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Dear Millie and Mike

This handout provides several real-life situations that teens might encounter. Students are challenged to respond to the situations and give advice to other teens.

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The Prophets

This small-group activity provides questions for students to answer about the different prophetic books of the bible.

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The Book of Exodus

This small-group project asks students to read a section from the Book of Exodus before acting out the passage and responding to discussion questions.

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Jigsaw Activity: Categories of Books in the New Testament

This activity asks small groups to answer questions about a specific section of the New Testament.

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Literal and Spiritual Senses of Scripture: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37)

This small-group, discussion guide challenges students to read a familiar story using a different lense and perspective.

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The Socratic Seminar

This handout provides a set of guidelines and instructions to help students successfully participate in a Socratic seminar.

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What It Means to Be Human

This handout helps students list characteristics that come from society and from Jesus’ teachings that describe what it means to be human.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 32

A lesson plan for lesson 32 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to use virtues and grace to live a moral life.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 31

A lesson plan for lesson 31 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to respect truth.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 30

A lesson plan for lesson 30 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to respect material goods.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 29

A lesson plan for lesson 29 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to respect the sexuality of ourselves and others.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 1

A lesson plan for lesson 1 in The Catholic faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. This lesson plan challenges students to identify why they are Catholic and the core beliefs, practices, and attitudes of Catholicism

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Helping the Church of Today and Tomorrow

This handout challenges students to reflect on and brainstorm what it would have been like to create Church teachings and rules shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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The Consequences of Moral Decisions

This handout examines how actions, attitudes, and decisions affect ourselves and the people around us

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Searching the Scriptures for the World of Jesus

Small-group activity that guides students to discover the culture of Jesus’ world by searching the Gospels

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Handout: Love Is...

A small group activity to foster discussion about what love is

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Called to Share the Mission of Jesus

This small-group activity provides each group with an example of Christ's mission. Groups must answer questions surrounding their particular example.

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Cases to Examine: Is This Euthanasia?

This handout provides three situations for students to read and evaluate. Students must decide if the story shows an example of Euthanasia.

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Perspectives on Sex

This handout provides several comments from teenagers about sex. It can be used as a discussion starter or writing prompt.

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Three Perspectives on Drugs

This handout provides three different comments from teens about their drug and alcohol usage. This can be used as a discussion starter.

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Three Renewal Movements

Work with your group to complete the section of this handout that corresponds to your assigned topic.

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Called to Share the Mission of Jesus

Questions about how we can imitate Jesus’ example in the way we interact with others.

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Created in God’s Image

You will be guided through this handout, taking notes and answering questions as directed in your class.

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Secular Institutes

A worksheet completed in groups about the history, role, and characteristics of secular institutes.

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Exploring Religious Orders and Congregations

A research assignment worksheet done in pairs to find important information about different religious orders.

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Being versus Doing

A scripture passage from the Gospel of Luke about Martha and Mary is read along with a commentary, and is followed by large group discussion questions.

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Inspirations and Charisms Worksheet

A partially independent and partially group completed worksheet for students to fill out about the inspirations and charisms of a particular religious congregation or order.

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The Effects of the Sacrament of Holy Orders

A worksheet completed in groups about the effects of the Sacrament of Holy Orders from both the book and the student’s personal knowledge.

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The Sacrament of Holy Orders Graphic Organizer

A worksheet completed in groups about the symbolic words and actions that take place during the Rite of Ordination, as well as their meaning and effect.

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What Will God Call Me to Do

A reflection worksheet and class discussion on the video Gang Busters: One Man’s Mission to Stop Bullets by Creating Jobs.

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Interview Questions for Family Members

Several interview questions for family members on family life and the Fourth Commandment.

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Interview Questions for a Practicing Catholic

A list of interview questions to ask a practicing Catholic.

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Chalk Talk

Steps on how to facilitate a silent conversation in writing in response to a topic or question posed.

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Writing Workshop

How to conduct a writing workshop in the classroom.

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Socratic Seminar Observation Form - Student

A student observation form for the Socratic seminar debate method.

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Socratic Seminar Symbol Codes

Socratic seminar symbol codes to help quickly evaluate a seminar speaker.

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The Socratic Seminar

A reading on the process and expectations for the Socratic Seminar debate.

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How to Lead a Socratic Seminar

A reading on how to lead a Socratic seminar.

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Socratic Seminar Observation Form - Student

A student observation form for the Socratic seminar.

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Student Evaluation of the Socratic Seminar

A student evaluation sheet for the Socratic seminar.

