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Celebrating Church Grade

8

Parish Catechist Guide


Celebrating Church

Parish Catechist Guide As I open this book, I open myself to God’s presence in my life. When I allow God’s grace to help me, I see with truth, hear with forgiveness, and act with kindness. Thank you, God, for your presence in my life.

Barbara F. Campbell, M.Div., D.Min. James P. Campbell, M.A., D.Min.


Contents

Program Overview

OV-4

Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OV-4 Program Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OV-6 Inside the Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OV-10 Scope and Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .OV-24 The Daily Examen in Finding God Grades 7–8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OV-30

The Effective Catechist

EC-1

A Catechist’s Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-1 Junior High: A Time of Rapid Growth and Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-2 Preparing a Sacred Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-4 Motivating Young People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-6 Presentation Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-7 Be Prepared . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-8 Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-10 Inclusion: Special Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-11 Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-12 The First Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EC-14

Unit 1

The Early Church

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4 Session 5 Faith in Action

Unit 2

Catechist Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1a, 11a, 19a, 27a, 35a

1

Jesus’ Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Church Grows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Witnesses to the Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 The Catechumenate in the Early Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Celebrating Ordinary Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Defend Life, Called to Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Catechist Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45a, 55a, 63a, 71a, 79a

We Belong

Session 6 Session 7 Session 8 Session 9 Session 10 Faith in Action

We Believe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Praise God in Worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monasteries and Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sent on a Mission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Celebrating Advent and Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wisdom of the Ages, A Quick Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

45 47 55 63 71 79 87

Contents  OV-1


Contents

Unit 3

The Church and Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 The Great Cathedrals and Worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Nourished by the Eucharist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Serving Physical and Spiritual Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Celebrating Lent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 A Thousand Paper Cranes, The Peacemakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

We Are Called

133

The Protestant Reformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Renewal in the Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 The Church Reaches Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Faith and Reason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Celebrating Holy Week and Easter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Drive for the Basics, Grant a Wish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

Catechist Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177a, 187a, 195a, 203a, 211a

We Are Sent

Session 21 Session 22 Session 23 Session 24 Session 25 Faith in Action

Seasonal Sessions

89

Catechist Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133a, 143a, 151a, 159a, 167a

Session 16 Session 17 Session 18 Session 19 Session 20 Faith in Action

Unit 5

We Worship

Session 11 Session 12 Session 13 Session 14 Session 15 Faith in Action

Unit 4

Catechist Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89a, 99a, 107a, 115a, 123a

177

Truth Revealed by God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 Acting on Behalf of Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Called by God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 People for Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Celebrating Pentecost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Outreach Magazine, Learn a New Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219

Catechist Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221a

The Year in Our Church

221

Advent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Lent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 Holy Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Easter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Pentecost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 All Souls Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247

OV-2  www.findinggod.com


Contents

Prayers and Practices of Our Faith

The Bible and You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 Formulas of Catholic Doctrine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Praying Our Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Celebrating and Living Our Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284

251

Glossary 301 Index 325

Young People’s Book Acknowledgments

Recorded Scripture Story Scripts

Session 9 Make Disciples of All Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-333 Session 10 Who Do You Say That I Am? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-334 Prayers and Practices The Story of Creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-335 Prayers and Practices Ruth and Naomi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-337 Prayers and Practices The Risen Jesus Meets Thomas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-338

Recorded Guided Reflection Scripts

Session 5 Session 10 Session 13 Session 19 Session 21

Blackline Masters, Unit Assessments, Answer Key T-349

331 T-333

T-339

Faith Made Real . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-339 God’s Greatest Gift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-341 Lasting Presence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-343 Reflecting the Holy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-345 Together in God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T-347

Acknowledgments

T-403

Contents  OV-3


Catechist Preparation

Unit 1

The Early Church Unit 1 focuses on how the Church continues to share Jesus’ message. The early Christians were often misunderstood, persecuted, and even killed for their belief in Jesus, but they were rewarded in Heaven for their faithfulness. Those who seek Jesus’ message today are welcomed into the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation.

Session 1

Jesus’ Message

In this session young people learn that Jesus taught us the Lord’s Prayer because it contains the heart of his message. At Pentecost, Jesus sent his disciples the Holy Spirit to fill them with grace. This grace gave them the strength to spread the Good News, and it helps us live in friendship with Jesus today.

Session 2

The Church Grows

Paul, raised as a Pharisee named Saul, persecuted Christians because he believed them to be lawbreakers. One day Jesus spoke to Paul, who became filled with the Holy Spirit. Later, at the Council of Jerusalem, Paul defended the equality of Gentile Christians. Paul’s story teaches us that faith and action are necessary for Salvation.

Session 3

Witnesses to the Faith

The earliest Christians believed in Jesus Christ and his message. They were often persecuted and martyred—killed for their faith—because of their love for Jesus. We praise the martyrs and other saints through a devotion called the Litany of the Saints.

Unit Saint

Saint Peter Saint Peter was one of Jesus’ most passionate disciples. Jesus gave him authority over the Church, and we consider him to be the first pope. Peter responded to his role by serving the community and preaching about Jesus, the Messiah. Like Peter, we are called to follow Jesus’ example by serving others.

Session 4 The Catechumenate in the Early Church People join the Church through a process known as the catechumenate. This period of prayer and instruction culminates with the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

Session 5

Celebrating Ordinary Time

In this session, young people learn about the meaning of Ordinary Time, explore how Ordinary Time is celebrated in the Church, and reflect on how we can grow as Jesus’ disciples and deepen our commitment to him during this liturgical season.

Unit 1  1a


Catechist Preparation

Prayer in Unit 1

In each session of Unit 1, establish a pattern and tone for prayer. In this unit, young people pray a prayer of celebration, a Litany of the Saints, and the Daily Examen, a form of prayer that is rooted in Ignatian spirituality.

Catholic Social Teaching in Unit 1 In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29–37), Jesus makes clear our responsibility to care for those in need. The Church articulates this responsibility in Catholic Social Teaching. The following themes of Catholic Social Teaching are integrated into this unit. Call to Family, Community, and Participation  Participation in family and community is central to our faith and to a healthy society. Family and communities must be supported and strengthened through active participation. Care for God’s Creation  We have a responsibility to care for God’s creation. We are called to make moral and ethical choices that protect the ecological balance of creation both locally and worldwide. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers  The Catholic Church teaches us to respect basic rights of workers: the right to productive work, to fair wages, to private property, to organize and join unions, and to pursue economic opportunity. Catholics believe that the economy is meant to serve people. Life and Dignity of the Human Person  The Catholic Church teaches us that all human life is sacred and that all people must be treated with dignity. As Catholics, we strive to respect and value people over material goods. The foundation of our moral vision is our belief in the life and the dignity of the human person. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable  As Catholics, we are called to follow Jesus’ example by making a specific effort to defend and promote the dignity of the poor and vulnerable and meet their immediate needs. Rights and Responsibilities  The Catholic Church teaches that every person has a right to life as well as the right to things required for human decency. As Catholics it is our responsibility to protect fundamental human rights. Solidarity  Solidarity is the attitude that leads Christians to share spiritual and material goods. Solidarity unites rich and poor, weak and strong, and it helps create a society that recognizes that we live in an interdependent world.

Faith in Action In Unit 1, young people are invited to show their love and care for God’s creation by engaging in the following service projects: developing a rightto-life campaign and supporting organizations that help people in need. Alternative service-project ideas also appear on the last page of each session.

1b  www.findinggod.com

Together as One Parish Religious Education with the Parochial School To celebrate the beginning of a new year of faith formation, invite young people in religious education and the parochial school to trace their hands onto a sheet of colored paper. Have young people write on the paper hands their names and faith formation goals for the year. Hang the traced hands near the entrance of the church. If possible, place markers next to the hands so that parishioners can sign their well-wishes to the young people.

Literature Opportunity Gypsy Summer by Betty Barclift You might wish to have young people read this novel about 13-year-old Katie Barnes, who becomes a homeless outcast. Katie grows bitter toward God and wonders why he allows her to be so miserable. This book echoes many questions young people might have about the world. The Poor and Vulnerable


Catechist Preparation S e ss io n 1

Jesus’ Message 3-Minute Retreat Before you prepare the session, pause and be still. Take three deep breaths and be aware of the loving presence of God, who is with you on this journey.

Knowing and Sharing Your Faith in Session 1 Consider how Scripture and Tradition can deepen your understanding of session content.

Scripture John 14:26 “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you.”

Reflection The promise of the Holy Spirit, fulfilled in Acts of the Apostles 2:1–4, is a comfort to all who seek to follow Jesus. Who does not need a reminder of this promise from time to time? The cares of each day can obscure the words and teachings of Jesus that we carry in our hearts. God’s plan provides the answer; the Advocate will be sent to teach and remind us and to make God’s presence alive in the world. This ever-present source of grace is there for the asking.

Questions In what ways am I in need of the Holy Spirit’s help in my life? How can I be more aware of the Holy Spirit helping others through me?

Concluding Prayer

Speak to God, using the words of this prayer or one of your own. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Kindle in them the fire of your love.

Matthew 5—7 contains the Sermon on the Mount, which includes the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer. Psalm 100:1–3 is a prayer of praise to God.

Tradition Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. It is no surprise, then, that when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them to address their prayer to the Father. In the Sermon on the Mount, which is in the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus summarizes his proclamation of the Gospel, or Good News. In the same way, because the Lord’s Prayer is at the heart of this passage, the prayer can be said to summarize the whole Gospel. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we enter into communion with the Father and with Jesus, who has revealed the Father to us.

Catholic Social Teaching In this session, the integrated Catholic Social Teaching themes are Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Solidarity; Rights and Responsibilities; and God’s Creation. See page 1b for explanations of these themes.

Window on the Catechism Pentecost is discussed in CCC 696, 731, 1287, and 2623. The Lord’s Prayer is found in CCC 2769–2865.

General Directory for Catechesis The central importance of the Lord’s Prayer is found in GDC 85.

Unit 1  •  Session 1  

1c


catechist preparation

One-Hour Session Planner Session 1

  Jesus’ Message

Session Theme: We are called to follow Peter’s example by proclaiming the Good News to others. Before This Session ▶▶ Prepare a prayer space. See pages EC-4–EC-5 for ideas. ▶▶ Establish group rules and procedures. See page EC-8 for ideas. ▶▶ Bookmark your Bible to John 21:15–19, Matthew 6:9–14, and

Acts of the Apostles 2:1–13. Place the open Bible in your prayer space. ▶▶ Read the Guide for this session, choose any additional If Time Allows activities

that you might have time to complete, and gather the listed materials. Steps

Approximate Time

Engage

Jesus’ Message 

In this session, set the pattern and tone for prayer for the year. The unit begins with the Daily Examen, and the session prayer gives young people the opportunity to thank God for the gift of the Church. As part of the session, young people are also encouraged to pray a prayer of celebration. At the end of the session, suggest that young people use an online 3-Minute Retreat as part of their daily prayer.

  10–20 minutes

Unit Saint: Peter  Daily Examen 

Prayer in Session 1

Pages 1–2

Page 1 Page 3

Explore Preaching the Gospel  The Church Begins 

  30–40 minutes Pages 4–5

Reflect Prayer: A Holy Nation  Where Do I Fit In? 

Take It Home

Pages 6–7

  10–15 minutes Page 8

Page 9

Respond What’s What? page 10

  10–15 minutes

Homework options: Reconciled to God 

Page 4

The Church in Action 

Page 7

Materials REQUIRED

Optional

▶▶ Bible (pages 2, 5, 7)

▶▶ Various objects from around the room

▶▶ Art supplies (page 7)

(page 2)

▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 9, 10)

▶▶ Art supplies (page 10)

▶▶ Computer with Internet access

▶▶ Empty boxes, art supplies to make

(page 10)

dioramas (page 5) ▶▶ Session 1 BLM, T-349 (page 6) ▶▶ Newscast props (page 6) ▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 8, 9) ▶▶ Session 1 Assessment,

www.findinggod.com (page 10)

1d  www.findinggod.com


Engage

1

Unit

Unit Opener

Outcomes ▶▶ Explain how Saint Peter demonstrated

leadership in the early Church. ▶▶ Define Gentiles, martyr, Messiah,

and Transfiguration.

1 Begin

ur ch h C y l r a e e Th Saint Peter was one of Jesus’ most passionate disciples. He made his living as a fisherman in Galilee, in the northern part of Israel. One day while Peter and his brother Andrew were fishing, Jesus approached them and said, “Come and follow me.” The two men left their nets and went with Jesus. Peter was a natural leader who often spoke on behalf of Jesus’ disciples. When Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” Peter responded for everyone by saying that Jesus is the Messiah, a title that means “anointed one.”

While Peter was both faithful and f lawed, Jesus gave him a role of

How the Saint Relates

authority in the Church. Peter discovered his purpose by responding to Jesus’ call to serve the community. Like Peter, we are called to respond to Jesus’ invitation to serve one another.

1

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~ pg 1 ~

LoyolaPress.

10/24/12 11:29 AM

Daily Examen Share information on the Daily Examen from both the front matter of PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ the Catechist Guide and page 277 of the Young People’s book. Then guide young people through these steps, pausing after each one. •• If you feel comfortable, close your eyes. Relax by quieting your minds and bodies. Take a deep breath and rest in God’s presence. •• Think about everything you’ve experienced in the past day. Ask yourself: “What happened? How did I treat others? When did I experience God’s presence? When did I turn away from God?” •• Choose a moment or two when your words or actions were especially bold. Ask yourself: “How was I feeling during these moments? Was I letting God guide me, or was I pushing God away?“ •• Now take a moment to reflect on an upcoming challenge. Ask God to guide you as you face this experience. •• In your own words, silently pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s presence in your life. Conclude by silently praying Amen.

Read aloud the unit title. Ask: What might we learn about in this unit? (the history of the early Church) Say: The people we will read about in this unit can be considered pioneers. Ask: What is a pioneer? (Possible answer: the first person in a group to do something new) What qualities might a pioneer have? (Possible answers: courage, determination) Write on the board a T-chart with the headings Pioneer and Accomplishments. Allow small groups time to brainstorm real-life pioneers and their accomplishments. Write on the board and discuss young people’s suggestions. Say: Like all pioneers the Christians we will learn about in this unit faced challenges. They were able to overcome these challenges because they were filled with faith and listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

2 Introduce the Saint Invite a volunteer to read aloud the paragraph. Say: Peter and Andrew took a risk when they chose to follow Jesus. They left behind everything they knew. Ask: Why were they willing to take such a risk? (Possible answer: They recognized that Jesus was someone special.) Point out the vocabulary word. Say: Jesus was anointed— chosen—by God to save all humanity.

How the Saint Relates

Read aloud the feature. Ask: How have you been called to respond to Jesus’ invitation to serve others? (Possible answers: by helping a neighbor with yard work, by speaking up for someone who was being teased)

Unit 1  1


Engage

3 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the heading and the first two paragraphs. Say: The Transfiguration had a significant effect on the three disciples. Once they experienced God’s glory revealed through Jesus, they were inspired to share their experience with others. Remind young people that Matthias was chosen as Judas Iscariot’s replacement through the process of casting lots and that the first miracle Peter worked was the healing of Aeneas. Point out the word Gentiles and discuss its definition. Say: As Christians we are Gentiles. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the section A Human Being. Read aloud from your Bible John 21:15–19. Ask: Who are Jesus’ sheep? (his followers) How can we feed them? (Possible answers: help people in need, preach the Gospel) Invite a volunteer to read aloud the section Martyred for His Faith. Have volunteers name other martyrs they have learned about.

