Thinking back to my childhood of how the faith was passed down in my family, I have to say that it was a natural process. I remember in my parents’ bedroom stood a large statue of the Blessed Mother that belonged to my maternal grandmother. I recall being a little girl and looking up and seeing this queen, the Mother of God in my parents’ room, I was always in awe of her. I knew she was special with the doily that she stood upon.

My family always celebrated the holidays with families and friends. Christmas and Easter were high holy days for us, and since we are Italian, filled with an abundance of food. Passing on the faith to our families does not have to be difficult – it is part of who we are, our lifestyle of being Catholic Christians.

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Observing your family, have you thought about how you are passing on the faith to your children, godchildren, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, husbands, wives, parents, siblings, friends, etc.? All baptized persons are called to pass on the faith; we look to the Lord and Savior who seeks, encounters and welcomes all people in their current life situation. We see Jesus encounter many in the parables, the good Samaritan, the prodigal son, the woman at the well and many more. Jesus met people exactly where they were in their life.

We are called to pass on the faith to others! How can you do this? Are you afraid? Are you asking, “how can I get started?” Here are three simple tips to help you to pass the faith:

• Religious items in your home can be placed in visible spaces. This simple act will help you pass the faith to others. If you were to look around your home, do you have religious symbols to show that you are Catholic? Take inventory of your home and see if you have any religious items in visible places; if not, how can you get started? You could start with a crucifix: hang one above your front door or a bedroom door. Think about setting aside a table for religious items: religious statues, rosary beads, a bible and a candle. You can get started however you want. By visibly showing others these items, your home is a witness to your faith – very similar to the Blessed Mother Statue in my parents’ bedroom. I am as in awe today as I was as a little girl when I look at that statue that still stands there.

• Prayer in the home – whether you already pray in the home, or you think you do not pray enough, or perhaps that you do not pray at all. The good news is that Jesus is inviting us to grow in prayer all the time, and it is never too late to begin. You can start by teaching the youngest members of the family the “Sign of the Cross.” As simple as this is, we must teach our youngest family members the basics. Perhaps add a prayer before meals or before bedtime. Whatever type of prayer you add, it is a beginning and a way to pass on the faith.

• Love one another. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” By loving one another you are passing on the faith; God is love, when we love others, we share the Lord.

As you contemplate how you are passing on the faith to those in your family, think simple, start small and love one another.