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If I Ruled the World

A worksheet that asks students to think about how they would solve different social justice issues if they ruled the world.

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Using the Jigsaw Process

A resource on how to use the jigsaw process, with is a method where students share information and insights from different readings to create a larger picture.

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In-Class Debates

A format for an in-class debate.

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Introspect and Interview

A worksheet on introspect and knowledge gained from interviews on important life issues including abortion, in vitro fertilization, stem-cell research, euthanasia, the death penalty, and immigration.

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Justice Conversation Starters

A list of several conversation starters or self-reflection questions on the topic of justice.

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Life, a Precious Gift

A PowerPoint presentation on the precious gift of life.

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The Gift of Freedom

A PowerPoint Presentation on the gift of freedom.

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Using the Card Deal Method

An instructional guide for using the card deal method, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Student Evaluation of the Socratic Seminar

A student evaluation form for the Socratic seminar.

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The Socratic Seminar

This class seminar will give you the opportunity to test your analytical and discussion skills through oral debate. This seminar is carried on in a very structured way, so it is important to learn the process and the rules.

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Red Card Green Card Process

The red card, green card process enables you to take a quick agree-or-disagree opinion poll to initiate discussion on a particular unit topic.

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Scripture Readings for Celebrating the Rite of Marriage

A list of Scripture readings that can be included in celebrating the Rite of Marriage, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Jigsaw Analysis of Primary Source Readings

A group activity dealing with the concept of human sexuality, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Unit 6 Preassessment Questions

A preassessment for Unit 6 of "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Martyrs in the Twentieth Century

A group discussion sheet on martyrs in the twentieth century, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Public Life and Faithful Citizenship

Group discussion questions, based on a reading assignment, on public life and faithful citizenship, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Fiddler on the Roof

Questions for discussion for "Fiddler on the Roof" from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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What is a Sin against the First and Second Commandment

A small group activity on sins against the first and second commandment, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Psalms of Praise

An activity dealing with the Psalms of Praise, from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Determing the Elements of Human Acts

A worksheet on determining the elements of human acts from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Gospel Reflection on Sin and Salvation

A Gospel reflection on sin and salvation from "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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Survey Summary Life in Christ

A survey summary for "Christian Morality: Our Response to God's Love."

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An Examination of Conscience

This resource is part of the Living in Christ Series. It offers great reflection questions for going through an examination of conscience, dividing the questions into those referring to love of God, and those referring to love of neighbor. This …

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The Mystery of Suffering - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is part of the Living in Christ Series. Rather than a philosophical or theological discussion of the mystery of suffering, this resource asks students to meditate and think about Jesus' example of suffering for people he loves.

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The Prodigal Son A Story of Conversion

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can reflect on and answer questions about the conversion of the Prodigal Son.

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Reflections on Suffering

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can reflect on their experiences of and response to suffering through this series of though-provoking questions.

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Common Beliefs about Suffering

This activity allows students to reflect on a series of questions about human suffering and God's participation in it. They can agree or disagree with various statements of commonly held beliefs about suffering.

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Redemptive Love in The Spitfire Grill

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can answer questions about the themes and characters in the movie, "The Spitfire Grill".

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Redemptive Love: Simon Birch

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students watching the movie "Simon Birch" can use this handout to follow along and reflect on major themes in the film.

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Introduction to Salvation History - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint presentation is part of the Living in Christ Series. It explores salvation history, the transmission of Divine Revelation, and the role of the Magisterium.

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Being Human - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is part of the Living in Christ Series. It asks students to reflect on what it means to be human and how Jesus models the way to live fully alive.

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Where Have Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, Disciples, and Others Modeled the Ways to Discipleship?

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students are asked to reflect on the discipleship modeled by Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, and others.

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Definitions and Application of Theological Terms

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can use this chart to fill in the definiton of various terms, then find a practical application for their life.

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Portfolio Instruction

This resource is part of the Living in Christ Series. It offers instruction to students who must put together a portfolio of their readings, writings and assignments from lessons on Jesus and Christology.

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Cross the Line

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. It introduces a method of classroom discussion that is interactive and a part of the bodily-kinesthetic learning method. Students move to indicate their responses to various questions.

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A Gallery Walk - Discussion Technique

This article is from the Living in Christ Series. It is an instructional article for teachers to learn how to administer a "Gallery Walk" discussion technique.

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Finding God and Being Found by God - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is part of the Living in Christ Series. It is a great introduction to what God desires from humans and why God chooses to reveal Himself to us.