Past Meets Present

Read aloud the feature. Ask: What does a rock symbolize? (Possible answers: strength, stability) What ­qualities did Peter need as the first pope? (Possible answers: strength, dedication, leadership, an open heart) Explain that every pope since Peter has held special responsibility for the Church. Emphasize that the pope does not lead the Church by himself. Say: The pope exercises his leadership under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in conjunction with the bishops—the successors of the Apostles—who also are responsible for leading the Church.

4 Close Give young people time to complete A New Name. Give pairs of young people time to share their responses.

2  www.findinggod.com

Peter in Scripture

Past Meets Present PAST: Jesus gave Peter a posi

The gospels relate many dramatic moments tion of

him the keys authority when he gave d that Peter state and dom king to the he wou ld build was the rock on whom g to Catholic the Chu rch. Accordin first pope. In the was r Pete , ition Trad g of the Holy ptin prom listening to the y a grow ing Spir it, Peter helped unif faith com mun ity.

PRE SEN T: In 2005 the Coll

ege of

265t h pope, Card inals elected the r, whom we Joseph Card inal Ratz inge Peter and Like XVI. dict Bene call Pope him , Pope ever y pope that followed Chu rch under Benedict XVI lead s the Spir it. Holy the of ction the dire

A New Name When Peter was born, he was named Simon. Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means “rock,” because of his strong faith. Imagine that Jesus gives you a new name because you are one of his followers. What is this name, and what does it say about your faith?

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between Peter and Jesus. Once on a mountaintop, Jesus’ glory was revealed to Peter, James, and John. Jesus’ face glowed, and his clothes shone so brilliantly white that the three disciples who were with him had to look away. During this event, the Transfiguration, Peter and the other disciples discovered that Jesus is more than just another good man with a message. He is the Son of God, who reveals God to the world. Peter clearly was a leader in the early Church. He was the first to preach the Gospel at Pentecost. He led the process by which Matthias was selected to be the replacement for Judas Iscariot, and he performed the first public miracle in Jesus’ name when he healed Aeneas. As a leader, Peter made sure that there were no distinctions made among those who joined the Christian community. He welcomed both Jews and gentiles, or non-Jews, into the Church.

A Human Being In Scripture, Peter appears lovable, impulsive, practical, and sometimes weak under pressure. Peter was also a sinner who turned away from Jesus. The night before Jesus was condemned to death, someone recognized that Peter was one of Jesus’ followers. Afraid that he would also be arrested, Peter denied that he knew Jesus. Afterward Peter was ashamed of what he had done. John 21:15–19 describes how Jesus forgave Peter and reaffirmed his ministry of leadership in the Church.

Martyred for His Faith Peter was sentenced to death by crucifixion for teaching others about Jesus. During the time of Peter’s ministry, the leaders of the Roman Empire had condemned Christianity. Peter told his executioners that he was unworthy to die as Jesus died. As a result Peter was crucified upside down. He was buried in an old Roman cemetery where the Basilica of St. Peter is today. Peter was a martyr, someone who gave witness to his faith by dying for it.

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Building the Kingdom Arrange young people into small groups. Explain that the goal of the PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ activity is for each group to build a structure, such as a church, using objects that group members find in the classroom. Say: You must complete this activity without talking to one another. After giving groups time to work, ask them to discuss the following questions: •• What was the most difficult part of this project? Why? •• How did you work together to overcome any challenge? •• What personal qualities or characteristics might help groups complete this project successfully? What similar qualities do you think early Church leaders had that helped them build the Church? •• Study the structures. Are their foundations strong or weak? What characteristics make our Church foundation strong? After groups have had a chance to discuss their responses, invite volunteers to share their insights. Solidarity


Engage

Jesus’ Message

Session

1

Session 1

Outcomes ▶▶ Explain what we express when we

pray the Lord’s Prayer. ▶▶ Retell the story of Pentecost. ▶▶ State that the grace we receive

through the sacraments enables us to resist temptation. ▶▶ Define Beatitudes, Church, Kingdom

of God, Lord, mission, Pentecost, and Salvation.

1 Set the Stage

Think about the relationship you have with one of your best friends. How has this relationship changed over time? How has your friend encouraged you to become a better person?

Read aloud the text in the box on page 3. Give young people a few moments to reflect silently on the questions or to share their responses with a partner.

2 Get Started PR AYeR God, thank you for giving us the Church, a community of believers to support us on our journey of faith.

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Preach the Gospel Have young people brainstorm PDF Signoff: Production _______ types of modern media, such as TV, radio, and the Internet, that can be used to preach the Gospel message. Then arrange young people into small groups and invite each group to select a medium. Ask groups to plan a “Preach the Gospel” campaign, using the media they chose.

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Communication Design _______ Get_______ Started  IfEditorial you have

young people with communication differences, provide them with alternative ways to communicate, such as drawing or one-on-one conversations, for them to express their responses to the Get Started questions.

Ask: By what means do you communicate with others? (Possible answers: in person, texts, e-mails, video chat) Say: As Jesus’ followers one of the most important ways we communicate is through our actions. Ask: Why? (Possible answer: The way we treat people communicates to others our commitment to living out the Gospel.) Read aloud the session title. Say: In this session we’re going to learn about Saint Peter, who preached the Good News to others through his words and actions. Explain that we can read Saint Peter’s words in the two New Testament letters that are attributed to him. Say: We will also learn about the Holy Spirit, who gave Peter and gives to us the strength to preach the Gospel to others.

Prayer

Go to www.findinggod.com/sessionextenders for an article on the Lord’s Prayer. You may wish to share this with the group.

Say: Let’s take a moment for prayer. Pray aloud the prayer together and then give young people a moment to pray their own prayers of thanks silently. Conclude by praying together the Sign of the Cross.

Unit 1  •  Session 1  

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Explore

1 Begin Draw on the board a two-column vertical chart with the headings Name and Meaning. Say: We have many names for Jesus, each of which expresses something important about him. Ask young people to list names for Jesus and explain what each one tells us about him. Write on the board young people’s suggestions. (Possible answers: Christ, “anointed one”; Emmanuel, “God with us”; Jesus, “God saves”)

Preaching l e p s o G e th AFTeR

Jesus called Peter to follow him, Peter spent the rest of his life following Jesus and preaching the Gospel. Peter gradually realized how important Jesus was, both in Peter’s life and for the life of the world. As Peter grew closer to Jesus, he began to more fully understand the meaning of Jesus’ name, which in Hebrew means “God saves.” Peter understood that by reflecting on Jesus Christ, the “Anointed One” or “the Messiah,” and learning from him, we can discover everything God wants us to know about our Salvation. Peter and the disciples learned from the Holy Spirit that God the Father sent his only Son, Jesus, to redeem us. Adam and Eve’s decision to turn away from God resulted in the human family being born into Original Sin. A Savior was needed to restore our relationship with God. Jesus is the one who frees all people from the slavery of sin and restores humans to their place as God’s children. Peter knew Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father through his life, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension into Heaven.

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first two paragraphs. Ask: What did Peter understand can happen as a result of reflecting on Jesus Christ? (We can discover everything God wants us to know about our Salvation.) What do you think it is that God wants us to know? (Possible answer: Jesus is the source of our Salvation.) Point out that we participate in God’s plan of Salvation by accepting Jesus as our Savior and by striving to develop our relationship with him. Explain that as a result of Original Sin, humans are born into a world that is filled with temptation where it can be difficult to follow God’s will for us. Say: God fulfilled his plan of Salvation by sending Jesus, our Redeemer, to reconcile humans with himself.

Ready for Confirmation

Read aloud the feature. Point out that for many of us, our commitment to follow Christ and his way of life was first made for us by our parents and godparents. Say: As we prepare to celebrate Confirmation, we reflect on whether we are ready to make this commitment for ourselves freely. Explain that through our reflection, we can grow in our relationship with Jesus and better understand what the gift of Salvation means for us.

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Saint Peter

ReADY for Confirmation We first enter into a relationship with Jesus through the Sacrament of Baptism. As we prepare to celebrate Confirmation, we are invited to reflect on this relationship, and we are encouraged to strengthen it through prayer and the sacraments. When we renew our baptismal promises during the celebration of our Confirmation, we publicly proclaim our belief that Jesus is the true source of our Salvation.

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Reconciled to God Point out that Peter’s relationship with Jesus is what gave him the PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ strength to preach the Gospel. Say: Before our next session, spend at least 10 minutes reflecting on the relationship that you have with Jesus. During your reflection, open your heart to whatever Jesus is saying to you. Have young people make something, such as a poem, a song, or a drawing, that reflects what Jesus revealed to them during their reflection. During the next session, invite volunteers to share their completed work.


Explore The Our Father

Saint Matthew

We find the heart of Jesus’ teaching—the Beatitudes— in the Gospel of Matthew. In this passage, Jesus taught his early followers the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13), which we can see as a summary of the Gospel message. “Our Father” Today, just as he did then, Jesus begins by teaching us that God is our loving Father, who wants to enter into a conversation with us. Since God is our Father, every person on earth is a brother or a sister. There is one human family, whom God loves.

“Hallowed Be Thy Name” We pray that God’s name will be “hallowed” so that all people will recognize God’s name as holy. This is only possible when the holiness of God is seen in the way we act as his children in the care and concern we have for others. “Thy Kingdom Come” Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of god on earth. In his life and teachings, Jesus personifies the kingdom. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can recognize that we receive the strength to show others that God lives in their midst. For us, living within the Kingdom of God means answering God’s call to be a sign of his presence through who we are and how we live.

“Thy Will Be Done” We can only be happy as children of God when we follow his will—to live in such a way that others will also want to follow his will. God wants us to love as Jesus loved in every place we find ourselves.

explore

“Who Art in Heaven” Jesus identifies Heaven as our true homeland. Heaven is not some place in space and time. Rather, it is wherever God’s love is present. Heaven exists in a hidden way when we are faithful to God and accept his will for us. Following Jesus’ footsteps to the Father means that we are headed to a place of peace, eternal rest, and happiness with God when this earthly life is over.

“Forgive Us This Day” We pray for our daily bread, for our own needs, and for the needs of others. Our loving Father listens to our prayers and wants us to reflect on how we can serve the needs of others. “And Forgive Us Our Trespasses” What we need most in this world is God’s protection and forgiveness. As our loving Father, God forgives our sins, and we show recognition and acceptance of this forgiveness by our willingness to forgive others. “And Lead Us Not into Temptation” As we come to the end of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to help us remain faithful to him now and every day of our lives so that we have the strength to reject Satan, who is doing whatever he can to turn us away from God.

DeF in e

es Jesus identifi r Heaven as ou nd. tr ue homela

Sa lvation, Beati tudes, Kingdom of Go d

R eM eM Be R

Like Peter, as we develop ou r relation sh ip wi th Jesus, we discover that he is the source of ou r Sa lvation. The Lord’s Prayer is at the hear t of the Gospel message .

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Kingdom-of-God Dioramas Invite small groups to brainstorm scenarios in which people work PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ together to build up God’s kingdom. Ask small groups to select a scenario and make a diorama that depicts it. Have groups share their completed dioramas and explain how the people in the scene are working together to build up God’s kingdom. Rights and Responsibilities

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section The Our Father. Remind young people that the Beatitudes were given to us by Jesus so that we can live happy lives. Have young people turn to page 263 in the back of their books to review the Beatitudes. Read aloud from the Bible Matthew 6:9–14. Ask: How does the Lord’s Prayer relate to the Gospel message of love? (Possible answer: The Lord’s Prayer contains the heart of the Golden Rule—to love God and to love our neighbors.) What does Jesus teach us about God? (God is our loving Father who wants to enter into a conversation with us.) Explain that God enters into conversation with us through various forms of Revelation, including Scripture, prayer, the sacraments, and ordinary events in our lives. Share an experience of God’s Revelation in your life and invite young people to do the same. Emphasize that because we are children of God and brothers and sisters to one another, we have a responsibility to care for one another’s needs. Solidarity

Ask: How might we experience Heaven on earth? (Possible answer: by making God’s love present through our words and actions) Invite volunteers to share examples of times they have ­experienced God’s love on earth. Point out the vocabulary term. Say: The Kingdom of God is another way to talk about Heaven; God’s kingdom is present whenever people show love for one another. Ask: How can you help build up God’s kingdom on earth? (Possible answers: volunteer at a food pantry or clothing shelter, help an elderly neighbor with his or her yard work)

3 Close Conclude by praying together the Lord’s Prayer.

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Explore

1 Begin Have pairs of young people list ways that aspects of nature, such as water, wind, and fire, are necessary for life but can also destroy it. Invite volunteers to share their responses. Point out that these elements are often used as symbols in Scripture because they speak to us on many levels, both literally and figuratively.

The Church Begins in

the days after Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, the disciples remained uncertain and afraid. They were fearful that those who had killed Jesus would try to kill them as well. One day when they were huddled together in a locked room, the risen Christ suddenly appeared among them. The disciples, who were amazed, sat down to share a meal with Jesus. During a period of 40 days, the risen Christ appeared to his followers, teaching, encouraging, and sharing meals with them. At the end of these 40 days, Jesus promised he would send the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and then he ascended into

2 Connect Invite a volunteer to read aloud the article title and the first paragraph. Ask: Why were the disciples afraid? (They were fearful that those who had killed Jesus would try to kill them as well.) Say: Imagine that you were one of the disciples to whom Jesus appeared in the locked room. Ask: How might you have felt? What would you ask Jesus? Point out that the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus, gave the disciples strength. Say: Jesus also sends us the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to live as his disciples. Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Pentecost. Point out that the person who wrote the Gospel according to Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. Say: In Acts of the Apostles, we can read about the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Have a young person read aloud from the Glossary the definition of the word Pentecost. Invite a volunteer to define the word by using his or her own words.

Our Catholic Character

Read aloud the feature. Say: One definition of prayer is that it is an act by which we raise our minds and hearts to God. Point out that even though prayer requires action on our part, it is God, through the Holy Spirit, that gives us the strength and desire to pray. Remind young people that prayer is a conversation that requires both listening and speaking.

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Heaven where his humanity is glorified. From there he will come again.

Our Catholic Character If we think that we alone are responsible for our prayer, we can become discouraged quickly. Our prayer is not just human prayer. It is also divine prayer, because every time we pray, the Holy Spirit leads us and helps us pray with honesty and depth. The Holy Spirit is the living breath of our prayer and the prayer of the whole Church.

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Pentecost After the Ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples as he had promised. The descent of the Holy Spirit happened on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, when Mary, the Apostles, and some other disciples were gathered together in a house. It was there that the Holy Spirit came down on them. Saint Luke describes this event in the Acts of the Apostles. He tells how a strong wind blew through the house, and tongues of fire came to rest on the disciples. Everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit. Everyone began to praise God in a loud voice. People from all over the Roman world were outside the house, wondering what was going on. Inside, the disciples now understood their mission: to tell everyone about Jesus. All the disciples went out and began speaking to the crowd. The people heard what was being said, and they were amazed that they could understand the disciples in their own languages.

Filled with the Spirit The Holy Spirit filled the disciples with God’s love. He helped them understand the risen Lord in ways that they had not grasped before. Because the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, Christ, who had risen from the dead and ascended into Heaven, was now present to them in a new way. In sending the Holy Spirit, Jesus made it possible for his disciples to live in friendship with God the Father. The Holy

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Session 1 BLM Strengthened by the Spirit  Arrange young people into small PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ groups and provide each person with a copy of the Session 1 Blackline Master [T-349]. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the directions. Say: Before you begin writing your prayers, take a moment to reflect on what it might have been like for the disciples who were present at Pentecost. Think about what Pentecost helped them realize about God and his love for them. Encourage young people to take their prayers home and to pray them often.

Pentecost Newscasts Arrange young people into small groups and have each group prepare a newscast about what happened on Pentecost. Encourage group members to assume different roles, such as a news reporter, eyewitnesses, and Jesus’ disciples. After giving groups time to prepare, have them present their newscasts.


