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Friendship and Forgiveness Prayer Space

An activity, including a discussion and a craft, on forgiving friends and family members, based on The Catholic Children’s Bible featured story “Jesus Teaches Us to Forgive”, Matthew 18:21–35.

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The Narrow Door: A Guided Meditation

This guided meditation communicates the Gospel message of simple living in a way that engages the imagination and inspires young people to actively simplify their lives. This activity is an excerpt from the book Justice and Service Ideas for Ministry …

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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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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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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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Symbol Interviews

A series of interview questions that students can ask married couples about symbols and marriage.

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Remembering My Confirmation

A worksheet where students are asked to interview several adults about their Confirmation experiences.

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Life Issues A Summary: Dealing with Peer Pressure

A good summary on dealing with peer pressure.

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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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The Threefold Ministry of a Bishop

This resource is a group activity worksheet that has students list examples of the Bishop’s roles in the areas of teaching, governing, and sanctifying.

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A Call to Priestly Ministry

This resource is a discussion guide and worksheet about the call to priestly ministry based on the film clip from There Be Dragons.

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Middle School Retreat to Learn about the Church as a Saving Community

An outline to help plan a middle school retreat focused on the Church as a saving community.

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Pray in Good Form

A worksheet, from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth" Teacher Guide, to assist students in researching and presenting different prayer forms.

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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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Small Passage Midrash, from “The Catholic Youth Bible” Old Testament Teacher Guide

An activity where students read an assigned Scripture passage of the mythical genre and then work on interpreting what they have read, from “The Catholic Youth Bible” Old Testament Teacher Guide.

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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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A Preassessment of My Knowledge of the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony

The leader’s copy of several preassessment questions and answers used to gauge students’ knowledge of the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony.

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The Disciples on the Road to Emmaus Part II

Discussion questions based on The Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).

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In-Class Debates

A format for an in-class debate.

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Life in the Holy Spirit

A number of real-world scenarios that deal with the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

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Using a Mind Map

A reading on using a mind map, which is a creative way to introduce a concept.

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The Meaning of Redemption (II)

A set of discussion questions centered around the meaning of Redemption: a matter of unconditional love, from "The Sacraments: Encounters with Christ."

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Sacramental Symbols in Scripture

A listing of scripture passages and complementary discussion questions from “The Sacraments: Encounters with Christ.”

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Preassessment

The Leader’s Guide for a preassessment of students’ knowledge of the Sacraments.

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Story Critique

Guidelines for critiquing “What is My Story?” from “The Sacraments: Encounters with Christ.”

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What Is My Story?

An activity based on reflecting on moments in your life in which you faced a significant challenge, from “The Sacraments: Encounters with Christ.”

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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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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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Symbols of Baptism

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. It invites students to reflect on the significance of key symbols used in baptism.

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The Baptism of Jesus

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can read the account of Jesus' baptism and answer questions about it.

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Interview Questions about Your Baptism

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students ask the provided to questions to adults who can tell them about the details of that student's baptism. A reflection on the significance of the sacrament is done at …

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The Parable of Juan and the Fishbowl Reflection

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can answer basic, advanced, and highly reflective questions about the story.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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Sacraments Outside the Box

I'm sure that one of the first things you did when you returned to school in September was to check your faculty mailbox. Most schools have a bank of neatly labeled cubbyholes. Get an image in your mind's eye: some …

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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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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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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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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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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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