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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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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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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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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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Life Issues A Summary: Dealing with Peer Pressure

A good summary on dealing with peer pressure.

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Creating a Promotional Brochure

Your group has been assigned to create a brochure about one of the two major religious orders to emerge during the Catholic Reformation: the Jesuits or the Carmelites. Imagine that you are members of this new religious order during the …

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Monastic Rule

Your group is about to found a monastery, and you must develop a rule (or constitution) governing your religious community’s life and work. Answer the following questions to begin developing your monastic rule. Use a separate sheet of paper if …

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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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Learning to Listen to God

A survey to assess a student’s listening skills.

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Where Is God Leading Me?

A discussion oriented worksheet that includes meditating on scripture passages and answering questions about the readings as well as personal questions.

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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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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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Marriage in the New Testament

A discussion-oriented worksheet on marriage in the New Testament.

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Marriage in the Old Testament

An activity that takes a look at marriage in the Old Testament.

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Why Sacramental Marriage?

A series of short questions on Sacramental Marriage to discuss with a group, or personally respond to.

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It’s All About You! The Single Lay Christian

A series of questions to guide you through a discussion of the single life, whether temporary or permanent.

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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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A Call to Love

A set of reflection questions, based on the four objects of love.

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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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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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Using a Mind Map

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

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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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Finding Salt and Light for the World

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. It helps students reflect on various gifts, skills and virtues they might posesses in order to discern specific ministries they might be good at.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Prayer: How Will You Know?

Reader 1: When do you decide how you will live? What goes into the thoughts that shape your dreams? Reader 2: For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, Reader 1: Do you know, at …

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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