Explore Spirit who descended on Mary and the disciples is the same Holy Spirit who comes to us in the sacraments. We can always turn to the Holy Spirit for the strength we need to live as Jesus’ followers.

The Church During his life Jesus had gathered a community of followers. Now filled with the Holy Spirit, this community became the Church. The Holy Spirit continues to do today what he did for the earliest disciples. He builds up and guides the Church. Catholics believe that the Church is a visible society that is both human and divine. It is made up of people who love one another and work together to build up God’s kingdom. The Church is a temple of the Holy Spirit, filled with life so that it can continue the struggle against the forces of evil in the world. The Holy Spirit fills the lives of each of us and calls us to be part of the Church. We are filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can follow Jesus and live as his disciples. When we love others, care for people in need, and do what Jesus calls us to do, we reveal to others how the Holy Spirit works in us.

Pentecost, m iss Church

explore

De F in e

ion, Lord,

R e M e M Be R

nt nsion, Jesus se Af ter his Asce nit y t to the com mu the Holy Spiri the s. Fil led with of his fol lower is com mu nit y Holy Spirit, th we urch to wh ich beca me the Ch belong today.

SACRED ART

After Jesus died and ascended into Heaven, his disciples experienced fear and sadness. After receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were filled with the courage of knowing that Jesus was still among them, even if they could not experience his physical presence. Like the early disciples, we experience Jesus’ presence through the Holy Spirit, who gives us the strength and courage to share this presence with others. Pentecost, oil painting, Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium.

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The Church in Action Before the next session, have young people write a list of ways their PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ parish lives out the mission of the larger Church by building up God’s kingdom. Suggest that young people use the parish Web site or bulletin to gather information about various ministries and events that are happening throughout the community. During the next session, invite volunteers to share their lists and explain how the project helped them better understand how their parish community has responded to Jesus’ call to discipleship. Family and Community

Invite a volunteer to read aloud the section Filled with the Spirit. Point out the vocabulary word. Say: When we call Jesus Lord, we recognize that he is our Savior, sent by God to redeem us. Emphasize that the Holy Spirit that filled the disciples is the same Spirit that fills us today. Say: It is the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus, that helps us grow in our relationship with God. Invite volunteers to read aloud the section The Church. Point out that in receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ community of followers was transformed into the Church. Say: The gift of the Holy Spirit gave the members of the Church the strength and desire to remain faithful to the mission that they had received from Jesus. Ask: What do you think it means to say that the Church is a visible society that is both human and divine? (Possible answer: The Church is a community made up of humans—the People of God—who love and honor God, follow the example of Jesus, and are strengthened by the Holy Spirit.) How does the Holy Spirit help you live as Jesus’ disciples? (Possible answer: The Holy Spirit gives me the strength to share my gifts with others.)

Sacred Art

Read aloud the feature. Point out that even the earliest disciples were sometimes filled with fear. Say: Sometimes we may be afraid to live as Jesus’ followers. We can always call upon the Holy Spirit to give us strength.

3 Close Read aloud from the Bible Acts of the Apostles 2:1–13. While reading, have young people close their eyes and picture what is happening. After reading, distribute art supplies and have young people draw what they imagined. Invite volunteers to share their completed drawings.

Unit 1  •  Session 1  

7


Reflect

Prayer Follow the steps to guide young people through the prayer on page 8.

Prayer

A Holy nation Peter and Paul proclaimed that Jesus is our Savior. In Baptism, Christians enter into a close relationship with Jesus and with one another.

Young People’s Page

In the grace we receive through the sacraments, we are better able to resist the temptations that can lead us away from loving God and our neighbors. In Scripture, Peter speaks to his community about the dignity of who they are and who they have become. Through Jesus we are called out of darkness and into God’s wonderful light.

Prepare  Pray the prayer in advance to become familiar with it. Select one young person to serve as the Leader and another young person to serve as the Reader. Determine how you will arrange young people into Side 1 and Side 2. Place a Bible in your prayer space.

A Prayer of Celebration

All: In the name of the Father, and of

the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Leader:

Peter reminds us of who we are as children of God. Blessed by the grace of the Gospel, we enter into a new relationship with God and with one another. Reader: A reading from the First Letter of Peter.

Pray  Invite volunteers to read aloud the first two paragraphs. Ask: How do Christians enter into a close relationship with Jesus and with one another? (through Baptism) Point out that each of the sacraments strengthen the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Explain how young people will be arranged into Side 1 and Side 2. Then say: Take a minute to prepare your minds and hearts for prayer. Breathe in. Breathe out. Pray together A Prayer of Celebration. After praying, say: God has chosen each of us. He has called us all by name. Ask: How can our words and actions demonstrate to others that we are God’s people, who are alive with the presence of the Holy Spirit? (Possible answer: We can practice the Works of Mercy.) Give young people time to reflect on the meaning of the Scripture readings. Conclude by praying together the Sign of the Cross. Say: Let us remember that we can always call on the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to live as disciples in the world. As we continue our session, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to guide our words and actions.

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the Son, and of

But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may annou nce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were “no people” but now you are God’s people; you “had not received mercy” but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9–10 The Word of the Lord.

All: Thank s be to God.

Leader: We’ll now take a few mome nts for silent reflec tion. If you would like, these questions can help you get started. • What does it mean to me to recog nize that I have been called by God into his wonderful light? • How or when have I experience d God’s mercy? Let us pray.

All: How good it is to be chosen by God! Side 1: Shout joyful ly to the L ORD, all

you lands; serve the L ORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song.

All: How good it is when we love one

Psalm 100:1– 2 another!

Side 2: Know that the L ORD is God,

he made us, we belong to him we are his people, the flock he sheph

erds.

Psalm 100:3

All: Amen.

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Psalm Prayer Point out that the prayer service PDF Signoff: Production _______ they just prayed included a psalm. Say: The Book of Psalms is one of the books in the Bible. This book contains a number of prayers that were originally sung together in worship. Point out that the psalms include prayers of sorrow, joy, praise, and thanksgiving, among others. Have young people write a psalm to God that expresses where they are at in their relationship with God and the Church.

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Coaching Young to Pray PeopleEditorial Design _______ _______ Before praying, remind young people that when we pray, it is the Holy Spirit who unites us to God the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son. Point out that we can always pray to the Holy Spirit to strengthen our relationship with God, especially in those moments when we feel afraid or confused.


Reflect

e R e H W t in

1 Begin

Do i Fi

of voices, each with many that is filled e called to rld ar wo we , tic ch ao Chur loud, ch bers of the We live in a rist. ion. As mem hip with Ch ds our attent our relations in . ow gr which deman us lp call us to do he s ll ice wi vo at e th es at th voices le to hear wh listen to the ney, ab an e M ar Jim we , r author e for prayer d’s voice? Fo By taking tim e to hear Go do to take tim u . yo ed n ct ca t pe ex Wha e nothing he sounded lik God’s voice

by Jim M

a n ne y

A while ago I was having some very bad days. I had too much work to do. My wife and I had a stack of unpaid bills. Problems kept cropping up, and my solutions weren’t working. I felt helpless, and I hated feeling that way. I was angry, then depressed; boastful, then self-pitying. In the middle of all this mental turmoil came a quiet thought: “All will be well. Just do the next thing you have to do. All will be well.” I was surprised. My heart settled down. I concentrated on the work at hand and put other worries out of my mind. Things improved. Another time I had to decide how to deal with someone who had crossed me in a business deal. He hadn’t done what he said he would do, but he wouldn’t admit that. I felt wronged and said so. We exchanged harsh words. I was furious. Then came a quiet thought: “Maybe you should apologize.” Ridiculous, I thought. He should apologize to me. But I thought about it some more and decided that maybe I should apologize. I may have been right about the business deal, but I had acted badly. So I did apologize for my part in the mess. The result was peace in my heart. Both times the thought was quiet and simple. Both times the thought was virtually the opposite of what I had been thinking. The thought “All will be well”

Reflect

Whose Voice Do i Listen To? came at a time when nothing was going well and, in fact, seemed to be getting worse. The thought “Maybe you should apologize” came when I was listing all the reasons why the guy should apologize to me. Upon reflection, I realized that the thoughts were the voice of God. Where else could they have come from? Certainly not from me. And doing what the voice said had good results. Ever since, I pay special attention to quiet thoughts that are contrary to what I’m thinking at the time. That’s a sign that they might be from God.

2 Connect

A Clear Voice On a separate sheet of paper, make a T-chart with the headings Voice and Message. List some of the voices that are trying to get your attention, such as your friends, your family, and the media. Then write the message that each voice is trying to convey to you. During the next week, spend some time in quiet reflection and determine whether these voices are helping you grow in your relationship with Christ.

JiM MAnneY is the author of A Simple Life-Changing Prayer.

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Be the Voice Point out that in addition to being surrounded by voices, we are PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ voices in other people’s lives. Have young people list the names of the five or six people with whom they spend the most time. Then have young people consider the attitude they most often show toward those people. Say: Write a sentence that summarizes the message that you believe your words and actions convey to those people. Provide examples from your own life, if necessary, such as The main message I think I send my best friend is that she is beautiful inside and outside. The main message I might sometimes send my sister is that I don’t have time for her. When young people are finished, have them reflect on their lists and identify relationships in which their voice could be transformed into a more godly one.

Invite a volunteer to read aloud the introductory paragraph. Have young people brainstorm examples of voices that demand their attention. Write on the board young people’s suggestions. Ask: Which of these voices ask the most of us, and which ask the least of us? (Possible answer: Parents and teachers ask the most; text messages, TV, and online media ask the least of us.) Which voices do you spend the most time listening to? (Answers will vary.) Say: Today’s article will help us figure out which voices are worth our attention.

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Whose Voice Do I Listen To? Ask: Why does the author conclude that the thoughts he had were the voice of God? (Possible answer: When he followed them, things improved.) Do you agree with his conclusion? Why? (Accept reasonable responses.) Invite young people to share similar experiences from their own lives of hearing God’s voice in unexpected ways. Remind young people that the voice of God is always speaking to us and that it is up to us to take the time to listen. Then have young people complete the activity independently. Encourage young people to be as specific as possible in their lists.

3 Close Give young people a minute or two to reflect on their lists and to draw some conclusions about the godly and notso-godly voices in their lives. Say: By taking time for prayer, we sharpen our ability to hear God’s voice. Encourage young people to pray daily.

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RESPOND

W h a t ’s

? t a h W

1 Begin What’s What?  Invite a volunteer to read aloud the directions. Point out that young people can use the page references for help finding the answers to the questions. Have young people complete the activity either at home or with a partner.

Say What?  Read aloud the vocabulary terms. Invite volunteers to use each term in a sentence. Encourage young people to turn to the Glossary if they need help defining the terms.

1

Like Peter, what are we called to do? (PAGE 1)

2

What did Peter understand by reflecting on Jesus Christ? (PAGE 4)

3

7

What do Catholics believe is a visible society that is both human and divine? (PAGE 7)

What do we publicly proclaim when we renew our baptismal promises during the celebration of our Confirmation? (PAGE 4)

Now What?  Read aloud the section. Give young people time to answer the question independently.

3 Go in Peace Collect materials and return them to the appropriate places. Encourage young people to follow through with their Now What? idea during the week. Say: There are many ways to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. When we do so, we grow in our relationship with God and thereby build up his kingdom.

What did Jesus make possible for his disciples by sending the Holy Spirit? (PAGE 7)

Write your answers on the lines.

Respond

2 Connect

6

4

The heart of Jesus’ teaching can be found in the Gospel of Matthew. What is this passage called? (PAGE 5)

5

Because God is our Father, what do we believe about every person on earth?

Say What? Know the definitions of these terms. Beatitudes Church Gentiles Kingdom of God Lord martyr

Messiah mission Pentecost Salvation Transfiguration

now What? Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit so that we can live in friendship with God the Father. One way we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in developing this friendship is by following Jesus’ example. What can you do this week to live as a disciple in the world?

(PAGE 5)

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Service: Energy-Conservation Signs Remind young people that the Holy Spirit energized the disciples and PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ energizes us as well. Say: Unlike the energy we receive from the Holy Spirit, the energy we use to power our homes is limited. We can be good stewards by using only what we need. Have young people brainstorm ways that people can conserve energy, such as turning off lights. Then have small groups make signs to remind people to use only the energy that they need. Arrange to have the completed signs hung around your facility. God’s Creation

Session Assessment Option An assessment for this session can be found at www.findinggod.com.

3-Minute Retreat Give young people an opportunity for quiet meditation at www.loyolapress.com/retreat.

10  www.findinggod.com

P l a n A h e a d : Get Ready for Session xx 2 Consult the catechist preparation pages to prepare for Session 2 XX and determine any materials you will need.


Catechist Preparation S e ss io n 2

The Church Grows 3-Minute Retreat Before you prepare the session, pause and be still. Take three deep breaths and be aware of the loving presence of God, who is with you on this journey.

Knowing and Sharing Your Faith in Session 2 Consider how Scripture and Tradition can deepen your understanding of session content.

Scripture Acts of the Apostles 10:11–15 He saw heaven opened and something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all the earth’s four-legged animals and reptiles and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.” But Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.” The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”

Acts of the Apostles 10:11–15 recounts the vision through which Peter realized that the Good News of Salvation is for all people. Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47 describes the communal life of the early Christian community.

Tradition

Peter, who received this vision as he prayed, was puzzled by what it meant until messengers sent by Cornelius came looking for him. Associating with Gentiles was out of bounds for the Jews at this time. Peter realized that Jesus was teaching him that God’s gift of Salvation is for all people. Through this experience, he realized that Jesus’ mission was to the whole world.

Salvation is not a private matter. Our baptismal call challenges us to embrace and respond to God’s invitation and to extend it to others. God desires that all people be saved. Peter learned this in a vision (Acts of the Apostles 10:11–15) and his subsequent experience with the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts of the Apostles 10:44–48). Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church strives to carry out the mission of Jesus—a mission that compels us to proclaim the Gospel to those who do not yet believe in Christ, to strive for Christian unity, and to maintain a respectful dialogue with those who do not yet accept the Gospel.

Questions

Catholic Social Teaching

Reflection

Are there ways in which I must broaden my view of where I think God is calling me? Do I think that I am bringing God’s Word to the world, or am I open to discovering it in the world?

In this session the integrated Catholic Social Teaching themes are Call to Family, Community, and Participation and Solidarity. See page 1b for an explanation of these themes.

Window on the Catechism Concluding Prayer

Speak to God, using the words of this prayer or one of your own. Loving God, help me be open to discovering your presence in the world so I may realize that what you have made clean, I cannot see as profane.

The relationship between the Church and nonChristians is discussed in CCC 839–848.

General Directory for Catechesis The role of catechesis in transmitting the message of Salvation to the whole world is discussed in GDC 39.

Unit 1  •  Session 2  

11a


catechist preparation

One-Hour Session Planner Session 2

  The Church Grows

Session Theme: Following the example of the Church leaders at the Council of Jerusalem, we are called to welcome all those who want to join the Church. Before This Session ▶▶ Display the Finding God poster The Early Christian Communities. ▶▶ Bookmark your Bible to Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47 and 10:11–15,44–48;

Ephesians 4:1–6; and Psalms 145:9–11. Place the open Bible in your prayer space. ▶▶ Read the Guide for this session, choose any additional If Time Allows activities

that you might have time to complete, and gather the listed materials. Steps

In this session, young people are encouraged to take a moment to pray their own prayer of thanks to God for the gift of Salvation. Young people are also given time to reflect on how they have responded to the call of discipleship. At the end of the session, suggest that young people use an online 3-Minute Retreat as part of their daily prayer.

