Stories with a Purpose

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By Ronnie Muro and Rosanna Tsivourakis


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Make lessons come alive! Share the faith by telling powerful, compelling, unforgettable stories! Reach young people "inside," where your message can change their hearts and make a difference. In an age when storytelling has become a lost art, Stories with a Purpose provides lessons for both the spirit and the heart. Thought-provoking narratives—poignant, humorous, and, best of all, real—help make challenging, abstract concepts more memorable. Each story comes with tips to enrich the telling, discussion questions, follow-up activities, and prayer experiences to increase the story's impact and learning potential.

Product Details

Copyright: May 5, 2006

Format: Paperback

Size: 6 x 9

Length: 128 pages

Item number: 3803

ISBN: 978-0-88489-659-3

ISBN-10: 0-88489-659-5

Editorial Reviews

Catholic Library World, September, 2006

This book is a good aid to the often difficult task of devising creative group activities, and includes several practical ways to break the ice.

One Voice, May 1, 2006

[Laurie] Delgatto said, "Stories with a Purpose: Lessons for the Spirit, Lessons for the Heart offers thought-provoking stories that help make challenging ideas and abstract concepts more memorable—even unforgettable. The stories included in this book are poignant, humorous, and, best of all, real. Accompanying each story are suggestions to enrich the telling, discussion questions, follow-up activities, and prayer experiences to maximize the story's impact and learning potential."

[ Ronnie] Muro, who is the author of eight stories in the book, said he did not hesitate to become part of the project. "Since I had been writing stories like that for the past 10 years, I jumped at the chance," he said. "It was difficult because we had to find Bible verses that related to the story, dig into the story to uncover the deeper messages, and create discussion questions and activities that would reinforce the message for the kids."

Muro is also a believer in the power of storytelling. "For the most part when you hear a good story you can be moved by it," he said. "But our lessons are designed to go beyond that. The kids hear the story and are entertained, but then they are brought deeper into the story to discuss the message within. Through activities and discussion they learn the meaning. Then they are challenged to take an action based on the message of the story."

[Rosanna] Tsivourakis, a member of Prince of Peace Parish, has never forgotten the impact stories had on her as a child. "My mother was the 13th child of immigrant parents," she said. "By the time we (her children) came along, our grandparents and several of my mother's siblings had passed away. But we always felt strongly attached to these people we had never met because we had heard their stories over and over until we believed we'd actually, physically known them . . . and loved them."

Tsivourakis has seen the power of storytelling up close and personal. "I teach a Confirmation class at Prince of Peace," she said. "It's a large class and sometimes difficult to maintain order. But when we tell them our stories, you can hear a pin drop. We want to know each other. This is how we build and fortify our revealing our stories to each other."

Delgatto said storytelling has a direct relation to our faith. "Jesus knew the power of stories and often used parables as a way to connect with people and teach them," she said. "Carefully choosing images familiar to his audience, Jesus presented clear and simple examples to illustrate his lessons. The sower, the vineyard, and the mustard seed were familiar images to those who worked the land. . . . Jesus knew that stories stimulate listeners and open them up to a fuller experience of learning. Rather than merely hearing a lesson dictated to them, when people listen to a story, they experience emotion, create visual images, and process the story's message on multiple levels."
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