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Exploring the Themes in Paul's Epistles

Background for the Catechist This session invites the participants to work in small groups to research some of Paul's major theological themes and create billboard representations to "sell" their assigned theme. In this way the young people get a deeper …

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Scripture Search and Discussion: Living by the Spirit of Jesus

(25 minutes) Before the session. Ask one of the participants to serve as a reader. Then, write each of the four following words or phrases on a separate sheet of paper. If your group is large, you might want to …

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The Final Beginning: Ascension and Pentecost

Overview After Jesus' death, his followers were fearful, angry, grief-stricken, confused, and shattered. About fifty days later, at Pentecost, they were confident, joyful, determined, committed, and passionate. This topic of this session covers the time from the Resurrection until the …

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Lenten Justice Crosses

OVERVIEW Through this hands-on project, the young people help spread the Lenten message of conversion to justice. They also become familiar with the message of the prophet Micah and the traditional spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Suggested Time: …

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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 Buddies

Advent Buddies: An Intergenerational Relationship-building Activity OVERVIEW This activity helps young people learn from an older person in the parish and establish a faith relationship with that person. Suggested Time: About 15 minutes for each meeting during Advent Group Size: …

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Build a Meal: An Outreach Activity for Thanksgiving

Build a Meal: An Outreach Activity for Thanksgiving OVERVIEW This outreach activity invites the young people to build holiday meals and memories for families that might not be able to afford a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Suggested Time: 10 to 15 …

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All Saints' Day: Unmasking Saints

Unmasking Saints: A Learning Activity for All Saints' Day OVERVIEWThis creative activity helps young adolescents learn a little about their Catholic heritage by exploring the life and work of their patron saint or a favorite saint. Group Size: This strategy …

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Back to School: Saintly Guest Speaker

Saintly Guest Speaker? This activity is designed to have your students move around a little, look at the lives of a few saints, assess where they are in their spiritual lives, and help you assess how they are feeling about …

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Technology assignment - Catholic Social Teaching

Over ten years ago, I began using my home computer to file and create documents for my students. My high school, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, already had a very well-developed technological infrastructure. Internet searches, e-mail, PowerPoint presentations, …

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Feminine Images of God

Look up the following Scripture references and summarize each in the space provided. For each group of readings, come up with a category or theme. Isaiah 66:13 Isaiah 46:3 Isaiah 49:13-16 Hosea 11:1,3-4 Wisdom 16:25-26   Psalm 22:9-10 Isaiah 66:9 …

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Scripture Puppet Show

This assignment allows students to use their own creativity in the understanding and application of the Scriptures. Their grade for this assignment will be based on their ability to do the following tasks: Involve all members of the group. Create …

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Names and Images of God

Fill in the three columns ("Names for God," "Images of God," "Feelings Evoked by Names and Images") for each of the age categories in which you have lived to date. In the "Names for God" box, list all the names …

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The Connections Binder: A Theology Project

The Connections Binder encourages students to find meaningful connections between the content they are studying in class and something from the world outside the classroom that they find interesting or appealing. I assign this project at the beginning of my …

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Building Faith Community in the High School

In a workshop entitled "The Catholic High School as Faith Community," religion teachers, campus ministers, and school administrators discussed, among many things, the obstacles they face in trying to build faith community in their school. One obstacle they addressed was …

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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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Introductory Activities for Teaching Christology

Mimi McCaul, who teaches at La Salle High School in Pasadena, California, passes along to you some of the strategies she uses in the course Jesus of History, Christ of Faith. Thanks, Mimi! Introductory Activity On the first or second …

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Back to School: Beatitude Jingles and Cheers

Jesus taught us what happiness is all about in a Christian lifestyle and summed it up in the Beatitudes. Many people know the Ten Commandments by heart, and that is great. But as a Christian, we should also know the …