Approximate Time

Engage The Church Grows 

  10 minutes Page 11

Explore Apostle to the Gentiles 

  30–40 minutes Pages 12–13

Proclaiming Jesus to the World 

Prayer: The Law of Love  Where Do I Fit In? 

Take It Home

Pages 14–15

Reflect

  10–15 minutes Page 16

Page 17

Respond What’s What? 

Prayer in Session 2

  10–15 minutes Page 18

Homework options: News Report of the Council 

Page 13

Faithful Community 

Page 15

Materials REQUIRED

Optional

▶▶ Megaphone (page 11)

▶▶ Art supplies, poster board, magazines,

▶▶ Finding God poster: The Early

Christian Communities (page 13) ▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 13, 17, 18) ▶▶ Touching Spirit Bear by Cole Matthews

(page 14) ▶▶ Computer with Internet access

(page 18)

newspapers (page 11) ▶▶ Session 2 BLM, T-350 (page 12) ▶▶ Writing supplies, props, costumes

(page 14) ▶▶ Art supplies (pages 16, 18) ▶▶ Reference materials about the origin

and meaning of young people’s first names, paper strips, paper bag (page 17) ▶▶ Session 2 Assessment,

www.findinggod.com (page 18)

11b  www.findinggod.com


Engage

Session

2

Session 2

Outcomes ▶▶ Retell the story of Paul’s conversion

to Christianity.

The Church Grows

▶▶ Identify the decisions made by Church

leaders at the Council of Jerusalem. ▶▶ State that the gift of Salvation requires

action on our part. ▶▶ Define converts, Council of Jerusalem,

Eucharist, grace, and Pharisee. Recall a time when you received a message that challenged the way you thought about something. What feelings did the message evoke within you? How did you respond to the message that you received?

1 Set the Stage Read aloud the text in the box on page 11. Give young people a few moments to reflect silently on the questions or to share their responses with a partner.

2 Get Started PR AYER God, thank you for those who have preached your message of Salvation. May we share this Good News through our words and actions.

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Discipleship Collages Distribute art supplies, poster board, magazines, and newspapers. PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ Invite small groups to work together to make collages of images and news stories about people who are practicing discipleship through their words and actions. Have groups present their completed collages. After groups have presented their collages, engage young people in a discussion about ways they can live out some of the examples of discipleship that they included on their collages. Invite volunteers to name concrete actions they might take, such as visiting people in a nursing home. Point out that our words and actions are one of the most effective ways we can share Jesus’ Good News with others. Family and Community

Either by talking loudly or speaking through a megaphone, say: Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord! Point out that this is a true statement, but yelling it at people might not be the most effective way to encourage people to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Ask: How can you spread the Gospel message in a way that encourages others to desire a deeper relationship with Jesus and his Church? (Possible answer: I can model discipleship for others by practicing the Works of Mercy.) Read aloud the session title. Say: In this session we are going to learn how the words and actions of some of Jesus’ early followers helped encourage others to join the Church. Point out that the work of these early disciples helped the Church grow.

Prayer Pray aloud the prayer together. Then say: Take a moment to pray your own prayer of thanks to God for the gift of Salvation. After giving young people time to pray, conclude by praying together the Sign of the Cross.

Go to www.findinggod.com/sessionextenders for an article about Saint Paul. You may wish to share this with the group.

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Explore

Apostle to the Gentiles

1 Begin Arrange young people into two groups. Explain that the two groups are going to have a discussion in which each side presents an opposing view. Have one side argue that baseball is best and have the other side argue that soccer is best. Before the discussion, give both groups time to prepare their arguments. After the discussion, ask: What might be some ground rules for having a successful discussion in which both sides disagree? (Possible answers: Both sides listen to each other. Group members respect one another.) Say: In this article we are going to read how Church leaders met to discuss an issue that was dividing the early Church.

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first five paragraphs. Ask: What is a missionary? (someone who travels to a foreign land to teach others about Jesus) Remind young people that many of Jesus’ early followers were Jews and that as the Church grew, Paul began to preach the Gospel message to Gentiles, or non-Jews. Point out the word Pharisee. Explain that in Jesus’ time, there were different Jewish sects, similar to how there are various Christian denominations today. Ask: What was Paul’s attitude toward Christians at first? (He led the persecution against them in Jerusalem. He thought that they were unfaithful to the Law.) Invite volunteers to retell the story of Paul’s conversion. Ask: How did this experience change Paul’s life? (He realized that Jesus is alive and present in the Church and that when Christians suffer, Jesus suffers.) What does the Church believe about physical suffering and moral evils? (They are mysteries that God illuminates through Jesus Christ.)

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Saint Paul

iT is no accident that the feast for both Saint Peter and Saint Paul is celebrated on the same day, June 29. Peter and Paul are linked as the two great missionaries of the early Church. Jesus chose Peter to lead the Church in its earliest days. Paul was the greatest missionary to the Gentiles. Paul, who was given the name Saul when he was born, was a Jewish intellectual raised as a Pharisee, a sect known for its adherence to the Law. As a Pharisee, Paul knew that the Law had come to the Jews through Moses. Paul was proud of his knowledge and strict following of the Law. His first reaction to Jesus’ followers was to lead the persecution against them in Jerusalem. He thought that they were unfaithful to the Law. One day Paul was on his way to arrest Christians in the city of Damascus. As he traveled, a light flashed around him, and he fell to the ground. He heard Jesus ask him, “Why are you persecuting me?” Paul realized that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Jesus as well. Paul was blinded by the light. His blindness helped him realize that he had been blind to Jesus’ true identity. The men traveling with Paul led him to Damascus. There Paul waited three days before a Christian named Ananias laid his hands on Paul in prayer. Paul regained his sight, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and was baptized. This experience changed Paul’s life. He realized that Jesus is alive and present in the Church and that when Christians suffer, Jesus suffers. Peter’s experience reflects the Church’s belief that physical suffering and moral evils are mysteries that God illuminates through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died, was buried, and rose from the dead to overcome evil for the benefit of all people.

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Session 2 BLM Letter of Recommendation  Distribute a copy of the Session 2 PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ Blackline Master [T-350] to each young person. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the directions. Before giving young people time to complete the activity, brainstorm characteristics of a good letter of recommendation, such as including positive examples about a person’s behavior. Also remind young people how to look up Scripture passages. As young people work on their letters, circulate among young people to answer any questions they might have. Display the completed letters.

10/24/12 11:31 AM


Explore Through faith and n Baptism, the Christia tity assumes a new iden in Christ.

Spread the Good News

Paul shared the Good New s of Salvation with the Gentiles. With who m can you share the Good News? How might you do so?

explore

Through his experience, Paul discovered that the Holy Spirit was calling him to proclaim Jesus. Paul’s essential message was that in Jesus Christ, God has given Salvation to all who believe. This Salvation, the complete realization of which lay in the future, begins in Baptism. Through faith and Baptism, the Christian assumes a new identity in Christ. In the Church the Christian finds the community that proclaims Christ and lives in union with the Holy Spirit. On the personal level, Christians recognize that when they are united with Christ in Baptism, they are given the help, or grace, they need to overcome the temptations that are the result of Original Sin. Paul teaches that the love of God is being poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who is the source of all love. The Holy Spirit creates a bond between us and God like children bound to a father. Even though we are weak, the Holy Spirit helps us live faithfully within this relationship. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can live in love with all people. Paul was especially called to bring the message of Christ to the Gentile world. He did so in the Greek cities of Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus, Athens, and finally in Rome. In his preaching Paul emphasized that both Jews and non-Jews were equal members of the Church. He defended his position at the first gathering of early Church leaders during the Council of Jerusalem, which was held in a.d. 49. As we will see, Paul’s position was also supported by Peter, and the decision was made that non-Jewish people would not have to become Jews first in order to practice the Christian faith.

DeF in e Phar isee, grace, Council of Jer us alem

R eM eM Be R

Paul beca me kn ow n as the Apos tle to the Ge nti les because he res ponded to the Holy Spirit’s prompti ng to share the Good News of Sa lvation with all people, not jus t the Jews.

According to tradition, Paul was arrested and executed during Nero’s persecution of Christians around a.d. 67.

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Take It Home i_3672_SE_G8_U1.indd

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News Report of the Council Have young people read Acts of the Apostles 15:1–21 before the Design _______ Editorial _______ next session and write a news report summarizing the Council of Jerusalem. Encourage young people to answer the questions who, what, where, when, and why in their reports. Suggest that young people use formats, such as editorials, newspaper articles, or blog entries, that will best convey the information they present in their reports. During the next session, invite volunteers to share their news reports. PDF Signoff: Production _______

Invite volunteers to read aloud the last five paragraphs. Ask: What did Paul discover through his experience? (He was called by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus.) What was his essential message? (In Jesus Christ, God has given Salvation to all who believe.) Ask: What do Christians receive when they are united with Christ in Baptism? (grace) Explain that grace is the gift of God, given to us without our meriting it. Say: Grace is the Holy Spirit alive in us. It gives us the strength to live out our vocation. Point out that grace also strengthens our relationship with God and allows us to live in love with all people. Display the poster The Early Christian Communities. To demonstrate Paul’s contribution to the growth of the early Church, point out the cities of Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus, Athens, and Rome. Remind young people that in Paul’s day, people often traveled by foot. Explain that Paul’s belief that Gentiles and Jews were equal members of the Church caused controversy among Jesus’ early followers. Say: Jesus’ first disciples were Jews. Opening the Church to Gentiles, people who did not follow Jewish customs, was a threatening concept for some people. Point out the term Council of Jerusalem. Explain that this council set the model for future councils, during which Church leaders met to discuss other disagreements. Ask: What did the Church leaders decide during the Council of Jerusalem? (Gentiles would not have to become Jews first in order to practice the Christian faith.)

3 Close Read aloud the section Spread the Good News. Give young people time to complete the activity. Family and Community

Unit 1  •  Session 2  

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Explore

P r ocla i m i ng Je s u s to t he World

1 Begin Invite young people to share stories from movies or literature in which characters have experiences that change their lives. Share an example such as the story of Cole Matthews from the book Touching Spirit Bear. Say: Now we’re going to read how a vision that Peter experienced changed the course of his life.

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first section. Have young people summarize Peter’s vision. Ask: What was Peter’s first response to his vision? (He was puzzled by it.) Explain that Jews follow a strict set of dietary practices found in the Torah that dictates what foods can be eaten and how they are to be prepared. Ask: What did Peter realize the meaning of the vision was after he was sought out by Cornelius’s servants? (While for a Jew it was unlawful to associate or visit with Gentiles, God told Peter not to call anyone profane or unclean.) Emphasize that Peter’s vision did not refer to food, as Peter had first thought, but to the relationship between people— Gentiles and Jews. Point out that Cornelius was a Gentile. Invite volunteers to read aloud the section The Holy Spirit Descends on Cornelius. Say: In this passage, the phrase “circumcised believers” refers to the Jews. Point out that they were amazed that Gentiles were able to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Say: When the Gentiles began speaking in tongues and glorifying God, Peter’s interpretation of his vision was reaffirmed. He became even more certain that God wanted the Church to be open to Gentiles and Jews alike. Explain that the word discern means “to detect or decide.” Point out the word converts. Have young people look up the definition in the Glossary.

14  www.findinggod.com

AFTeR

Jesus’ Death, the disciples preached only to their fellow Jewish believers. They proclaimed that Jesus had come to fulfill the promises of the Old Testament. One day, after the Resurrection, Peter had an experience that would deeply influence the Church’s mission. While he was walking to Jerusalem, Peter stopped to pray. During prayer he had a vision in which he saw animals that Jews were forbidden to eat being offered for food. He saw heaven opened and something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all the earth’s four-legged animals and reptiles and the birds of the sky. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.” But Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.” The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.” Acts of the Apostles 10:11–15 Peter was puzzled by this vision. Its meaning became clear, however, when the servants of a Roman officer named Cornelius came looking for him. They told Peter that Cornelius was told in a vision to seek out Peter. Peter realized the meaning of his vision: While it was unlawful for a Jew to associate or visit with Gentiles, God had shown Peter that it is wrong to call anyone profane or unclean.

14

The Holy Spirit Descends on Cornelius Peter went with the servants to Cornelius’s home. Upon his arrival, Cornelius told Peter that he was ready to listen to whatever Peter had to say. While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?” He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts of the Apostles 10:44–48

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Life-Changing Experience Scenes_______ PDF Signoff: Production Have small groups work together to write and perform scenes in which a character has an experience that changes his or her perspective about an issue in a positive way. If groups have trouble developing scenes, encourage young people to think of examples from movies or literature. Once groups have performed, have young people discuss how God might have been at work in each situation.

Inclusion

LoyolaPress.

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Autism Spectrum Design _______ EditorialIf_______ Think, Pair, Share  you

have young people who are on the autism spectrum, you may wish to modify the Begin activity. Give individuals a few moments to think about stories to share. Then invite partners to share their stories with one another. Finally, invite volunteers to share their stories with everyone.


Explore Peter told Cornelius how he had come to understand that God shows no partiality—the message of Salvation is for all. Peter proclaimed the basic truths about Jesus and how everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins. Then, to the astonishment of Peter and his associates, Cornelius and his family began to pray in the name of the Holy Spirit. Peter called for water so that they could be baptized. As we have seen, Paul also preached to the Gentiles. As more Gentiles joined the Church, the disciples needed to discern how these new converts were to relate to the Jewish rites of initiation. For example, should the men be circumcised as Jewish men were before they became Christians? Paul objected to this idea. He taught that Gentiles became Christians through their faith in Jesus Christ, rather than through external signs. He thought that to attach Jewish requirements to Gentile converts would hinder his work among the Gentiles.

Around the year a.d. 49, leaders in the early Church met in council in Jerusalem to discuss the issue. Chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles tells the story of how the discussion went. Peter testified to his experience of the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Gentiles. Based on this experience, Peter stated that since God has called them through the Holy Spirit, the Gentiles should not be burdened with the customs of the Jews. After further discussion and reflection guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church agreed with Peter. The Council of Jerusalem resolved that Jewish laws would not apply to Gentile Christians. Paul and his companion Barnabas were sent to Antioch to announce this teaching.

PAST: We learn in Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47 that the early Christians gathered to break bread. They remembered what Jesus did the night before he died. He took bread, said a blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples. Jesus said that the bread was his Body. Jesus also blessed the wine, distributing it to the disciples, saying that it was his Blood. Jesus then told the disciples to remember him by doing the same thing.

PRESENT: Each day, except Good Friday, the Church gathers to celebrate the

eucharist, the source and summit of Christian faith. The Eucharist, a word which means “thanksgiving,” is the Christian prayer of blessing for all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the celebration of Jesus’

explore

Council of Jerusalem

Past Meets Present

sacrifice on the cross. As we celebrate, we remember Christ’s Passover, his Death, and his Resurrection from the dead. In remembering Christ’s sacrifice, we are reminded that Jesus gives us the grace to live and die as he did—as a person for others. The Eucharist is also our sacrifice, the offering up of ourselves for the good of the world. During the Eucharist, when the priest prays the words of consecration, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the risen

De F in e

When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are

R R e M e M Be

gathered, broke bread, and celebrated Jesus

unci l of Du ring the Co s of e ea rly leader tile Jeru sa lem, th ded that Gen ci de ch ur t the Ch tia nity did no ris Ch to ts s conver w Jewi sh law llo fo to ed al so ne and cu stom s.

Past Meets Present

Jesus Christ.

char ist conver ts, Eu

directly linked to those early Christians who Christ in their midst. Just as they were, we are also called to receive the Body and Blood of the risen Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

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Session 2 > The Church grows

TAKE IT HOME i_3672_SE_G8_U1.indd

~ pg 15 ~

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Faithful Community Have young people read Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47 before the PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ next session. Remind young people that in this passage, Luke describes how the early Christians celebrated their faith together as a community. Tell young people that after they read the passage, they should write a description of how their parish community celebrates its faith. Encourage young people to include descriptions of how their community celebrates the sacraments, educates others in the ways of the faith, and practices the Works of Mercy. During the next session, invite volunteers to share their descriptions.

