“The Domestic Church” refers to the spiritual activities inside the home and family. A healthy spiritual life and Catholic home culture is perhaps the most underrated part of a Christian upbringing. Daily actions and atmosphere, such as prayer before meals, religious artwork, Scripture memorization, feast day celebrations, and family devotions make up a strong Christian life. A Catholic education should be seen as complementary to The Domestic Church; it is the training of both mind and heart toward the commands and love of God.
Catholic education provides children with a Catholic culture that serves as a foundation of their very lives. When children attend a Catholic school, the rhythms of their lives are formed by the liturgical year. Not only do they read of great saints, martyrs, and Bible heroes, they celebrate their lives in active ways. While a public school may have a Halloween celebration, a Catholic school will celebrate Halloween in light of its true meaning: the eve of All Saints’ Day. Dressing up as St. Michael the Archangel, St. Francis of Assisi, or St. Joan of Arc teaches our children the value of Catholicism in history and culture.
For the Catholic child receiving a Catholic education, truths of the Church and teachings of the home are reinforced at school as the child participates in Advent, Lenten, Easter and Ordinary Time activities at school. For the non-Catholic child, the life-breath and heart of the Church is demonstrated at school as the rhythms and rituals of the faith are witnessed by the student. While evangelizing through doctrine and theological teaching is valuable, there is perhaps no greater witness to Christ than that of fellowship, joy, and love experienced during a feast day celebration.