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Rows of Pillars

The Four Pillars of the Catholic Faith

Digging Deeper - Explore Four

Last fall we introduced the Explore Four program, which offers interesting and practical ways that families can practice their faith at home. Explore Four is based on the four pillars of the Catholic faith: Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer within our families. This reflects the four main sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The first two sections, on the Creed and sacraments, are all about what God has done for us: revealing the truths of our faith in the Creed and giving us the nourishment and grace to live our Christian lives in the sacraments. The other two sections, morality and prayer, are how we respond to God, by striving to live good lives and in our reaching out to him in prayer.

Over the past year, we’ve asked families to tell us what they do under each of the pillars to strengthen their faith in their family. We found that some of these pillars are being practiced in a lot of interesting ways in our homes, while many of us are unsure about how to practice others. So it would be great for more of our families to use the Explore Four program to grow together in faith! Over the next four weeks, we’ll touch on each of these four pillars here. Hopefully you’ll find some new ideas and lessons to help build the foundation of faith in your homes. In the meantime, if you don’t already, please consider using the program in your own home. Visit the Harvest of Hope website for ideas and ways to share what you have done with your family. 

Pillar One - The Creed

The Creed, which we recite at Mass every Sunday, is a short summary of what we believe. Maybe a good way to start taking a closer look at it is to try to remember and quiz each other about what we say in the Creed. Prompt each other with questions like: Who created the earth? Who was the mother of Jesus? Who ordered that Jesus be crucified? What will happen to everyone after they die? Then read the Creed out loud together. When you do, notice how it has three main parts, about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That's probably because it was originally created to be recited at baptism, when new Christians are baptized "in the name of the Father and of Son and of the Holy Spirit." You could break up talking about the Creed or memorizing it together into three separate days, to make it a little easier for younger kids or allow more time to reflect on each part in your own prayer time.

Pillar Two - Sacraments

The second pillar is the sacraments. The seven sacraments are the most important parts of the Church's liturgical life -- in other words, how we worship God together. Here are some conversation starters for your family: Can you name all seven of the sacraments? How many of them has each person in your family received? Who has received the least number (so far)? Who has received the most? Why have very few Catholics received all seven sacraments? 
     The Eucharist is the central and most important sacrament, and it's also the most common one, because it is celebrated every day throughout the world, and Catholics are obliged to participate in it every Sunday. Why is it so important? And why do so many Catholics so often avoid participating? How could we become more engaged in Sunday Mass?

I believe in the one GOD, 
the Father almighty maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Only Begotten Son of God, 
born of the Father before all ages.

The Nicene Creed

Projects for the Explore Four

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