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Council of Jerusalem. Point out that during the council, Peter shared the experience he had with Cornelius and his family. Ask: What impact did the experience have on Peter? (Possible answer: As a result of his experience, he stated that God had also called the Gentiles through the Holy Spirit and that because of this, they should not have to comply with the customs of the Jews.) If you assigned the Take It Home feature for the previous article, invite volunteers to share their news reports. Say: The Church leaders were so sure of their decision that they wanted everyone in the Church to know about it. That is why they sent Paul and Barnabas to announce it to others. Read aloud the feature. Point out that the Past component refers to the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples the night before he died. Say: We commemorate this meal every time the Mass is celebrated. Ask: Why might we say that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives? (Possible answer: In the Eucharist we receive the Body and Blood of the risen Christ, which gives us the strength to live as Jesus’ disciples in the world today. The Eucharist is the summit of our lives because receiving it is the most important thing we do as Catholics.) Say: The gift of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is the most important gift we have received from God. Encourage young people to pay close attention to words of consecration at Mass.

3 Close Point out that before the Council of Jerusalem, Church leaders disagreed about whether to accept Gentiles into the Church. Say: It was by having open hearts and listening to one another respectfully that they came to an agreement.

Unit 1  •  Session 2  

15


Reflect

Prayer Follow the steps to guide young people through the prayer on page 16.

Prayer

The Law of Love

Young People’s Page Prepare  Pray the prayer in advance to become familiar with it. Select one young person to serve as the Leader and another young person to serve as the Reader. Pray  Invite volunteers to read aloud the page title and the two paragraphs in the left column. Ask: Why might we say that the decision that was made at the Council of Jerusalem was a proclamation of the Good News? (Possible answer: At the Council, Church leaders affirmed that God’s gift of Salvation is available to all people.) How can we participate in God’s plan of Salvation? (Possible answers: We can accept Jesus as our Savior. We can follow the teachings of the Church.) How do we give witness to the unity of the Christian community? (by performing selfless acts of love that help others open their hearts to God’s presence) Say: Take a moment to prepare yourselves for prayer. Then pray aloud the prayer together. Invite volunteers to share any insights they had while reflecting on the two questions that were part of the prayer. Then say: Take another moment to reflect. Silently answer for yourselves the question, “What is God saying to me through this prayer?” After giving young people time to reflect, conclude by praying together the Glory Be to the Father. Say: When we pray together, we unite ourselves to God through his Son, Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we continue the session, let’s ask God to help us remain united in our desire to learn more about him and the Church.

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Called to Love

All: In the name of the Father, and of

Amen.

Leader: Through his ministry to the Gentiles, Paul reminds us that showing love for one another is at the heart of Christian discipleship. Reader: A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians. I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, beari ng with one anoth er through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit throu gh the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

The decision that was made at the Council of Jerusalem was in itself a proclamation of the Good News. Peter, Paul, and the other Church leaders reminded the faithful that God, in his great love, offers the gift of Salvation to all people. At the same time, this gift requires action on our part. Christian believers are called to live lives that are worthy of this gift. As members of the Church, we share with others the Good News of God’s abundant grace through our words and actions. By performing selfless acts of love, we help others open their hearts to God’s presence, and we give witness to the unity of the Christian community.

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Un it 1 • T he E a rly C hu r c h

All: Thank s be to God. Leader: Let us take a moment to reflec

t silently on how we can live in a manner worthy of the call we have received. These questions can help you get started. • How am I being called to practi ce the virtues of humility, gentleness, and patience with other s? • How do my words and actions express to others my belief in God, the Father of all?

Leader: Let us give thank s to God for All: The L ORD is good to all,

his gift of Salvation.

compassionate toward all your works . All your works give you thank s, L ORD and your faithfu l bless you. They speak of the glory of your reign and tell of your might y works.

All: Amen.

~ pg 16 ~

A Symbol of Unity After distributing art supplies, PDF Signoff: Production _______ invite young people to make symbols that demonstrate the unity of the Catholic community. If young people have difficulty thinking of what to make, encourage them to read the Nicene Creed on page 272 in the back of their books. Invite volunteers to share their completed symbols. Solidarity

Ephesians 4:1–6

The Word of the Lord.

If Tim e Allows i_3672_SE_G8_U1.indd

the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 145:9–11

FYI

LoyolaPress.

Coaching Young to Pray PeopleEditorial Design _______ _______ Before praying, remind young people that praying aloud together is one way to bring our minds, bodies, and voices into union. Point out that this physical union mirrors the spiritual union with God that we achieve when we pray.

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Reflect

e R e H W t in

1 Begin

Do i Fi

le. with all peop are his love r chosen to sh God’s love fo y of el n fre io s ct ha fle God out are a re teach us ab mmunities ly co d on t an no es r. They Famili one anothe bers of the r fo em m ve lo As r n. tio us and ou d’s love in ac love in ways they are Go God’s gift of God’s love; respond to to d rs in God. lle te ca sis e d ar rs an Church, we th our brothe wi ity un r s ou that expres

by Ma r

A Place Where i Belong I grew up in New Mexico, the youngest of seven kids. I have six uncles, eight aunts, and 40 cousins. People often assume that in large families it’s easy for one child to fall through the cracks. And people often wonder if parents could possibly have enough love for all those kids. I can tell you that in my family, love was (and is) abundant. There were no cracks to fall through because the family was tight-knit. At family gatherings my uncles would play guitar and sing old favorites. We’d all sing along. It took all our individual voices to make that loud and beautiful sound. And if one voice was a bit off-key (usually mine), it didn’t matter because the group as a whole was in tune. When we’d gather for family picnics, we’d all play kickball or baseball. Each of us was cheered on and encouraged. There was room for errors because it was understood that we were all learning to play the game together. Our church community expanded that circle even more. Members of our extended family and our parish community attended each of our seven First Holy Communion and Confirmation celebrations. My parents also sang in the parish’s Spanish choir. For each choir member’s birthday, the choir members and their families would gather at sunrise and sing MARiA MOnDRAgOn is a managing editor at Loyola Press.

r a g on

Reflect

See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you. Isaiah 49:16

ia Mond

“Las Mañanitas” outside the person’s window to celebrate the day on which he or she was born. It was in these communities that I recognized something—I matter. My presence among my family members’ celebrations was important, just as their presence mattered to me. You might think that if one of the seven of us didn’t attend an event, it would go unnoticed. That never happened. People asked for each of us by name. And they still do.

Family and Community

I live in Chicago now, and I miss my family. But here I have helped build a community of families where I know I belong and where people ask for me and for my own children by name.

2 Connect

We Belong Think of the communities to which you belong. Draw a Venn diagram with three circles and your name in the center where the circles intersect. Label each circle with the name of a community, such as school, church, team, or family. Write the names of the people in each of those communities. Then write a paragraph describing how you feel you belong to each community. How does each community call you by name? How is the Holy Spirit at work in each community? Session 2 > The Church grows

17

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Have a volunteer read aloud the introductory paragraph. Say: Take a moment to think of all the different communities to which you belong. Ask: What is common among all of them? (Possible answer: The members of the communities care for one another.) How might we define the term community? (Possible answer: A community is a group of people whose members help one another.) Point out that when we join a community, we commit ourselves to respecting the members of that community.

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Name Game Have young people research the origin and meaning of their first PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ name and write this information on a strip of paper, minus the name itself. Then place the strips in a bag. Have young people take turns drawing a strip and reading aloud the information. As a group, discuss whose name the information may describe. Once the person has been identified, invite young people to discuss whether the name seems fitting and why. Finally, as a group, pray a short prayer of thanksgiving for the person, such as Thank you, God, for the gift of [Name].

Invite volunteers to read aloud A Place Where I Belong. Ask: How does the author’s family remind you of your own family? (Accept reasonable responses.) Then discuss the importance of names. Ask: What nicknames do you use in the communities to which you belong, and what do they mean? (Answers will vary.) Point out that being named—as at Baptism—is one of the most powerful ways we know that we belong to a community. Then have young people complete the activity independently. Allow volunteers to share completed paragraphs if they wish.

3 Close Encourage young people to ask their parents why or how their name was selected. Encourage young people to thank their parents for choosing their name with care.

Unit 1  •  Session 2  

17


RESPOND

W h a t ’s

? t a h W

1 Begin What’s What?  Read aloud the ­ irections. Then give young people d time to complete the crossword puzzle. Point out that young people can use the page references to help find the answers to the ­crossword clues.

Say What?  Read aloud the vocabulary terms. Invite volunteers to define each one. Encourage young people to refer to the Glossary if they need assistance defining the terms.

4

Across 3

While praying in Jerusalem, Peter that deeply influenced the had a direction of the Church’s mission. (PAGE 12)

5

Eucharist means “

6

7

.” (PAGE 15)

8

Peter and Paul were great of the early Church. (PAGE 12)

10

Paul’s physical helped him realize that he had been blind to Jesus’ true identity. (PAGE 12)

8 9

10

Down

Now What?  Read aloud the section. Invite each young person to answer the question independently.

1

In the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that the early Christians gathered to break . (PAGE 15)

2

Peter proclaimed that everyone who of sins. believes in Jesus receives

9

(PAGE 15)

3 Go in Peace Collect materials and return them to the appropriate places. Encourage young people to follow through with their Now What? idea during the week. Remind young people that when we share the love of the Holy Spirit with others, we grow in our relationship with God and with the Church.

2 3

5

Respond

2 Connect

1

Complete the crossword by using the clues below.

18

4

Paul teaches us that the love of God is being poured into our hearts through the . (PAGE 13)

6

The were known for their strict adherence to the Law. (PAGE 12)

7

During the Council of Jerusalem, the decision was made that non-Jews would to not have to first become practice the Christian faith. (PAGE 13)

Paul taught that Gentiles became Christians in Jesus Christ. through their (PAGE 15)

Say What? Know the definitions of these terms. converts Council of Jerusalem Eucharist

grace Pharisee

now What? In Scripture, Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the source of all love. How can you share this love with others during the next week?

Un it 1 • T he E a rly C hu r c h

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LoyolaPress.

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Service: Proclaiming the Good News Remind young people that, like Saint Paul, we are called to proclaim PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ the Good News to others. Have young people brainstorm their favorite Scripture stories. Write on the board young people’s suggestions. Then arrange young people into small groups. Distribute art supplies and have each group make a storybook, using one of the stories listed on the board. Arrange with your catechetical leader to have groups read aloud their completed storybooks to younger children. Family and Community

Session Assessment Option An assessment for this session can be found at www.findinggod.com.

3-Minute Retreat Give young people an opportunity for quiet meditation at www.loyolapress.com/retreat.

18  www.findinggod.com

P l a n A h e a d : Get Ready for Session 3 Consult the catechist preparation pages to prepare for Session 3 and determine any materials you will need.


Catechist Preparation S e ss io n 3

Witnesses to the Faith 3-Minute Retreat Before you prepare the session, pause and be still. Take three deep breaths and be aware of the loving presence of God, who is with you on this journey.

Knowing and Sharing Your Faith in Session 3 Consider how Scripture and Tradition can deepen your understanding of session content.

Scripture Acts of the Apostles 7:59–60 As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Reflection Stephen was the first of the Christian martyrs, a witness to Jesus Christ. Stephen follows Jesus’ example in Luke 23:34 by forgiving those who persecuted him. This was an act of grace for Stephen, whose eyes were focused only on the Lord. Stephen is an example for us all to pray for the grace of forgiveness for all those who hurt us in any way.

Questions Whom in my life do I need to forgive? How willing am I to pray for the grace to forgive?

Acts of the Apostles 7:60 describes the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Tradition In the early Church, Stephen, a deacon, was the first Christian martyr (Acts of the Apostles 7:54–60). A martyr is someone who witnesses to the truth that is revealed in Jesus Christ, even in face of danger and death. During the first few centuries of the Church, there were times when it was extremely dangerous to be a Christian. Thousands of Christians gave up their lives rather than compromise their faith and morality. Rather than destroying the Church, however, the martyrdom of the early Christians strengthened and built the Church. Through the practice of prayers of intercession to these martyrs, the Church teaches us that we all belong to the Communion of Saints.

Catholic Social Teaching

Concluding Prayer

Speak to God, using the words of this prayer or one of your own. Lord Jesus, model of forgiveness, help me pray for the forgiveness of others who have hurt me. Saint Stephen, intercede for me so that I may follow your example.

In this session the integrated Catholic Social Teaching themes are Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; and Solidarity. See page 1b for an explanation of these themes.

Window on the Catechism The teaching on martyrs is found in CCC 957, 1173, 2113, and 2473–2474. The Communion of Saints is found in CCC 946–962.

General Directory for Catechesis The witness of the martyrs is found in GDC 82.

Unit 1  •  Session 3  

19a


catechist preparation

One-Hour Session Planner Session 3

  Witnesses to the Faith

Session Theme: The early Christian martyrs were faithful to Jesus, even in the face of adversity. Before This Session ▶▶ Bookmark your Bible to Acts of the Apostles 6:5 and Acts of the Apostles 7:60.

Place the open Bible in your prayer space. ▶▶ Display a liturgical calendar such as the Finding God poster The Liturgical Year. ▶▶ Read the Guide for this session, choose any additional If Time Allows activities

that you might have time to complete, and gather the listed materials. Steps

Approximate Time

Engage Witnesses to the Faith 

  10 minutes

The Martyrs and the Communion of Saints 

  30–40 minutes Pages 20–21

Take It Home

Pages 22–23

Reflect Prayer: Praying to the Saints  Where Do I Fit In? 

In this session, young people are encouraged to take a moment to pray their own prayer of thanks to God for the example of the martyrs. The session also includes the opportunity to pray a Litany of the Saints. At the end of the session, you may wish to suggest that young people use an online 3-Minute Retreat as part of their daily prayer.

Page 19

Explore The Early Martyrs 

Prayer in Session 3

  10–15 minutes Page 24

Page 25

Respond

  10–15 minutes

What’s What? page 26

Homework options: Example of the Martyrs 

Page 21

Stained-Glass Windows 

Page 22

Materials REQUIRED

Optional

▶▶ Liturgical calendar such as the

▶▶ Session 3 BLM, T-351 (page 20)

Finding God poster: The Liturgical Year (page 21) ▶▶ Art supplies (page 21) ▶▶ Note cards with situations in which

young people might turn to others for help (page 22) ▶▶ Images of stained-glass windows

that depict scenes from Scripture (page 22) ▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 25, 26) ▶▶ Computer with Internet access

(page 26)

19b  www.findinggod.com

▶▶ Writing supplies (page 20) ▶▶ Images of the historical figures

mentioned in this session, writing supplies (page 22) ▶▶ Tour guide (page 23) ▶▶ Reference materials about the

lives of the saints, writing supplies (page 24) ▶▶ Reference materials about Church

teachings, writing supplies (page 25)

▶▶ Newspapers, writing supplies

(page 26) ▶▶ Session 3 Assessment,

www.findinggod.com (page 26)


Engage

Session

3

s e s s e n t i W to the Faith

Session 3

Outcomes ▶▶ Describe how the early Christian mar-

tyrs witnessed to the Christian faith. ▶▶ Retell stories of the early Christian

martyrs. ▶▶ Pray together a Litany of the Saints. ▶▶ Define blasphemy, catechumen,

charism, Communion of Saints, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, intercessors, relics, and Sanhedrin.

