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Parenting

Every child is a gift, created to be nurtured in the love of family life. This ministry provides information on age-appropriate behavior, normal development and family dynamics, teaching skills of non-violent discipline, communication, and conflict resolution in family relationships. The Education for Parenting ministry supports parents in their God-given vocation by creating networks to connect with other Catholic mothers and fathers. We provide opportunities to stop, take some moments to be blessed, and draw closer to God.

Parenting Programs
  • “Parentcare” Weekly Groups for Parents of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers: Parents enjoy leader-led group discussions or listen to a guest speaker about spiritual, emotional, social, developmental and discipline topics related to raising young children. These educational, supportive groups operate weekly in the daytime, so supervised play is provided for the children, usually in the same room with parents. Some groups meet monthly.
  • Common Sense Parenting: This six-session workshop identifies important discipline skills and offers specific examples of how to use those skills with children in situations all too familiar to parents: How to stay calm when you think you are at your wit’s end, the real difference between punishment and teaching, using consequences to shape behavior and advice on communicating clearly are among the topics presented and practiced. There are two programs available: 1) For parents of toddlers and preschoolers and 2) for parents of children, ages 6-16.
  • Single Session: Single Session workshops or presentations address a variety of family issues, such as Ethnicity and Parenting: The Immigrant Experience in America, The Joys and Challenges of Living with Pre-Teens, and Gain Brain: Strategies to Nurture and Develop Your Child’s Mind. Available upon request.
Parenting Centers

Parish-based parenting centers and programs provide information and resources to assist in child development. These programs offer vocational nurturing and support for parents raising children in our Catholic faith. Most leaders are parents who, faced with the awesome responsibility of raising their own children, have decided to encourage and serve others.

Listed are programs that offer ongoing Education for Parenting throughout the academic year. Other parishes may offer one-session parenting workshops. You will find descriptions of the Education for Parenting meetings, grouped geographically by New York City borough and upstate county locations.

List of Current Parenting Centers and Programs

If you would like to start a parenting program in your parish or would like to inquire about any program, contact Sue DiSisto at 646-794-3191 or susan.disisto@archny.org.

Parenting Leadership Training

Education for Parenting Leadership Training teaches and motivates individuals to provide education and support to parents in their communities. This training will also benefit those people whose work or ministry relates to parents. Any persons who desire family, personal or professional enrichment are also welcome.

Generally, training includes but is not limited to:

  • How to administer Parenting programs, with materials specific to each program included: 
    1. Blessings: Expectant Parents Blessing, Blessing of Little Children, Mother’s Day Blessing, etc.
    2. Parentcare: A weekly, leader-led program for parents of children ages 0-5 (lesson plans provided)
    3. Lectio Divina for Parents: Contemplation of the Word with regard to the parents’ journey
  • What is parenting education and why do we need it?
  • Leadership
  • Exceptional strategies for listening and speaking to children
  • Focus on early childhood, essence of adolescence, discipline as teaching

If you are interested in training, please contact Sue DiSisto at (646) 794-3191 or  susan.disisto@archny.org

Catholic Parenting Network

The Catholic Parenting Network is an extension of the Education for Parenting Leadership Training. It functions as a way of keeping in touch with leaders and also as an introductory outreach to parents from a broader area beyond the parish, inviting them to join us so they can learn about and/or experience an Education for Parenting workshop.

The Catholic Parenting Network offers:

  • Parenting presentations and/or workshops. Each year, a different parenting topic is researched and presented five to six times throughout the Archdiocese. All leaders are invited to attend as well as anyone else who is interested in the topic. The topic is always enriching for your own family life, and may be reworked to use as a lesson plan in a Parenting Center.
  • Gratitude. Members are invited to a yearly Advent Reflection, a mini “day of recollection” followed by a Liturgy at noon and luncheon thereafter.
FAQ (Parenting)

What is the Education for Parenting ministry?

The Education for Parenting ministry provides information on age-appropriate behavior, normal development and family dynamics, teaching skills of non-violent discipline, communication, and conflict resolution in family relationships. This ministry fosters support networks to connect with other Catholic mothers and fathers.

What is the mission for the Education for Parenting ministry?

