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Using Literature in Theology Classes

Editor's note: The author of our feature article, Kathleen Hodapp, was one of the participants in last summer's workshop "The Catholic High School As Faith Community," held here in Winona, Minnesota, as well as on the East Coast and the …

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A One-Day Retreat on Service in the Inner City

Our sophomore class day retreat focuses on finding spirituality in the inner city. It is a kind of "urban plunge" experience within a spiritual framework, and students go on this retreat during the same semester that they take a social …

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Helping Students Get the Most Out of Stories

For the past six years I have been researching the power of stories for communicating Catholic religious and moral values. At the same time, I have been experimenting with stories in my high school classroom (tenth- and twelfth-grade classes in …

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The Power of Parables

We all know that a good story will almost always act as an excellent springboard for reflection. Jesus' most effective teaching tool was the parable. He would gather his disciples and tell them a story with a message that moved …

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Taking Off on the Ten Commandments

This classroom strategy is based on a method used by Fr. Steve Brice while teaching religion at Aquinas High School, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Young people love humor and satire. One way to alleviate pressures students feel from the culture around …

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Using Imaginative Retellings in Teaching the Bible

Biblical stories have been imaginatively retold over and over again for centuries. A particular type of retelling, in which students assume the role of a biblical character then retell the story using a first-person point of view, has proven effective …

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Expect Much, Praise Much, Be Present to Them

Course materials, such as the high school religion textbooks and teacher's manuals published by Saint Mary's Press, are a significant ingredient in the education of our young people. But we all know that the most important factor in a student's …

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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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A New Look at the Sower and the Seeds

This is the text of a reflection given at the opening prayer service of the school year. The concept is interesting and could work well in a classroom or retreat setting. Scattered them wildly about (see Matt. 13:1-53; Mark 4:1-34; …

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Movie Application of A Little Princess

Movies are a wonderful way of reaching students! My students always enjoy the break from the classroom routine, but they have come to realize that the movies are purposeful and important to the content we are covering. I always have …

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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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