1 Set the Stage

Think about a time when your beliefs were challenged by someone. How did you respond? Were you tempted to go along, or did you find a way to be true to your beliefs in spite of the pressure you faced?

Read aloud the text in the box on page 19. Give young people a few moments to reflect silently on the questions or to share their responses with a partner.

2 Get Started PR AYeR God, thank you for giving us the example of the martyrs. May we always have the strength to remain true to our beliefs.

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~ pg 19 ~

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Stepping Up, Speaking Out Have young people stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Say: I am PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ going to ask you some questions. If your answer is yes, step into the circle. If your answer is no, remain where you are. Ask a series of yes-or-no questions. Include benign questions, such as Do you like ice cream? as well as more challenging questions, such as Do you sometimes feel jealous of your friends? After the activity give young people a moment to reflect on how they answered the questions. Ask: Which questions did you have to think about before you decided whether to step into the circle? Why? Which questions did you not want to answer? Why? (Accept reasonable responses.) Explain that “stepping up” for our Catholic beliefs means expressing what we know to be true in our hearts, even if it’s difficult or unpopular.

Have small groups develop lists of well-known slogans, such as “Just do it.” After giving groups time to work, write on the board young people’s ideas. Explain that organizations use slogans as ways to express their identity. Say: As Jesus’ followers we need to have a clear understanding of our Christian identify so that when we face challenging situations, we know what we believe. Have pairs brainstorm slogans that identify who we are as Jesus’ followers. Invite volunteers to share their slogans. Read aloud the session title. Say: In this session we are going to learn about early Christians who witnessed to the faith by becoming martyrs. Remind young people that a martyr is someone who is killed for his or her faith.

Prayer Say: Let’s prepare ourselves for prayer by taking a moment to rest in God’s loving presence. Pray aloud the prayer together. Conclude by praying together the Sign of the Cross.

Go to www.findinggod.com/sessionextenders for an article on the early Christian martyrs. You may wish to share this with the group.

Unit 1  •  Session 3  

19


Explore

1 Begin Share a story about how your family celebrates birthdays. Then invite young people to share their own stories about how their families celebrate birthdays. Ask: Why do we often celebrate birthdays in special ways? (Possible answer: to celebrate the life of the person) Say: In this article we are going to learn about the early Christian martyrs, whose lives we continue to remember today through feast days, which, in a way, celebrate their birth into Heaven.

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first four paragraphs. Remind young people that an atheist is someone who does not believe in God. Ask: Why did the Romans believe that the Christians were atheists? (The Christians did not celebrate the festivals of the local gods.) Emphasize that by refusing to worship false gods, the Christians remained true to their faith and practiced the First Commandment. Ask: How were the martyrs witnesses to the faith? (through their willingness to die for their faith) Point out the word charism. Explain that a charism is a gift given by the Holy Spirit to a person or a group for the good of the whole Church. Ask: Why might we say that the sacrifice of the martyrs was good for the Church? (Possible answer: Through death, the martyrs witnessed to the truth of the Gospel message and encouraged other Christians to remain true to the faith.) Emphasize that the martyrs found the strength to remain true to their faith by uniting their suffering with the suffering of Christ on the Cross. Call attention to the word intercessors. Say: Intercessors pray for the needs of others. Point out that we serve as intercessors when we pray the Prayer of the Faithful during Mass.

20  www.findinggod.com

d n a s r y t r a M e h T n o i n u m m o C e th of S a i nt s Beginning

with Nero’s persecution of the Christian Church in Rome and lasting through the Edict of Milan (issued in a . d. 313), Christians lived under close scrutiny. While the periods of intense persecution were few, Christians were outsiders and considered atheists because they did not celebrate the festivals of the local gods. If crops failed or other natural disasters happened, cities would hear the cry “Christians to the lions!” This discrimination caused the conditions that led to the first Christian heroes, or martyrs. The Greek word for martyr means “witness.”

Martyrdom was seen as a charism in the early Church; however, not all Christians were called to be martyrs. A Christian could not simply confess membership in the Christian faith in the hope of being put to death by the authorities. This act would be considered suicide and would have placed the authorities in the position of being murderers. Commenting on the charism of martyrdom, Saint Augustine said that the intention of the martyrs was to witness to their faith. They were willing to die as a consequence of believing in Jesus. Tertullian (ca. a.d. 160–ca. 225), an early Church father, described martyrdom as Baptism in blood that brought forgiveness of sins. Unbaptized people who died for the sake of their faith were seen as baptized in the giving of their own blood. Martyrs saw the giving of their lives as a kind of second Baptism. Dying for one’s faith was seen as a participation in the Passion of Jesus Christ, who was present with the martyrs, strengthening them.

20

By confessing their faith to the death, the martyrs showed the Roman state that there were values that transcended the power of the Roman Empire and its gods. Martyrdom was also a witness to unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel. Martyrs are still seen as perfect disciples who immediately realize the blessings promised to all Christians. As such, we believe that they enter Heaven immediately; they do not have to experience Purgatory. Living with Christ in Heaven, martyrs have direct access to God. Therefore, they can act as intercessors and pray for the needs of those left behind. The martyrs are servants of Christ and mediators of grace.

Un it 1 • T he E a rly C hu r c h

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~ pg 20 ~

LoyolaPress.

10/24/12 11:32 AM

Session 3 BLM ThePDF Communion of Saints  Provide each young person with the Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ Session 3 Blackline Master [T-351]. Invite volunteers to read aloud the introduction and the directions. Before giving young people time to work, brainstorm as a group various symbols that are part of our Catholic faith, such as water, oil, and candles. Remind young people that symbols are effective because they speak to both our minds and our hearts. After giving young people time to complete the activity, invite volunteers to share their symbols.

Historical Risk Takers Arrange young people into small groups. Have each group brainstorm a list of historical figures who have spoken out and stood up for what is right. After groups have completed their lists, invite volunteers to name the people they listed. Discuss what risks the people faced, what might have motivated their behavior, and what the consequences of their behavior were. Rights and Responsibilities


Explore The reliquary of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Martyrs are also members of the Communion of Saints, which is the community of all those, living and dead, who believe in Jesus and follow his teachings. Since we are also members of the Communion of Saints, we can pray for all those who have died, commending them to God’s mercy and offering prayers for them, especially in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

cha rism, intercessors, relics, Com mu nion of Sai nts, Gif ts of the Holy Spi rit

Re Me MBeR

ma rtyrs The early Chr istia ns ess to witn a as s live ir the e gav ist. Chr s Jesu in faith ir the

explore

The major periods of persecution were from a.d. 251 to 313. During the most intense persecution, the practice of Christianity was formally outlawed, and everyone in the empire was required to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. People who did not do so were killed immediately. Some historians believe that nearly 200,000 people were killed during this period. Many other Christians fell away from the faith, and others went into hiding. Therefore, martyrs, as heroes of the Church, were held in high regard.

De Fi ne

Honoring the Martyrs Greeks and Romans celebrated the memories of deceased family members by having meals in their honor. Christian families took up this custom by having special meals on the anniversaries of the martyrs’ deaths. In this way Christians ensured that the memories of the martyrs’ would not be forgotten.

Family and Community

At first, these commemorations of the martyrs were done locally. As the Church became more aware of its universal mission, Christians realized that the meaning a martyr had for a local church could be celebrated with the whole Church. Over time the martyrs’ grave sites became shrines. The martyrs’ relics, such as locks of hair or bone fragments, were taken from their original burial sites and housed in churches or basilicas. The names of martyrs were given to Christian children. Constantine the Great, woodcut, 1877.

ReADY for Confirmation Professing one’s faith as a Christian during the period of persecution required faith and courage. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we receive the gift of courage, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. This gift gives us the strength to stand up for our beliefs and to live as Jesus’ disciples. Session 3 > Witnesses to the Faith

21

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~ pg 21 ~

Invite volunteers to read aloud the next two paragraphs. Point out the term Communion of Saints. Remind young people that everyone who believes in Jesus and follows his teachings is a member of the Communion of Saints. Say: We can rely on the example of the other people within this community to give us the strength and courage to live as Jesus’ disciples in the world today. Emphasize that the Communion of Saints reminds us that we are never alone in our faith.

LoyolaPress.

Example of the Martyrs Before the next session, have young people research the life PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ of a martyr and prepare an oral report about that martyr’s life. Encourage young people to focus on how the life of the martyr they researched continues to serve as an example of Christian living for us today. During the next session, give young people time to present their oral reports.

10/24/12 11:32 AM

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Honoring the Martyrs. Say: When we venerate someone, we show them honor and respect. Ask: Why did the Christians venerate the martyrs? (to ensure that the memories of the martyrs’ witness to the faith would not be forgotten) Display a liturgical calendar and point out the feast days of various martyrs. Say: One way to honor the martyrs is to celebrate their feast days. Another way is to follow their example of service to others. Ask: Why did the martyrs’ grave sites became shrines? (Possible answer: The graves served as a physical place that the Christians could visit to be reminded of the martyrs’ lives.) Point out the vocabulary word. Explain that relics may have included locks of hair or chips of bone. Ask: Why might the Christians have wanted these relics? (Possible answer: They served as physical reminders of the martyrs.)

Ready for Confirmation

Read aloud the feature. Point out that we can always pray to the members of the Communion of Saints to give us the courage to practice our faith.

3 Close Have young people draw their own representations of the Communion of Saints. Invite volunteers to share their completed drawings. Unit 1  •  Session 3  

21


Explore

1 Begin Before the session write on individual note cards situations in which young people might turn to others for help, such as when I am not feeling well, when I want to learn how to play a new game, and when I don’t understand my schoolwork. During the session arrange young people into small groups and give a few cards to each group. Have groups brainstorm to whom they might turn for help in each situation. After giving groups time to work, say: We can always turn to the example of the martyrs and other people within the Communion of Saints for help living as Jesus’ disciples.

The Early Martyrs Saints Perpetua and Felicity

MeMBeRS of the early Church

Saint Stephen (Died 33)

followed Jesus’ example of love and service by preaching the Gospel and distributing alms— food and money—to widows, orphans, and people who were poor. Before long, so many people were relying on the charity of Christians that the Apostles appointed deacons to oversee the daily distribution of alms. This freed the Apostles to spend time preaching the Gospel. What can you do to preach the Gospel to others?

The apostles appointed Stephen to serve as one of the first deacons. He was widely regarded as a man “filled with faith and the holy Spirit.” (Acts of the Apostles 6:5) In addition to distributing alms, he also preached the Good News. Some Jewish authorities were so upset with Stephen’s message that they found witnesses to testify falsely that he had committed blasphemy, which means defying or disrespecting God. Based on this testimony, Stephen was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin,

2 Connect Invite a volunteer to read aloud the article title and the first paragraph. Ask: How did members of the early Church follow Jesus’ example of love and service? (preach the Gospel and distribute alms) What did the apostles appoint deacons to do? (oversee the daily distribution of alms) Name organizations in your parish that help people in need by distributing alms. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the section Saint Stephen. Ask: Why did the apostles select Stephen to serve as a deacon? (He was a man “filled with faith and the holy Spirit.”) Why did Jewish authorities find witnesses to testify falsely that Stephen had committed blasphemy? (They were upset with his message.) Emphasize that Stephen had been preaching the Gospel. Ask: What did Stephen model through his last words? (Possible answer: forgiveness)

Sacred Art

Read aloud the feature. Display images of stained-glass windows that depict scenes from Scripture. Ask young people to explain how the windows can be used to teach others about the Catholic faith.

22  www.findinggod.com

Saint Stephen, stained glass.

SACRED ART

The stained-glass windows in our churches serve as sources of light and decorations that fill us with awe. These windows often serve another purpose; they teach us about our faith. Many windows include images of Scripture stories and scenes from the lives of the saints. This window teaches us that Saint Stephen was a leader in the early Church and that he died for his faith. His role as a leader is symbolized by the vestments he is wearing, and the stone he is holding reminds us of how he died.

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~ pg 22 ~

Stained-Glass Windows Before the next session, have PDF Signoff: Production _______ young people design stainedglass windows that depict someone or something that they learned about in this unit. During the next session, give young people time to share their designs.

Inclusion

LoyolaPress.

10/24/12 11:32 AM

Cognitive Design _______Figure Editorial _______ Historical “Tweets” 

If you work with young people with cognitive differences, help clarify the identities of the historical figures mentioned in this session. Post images of Stephen, Polycarp, Perpetua, Felicity, and Nero. Then have young people write “tweets,” or short descriptive phrases, for each historical figure. Post these under the images and refer to these images and descriptions as needed.


Explore the Jewish court that ruled on matters of faith and practice among the Jews. Stephen spoke passionately in his own defense, drawing on his deep understanding of Scripture to show how everything in Jewish history had been leading up to Jesus. Stephen’s adversaries, blinded by rage, dragged him out of town and stoned him to death. His last words were “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts of the Apostles 7:60) Stephen was the first martyr. We can read more about his ministry and death in the Acts of the Apostles.

Saint Polycarp (69–155)

Polycarp looked to the Roman judge and said, “I have served Christ for 86 years, and he never did me any wrong. How can I turn my back on the king who saved me?” With these words, Polycarp sealed his fate. The Roman judge had Polycarp burned alive. He was executed because he believed in one God and refused to place his faith in any other god.

Saints Perpetua and Felicity (Died 203) The persecution of Christians affected everyone— men and women, rich and poor. Perpetua, a young noblewoman, was a catechumen, an adult who was being formed in the Christian faith through instruction and the example of the community. She sought instruction for herself and for everyone in her household, including Felicity, one of her servants. During the time she was preparing to join the Church, the Roman emperor issued an edict that forbade anyone from being baptized. Perpetua and the members of her household continued to receive instruction until they were arrested. After their arrest they were tried and condemned to death. While

On the day of their execution, they appeared joyful, as though they were on their way to Heaven.

explore

It was in the middle of the second century, and Polycarp, the bishop of the Greek city of Smyrna, was an old man, well into his 80s. He stood before a Roman judge who liked Polycarp and felt sorry for him. The judge did not want to condemn Polycarp to death because of his faith in Jesus Christ. He tried to save the old man. The judge pleaded with Polycarp to say that the Roman emperor is Lord. All Polycarp had to do was offer a little pinch of incense in front of the statue of the Roman emperor, nothing else. By doing so, Polycarp could save his life.

she was in jail, Perpetua’s father tried to convince her to change her mind and renounce her faith. She remained steadfast, however. While awaiting their fate, Perpetua, Felicity, and the others were baptized. On the day of their execution, they appeared joyful, as though they were on their way to Heaven.

DeF in e bla sphemy, Sa nh ed rin, catechu men

R eM eM Be R

By dy ing for the ir faith, Sa int s Stephen, Polycar p, Perpetua, and Felicity prov ide examples of how to res pond to God’s gif t of Sa lvation throu gh Jesus Ch ris t.

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Faith-Filled Field Trip Arrange with your catechetical leader to have someone from the PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ parish take young people on a tour of the church to point out any relics housed in your parish, whether in reliquaries or in the altar stone. Also ask the tour guide to review the stained-glass windows in the church and to identify the people or the scenes that are depicted in each one. After the tour have young people make thank-you cards for the tour guide.

