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Strong Catholic Families

Building Strong Catholic Families...
it takes a partnership


All across the country, pastors - along with parish and school leaders - are asking for effective ways to engage parents in the life and mission of the church, as well as seeking ways to help them take ownership as the primary leaders of faith within their families. To work together toward this desirable goal, we invite you to consider a dynamic grassroots process, designed to reach out to anyone in your parish or school who has a stake in passing on a faith that matters, with Christ at the center and foundation of Strong Catholic Families.

What is Strong Catholic Families About?

Strong Catholic Families is an ongoing parish- or school-based process that engages and strengthens parents and families in growing as a domestic church through a close and vital partnership with other members of the parish and school community.

How Does It Work?

The Strong Catholic Families process is made up of four distinct steps that lead to numerous avenues of faith growth within families and the entire faith community. Because the process is cyclical, the steps are repeated on a regular basis (every other year) in order to widen the circle of parishioners who share in the work of bringing the vision of Strong Catholic Families to the life in your parish and/or school.

What Happens as a Result?

In a nutshell: evangelization! But the specific outcomes are as diverse as the hundreds of parishes and schools in the dozens of dioceses across the country who make up the growing Strong Catholic Families network - because each local community decides its best direction given the unique resources, culture, and history of the community. Some local responses have included the following:
  • Adjusting program structures to accommodate family faith gatherings between Masses.
  • Parent groups that meet during sacramental sessions.
  • Sessions on how to lead prayer and share faith in the home, developing family mission statements, and more.
  • Coaching parents to pass on the Catholic faith to kids.
  • Intergenerational Vacation Bible School programs.
  • Online webinars for parents on Catholic faith topics.

What Is the Cost?

There is very minimal cost for this initiative because the diocese has already purchased the copyright permissions for you to use every year! A community may choose to purchase color copies of the Family Faith Resource Booklet and table tent prayer cards, which each family receives during the initial parent session, but permission is granted for these resources to be copied locally as needed.

Who is Behind This Initiative?

The Strong Catholic Families initiative is presented by the Diocese of Grand Rapids, in partnership with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL), the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM), and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).
Learn more by visiting

To begin the process in your parish or school:

Contact Mark Mann at 616-475-1243 or