Life in Christ
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of
their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by
ating a home
where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and
disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for
cation in the virtues.
This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial,
sound judgment, and self-mastery—the preconditions of all true
freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the
“material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual
Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example
to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own
failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and
He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who
disciplines his son will profit by him.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring
them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
The home is the natural environment for initiating a hu
man being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents
should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading
influences which threaten human societies.
Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents
receive the responsibility and privilege of
evangelizing their children.
Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the
mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their
children. They should associate them from their tenderest years
with the life of the Church.
Awholesome family life can foster in
terior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith
and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.
Education in the faith
by the parents should begin in the
child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members
help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life
in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompa
nies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents
have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover
their vocation as children of God.
The parish is the Eucharistic
36 § 2.
11 § 2.