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Saint Polycarp. Ask: How did Polycarp die? (He was burned alive.) Why was he condemned to death? (Possible answers: He would not turn his back on Jesus. He would not say that the Roman emperor is lord.) Say: Like Stephen, Polycarp is a martyr who remained true to his faith in the face of adversity. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the section Saints Perpetua and Felicity. Explain that a catechumen is any unbaptized person who is in the process of becoming Catholic. Say: Today catechumens go through a process called the RCIA, or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Point out that someone who converts to Catholicism from another Christian tradition is called a candidate. Say: Since a candidate is Christian, he or she already has been baptized. Explain that by continuing to learn about the Christian faith after it had been outlawed by the emperor, Perpetua and those in her household were putting their lives at risk. Ask: What did Perpetua’s father try to convince her to do while she was in jail? (change her mind and renounce her faith) What gave Perpetua and the others in her household the ability to remain joyful on the day of their execution? (Possible answers: their faith in Jesus, comfort from knowing that they had been true to their convictions) What can we do when we are tempted to stray from our convictions? (Possible answers: practice the virtues, pray for strength, follow the example of the martyrs)

3 Close If you had young people complete the Take It Home activity on page 21, give them time to share their oral reports. Otherwise, ask young ­people to think of a time they did not remain true to their convictions and to reflect on an alternative decision they could have made.

Unit 1  •  Session 3  

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Reflect

Prayer

Prayer Follow the steps to guide young people through the prayer on page 24.

Young People’s Page

Praying to the Saints

Prepare  Pray the prayer in advance to become familiar with it. Pray  Invite volunteers to read aloud the page title and the two paragraphs in the left column. Explain that the earliest saints were the martyrs who were killed as a result of their belief in Jesus. Say: The persecuted Christians venerated the martyrs and drew courage from their example. Point out that we can take courage in the example of the martyrs when we feel persecuted or misunderstood because of our religious beliefs. Say: Today we are going to pray a ­litany, a prayer in which the leader prays aloud an invocation. After the invocation, we pray together a response. In this Litany of the Saints, respond to the first three and last two invocations by repeating the phrase. Explain that when young people see the . symbol, they should respond, “Pray for us.” Say: Let’s take a moment to remember that we are always in the presence of a God who loves us and invites us to grow in ­relationship with him through faith. Pray aloud each invocation and give young people a moment to respond. Say: Now think of an area in your life in which you feel challenged. Silently ask the saints to give you the strength to meet the challenge in a faith-filled way. After giving young people time to reflect, conclude by praying Amen. Say: We can draw strength from the many holy men and women who have gone before us and who are rooting for us as we journey onward. As we continue, let us ask them to help us follow their example.

24  www.findinggod.com

There are times in our lives when we need courage to help us remain faithful to Jesus and his teachings. Maybe we are pressured by our peers to do something that we know is wrong, for example. During these moments of doubt and uncertainty, we can remember the saints, whose lives exemplify faith and courage. To help us grow in faith, we can pray to the saints and ask them to intercede on our behalf.

A Litany of the Saints

All: In the name of the Father, and of

the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Leader: Through their words and

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier, . Saint John Vianney, Saint Catheri ne, . Saint Teresa,

.

.

Leader: Christ, have mercy.

All holy men and women,

All: Christ, have mercy.

Leader: Christ, hear us

Leader: Lord, have mercy.

All: Christ, hear us.

. .

All: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: Christ, graciously hear us.

Leader: Holy Mary, Mother of God,

All: Christ, graciously hear us.

.

Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity,

.

Saint James,

.

Saint Philip,

.

Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew,

All: Glory be to the Father,

.

Saint Stephen,

Saint John,

Leader: Let us give thanks to God for giving us the model of the saints.

.

Saint Joseph,

.

. .

.

All the saints and martyrs,

Saint Peter and Saint Paul,

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Saint Francis and Saint Dominic,

All: Lord, have mercy.

Response: Pray for us.

.

Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica,

actions, the saints have provided examples of Christian living. Let us take a moment to ask them to intercede on our behalf. Lord, have mercy.

Saint Mary Magdalene, . Saint Monica and Saint Augustine,

.

and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

.

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Saintly Sleuthing Arrange young people into PDF Signoff: Production _______ small groups and assign to each group one of the saints included in the litany. Provide young people with reference materials and ask them to find answers to these questions: •• When and where did the saint live? •• What spiritual gifts did the saint possess? •• What message does this saint have for us today? After giving groups time to work, have them present their research to one another.

FYI

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Coaching Young to Pray PeopleEditorial Design _______ _______ Before praying, explain that because of their strong rhythms, litanies often are chanted, which helps create a strong yet comforting communal prayer experience. Remind young people that, like the rhythm of music, the rhythm of prayer can soothe us in times of anxiety.


Reflect

e R e H W t in

1 Begin

Do i Fi

ving it . Without gi ds, le around us rents, frien pa of the peop r fs ou lie as be g e me thin ck up th lieve the sa e time to We of ten pi th be ke to s ta es we of that t, we pr ed e challenged much though d strengthen when we ar mar tyrs face . It is of ten that the early es and culture . ng ns le io al r convict liefs. The ch true to thei clarif y our be uld remain that they co their faith so

b y H on o

ra Wood

What Do i Stand For?

When I got older, this passive attitude came back to bite me. I realized that I needed to understand what I truly stand for. One summer, when I was in high school, I got into a discussion with a guy named Jim, who worked with me in a summer job. We were talking about colleges, and we were on opposite sides of the fence about one particular school. My parents had strong views about this college, and I stated them as my own opinion. Jim had the opposite opinion, with facts and personal experience to back him up. He had visited this college and spoken with many staff members who worked there. I had no such experience. I thought I was right. I knew my parents had reasons for their opinion, but I didn’t know what they were. All that I had retained was their opinion, with none of their factual support. Jim asked me, “What proof do you have?” I was completely taken aback; I had no answer to that question. I had to concede to Jim that I simply did not have enough facts to back up my statement. I would have to research it further.

It’s easy to listen to parents and other adults because they have so much wisdom and experience. As a young adult transitioning into independence, however, simply parroting the beliefs of my parents will not suffice anymore. God is really pushing me to find out for myself what it means to be Catholic today. I may end up thinking as my parents do, but for my beliefs to shape how I live out God’s Word, I have to discern for myself how God is calling me to live out my faith. I am so blessed by the wisdom and the Catholic formation my parents have given me. With their encouragement, I am learning more and more how to make decisions in situations that they never faced.

Reflect

Growing up, I often took my parents’ statements at face value without understanding the facts behind their conclusions. They had done the research already, so why should I? I never even dreamed that my parents could be wrong, so it seemed pointless to ask them why they believed what they did.

2 Connect

A Journey of Faith On a separate sheet of paper, draw a walking path. Include markers along the path that describe events in your life that have challenged and strengthened your faith.

HOnORA WOOD is currently studying at the University of Michigan, where she is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in dance.

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Session 3 > Witnesses to the Faith

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A Closer Look Have young people spend time researching the belief they identified PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ in the closing activity. If two or more young people are investigating the same belief, allow them to work together. Alternatively, allow young people to conduct their research at home. If necessary, guide young people toward appropriate Web sites or other resources. After their research is complete, invite young people to share what they learned and what conclusion—if any—they reached. Before they report their research, remind young people that exploring our beliefs is a process. Encourage them to listen to one another respectfully and to offer affirmation for each person’s efforts.

Write on the board the sentence Exercise is good for us. Ask: How do you know whether this is true? (Possible answers: I feel better after I exercise. Doctors tell us that this is true.) Then say: We often take at face value the things we are told by authorities. This is good, because not everyone has the time or skill to research, say, the effects of exercise. But as we grow, God gives us a desire to find out about important things on our own. Today’s article is about this gift from God.

Have volunteers read aloud the first two paragraphs of the section What Do I Stand For? Ask: What does the word passive mean? (not actively taking part) Say: God wants us to take part in life. This is why God gives us a mind, a body, and a heart—so that we can think, move, and love on our own. Invite volunteers to read aloud the remaining paragraphs. Say: Take a moment to reflect on a difference of opinion you have had with someone. Ask: Why did you disagree? (Accept reasonable responses.) Point out that regardless of whether people always agree with one another, we need to take time to find out as much about each other’s opinions as we can. Say: When we do this, we can express our opinions with conviction—and help others form sound opinions of their own. Have young people complete the activity independently and then share their responses with a partner.

3 Close Have young people think of one Church teaching that they would like to investigate further. Say: I encourage you to research why the Church teaches what it teaches. By doing so, you will help make the Catholic faith your own.

Unit 1  •  Session 3  

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RESPOND

W h a t ’s

? t a h W

1 Begin What’s What?  Read aloud the directions. Then give young people time to complete the activity independently. Point out that young people can use the page references to help them find the answers to the questions.

Say What?  Read aloud the vocabulary terms. Invite volunteers to use each term in a sentence. Encourage young people to use the Glossary if they need help defining the terms.

1

2

in the early

a. being a deacon c. belonging to the Sanhedrin

7

a. a charism

a. our faith b. Saint Stephen’s act of blasphemy

c. suicide

c. the importance of decoration

said that the intention of the martyrs was to witness to their faith. (PAGE 20)

Say What?

c. Nero Dying for one’s faith was seen as a the Passion of Jesus Christ. (PAGE 20)

blasphemy catechumen charism Communion of Saints

Gifts of the Holy Spirit intercessors relics Sanhedrin

a. strengthening of

now What? Having faith requires a willingness to stand up for our beliefs, even when it is difficult or unpopular. Who in your life serves as a model of faithfulness and courage? What can you do during the next week to thank that person for his or her example?

The martyrs can act as by praying for the needs of people still on earth. (PAGES 20–21)

3 Go in Peace

Know the definitions of these terms.

b. transcending of c. participation in

4

The stained-glass windows in our churches . (PAGE 22) often teach us about

b. an atheistic practice

b. Saint Tertullian

3

.

b. blasphemy

a. Saint Augustine

Now What?  Read aloud the section. Invite each young person to answer the questions independently.

Collect materials and return them to the appropriate places. Encourage young people to follow through with their Now What? idea during the week. Say: Remember, not only can we follow the example of other people, but we can also set an example for the people in our lives.

Martyrdom was seen as Church. (PAGE 20)

Stephen was falsely accused of (PAGE 22)

Circle the letter of the choice that best completes each sentence.

Respond

2 Connect

6

a. perfect disciples b. intercessors c. forgivers of sin

5

Members of the early Church followed Jesus’ example of love and service by to widows, orphans, distributing and people who were poor. (PAGE 22) a. food b. money c. both a and b

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Service: Write for Justice AskPDF young people to scan the newspaper to identify a person Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ or group that is being mistreated, victimized, or neglected. Have partners work together to write a letter to an appropriate government official, asking him or her to work on behalf of the person or the group, such as by introducing new legislation on behalf of those being victimized. Solidarity

Session Assessment Option An assessment for this session can be found at www.findinggod.com.

3-Minute Retreat Give young people an opportunity for quiet meditation at www.loyolapress.com/retreat.

26  www.findinggod.com

P l a n A h e a d : Get Ready for Session 4 Consult the catechist preparation pages to prepare for Session 4 and determine any materials you will need.


Catechist Preparation S e ss io n 4

The Catechumenate in the Early Church 3-Minute Retreat Before you prepare the session, pause and be still. Take three deep breaths and be aware of the loving presence of God, who is with you on this journey.

Knowing and Sharing Your Faith in Session 4 Consider how Scripture and Tradition can deepen your understanding of session content.

Scripture Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Reflection By virtue of our Baptism, we are initiated into a community in which we have twofold responsibility. First, we are responsible for ourselves and our spiritual growth. Letting “the word of Christ dwell in you richly” implies a disposition of the heart that is open to being led by the Spirit. Second, we are responsible for one another. Our life in Christ is to be shared through word and example.

Questions How can I approach God in gratitude? How can I best share my life in Christ through word and example?

Matthew 28:19 presents the Trinitarian formula for Baptism. John 3:5 teaches us that baptism by water and the Spirit is necessary for Salvation.

Tradition Through the Sacraments of Christian Initiation— Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist—we enter into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. These sacraments are the foundation of every Christian life. Initiation into the Church begins with Baptism, is strengthened through Confirmation, and is completed in the Eucharist, which continually renews the Christian. Today the Christian initiation of adults (including anyone seven years of age and older) begins with a person’s entry into the catechumenate and reaches its culmination in a single celebration of all three Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Catholic Social Teaching

Concluding Prayer

Speak to God, using the words of this prayer or one of your own. Gracious God, thank you for the gift of faith and the grace of being called to new life in Christ. Help me live with gratitude for all that you have done for me.

In this session the integrated Catholic Social Teaching themes are Call to Family, Community, and Participation; The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; and Solidarity. See page 1b for an explanation of these themes.

Window on the Catechism The Paschal Mystery in the Church’s sacraments is described in CCC 1113–1134.

General Directory for Catechesis Liturgy, the catechumenate, and catechesis are discussed in GDC 1163–1173.

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catechist preparation

One-Hour Session Planner Session 4

  The Catechumenate in the Early Church Prayer in Session 4

Session Theme: The Sacraments of Initiation welcome us into the community of believers known as the Church.

In this session, young people are encouraged to take a moment to ask God for the strength to follow the example of those who have helped them grow in faith. During the session, young people also reflect on their baptismal promises. At the end of the session, you may wish to suggest that young people use an online 3-Minute Retreat as part of their daily prayer.

Before This Session ▶▶ Bookmark your Bible to Matthew 28:19 and John 3:5. Place the open Bible in

your prayer space. ▶▶ Read the Guide for this session, choose any additional If Time Allows activities

that you might have time to complete, and gather the listed materials. Steps

Approximate Time

Engage The Catechumenate in the Early Church 

Explore Joining the Early Church 

  30–40 minutes Pages 28–29

The Sacraments of Initiation 

Where Do I Fit In? 

Take It Home

Pages 30–31

Reflect Prayer: United with God 

  10 minutes Page 27

  10–15 minutes Page 32

License for the Lord 

Page 33

Respond What’s What? page 34

Homework options:

  10–15 minutes

Liturgy of the World 

Materials REQUIRED

Optional

▶▶ Various membership cards (page 28)

▶▶ Driver’s license (page 28)

▶▶ Video, Web clips, or photos of an

▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 29, 32, 33)

Easter Vigil Mass (page 29) ▶▶ Bottle of water, loaf of bread, jar

of olive oil (page 30) ▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 31, 33, 34) ▶▶ Computer with Internet access

(page 34)

27b  www.findinggod.com

▶▶ Session 4 BLM, T-352 (page 30) ▶▶ Art supplies (page 34) ▶▶ Session 4 Assessment,

www.findinggod.com (page 34)

Page 28

Page 31


Engage

Session

The te a n e m u h c e t Ca in the early Church

4

Session 4

Outcomes ▶▶ Identify that the catechumenate is

the process by which people join the Church. ▶▶ Explain the importance of the

Sacraments of Initiation. ▶▶ Identify the promises we make

at Baptism. ▶▶ Define age of reason, catechumenate,

character, justice, liturgy, and neophyte.

1 Set the Stage Think about a time you joined a new group or community, whether it was a sports team, a band, or a school. How were you welcomed into the group? How did others help you feel that you belonged?

PR AYeR God, thank you for all the people who have helped us grow in faith. May we put their examples into practice through our own words and actions.

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Join the Club Arrange young people into small groups. Say: Imagine that you are PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ going to make a new club for people to join. This club’s goal should be to engage in works that build up God’s kingdom. Come up with a ritual or action that people who want to join the club will be asked to do. After giving groups time to work, have a volunteer from each group join one of the other groups. Say: It is up to each group to teach its new member your action. Allow additional volunteers to move to new groups as time permits. Conclude the activity by discussing young people’s experiences of being welcomed into the new groups and how the rituals helped groups bond.

Read aloud the text in the box. Give young people time to reflect on the questions.

2 Get Started Ask: What feelings might we experience on our first day at a new school? (Possible answers: nervousness, excitement) What might we learn on our first day? (Possible answers: class schedule, location of classrooms, people’s names) Say: We experience many things on our first day at a new place. To help us navigate our surroundings, we often turn to others. Likewise, people who are interested in joining the Church often turn to others to help them in their journey. Ask: What can we do to help people who want to become Catholic? (Possible answer: pray for them) Read aloud the session title. Ask: What do you think we are going to learn about in this session? (Possible answer: how people became Christian in the early Church) Say: We are also going to learn about the Sacraments of Initiation, through which we are welcomed into the Church.

