The Family Life Curriculum Of The Ontario Bishops
“God is love, and in Himself He lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in His own image, and continually keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion. Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.”(FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO II)
Family Life Education in the Catholic schools of Ontario has a very special place in the curriculum. It is both a subject to be taught, and an opportunity not to be missed, because Catholic Family Life Education takes very seriously the words of Pope John Paul II that love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.
To paraphrase the words of Bishop Marcel Gervais of the Ottawa archdiocese, “God looks at each one of us, sees us more deeply than we will ever see ourselves, and God likes (loves) what he sees”. Family Life Education is an important program in Catholic schools because it addresses, along with Religious Education, those areas that matter most in a young person’s life. Every child, from the most gifted to those with severe learning disabilities, looks forward to and eagerly participates in Family Life Education classes, if they are well-prepared and well-presented, because the children and their lives — their hopes, joys, pains and fears — are the content.
As persons, each of us is created, blessed and loved by God. The Grade 1 “Born of the Spirit” program says that we belong to God. Every person is called by Jesus and empowered through his Spirit to respond to God’s love with love — love for self, love for others, love for creation and love for God, who is the source of all that is good. Family Life Education in Catholic schools is one of the ways in which the Catholic community assists boys and girls to begin to grasp the meaning and impact of God’s call and our response in love in the living out of our daily lives.
Family Life Education in Catholic schools falls under the teaching authority of the Church as expressed by the Bishops and the separate school boards. The general objectives of the Catholic Family Life Education program may be clustered under five themes, which flow from one another and are interdependent.