Yes, FFI helps the Church and parishes by encouraging lay members of the Church. No, FFI does not steal people away from parish initiatives.
FFI supplements faith formation received at the parishes and aims to ignite a desire for participants to be more involved in their parishes and the Church. A multitude of experiences and evaluations show that participants have been reinvigorated in practicing their faith, to becoming more involved in their parish and have returned to their Church.
Many of the parents and youth from Family Catechism are the people who are the pro-claimers, altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, choir members, teachers of parish sacramental formation, marriage prep, finance members, etc. because they attend their parish with their families, because they have authentic formation, and because they want to serve.
For example, over the years there have been teachers from 28 parishes in the London and surrounding area who have had a part in delivering the London Family Catechism. Repeatedly teachers have remarked that they are much better formed and strengthened in their faith because of their involvement in the catechism program; further, they are confident and enthused about further participating in Parish life.
There have also been individual initiatives that FFI has incubated or supported that benefit parishes. (For example, Sarnia Marriage Conference or Men of Faith Listowel)