Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

February 9, 2009

A Lesson On Family


The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines family as "a man and woman united in marriage, together with their children" (2202). Ask the students to comment on the definition with questions like:

Is this the only viable definition of family?
Can a family come in other shapes?
What "makes" a family?


Point out that a Christian family is a communion of persons, imaging the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity. Ask the students to describe how families can concretely do this.

Continue the lesson by having the students complete the following exercises (taken from the text Marriage and Holy Orders: Your Call to Love and Serve).

The United States Census Bureau defines family as “a group of two or more people who reside together and who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.” How do you define family? Write your definition below.

Family is . . .




Every family has special traits or qualities or does special things together that really matter to it as a family—make it unique. Think of a characteristic or quality you admire in your family, for example, humor, athleticism, or generosity. Write a limerick that shares something that matters in your family.
The following sample limerick is by a young woman whose last name is Wood. Check out how her family matters to her. Then, write your own family limerick.

I’m part of the family called Wood.
I wouldn’t leave if I could.
Though I’m oft’ underfoot,
I think I’ll stay put,
Cuz here is where I’m understood!


My Family Limerick




A limerick is a simple five-line poem. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

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