Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism
The story begins with a question from Julianne’s six year old son who wants to know “What is the closest planet to heaven?” Julianne realizes that this is a question that is worthy of her investigation and that it is a question that young children want to know. Information balanced by our own openness to dialogue and the importance of meeting our children where ever they are. She states, “Faith is a hard relationship with Jesus Christ and the community He founded. 74% of young people indicate that they stopped identifying as Catholic between ages 10 to 20 with a median age of 13.” This should really unsettle our Catholic families.
We realize that God chose the structure of the family to reveal Himself. Just as He looked to His Mother or Father for the relationships that are close to them so the children could imitate how to create good relationships. As parents we need to pass on faith to our children. Our children’s faith is caught, taught or sought.
The author interviews children of different ages for their thoughts on religion and faith. She understands where the children are and moves them forward through questioning. Her solid background in Catholicism makes the questions and answers interesting and thoughtfully crafted. Her own upbringing with the Mercy nuns makes her filled with a deep and abiding love of her faith.
One of the most important sections of the book is the “Take Home” section which has the key takeaways for the chapter. This chapter on faith calls us to exchange points in a way to grow in faith as a family. Julianne has put forth a personal inventory for the children and adults to take so we can evaluate our movement in regard to faith. Besides the personal inventory she has a way to prepare for Mass: set expectations, sit up front, check the time of the Mass, prepare the Scriptures, and attend to the importance of the Eucharist.
This book is wonderfully useful for the parents in regard to what they may offer their children in regard to the faith. It helps to deepen their own faith. The book is a great guide on what should be done in regard to strengthening the faith of their children and living the faith with them. Get a copy for yourself and get a copy for a friend to use as a guide.