Parental role ’vital’ to faith building

Formation of Indonesian children must be from within the family, not left to others

Parental role ’vital’ to faith building
Indonesian children: Formation of children must be from within the family, not left to others
Konradus Epa, Jakarta, Indonesia

January 31, 2011

A parental role in developing the faith of their children is vital and cannot be replaced by any form of communication technology, even the Internet, according to the founders of a Catholic website.

“Catechism is not sufficiently touched in schools, so the family plays a crucial role in faith formation in children. Examples set by parents are vital,” said, Stefanus Wijoyo Tay and Ingrid Listiati, founders of, a website focusing on revitalizing Catholic teachings to Indonesian Catholics.

“We can learn from the Internet and teach our own children. Don’t always ask pastors,” the couple told more than 200 Catholics during a Jan. 29 at the Sacred Heart Church in Jakarta.

Diocesan Father Dominikus Gusti Bagus Kusumawanta, executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishops Seminary Commission agreed.

“I’m sad to see children not being educated by their parents, but passed on to other people, or who rely on the media.”

His view was echoed by Sigit, a religious teacher. He said many of his students seem closer to their housemaids than their parents.

“When I ask my students, ‘Who loves you most’? They answer, ‘The housemaid. She bathes me, feeds me, picks me up from school, dresses me’,” he said.

Jesuit Father Fransiskus Adisusanto, executive secretary of Indonesian Bishop Catechism Commission warned of the difficulty of faith formation if it is separated from daily living.

Parents must be the ones setting good examples to their children. It’s up to the pastors and catechists to help them, he said.

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