The Education for Parenting ministry presents programs and workshops to parents and trains leaders to provide, within their parishes, parenting skills education and spiritual support for the parental vocation of raising children who are spiritually, emotionally, socially healthy, responsible Catholics with strong faith. These efforts promote a prayerful, sacramental, healthy family life, and decrease child abuse as well.

What do parents want of their Church community?

Parents want the Church community to encourage and support them in both spiritual and practical ways. The principle environment for this experience is the parish where parents can gather to learn, pray, strengthen and support each other. Offering such education and support requires preparation of leaders.

What is the importance of Education for Parenting parish-based leaders?

Parish-based leaders and itinerant teachers become knowledgeable and well-versed in the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of providing these services and teaching material on parenting. The Archdiocesan Education for Parenting ministry provides yearly training and follow-up for potential leaders.

How do I protect my children from pornography on the internet?

Internet pornography has grown dramatically in recent years and threatens the health and wellness of children. The Witherspoon Institute provides a comprehensive study on The Social Costs of Pornography, developed by leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory. Useful resources to combat the problem of pornography include internet filters (see Covenant Eyes) and educational websites (see Fight the New Drug). For information on True Freedom click here.

Parenting Blessings

The following Blessings are available upon request to the Education for Parenting Coordinator:

Rite for a Blessing of a Child in the Womb: This is a beautiful blessing for the woman and/or family awaiting a new life through birth or adoption. It can be easily incorporated into a Sunday Liturgy, with or without a reception following Mass. Each expectant mother receives an imposition of hands blessing and a medal. Blessing prayers, medals and rites, or suggested procedures are available from this office upon request.

Blessing of Little Children: A beautiful and simple blessing ceremony for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, this is often done at the start of a parish Education for Parenting program, or can stand alone. Ceremony script is available upon request. 

Mother’s Day Blessing: This hour-long program starts with a beautiful service, including a hymn, psalm, blessing and discussion. A wonderful way to support and celebrate mothers in their vocation.

Other Parenting Programs

For more information, please contact Sue DiSisto, susan.disisto@archny.org, 646-794-3191.

  • St. John Paul II gave us a wondrous view of the meaning of our existence, which is to love and be loved, made visible in our human bodies. TOBET “translates” this teaching for children, K-8; in a marriage prep program; and through seminars. Tobet.org.
  • Teaching the Way of Love is a solid Catholic parenting program that combines the latest in parenting research with the ancient wisdom of the Catholic Church to empower moms and dads to embrace their role as primary educators of their children. twl4parents.com.
  • LoveEd is an age-appropriate, gender-specific program designed to help parents teach both the theology and science of human sexuality in the context of God’s plan for love and life. Steeped in Church teaching [and science], it conveys not just the facts of life, but the meaning of life. Includes facilitator resources, parent video and materials, student videos, parent-child dialogue and lessons. www.saintbenedictpress.com/index.php/love-ed/
  • TeenFEMM and teenMEN offer an educational and human formation in sexuality for middle and high school boys and girls, and in particular, introduces teenagers to the dignity of their bodies and their fertility.  Mother/daughter programs open the conversation about how the fertility cycle works, how to monitor hormonal and other signs of health, a Comprehensive Facilitator Guide providing all needed to confidently implement the program and fertility in their monthly cycles, and why there are healthier alternatives to hormonal contraceptives when symptoms such as acne, painful periods, irregular cycles, etc., appear. https://femmhealth.org
  • Leading teens closer to Christ: lifeteen.com
  • Parent inventories help couples discover their relationship strengths as parents, as well as help identify issues that are threatening the vitality of the family that may need to be addressed. Prepare-Enrich.com
  • The Catholic Grandparents Association is a public association of the faithful whose goal is to assist grandparents in passing on the faith to their grandchildren. www.catholicgrandparentsassociation.org
  • CASAColumbia, a national science-based organization responding to the disease of addiction, sponsors a yearly Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children,TM promoting parental engagement by organizing a family dinner. Join parents all across the country by visiting www.CASAFamilyDay.org
  • Raised in Faith is a Catholic, multi-media platform for women. Single-parent ministry, 9 sessions www.raisedinfaith.com
Contact Us

Sue DiSisto, Parenting/Family Life Coordinator

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