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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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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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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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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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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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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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Three Renewal Movements

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

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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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Justice Conversation Starters

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

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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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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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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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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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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

This can be easily adapted to a video call.  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 …

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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