Parents as Primary Educators
Christian parents have a double duty, and the family is therefore both a first school and a first seminary. They must not limit the education of their children in natural virtues, in an authentic humanism. For the Christian, the family is also a ""garden"" or a ""first seminary"" ""in which the seeds of vocation, which God sows generously, are able to blossom and grow to full maturity,"" as John Paul II stated in his Message in the XXXI World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
The parental duty to educate children comes tied to a right. Parents are the ""original and primary"" educators of their children, and their duties as well as their rights are ""irreplaceable and inalienable."" (Compendium, No. 239) The duty is non-delegable.
The parent is ultimately responsible for his or her child. Though the parent may obtain the help of other persons or institutions, these always remain in loco parentis, in the parents' place.
Importantly, this is a task shared by both parents, and so ""the role of the father and that of the mother are equally necessary."" Parents are invaluable for the educating in the ways of the faith for their children. CCD only works when parents are teaching their children at home the truths of the faith. CCD is only one hour per week thus not able to provide the full education in the faith that children need. The faith cannot grow without the parents as the primary educators to their children.