Every child is a gift, created to be nurtured in the love of family life. This ministry provides information on age-appropriate behavior, normal development and family dynamics, teaching skills of non-violent discipline, communication, and conflict resolution in family relationships. The Education for Parenting ministry supports parents in their God-given vocation by creating networks to connect with other Catholic mothers and fathers. We provide opportunities to stop, take some moments to be blessed, and draw closer to God.

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Catholic Grandparents Association

The Catholic Grandparents Association is a public association of the faithful whose goal is to assist grandparents in passing on the faith to their grandchildren.  Having raised their own children in the faith and provided them with faith formation and ensured that...

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Parenting Blessings

The following Blessings are available upon request to the Education for Parenting Coordinator:

Rite for a Blessing of a Child in the Womb

This is a beautiful blessing for the woman and/or family awaiting a new life through birth or adoption. It can be easily incorporated into a Sunday Liturgy, with or without a reception following Mass. Each expectant mother receives an imposition of hands blessing and a medal. Blessing prayers, medals and rites, or suggested procedures are available from this office upon request.

Blessing of Little Children

A beautiful and simple blessing ceremony for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, this is often done at the start of a parish Education for Parenting program, or can stand alone. Ceremony script is available upon request.

Parenting Programs

The following Parenting Programs are available upon request to the Education for Parenting Coordinator:

“Parentcare” Weekly Groups for Parents of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Parents enjoy leader-led group discussions or listen to a guest speaker about spiritual, emotional, social, developmental and discipline topics related to raising young children. These educational, supportive groups operate weekly in the daytime, so supervised play is provided for the children, usually in the same room with parents. Some groups meet monthly.

Common Sense Parenting

This six-session workshop identifies important discipline skills and offers specific examples of how to use those skills with children in situations all too familiar to parents. How to stay calm when you think you are at your wit’s end, the real difference between punishment and teaching, using consequences to shape behavior, along with advice on communicating clearly are among the topics presented and practiced. This is especially geared to parents of children from ages 6-16.

Single Session

Single Session workshops or presentations addressing a variety of family issues, such as Ethnicity and Parenting: The Immigrant Experience in America, The Joys and Challenges of Living with Pre-Teens, and Gain Brain: Strategies to Nurture and Develop Your Child’s Mind are available upon request.

Parenting Centers

parenting_programs_HParish-based parenting centers and programs provide parents with information and resources to assist in the development of their children. These programs offer vocational nurturing and support for parents raising children in our Catholic faith. Most of our leaders are parents who, faced with the awesome responsibility of raising their own children, have decided to encourage and serve others.

Listed are programs in parishes which offer on-going Education for Parenting throughout the academic year. Other parishes throughout the ten counties of the Archdiocese (Staten Island, Manhattan, Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan) sporadically offer one-session parenting workshops. You will find descriptions of the on-going Education for Parenting meetings, grouped geographically by New York City borough and then upstate county locations.

Current Parenting Centers and Programs


If you would like to start a parenting program in your parish or would like to inquire about any program, contact Sue DiSisto at (646) 794-3191 or susan.disisto@archny.org.

Parenting Leadership Training

Education for Parenting Leadership Training teaches and motivates individuals to provide education and support to parents in their communities. This training will also benefit those people whose work or ministry relates to parents. Any persons who desire family, personal or professional enrichment are also welcome.

Generally, training includes but is not limited to:

  • How to administer Parenting programs, with materials specific to each program included
    • Blessings: Expectant Parents Blessing, Blessing of Little Children, Mother’s Day Blessing, etc.
    • Parentcare: A weekly, leader-led program for parents of children ages 0-5 (lesson plans provided)
    • Lectio Divina for Parents: Contemplation of the Word with regard to the parents’ journey
  • What is parenting education and why do we need it?
  • Leadership
  • Exceptional strategies for listening and speaking to children
  • Focus on early childhood, essence of adolescence, discipline as teaching

If you are interested in training, please contact Sue DiSisto at (646) 794-3191 or susan.disisto@archny.org or click HERE.

Education for Parenting - Leadership Training

Catholic Parenting Network

The Catholic Parenting Network is an extension of the Education for Parenting Leadership Training. It functions as a way of keeping in touch with leaders and also as an introductory outreach to parents from a broader area beyond the parish, inviting them to join us so they can learn about and/or experience an Education for Parenting workshop.

The Catholic Parenting Network offers:

  1. Parenting presentations and/or workshops. Each year, a different parenting topic is researched and presented five to six times throughout the Archdiocese. All leaders are invited to attend as well as anyone else who is interested in the topic. The topic is always enriching for your own family life, and may be reworked to use as a lesson plan in a Parenting Center.
  2. Gratitude. Members are invited to a yearly Advent Reflection, a mini “day of recollection” followed by a Liturgy at noon and luncheon thereafter.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Education for Parenting ministry?
    The Education for Parenting ministry provides information on age-appropriate behavior, normal development and family dynamics, teaching skills of non-violent discipline, communication, and conflict resolution in family relationships. This ministry fosters support networks to connect with other Catholic mothers and fathers.
  2. What is the mission for the Education for Parenting ministry?
    The Education for Parenting ministry presents programs and workshops to parents and trains leaders to provide, within their parishes, parenting skills education and spiritual support for the parental vocation of raising children who are spiritually, emotionally, socially healthy, responsible Catholics with strong faith. These efforts promote a prayerful, sacramental, healthy family life, and decrease child abuse as well.
  3. What do parents want of their Church community?
    Parents want the Church community to encourage and support them in both spiritual and practical ways. The principle environment for this experience is the parish where parents can gather to learn, pray, strengthen and support each other. Offering such education and support requires preparation of leaders.
  4. What is the importance of Education for Parenting parish-based leaders?
    Parish-based leaders and itinerant teachers become knowledgeable and well-versed in the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of providing these services and teaching material on parenting. The Archdiocesan Education for Parenting ministry provides yearly training and follow-up for potential leaders.
  5. How do I protect my children from pornography on the internet?
    Internet pornography has grown dramatically in recent years and threatens the health and wellness of children. The Witherspoon Institute provides a comprehensive study on The Social Costs of Pornography, developed by leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory. Useful resources to combat the problem of pornography include internet filters (see Covenant Eyes) and educational websites (see Fight the New Drug). For more information, visit our True Freedom page.

If you have any questions that are not answered above, please contact Sue DiSisto at (646) 794-3191 or susan.disisto@archny.org.

Family Life † Respect Life