Book on Catholic parenting a real family affair

By 
  • August 23, 2020

“How did you do it? How did you raise kids who are passionate about their faith and have the heart of a missionary?”

André and Angèle Regnier, who co-founded Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) in 1988, are consistently asked by alumnus of the campus missionary organization to shed insight on how they parented five children who strive to be servants of Jesus. Their three adult children all became CCO missionaries.

Interpreting the appeals as prompts from the Holy Spirit, the couple penned the book Brick by Brick: Building a strong family that won’t lose their faith in a secular culture, co-writing the book with their five children and three in-laws.

Mylène Moreau, the eldest of the five Regnier children, was appointed main author because of her distinctive standing in the family as both child and mother. The rest of the writing team is Caleb and his wife Alana, Joel and his wife Elizabeth, soon-to-be Grade 11 student Natalie, and Janna, who just completed Grade 8.

The content was conceptualized after Sunday brunches. The 10 authors gathered in the living room to spend a few hours reminiscing, laughing and dissecting to unlock the reasons why their zeal for Christ-like living was unwavering.

“What really surprised me about the process was the united validation from the kids of the way we approached parenting,” said Angèle. “Everything we wrote came from a united conversation where we attained a clarity about some (parenting) principles and some nuances of it.”

Each writer was tasked with tackling certain passages of the book, but Angèle said any member could have composed any chapter because of the consensus achieved in brainstorming sessions.

André admired how each author took ownership of this project.

“It made me extremely proud as a father to see the sacrifice they made. It was a lot of work. It was two years of working through writing, editing and all the things that come with writing a book. All of us were feeling the same excitement and convictions over the book. It truly was a family affair.”

Some of the core child-rearing principles championed include:

  • Families should nurture children’s devotion to Jesus and share that faith with others.
  • Children must be armed with the knowledge to make decisions that please God in a secular world.
  • Parents need to cultivate a culture of respect so values such as humility, kindness and obedience are bred.

Unpacking the reasons why young  people rebel against their Catholic upbringing was particularly interesting for the Regniers.

“There are good reasons for that rebellion because maybe the way we communicate the faith and live the faith is uninspiring for that age group,” said André. “So, their experience of faith does not meet them, speak to them or give meaning to their life as a teenager. We wanted the faith to be relevant to their age group. We navigated the teen years not afraid of losing our children, but rather ‘bringing them in.’ Faith was a positive.”

The Regniers published the book independently in early 2019, but the Catholic book publisher Sophia Institute Press asked them to expand the footprint of the book.

For more information about Brick by Brick, see sophiainstitute.com.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible, which has become acutely important amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.