— For Parishes —

Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity.
She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say,
in order to preach and teach.
Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14

How can parishes best assist parents in introducing their children to Christ and forming them in the faith?

The vision for Project Nazareth is a materialization of a larger vision of evangelization as the Church calls us to live it. Where building a relationship with Jesus occurs prior to and continues along with learning more about Jesus and the Church; where parents are disciples—brought to a relationship with Jesus through the parish and fellow parishioners; where parents take responsibility for their children’s faith formation and look to the parish for support, community, and spiritual nourishment because “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and decisive direction” (Deus Caritas Est #1)

Evangelization, catechesis, and the art of forming disciples requires a partnership between parents and the parish. It is not just the role of the faith formation leaders, but a parish-wide effort to see that every parishioner in the parish boundaries is evangelized and invited into a relationship with Christ. Then with God’s grace and the help of fellow parishioners, people will be formed into intentional disciples. It is a parish-wide effort to assist parishioners when they come asking for help in forming their children in the faith. It is a parish effort to activate our parishioners to respond to their call to invite people to know Christ and help form disciples.

Every parish should ask themselves, “What can we do to engage inactive parents and invite them to encounter Jesus?”, “How can people encounter Jesus in our parish liturgy, ministries, staff, and events?”, “How can we support and equip parents to feel comfortable talking to parents about their faith with their children?”, and most importantly, “Will this ___ (event, ministry, program) bring people to Jesus? And, if not, then why are we doing it?”.

Project Nazareth is a way to not only evangelize and catechize children, but to get parents talking about their faith with their children and praying with them daily. With Project Nazareth, the forming and catechizing of children in the faith is returned to parents and parents are supported, equipped, and encouraged by their parish. If the parents are not disciples of Christ, the parish works to build trust with them and provide opportunities to encounter Jesus. If the parents are disciples, the parish finds ways to nourish them and send them out to engage those who are not yet disciples. The forming of new disciples comes from parents forming their children and from parishioners walking with other adults on their faith journey.

Buy a Parish License

Project Nazareth is available for free for parishes and families within the Archdiocese of Boston,

who should enter the coupon code “HolyFamily” during checkout to obtain these materials without cost.

(Arch)Dioceses interested in using Project Nazareth 

Contact Michael Lavigne at mlavigne@rcab.org.

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