By Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation
Does your military parish participate in the Archdiocese for the Military Service’s Family Faith Assessment (AMS FFA)?
Parents are the primary teachers of the faith for their children (National Directory for Catechesis 29.E, Familiaris Consortio 39). The AMS FFA is a dynamic web resource aimed at supporting and engaging faith learning at home within the family.
The website has three components, which are a family assessment, a family play feature, and a student assessment.
The Family Assessment is open between September and October. Parents should help children take this baseline review. Once you complete the quiz, you’ll immediately be able to access the feedback. It will help you identify the areas of faith formation in which your children may need extra help or refreshers.
The Family Play feature encourages family fun faith learning through games and quizzes. Children can challenge their parents to games and quizzes, even if they are deployed! Catechists can use the resource in class, dividing the students into groups to play along. Priest chaplains can even get involved, virtually challenging students.
The Student Assessment is open between April and May. Students will independently test the catechetical knowledge they’ve developed this year. This information will be stored in your child’s AMS Family Faith Passport, a helpful record of your child’s progress in faith learning, which can be transferred to your next duty station.
I took the sixth-grade assessment with my son. The challenging quiz took about 15 minutes and was 28 questions long. You only have a certain amount of time to answer each question, then the system answers it for you and asks you to move on to the next question. I found it was easier for me to read the question and multiple-choice answers out loud to my son so he could think about the answers more quickly. After you answered each question, there was a button that invited you to click to learn more about the concept. After we took the assessment, we had fun challenging each other to different quizzes.
AMS established this center of online education to gauge children’s and families’ knowledge of the faith and to support innovative ways of learning and transmission. AMS hopes that this initiative will inspire the prayer lives of families, spur faith-based conversations, and propel them to attend Mass and serve their communities.
For more detailed information about the goals of the AMS Family Faith Assessment and to take a video tour of the website, go to https://www.milarch.org/ams-family-faith-assessment/
If your family isn’t registered for the AMS FFA through your military parish, reach out to your Catholic Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE) or priest chaplain. They can reach out to AMS’ Director of Faith Formation, Jose Amaya at FaithFormation@nullmilarch.org, for a parish registration code. You’ll receive an invitation to join the website through your CRE or pastor.
What if your children are not currently attending religious education at a parish on a military installation? No problem! Federal employees and their families serving outside the borders of the United States, homeschooling families and active-duty families affiliated with civilian parishes may also reach out to Jose directly at FaithFormation@nullmilarch.org, for access to the AMS Family Faith Assessment.