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Fears: A Discussion Exercise for Halloween

Exercise to do in class, for catechist

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Paul's Conversion

Background for the Teacher This session focuses our attention on Paul's conversion experience. Using a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg as focusing symbols, the young people reflect on the meaning of conversion. Then two or three of the participants …

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Leader's Guide for The Master's Companion: A Christian Midrash

Table of Contents Beyond Scripture Helpful Hints for Using and Creating Midrash with Young People Classroom Activities Chapter 1: The Small Black Dog with the White Foot (John 4:1-30)--compassion for animals Chapter 2: A Night in the Garden (John 4:39-45)--significance …

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Leader's Guide for Coyote Meets Jesus

Stories are not just for young children. Everyone loves a good story and good storytelling is a useful tool for teaching. Using folktales as a teaching tool in a catechetical setting or a religion class can help teens understand the …

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Peace Creed

Writing a Peace Creed (15 minutes) 1. Tell the young people that as much as we might want peace to become a reality in our world, being a peacemaker takes a lot of hard work. The first steps are to …

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Family Relationships

Scripture Passage Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"-- this is the first commandment with a promise: "so that it may be well with you and you may live long on …

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Word-Association Exercise: Afterlife

(30 minutes) Prior to this exercise, have the all participants (including the facilitator) bring to the session a personal symbol. This symbol should be an object from among the participant's personal belongings that acts as a reminder of a much …

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Reflection Exercise: My Least Answerable Questions

(5 minutes) 1. Introduce this exercise by reiterating the idea that death is mystery and that since the beginning of time, people of all ages, cultures, and races have asked tough questions about death. Jesus himself struggled with such questions. …

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The Power of Song

(25-35 minutes) Preparation Bring in a recording of an African American sacred song, or invite a local gospel choir or your school or parish choir to come in and perform such a song. A good resource for music is Lead …

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January 22: Saying Yes to Life

Preparation Bring in pictures of fetal development. 1. Present a scenario in which a girl like those in your group experiences a crisis pregnancy. Then list on the board a number of options, such as these: She can keep the …

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Advent: Saint Joseph and Jesus

1. Gather the group in a circle for a moment of silence. Light the candle and read these passages about Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew (1:18-21 and 2:13-15). Ask the group to sit quietly for a moment and ponder …

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A New Rock: Adaptations for Home Use

These activities are easily adapted for family members at home. When gathered for a meal, or for the specific purpose of these activities, family members can do one activity, a couple, or all of them, depending on the amount of time …

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A Listening Session for Teens on the Mishandling of Sexual Abuse by Clergy

Materials Needed * a 3-by-5-inch index card for each young person * a pencil for each young person * prayer materials (Select one of the "Options for Ritual Actions" below.) * 3 readers for the closing prayer                                                                                                                 * handouts …

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The Meal Ministry of Jesus

Ask the students to recall their favorite meal celebration. What made it so special? What was the occasion? Where were they? Who was present? What did they eat? What else happened there? Invite them to share with the class the …

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What Every Teen Should Know

I often joke with my students that they help me parent my children! When my daughter Ellie was turning thirteen, all of a sudden I was struck with this idea that turned out to be an awesome activity for my …

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Intergenerational Service Project

Objectives to provide layette and nursery supplies for families in need to bring together girls and women to serve, build community, and pray to stimulate intergenerational dialogue among girls and women to reflect on the physical and emotional needs of …

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The Color Purple

A CAUTIONARY NOTE: One of the criticisms of The Color Purple is that it depicts the men in the story as primarily abusive. Also, this movie is PG-13, mostly because of the violence and strong language. We recommend the movie …

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Building Faith Community in the High School

In a workshop entitled "The Catholic High School as Faith Community," religion teachers, campus ministers, and school administrators discussed, among many things, the obstacles they face in trying to build faith community in their school. One obstacle they addressed was …

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Questions for God

In a course on faith that he teaches at De La Salle Academy in New York City, David Detje, FSC, uses the film Oh, God! to shake up the students' notions of what God is like. He has gotten some …

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Kinds of Relationships

Margaret Kueberth, a religion teacher at the Catholic High School of Baltimore, passed on two of her exercises that can be used in a sexuality or lifestyles course. The first exercise, which can be made into a handout, serves as …

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The Mirror Has Two Faces

We live in a culture obsessed with sex, and our students soak up that message in music, television, and film. I am astounded at how explicit the sexual dynamics, innuendo, and situations in typical teen dramas (witness "Dawson’s Creek," "Felicity," …

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Praying the Psalms

Remember the television show from the late 80's called "Doogie Howser, M.D.?" At the end of every show, Doogie would sit down at his computer and write a 2 or 3 sentence "blurb" that perfectly summed up his day and …

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