Family as Domestic Church

What Does It Mean to be a Domestic Church?  

Download a printable chart for SJB family Domestic Church activities of Praying, Serving, Sacrificing, and Leading.

Praying

Attend Mass weekly; read Scripture & pray daily; spend time in Adoration

Serving

Offer to help others with chores; write cards to the homebound; donate items to the needy

Sacrificing

Spend less time on games/tv, and more time with family; eat lighter meals and donate to the hungry

Leading

Be Champions of our Faith; read lives of the saints; show what it means to be Followers of Christ!

Local Domestic Church Groups

Interested in growing in holiness together with your spouse and build a community of fellow Catholic families?

Learn more about how the Domestic Church movement can help!

Domestic Church Movement information video

Domestic Church website & information

Domestic Church area contact: Tom and Katie Aranda (Diocesan Couple)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1655:  In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica. It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”

2204:  “The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church.” It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.

2685:  The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the “domestic church” where God’s children learn to pray “as the Church” and to persevere in prayer. For young children in particular, daily family prayer is the first witness of the Church’s living memory as awakened patiently by the Holy Spirit.

USCCB – Tools For Building a Domestic Church

According to the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: “The family, is so to speak, the domestic church.” (Lumen Gentium #11) This means that it is in the context of the family that we first learn who God is and to prayerfully seek His will for us. In the following bullet points you will find some suggestions on how to build your “domestic church” through a life of prayer that can help all the members of your family.

  • Begin praying as a family and reading from Scripture daily, certainly before meals, but also first thing in the morning or before bed. Find a time that works for your family. Use the liturgy of the Church as a model for prayer, and try to include heartfelt unstructured prayer as well.
  • Pray a Family Rosary (each member leads a decade, and everyone shares intentions).
  • Have a crucifix in a prominent place in the home, and in every bedroom.
  • Make the Sacraments a regular celebration – take the whole family to Confession and Mass!
  • Begin family traditions based on the seasons celebrated in the liturgical calendar.
  • Make your vacation a holy pilgrimage by visiting the shrines and saints of our land and the world.
  • Make worshiping God a priority. Never miss Mass, even while traveling – go to: MassTimes.org. . . to find a church near you!
  • Teach stewardship and charity to your children, through word and example.
  • Demonstrate love for your spouse, your children, your neighbors, and the world. Remind their children that they are loved by God and have been given gifts to serve others.
  • Talk freely about the presence of God in the joys and sorrows of your life.
  • Welcome into your home and support priests, brothers, sisters, deacons, and lay ministers in the Church.
  • Participate in the lay ministries and activities of your parish community.
  • Allow your children to witness you in private prayer. Encourage your children to pray daily on their own, to listen for God’s call, and if heard, to respond.
  • For more ideas on how to build your home as a Domestic Church, go to: domestic-church.com. . . or visit The Family Fully Alive. . . , sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

Lumen Gentium

One of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium (“Light of the Nations”), describes the family as the ‘domestic Church’ because it is the first place where children, baptized Christians, learn all about their faith and how to live their faith:

“From the wedlock of Christians there comes the family, in which new citizens of human society are born, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism are made children of God, thus perpetuating the people of God through the centuries”    “In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state” (Lumen Gentium, 11).

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