FACED WITH AN inquisitive child, Catholic parents may encounter questions about faith for which they may not have answers. YOUCAT for Kids is an inspiring and easy to understand introduction to the teachings of the Catholic Church for children in a question-and-answer format. Cheerful drawings encourage the young readers to explore and ask questions, which helps to initiate an conversations about Jesus, the sacraments, prayer, and more. In addition, the book includes interesting background information for parents and teachers on every question.
The newly-published Chinese version of YOUCAT for Kids, published by the Kuangchi Cultural Group in Taiwan, is recommended by the Mini Book Fair organised by the Catholic Centre in July.
The questions of faith which Catholic parents have are no are no less than those of their children. If parents are newly-baptised or have not nourished a strong faith foundation, it will be more challenging for them to bring up their children in the faith. Therefore, the Church must journey parents in nurturing the faith of their children.
In his prayer intention for July, Pope Francis prayed for families, “The family ought to be protected. It faces many dangers: the fast pace of life, stress… Sometimes parents forget to play with their children. The Church needs to encourage families and stay at their side, helping them to discover ways that allow them to overcome all of these difficulties.”
It is true that parents often forget to play, chat and share their faith with their children. This is the background of the birth of YOUCAT for Kids. It helps parents who lack formation resources to give their children some of the best information on faith while leaving room for them to contemplate and grow spiritually.
The book is also useful for those engaged in formation and catechesis. In the books’ preface, Pope Francis encourages parents to keep this little book with them and take the time to explore, question by question, mystery of faith by mystery of faith, together with their children. “Do not remain silent when your children have pressing questions, but always have the strength to hand on the faith, which you too received from your parents.”
YOUCAT for Kids places emphasis on teaching children how to pray. In fact, when passing down the faith to the younger generation, a prayer life is sometimes more important than knowledge. The post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), points out that the centre of faith formation in passing on of prayer life from parents to children.
The pope and the syno fathers understand the difficulties faced by parents in raising their children in the faith, including finding time to talk. However, the pope still encourages them to maintain the habit of prayer because “moments of family prayer and acts of devotion can be more powerful for evangelisation than any catechism class or sermon”.
YOUCAT for Kids enables children, parents and Sunday School teachers to grow together and can help adult faithful to gain new insights. In the family, parents can also listen to their children’s experience at Sunday School and extend their prayer experience in the parish so that formation in the parish and the family complement one another.
May the parents have steadfast hearts amidst challenges in society and pass the love and peace in the faith on to the next generation. SE