you are learning and experiencing about the Faith, others will naturally be

attracted to becoming involved.

Note of Confidentiality: Everything that is discussed in the small group sessions is to be kept

in complete confidence respecting the privacy of all the participants. All should be confident

that what is said in the group stays in the group.

Forming Faithful Families Program

8

Table of Contents of Program Guide:

Session One: How We Came to Be a Family – 10

Session Two: How We Came to Live Our Faith – 12

Session Three: Hierarchy of Values -14

Session Four: Putting God First – 16

Session Five: Living a Life of Balance – Priority Management – 20

Session Six: Marriage – 22

Session Seven: Motherhood – 26

Session Eight: Fatherhood – 28

Session Nine: Openness to Life – 32

Session Ten: Miscarriage – 36

Session Eleven: Formation of Children – 38

Session Twelve: Called to Service – 42

Session Thirteen: On the Cross – 44

Session Fourteen: Importance of Having a Sense of Humor – 48

9

Forming Faithful Families Program

10

Session One: How We Came to Be a Family

Preparatory Reading/Listening Material:

• Better By the Dozen, Plus Two: Prologue and Chapter One

• Audio: EWTN Bookmark 2496 Littletons

Opening Prayer:

All: “Come Holy Spirit, own us, possess us, teach us, move us, heal us, in Jesus’ Name.

Amen.”

Scripture:

“Set your hearts on his Kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will

be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each

day has enough trouble of its own.”

(Matthew 6:33-34, JB)

“Happy, all those who fear Yahweh and follow in his paths.

You will eat what your hands have worked for, happiness and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife: a fruitful vine on the inner walls of your house.

Your sons: round your table like shoots round an olive tree.

Such are the blessings that fall on the man who fears Yahweh.”

(Psalm 128:1-4, JB)

Catechism Reference:

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1655:

Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and

Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the

core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together

with all [their] household.”2 When they were converted, they desired that “their whole

household” should also be saved.3 These families who became believers were islands

of Christian life in an unbelieving world.

11

Content Presentation, Discussion and Interactive Sharing Time:

Leader presents the content and facilitates interactive discussion and sharing.

Questions:

1. How have you and your family perhaps been affected negatively by the culture we live in?

2. What solutions has your family found to today’s challenging culture?

3. How have I come to a realization and fulfillment of my God-ordained vocation in life? Am I

still discerning God’s call? Have I surrendered to his will?

4. How has God manifested his good providence and mercy in my life?

5. Am I grateful for the way God has arranged every detail of my life for the good?

6. Share how your family has “come to be a family” and how in hindsight have you seen

God’s hand in helping you find your intended spouse and give you children?

Resolutions:

1. I will visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and contemplate the many ways He has been

with me, arranging every detail of my life for the good. I will give Him thanks.

2. I will share my testimony of faith and family with at least two other people in the next week.

Closing Prayer:

Come Holy Spirit. Possess me and move me at every moment and in all circumstances that I

may live the law of love and bring the light of Jesus to everyone, everywhere I go. Thank You

for being the Sweet Guest of my soul. I love You!

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as

we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from

evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is

the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the

hour of death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now

and will be forever. Amen.

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About jamesmlittleton

James Littleton is happily married to Kathleen for thirty-three years, father of nineteen, fourteen living on earth ages thirty to ten, and five living in heaven. James is a hope-filled, inspirational national speaker, author, evangelist, retreat master, co-founder and co-director of Forming Faithful Families™ and One More Baby for Jesus™, host of Forming Faithful Families Radio and Television. Learn more at www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com or email formingfaithfulfamilies@gmail.com
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