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National Bible Week: Daily Reading - A Gift to Me

A Gift to Me He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34) Throughout this Gospel, Mark shows …

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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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The Final Beginning: Ascension and Pentecost

Overview After Jesus' death, his followers were fearful, angry, grief-stricken, confused, and shattered. About fifty days later, at Pentecost, they were confident, joyful, determined, committed, and passionate. This topic of this session covers the time from the Resurrection until the …

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Resources for Parents Who Want to View The Passion of the Christ with Their Teenage Children

Things to Remember Film is an art form, and many genres and subgenres exist within film. Comedy is a genre. Within that genre one could name romantic comedies, slapstick comedies, and dark comedies as subgenres. Before reading a piece of …

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Who Does the Movie Say Killed Jesus?

Much of the controversy about The Passion of the Christ centers around one question: Who killed Jesus? The Anti-Defamation League feels the movie lays the blame at the feet of the Jews. Mel Gibson, the movie's director, producer and cowriter, …

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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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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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Frequently Asked Questions About the Pope

What is the pope? The pope is the bishop of the Church of Rome, Italy. Because of the importance of Rome, Tradition recognizes the pope as the supreme pastor of all Christians. Why is the Church of Rome so important? …

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God's Work or My Work? What is Ministry to Teens?

It had been a very successful year for the youth ministry program in the parish. Young people where involved everywhere in the church, adult volunteers were both plentiful and dedicated, and young people were being transformed. But I was perplexed. …

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A Christian Response to Violence, Part 2:

Pacifism: "We No Longer Learn War" How can we apply Jesus’ command to love our enemies when our whole nation has been attacked? Over the centuries, how Christians have attempted to apply Jesus’ teachings on violence to their lives has …

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A Christian Response to Violence, Part 1:

In the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks, many people are calling for military retaliation against whatever group or country is ultimately found to be responsible. The desire to strike back at those who hurt us is understandable, but …

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Be At Peace Among Yourselves

"Be at peace among yourselves." (1 Thessalonians 5:13) "None of us is alone in this world; each of us is a vital piece of the great mosaic of humanity as a whole." (Pope John Paul II, Israel-Palestine) Think About That …

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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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On the Frontier of Justice in Ghana

"Africa has been the land of hope, salvation, and redemption. Abraham had come to Africa, Joseph from slave to savior. It was the land of refuge for Jesus and helped to carry his cross. Will we continue to dismiss Africa …

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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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Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Movie Activity

Disney's 1996 movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame can serve as a great starting point for discussions on the following topics: Moral Development. One can find examples of Quasi relying on childlike, adolescent and adult morality--which makes sense for an …

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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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Patch Adams - Movie Reflection

Patch Adams is a great movie to use with students! It is the fact-based story of Hunter "Patch" Adams, the founder of the Gesundheit Clinic. Robin Williams plays the lead character with grace and skill. Synopsis: After spending some time …

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Curriculum Integration in Service Programs

How can you begin working toward curriculum integration with your service program? Consider the following principles as a good guide. Connections Get to know the curriculum in other content areas. Study the program of studies of your school. Look at …

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Processing Service Experiences

I have been involved with our school's service-learning program for over ten years as a classroom teacher. Because the program is integrated fully in the religion, English, and social studies curriculum, we have made a commitment to processing the material …

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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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