images of children with their parents

Early Catholic Family Life

Early Catholic Family Life LogoEarly Catholic Family Life (ECFL)is an exciting, parent-child program that stresses the importance of putting faith at the center of family life. It is aimed at an underserved but essential part of all parishes – parents with children 0-6 years old. Designed as an 8-session 2-hour class, it can be offered weekly, monthly, on weekdays, weekends, or during evening hours.

Each class includes early childhood, faith-based and fun activities for families.  ECFL consists of a parent-child interaction component, a parent discussion time, and a children’s time.  Through this program, parents are given an opportunity to learn more about their Catholic faith, discuss faith with other adults, and build supportive relationships within the parish.

Benefits of ECFL:

  1. Helps parents become intentional in passing down their faith to their children
  2. Meets families where they are at
  3. Fills the gap between Baptism and First Holy Communion
  4. Connects Catholic parents with their peers
  5. Strengthens community
  6. Connects young families with the parish

Read a testimonial from the archdiocesan blog and watch the introductory video below to learn more. 

ECFL was created by Joanne and Alan Foley and developed with the Office of Marriage, Family and Life of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Archdiocese of Toronto began piloting this program in 2018 with the generous support of donors through the Family of Faith campaign. 16 parishes have been trained to offer this program through our pilot project and we are seeking more. 

For more information, please contact Patrick Douglas, Associate Director, Family Life and Special Projects, at 416-934-3400, ext. 509 or email


ECFL Promotional Videos

Early Catholic Family Life - Introductory video (5:56)

ECFL 1 - A comfortable place to begin your family's faith journey (0:36)
ECFL 2 - Supporting parents in teaching their young children our Catholic faith (0:26)
ECFL 3 - Ideas for bringing faith and prayer into your home (0:43)
ECFL 4 - Families with faith who learn from each other (0:35)
ECFL 5 - Exploring simple ways to live your faith at home each day  (0:32)
ECFL 6 - Open, honest conversations that help families grow in faith (0:24)
ECFL 7 - A safe place to ask questions and share answers about spirituality (0:39)
ECFL 8 - Exploring faith, fostering friendships (0:40)
ECFL 9 - Where you'll find caring families who value faith, family, and friendship (0:36)

Copyright © 2018. Used with permission from the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE). All rights reserved. Further use, duplication, or distribution is prohibited without express permission from CSCOE.

YouTube playlist of ECFL Songs

Training Videos

Position Descriptions

Important Links

The Early Catholic Family Life Program is funded through the generous support of donors to the Family of Faith Campaign

logo has a red cross over a blue cross wit the words "Family of Faith"

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