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Student Evaluation for the Socratic Seminar

This rubric is part of the Living in Christ Series. Teachers may use it to evaluate students on their participation in a Socratic Seminar.

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The Socratic Seminar

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. Teachers may use it as a guide to using the Socratic Method in classroom discussion.

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Compare and Contrast: Abraham and Moses

In this exercise the students compare and contrast the covenant experiences of Abraham and Moses to gain a deeper understanding of the role of covenant in the history of the Jewish people.

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Introducing Biblical Navigation

This article is from the Living in Christ Series. It offers guidelines for teachers teaching students how to navigate the Bible, including reference to other worksheet for the students.

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How to Lead a Socratic Seminar

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. It includes information on how to prepare for, lead, assess and follow-up the classroom use of a Socratic Seminar discussion method.

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Reading Notes and Questions for Student Book Articles 9-12

This reading guide is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can use it while reading other articles from the LIC Series to take important notes and answer significant questions.

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Learning About Learning

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. It asks students to reflect on their responses, likes, and dislikes to new learning methods.

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Leadership Statements

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. It includes several statesments about leadership in the Bible, including who's called, what skills are necessary, and what it takes to be a good leader.

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Etymology and Understanding

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students define, associate, and find similaries among various words that a teacher or catechist assigns, in order to see the root and relationship between them.

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Pass the Bag: A Biblical Affirmation Exercise

Class activity that familiarizes them with scriptural values, increases vocab, and ups self-esteem

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Let Your Light Shine: An Overnight Retreat on Self-Esteem

This overnight retreat on self-esteem invites the young people to explore their own personal gifts and encourages them to share those abilities with others. The retreat emphasizes the light of Christ in our Life, the special people who bring us …

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Four of a Kind

In class activity to help students share with each other

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Fears: A Discussion Exercise for Halloween

Exercise to do in class, for catechist

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The Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders and Matrimony

This session from Catechetical Sessions on Liturgy and the Sacraments invites participants to consider the unique ways in which ordained ministers and married people serve the people of God, responsibilities that are presented in the vows they take in either …

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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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Paul: Persecutor of Christians

Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women . . . To prison. (Acts of the Apostles 8:3) Convinced that following the teachings of Jesus was wrong, Paul pursued the early Christians …

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Paul: Religious Zeal

I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. (Galatians 1:14) A tent maker by trade, Paul's Jewish name was Saul. But because Paul …

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Program aims to get youth excited about Bible

Young people in the diocese are getting excited about Scripture and it's all part of a national effort called "Yes! Youth Engaging Scripture." YES is a Catholic teen-to-teen Bible sharing concept and to date, some 1,800 young people have been …

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The First Address from Pope Benedict XVI

"Grace and peace in abundance to all of you! In my soul there are two contrasting sentiments in these hours. On the one hand, a sense of inadequacy and human turmoil for the responsibility entrusted to me yesterday as the …

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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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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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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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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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Moral Decision Making and Real-Life Applications

If you have used the Saint Mary's Press textbook Growing in Christian Morality, then you're familiar with the LISTEN process for making moral decisions. The process is introduced in the textbook and is used throughout the companion student casebook. LISTEN …

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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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Wrestling with Diversity

How do we welcome non-Christians into our schools and our religion classrooms, and at the same time give witness to our own Christ-centered faith? How do we invite students to learn from and respect other faith traditions without sending the …

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The Elephant Man

I use a "carousel" activity with the movie The Elephant Man (1980, Paramount Video, 125 minutes) when teaching my lifestyles course. It works like this. After viewing the movie, I ask the students to call out the names of all …

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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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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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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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Six Ways to be Truly Catholic

I always thought that I would have made a great archbishop in Salzburg during the time of Mozart. But instead I'm the archbishop of Milwaukee in the time of rock 'n' roll. That's the way life turns out. We live …

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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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Service and Justice

We are standing on the brink, and our bishops are urging us to jump. Many of us don't know where we'll end up, and we aren't sure whether we'll land in one piece. Yet the sense of urgency is building, …

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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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Once Upon A Time: Using Student-Generated Stories in Religion Classes

Religion classes should be interesting, if not compelling, and they can be if what is interesting is determined by the students. This, of course, is not a new approach. Learner-centered educational theories have been popular for decades. Using story as …

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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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Catholic Identity

For a couple of years, Saint Mary's Press sponsored a listserv discussion group online. Discussions on a variety of topics were pursued via e-mail. In this article I hope to summarize some of the highlights from postings on the timely …

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