Do you desire assistance in bringing the Catholic faith to your preschoolers? Are you looking for ways to develop the spirituality that your children were given at baptism? The Early Catholic Family Life (ECFL) program offers assistance to parents seeking to pass on the faith to their children. Both married and single parents will benefit from this program.
- ECFL is a parent-child program which is aimed at an underserved but essential part of all parishes – parents with children 0-5 years old.
- ECFL is a 7 session 2 hour class patterned after the highly successful and popular Minnesota ECFE program (Early Childhood Family Education).
- ECFL consists of
- a parent-child interaction component,
- a parent discussion time, and
- a children’s time.
- ECFL gives Catholic parents an opportunity to learn more about passing their Catholic faith on to their children from the earliest years.
- ECFL gives parents an opportunity to discuss faith education with other Catholic parents and to have fun learning more about God together.
History of the Early Catholic Family Life Program (ECFL)
Alan and Joanne Foley founded the ECFL program in 2000. They developed this program in response to a concern by parents that the Early Childhood Family Education program lacked Catholic spirituality.
In 2007, a bilingual team translated the Early Catholic Family Life Program into Español. The program was piloted at Sagrado de Corazón and Santo Rosario.
Here are just a few of the comments from the participants of the Latino-Hispanic training session:
- “In a personal way, it helped me to think what I am doing with my own children and the potential of what I can do for them. I also like the idea of what I can do to help other parents"
- "It gave us ideas on how to teach the Catholic faith to our little one"
- “It would be good to share it with more parishes!”
- "It was beautiful, because it shared with us God's Word and how to get closer to him"
The ECFL program continues to bring more and more parents and their pre-school children to Christ and into deeper relationships with one another, with the Church and with the parish community.
Modeled after the highly successful public school program for parents and small children, Early Childhood Family Education, ECFL brings young families together in the parish to learn from the program and from each other, what the Church teaches about bringing children into the life of the Church from the earliest stages.
Goals of the Early Catholic Family Life Program
- To give parents the tools and skills they need to teach their children the Catholic faith.
- To strengthen the faith of parents and enhance their commitment to the Catholic faith through active personal involvement in faith formation.
- To instill in Catholic parents the need to evangelize within their families and to be true spiritual leaders of their children.
For More Information
If your parish is looking for a program that fills the gap between Baptism and First Communion and has proven to be successful, the Early Catholic Family Life program is what you are looking for.
Training is usually held the third Saturday in August from 9 AM – 4 PM. Current cost is $100 (four people receive lunch, training materials and training). A minimum of two people is required to run the parent and child portions of this program simultaneously.