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Reflections on Poverty in America

This handout provides a series of Scripture passages and real-life accounts to help students reflect on poverty in America.

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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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Fair Trade

This worksheet provides questions for students to answer as they research and learn about the Fair Trade Movement.

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What Can a Person Do?

This article gives several suggestions of how an individual can bring about distributive justice.

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Justice Resources

Brief description of organization/agency/group and the nature of its work: How does it build relationships? promote justice?

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Research Activity: Working for Social Justice

Answer the following questions about the organization you are researching. Use a separate sheet of paper as needed.

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Human Rights

Several articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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"You Have Heard…But I Say"

An article about Jesus’ command to love everyone, even those who society has deemed unlovable.

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Living God's Call

A reading, with reflection questions, on living out God’s Call of unconditional love, agape, for all.

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War and Peace in Catholic Social Teaching

An article on war and peace in Catholic social teaching.

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The Challenge of Peace

An article on the foundations for a justified war and the just war doctrine.

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Principles of Catholic Social Teaching for Business Ethics

An article on the principles of Catholic social teaching for business ethics.

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"Homeless: Motel Kids of Orange County" Movie Guide

A movie guide with questions pertaining to the film “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County.”

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Planet Partner Survey

A self-assessment survey on how well students are stewards of creation.

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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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Dilemma Questions

A set of questions based on real-world situations and dilemmas that a person may be dealing with.

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The Church, Social Ethics, and Politics

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. It is a great introduction to the Church, social ethics and politics in the United States.

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Service and Justice: A Conversion of Heart

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. It discusses 5 stages in introducing service learning to a classrooom setting.

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Called to Holiness: Holiness in Modern Church Teaching

This article from the Living in Christ Series discusses holiness: what it is, who is called, and how to live it out. Both the Church and the people in it are holy.

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Overview of Christian Morality and Justice Course

outlines course themes/sessions

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A Friend for Life

  Editor's note: The names of the minors in this story have been changed to preserve confidentiality, in accordance with the wishes of Holy Cross Children's Services. DETROIT--When Tonya entered a youth detention home of the Holy Cross Children's Services …

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Highlights of Catholic Documents on Justice and Peace

Highlights of Catholic Documents on Justice and Peace The following link will take you to a PDF document that sumarizes many of the key points from Church documents addressing the social teachings of the Catholic Church. http://www.smp.org/Images/Complementary/Highlights.pdf

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Our Lady of Guadalupe: Icon of Justice

"Commitment to human life and dignity, to human rights and solidarity"; these are elements of what is commonly understood as social justice. In the Church today we have numerous "icons" we can look to in order to guide us in …

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January 22: Reflection on Roe vs. Wade

I walked with George the other day, And this is what he had to say: "If this is what its come to, then I'm glad that I've passed on. For the foundation laid so long ago apparently is gone. What …

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A Letter to Young People from the President of Saint Mary’s Press

Dear young friends, The recent, tragic events continue to leave us all shocked, confused, scared, and sorrowful. At this time, nothing is more important than to turn our hearts to Jesus. Perhaps, we can find comfort in the words of …

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A Christian Response to Violence, Part 2:

Pacifism: "We No Longer Learn War" How can we apply Jesus’ command to love our enemies when our whole nation has been attacked? Over the centuries, how Christians have attempted to apply Jesus’ teachings on violence to their lives has …

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A Christian Response to Violence, Part 1:

In the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks, many people are calling for military retaliation against whatever group or country is ultimately found to be responsible. The desire to strike back at those who hurt us is understandable, but …

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Be At Peace Among Yourselves

"Be at peace among yourselves." (1 Thessalonians 5:13) "None of us is alone in this world; each of us is a vital piece of the great mosaic of humanity as a whole." (Pope John Paul II, Israel-Palestine) Think About That …

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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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Scenes from a Mexican Village

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration sponsor a program called Global Awareness Through Experience. The GATE program offers a rich opportunity to get to know the realities of Mexico, something I have wanted to do for years. At a point …

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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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Curriculum Integration in Service Programs

How can you begin working toward curriculum integration with your service program? Consider the following principles as a good guide. Connections Get to know the curriculum in other content areas. Study the program of studies of your school. Look at …

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U.S. Students Work for Salvadoran Students

Katie Murphy visited El Salvador in the summer of 1999 as part of the Frontiers of Justice project, a learning opportunity for Catholic high school teachers cosponsored by Catholic Relief Services and the National Catholic Educational Association's Secondary Division. Her …

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Following the Spirit Down the (Yellow?) Brick Road

The road is really a five-foot wide path. The bricks are more dappled browns than yellow. But the journey does have a wizard and feisty little black terrier. And along the way we found our hearts, our minds, and our …

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Central Characteristics of Roman Catholicism

Catholicism is a remarkably rich religion, characterized by a complex tapestry of beliefs, practices, values, rituals, traditions, and more. When viewed "from the outside"--that is, by those who do not share its communal life--Catholicism is probably most frequently identified by …

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Everyday Works of Mercy

Are you more Christian than you give yourself credit for being? My belief is that there are many like that--that many dedicated Christian people have compartmentalized their lives and have excluded important and central areas of their lives from what …

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The Death Penalty and the Catholic Conscience

Some proponents say the death penalty is biblical: "an eye for an eye." This moral theologian shows how they are misreading the Bible. If someone murdered your child or closest friend, what punishment would you want for the criminal? If …

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The Spirituality of Work

Teachers who structure justice into their workday lives model a moral vision for their students. I requested a review copy of all religion textbooks used in Catholic high schools some years ago and scoured over 30 books looking for references …

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Peace: The Countercultural Value

Ours is a violent society. Furthermore, evidence strongly suggests that we are learning to accept violence as normal behavior. As a people, we appear to be increasingly indifferent to daily images of warfare, racial hatred and ethnic cleansing. Murder and …

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The Community Service Dimension

A high school senior leans over the shoulders of two 9-year-olds struggling with math homework in a tutoring program at the community center. Two students carry food baskets up the narrow flight of stairs to the residents of a housing …

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Columbine High's Selfless Heroes

The stories of Columbine's heroes rise like a "tide of inspiration" for this Denver mother. Starting the third laundry load, I pause, puzzled by a pin on my daughter's t-shirt. At 14, she tosses shirts into the hamper with glad …

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Dance: An Awakening

Ms. Sawaya Lamb teaches dance at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mr. Wagoner, a former technical director at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, is now assistant principal at Saint Vincent School in Salt Lake City. …

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Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Step 1: Look at the situation What exactly is happening? Why is it happening? Who is involved? What are their motives? How is it happening, that is, by what means or method? When and where is it happening? Step 2: …

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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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The Harvest Is Abundant: Reflections on a Spirituality of Service

Service is a golden word these days. Everybody's doing it: governmental bodies, schools, churches, even neighborhoods and families. Court sentencing frequently includes community service, the federal government holds service up as a value in programs such as Americorps, and state …

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Community Service Courses:

This past semester, at the end of a year-long service program at a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed youth, two students from my community service course wrote a poem to express the significance of their experiences. These are the …

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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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Curriculum Offerings of Theology Departments

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 section of the web site, I summarize some of the highlights from these old …

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