Family Life History

Family Life in the Archdiocese of Baltimore

A brief history:

Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education issued “Guidance in Human Love” a document calling on parents to carry out effectively their essential responsibility as the primary educators of their children, especially in the understanding of human sexuality.

The US Bishops completed a pastoral message entitled, Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning. In it the bishops applied to the situation in our country the teaching of the former Vatican document.

Cardinal William Keeler, then Archbishop of Baltimore promulgated what has since become known as “Catechesis for Human Sexuality: Guidelines and Policies for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. These guidelines were to be implemented in Catholic Schools and Religious Education programs and to encourage parish leaders to work in partnership with parents.

Some Catholic grade schools and high schools began incorporating “Family Life” type programs in about 1980 (“Becoming A Person”). Others waited until the diocese mandated it’s implementation in 1994. St. John’s school began the “Family Life Program at that time.

The Religious Education program postponed implementation. And when the Religious Education office did encourage the program, it was done in a completely different style. The vicar bishop’s pastoral visit in April 2008 reminded us of the mandate. Thus we have the “Family Life” program being initiated.