Family and Community

Prayer

Go to www.findinggod.com/sessionextenders for an article on the Sacrament of Baptism. You may wish to share this with the group.

Say: Let’s thank God for our communities and for the way they connect us with one another. Pray aloud the prayer together. Conclude by praying the Sign of the Cross.

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Explore

1 Begin Display various membership cards, such as a gym-membership card. Ask: What are these? (membership cards) What do they symbolize? (membership to a group or organization) Say: Belonging to a group often comes with responsibilities. Ask: What are examples of these responsibilities? (Possible answers: pay dues, participate actively) What are some of the benefits of belonging to groups? (Possible answer: a sense of community) Explain that some groups or clubs are exclusive. Say: Others are open to everyone. This is true of the Church; anyone can join it. The responsibilities that come with being a member of the Church are to believe in Jesus and to follow his teachings. Rights and Responsibilities

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first four paragraphs. Ask: What were the first three steps of the catechumenate in the early Church? (learning about God the Father, joining the Christian community in liturgy, learning the Lord’s Prayer) Write on the board the word catechumen and underline the letters echu. Say: This part of the word is related to the word echo. As catechumens learn about Church teachings and practices, they allow the Word of God to echo in their hearts. Emphasize that we allow God’s Word to echo in our hearts whenever we take time to pray, reflect on the Scriptures, and celebrate the sacraments. Ask: Why were Church leaders interested in how the catechumens were living their lives? (They wanted to be sure that the catechumens were freely and consciously choosing to join the Church and that the catechumens understood that the Church would help nurture and support them in their life of faith.)

28  www.findinggod.com

Joining the Early Church SinCe the Roman government persecuted the early Christians, choosing to join the Church was a big risk. The process of becoming Christian— the catechumenate —took several years, which allowed the catechumens and the community to be sure of the catechumens’ desire to become Christian. During the catechumenate, the catechumens first learned about God the Father. Those who led the catechumenate emphasized that Christians did not consider the emperor to be a god, which was the common belief of the day. By professing loyalty to God rather than the emperor, the catechumens could have been charged with treason and sentenced to death. To determine whether the catechumens were ready to make this commitment, Christian leaders spent time talking and praying with them. Next, the catechumens were allowed to join the Christian community in liturgy, the public worship of God. Listening to Scripture readings and the Homily helped catechumens better understand the Word of God and the Church’s teachings. Because the catechumens had not been fully initiated into the Church, they were asked to leave before the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the second part of Mass, began. In the next step of the catechumenate, the catechumens learned the Lord’s Prayer. Leaders from the community again spent time talking with the catechumens to help them discern their readiness to join the Church. The leaders were interested in

28

how the catechumens were living their lives and what they were doing to help people who were poor. The leaders wanted to be sure that the catechumens were freely and consciously choosing to join the Church and that the catechumens understood that the Church would help nurture and support them in their life of faith.

Sacraments of Initiation Once the Church leaders judged the catechumens to be ready, they were allowed to be initiated fully into the Church. During the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, the night before Easter Sunday, the catechumens were baptized, confirmed, and received the Eucharist for the first time. Now that their initiation was complete, the catechumens became known as neophytes, beginners in the faith. They were able to remain for the entire celebration of the Mass and to receive Holy Communion.

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License for the Lord Display your own or a sample driver’s license. Point out the various PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ categories of information on the card, including name, address, date of birth, and so on. Ask young people to create a “License for the Lord” before the next session. Encourage young people to place their own photo on the card and to create categories of information that reflect their own spiritual journey as Catholics, such as the name of their parish and the date of their Baptism. Say: During our next session, you will be invited to explain the various categories of information you included. Allow time for young people to present their licenses during the next session.


Explore For the first few centuries of the Church’s history, the Sacraments of Initiation were celebrated together at the same time. It was not until five centuries after Jesus died that the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist were celebrated separately and at different times in one’s life. In the Western Church, Christians who were baptized as infants by the local priest waited several years before celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Through Baptism and Confirmation, we are called to participate in the Church’s saving mission. Through participation in the Eucharist, our love of God and all humanity is communicated and nourished. Everyone who is fully initiated into the Church is called to make the Church present in places and circumstances where it can be nourishment for the life of all people.

PAST:

In the early Church, adults

were plunged into water at Baptism, symbolizing their dying to sin and rising to new life in Christ. This practice is called Baptism by immersion. Later, when infant Baptism became more common, so did baptizing by pouring water on the head.

PRESENT: Today, as older churches are renovated and as new

explore

The Second Vatican Council brought back the process of initiation used in the early Church. Those who join the Church as adults celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation all at once. Those who are baptized as infants generally receive First Holy Communion and Confirmation when they are older. By emphasizing the connection between the Sacraments of Initiation, the Church reminds us that they are the foundation for Christian life.

Past Meets Present

churches are built, much thought is being given to the placement and the structure of the baptismal font to allow for Baptism by immersion once again. Immersion is a powerful symbol of the “death to new life” significance of this sacrament.

Through Baptism and Confirmation, we are called to participate in the Church’s saving mission. DeF in e catechu menate, litu rg y, neophy tes

Past Meets Present

R eM eM Be R

Af ter the catechu menate, the catechu mens are welcomed into the Church through the Sacra ments of Ini tiation: Bapti sm , Confi rmation, an d the Euchar ist .

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Session 4 > The Catechumenate in the early Church

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Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Sacraments of Initiation. If possible, display video, Web clips, or photos of an Easter Vigil Mass. Point out that in the early Church, the Sacraments of Initiation were celebrated at the same time. Ask: Why does the Church emphasize the connection between the Sacraments of Initiation? (to remind us that they provide the foundation for Christian life) Say: The Sacraments of Initiation call us to lifelong participation of the Church’s saving mission, and they give us the grace we need to live as Jesus’ disciples. Ask: How can we make the Church present in places and circumstances where it can be nourishment for the life of all people? (Possible answer: We can make the Church present by standing up for people who are oppressed or victimized.)

LoyolaPress.

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Here Comes Everybody AskPDF each person to identify a group or community to which they Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ belong. Then write on the board the sentence starter To belong means to . Instruct young people to draw on their own experiences to complete the sentence. After giving young people time to work, invite volunteers to share their responses. Point out that the Church invites us to belong to a community of faith and that we are called to welcome others into the community. Invite volunteers to name ways young people can help others feel welcome in the Church.

Read aloud the feature. Explain that in Baptism by full immersion, the person being baptized walks into the font, and his or her head is lowered into the water three times, once as each Person of the Trinity is named. Draw attention to the photo. Say: In this church, the baptismal font, which is located near the church entrance, allows for Baptism by full immersion. Point out which method of Baptism your parish routinely uses.

3 Close Remind young people that we are welcomed into the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation. Say: Our journey of faith, however, does not stop once we have celebrated these sacraments. As Catholics we are called to practice our faith every day of our lives. Ask: What can we do to put our faith into action? (Possible answers: pray, serve others) Family and Community

Unit 1  •  Session 4  

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Explore

1 Begin Display a bottle of water, a loaf of bread, and a jar of olive oil. Arrange young people into three groups and assign an item to each group. Say: Brainstorm all the ways your item can be used. Invite volunteers to share their lists. Say: Many people use items similar to these every day. As Catholics we use them in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. Point out that by using everyday objects in our sacramental celebrations, we are reminded of God’s presence in our daily lives.

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Baptism. Draw attention to the word justice. Say: Justice is the virtue that guides us to give to God and to others what is due to them. Point out that even after Baptism, people can sin by using the gift of free will to turn away from God. Explain that the Church recognizes Baptisms that are performed in other Christian Churches as long as they are celebrated by using the Trinitarian formula that Jesus gave to his disciples. Say: It is through the Sacrament of Baptism that we are welcomed into the Church—the community of Jesus’ followers—and receive God’s grace. This is why the Church teaches that Baptism is necessary for Salvation. We share the grace we have received through Baptism every time we perform actions that build up God’s kingdom.

Our Catholic Character

Read aloud the feature. Draw young people’s attention to the last sentence. Say: Ultimately, grace and Salvation are mysteries. Even as we strive to understand them, we must also be careful not to “play God” and decide for ourselves who is or is not saved. Instead, we trust in another mystery, the mystery of God’s love.

30  www.findinggod.com

T he s t n e m a r c a S n o i t a i t of i n i Baptism Because of Adam and Eve’s choice to turn away from God, we are born into Original Sin and into a world that yearns for the holiness and justice that God intended for creation. Catechumens are taught that they are recreated through the waters of Baptism. Just as water cleansed the earth of sin during the great Flood, so too does it cleanse us from the stain of Original Sin. Through Baptism we are born into a new way of life in Christ and can live a life free from sin. Baptism is the first sacrament of the forgiveness of sin. We can only receive this sacrament once in our lives. Following Jesus’ instructions, Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) Whether through immersion or pouring, the water that is used in Baptism symbolizes the new life we receive as

disciples. The graces that are bestowed by the Holy Spirit through Baptism confer upon us God’s righteousness and leave a character, or indelible sign, on our soul. In addition to marking us as Christians, this character consecrates us for worship. Through Baptism the Holy Spirit unites us by faith to the Paschal Mystery so that we can share in Christ’s life.

Our Catholic Character In Scripture, Jesus told Nicodemus that “no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” (John 3:5) By saying this, Jesus taught us that Baptism is necessary for Salvation; people who hear the truth and recognize the Gospel must be baptized to be saved. This does not mean that people who are not baptized cannot be saved. Good people who have no knowledge of the Church or the Gospel it preaches can be saved by searching for the truth and living good lives. People who want to become Christian but die before they are baptized are saved as though they were baptized. The same is true for people who are not baptized but are killed because they believe in Jesus Christ. We call this a baptism of blood, which saves even though it is not a sacrament. We entrust children who die without being baptized to the hands of God, confident that he will care for them.

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Session 4 BLM Life-Giving Water  Distribute a PDF Signoff: Production _______ copy of the Session 4 Blackline Master [T-352] to each young person. Invite volunteers to read aloud the introduction and the directions. Before giving small groups time to complete the Blackline Master, remind young people how to look up Scripture passages.

Inclusion

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Vision Design _______ Editorial _______ Symbols of the Sacraments 

If you have young people with impaired vision, pass around the items used in the Begin step. Encourage young people to use their other senses to observe the items. Remind young people that we can experience God’s presence in ways that use all of our senses, such as through music, receiving a hug from a friend, or biting into a ripe pear.


Explore Because Baptism is necessary for Salvation, the Church teaches that, in imminent danger of death and if no priest or deacon is available, anyone can administer the sacrament, so long as it is done with the Church’s intention. To do so, one simply pours water over the head of the person being baptized, while saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Water is poured three times, once for each time one of the Persons of the Trinity is named.

DeF in e jus tice, characte

r, age of rea son

R eM eM Be R

The graces we receive in Bapti sm, wh ich help us live a life of faith, are perfected in Confi rmation an d strengthened in the Euchar ist .

Confirmation

To be confirmed, one must have reached the age of reason, usually around seven years of age; be willing to profess freely faith in Christ and his Church; be in a state of grace; have the intention of receiving the sacrament; and be willing to follow Jesus.

The Eucharist Passover is the most important feast for the Jewish people. During this celebration the Jews remember how God freed them from slavery in Egypt. At his

final Passover meal, the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and said, “This is my body.” Then he took a chalice of wine and said, “This is my blood.” Jesus asked his followers to remember what he had done. When the early Christians gathered after Christ’s Resurrection, they broke bread and remembered the Passover meal that they shared with Jesus the night before he died. The early Christians had a profound understanding of the meaning of the Eucharist. They realized that their identity as the People of God was based on the presence of the risen Christ in the Eucharist. Today we understand that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Church’s life of grace. Through this sacrament we are united with Christ and his act of praise and thanksgiving offered on the cross.

explore

During the Sacrament of Confirmation, the celebrant, most often the bishop, anoints the forehead of the person being confirmed while he says, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” The Rite of Confirmation also includes the laying on of hands. Like Baptism, Confirmation leaves a character on a person’s soul and can only be received once. This sacrament, which perfects the graces received in Baptism, gives us the Holy Spirit to root us more deeply in our relationship with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Likewise, this sacrament strengthens our bond with the Church and gives us the strength to build up God’s kingdom.

To receive Holy Communion, one must be in a state of grace. The Church recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist and obliges the faithful to do so at least once a year.

ReADY for Confirmation When we are confirmed, we participate in God’s life of grace through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through Confirmation we are called to be witnesses to the presence of Christ wherever we are, whatever we do. Saint Teresa of Àvila expressed this when she prayed, “Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless his people.”

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Liturgy of the World Before the next session, have young people write a paragraph-length PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ description of an important annual family celebration. Encourage young people to include information about special foods and rituals that are part of the celebration. Then have young people write a paragraph about how the family ritual can help them find God’s presence in their lives. Remind young people that the domestic church, or the Christian home, is the first place where we learn about God’s presence, and that one way to do this is through the important family rituals we celebrate. During the next session, invite volunteers to share their paragraphs.

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Confirmation. Ask: What rites are used during the Sacrament of Confirmation? (anointing the forehead with oil, the words “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” laying on of hands) Say: When we say that the graces we have received in Baptism are strengthened in Confirmation, we mean that Confirmation more closely unites us with God, which helps us recognize his presence in our lives. Point out the term age of reason and have young people look up the definition in the Glossary. Invite volunteers to read aloud the section The Eucharist. Say: We are Christians because we believe that God became incarnate in the Person of Jesus. We are Catholic Christians because we believe that Jesus is truly present—Body and Blood, soul and divinity—in the Eucharist. Draw young people’s attention to the phrase “source and summit.” Explain that the sacraments reveal God’s presence to us. Say: The Eucharist is the fullest sign of God’s Revelation. It also signifies what we strive for: complete union with God, which gives us the strength and desire to be Christ’s Body and Blood for others.

Ready for Confirmation Read aloud the feature. Say: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive in Confirmation transform us. They strengthen our desire to share the Gospel message with others through our words and actions.

3 Close Have small groups work together to list what is common to the three Sacraments of Initiation. Then ask groups to make a three-column chart with the headings Baptism, Confirmation, and The Eucharist to record what is unique about each sacrament.

Unit 1  •  Session 4  

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Reflect

Prayer Follow the steps to guide young people through the prayer on page 32.

Prayer

United with god

Young People’s Page

Our Baptismal Prom ises Imagine yourself at a place where you like to go to relax. Take a moment to enjoy being in this place. Then notice that Jesus has come to join you. He knew just where to find you. Greet him and share with him whatever is in your heart.

Prepare  Pray the prayer in advance to become familiar with it. Pray  Invite volunteers to read aloud the page title and the paragraphs in the left column. Ask: What happens when we pray? (We unite ourselves to the one true God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) What happens through the Sacraments of Initiation? (We enter into union with Jesus Christ and the entire Church.) Discuss with young people the different types of promises we might make, such as making a promise, pledging an oath, or taking a vow. Explain why it is important for us to follow through with the promises we make. Say: If we do not keep our promises, people might think that we are not trustworthy. Remind young people that it is important for us to show our commitments through our words and actions. Say: We don’t just say “I love you” to our loved ones once or twice in our lives. We say this often, and we show our love through our actions. In the prayer we are going to pray, we will have the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises. I encourage you to respond “I do” to each promise that I pray aloud. Say: Let’s take a moment to prepare ourselves for prayer. Let’s quiet our minds and hearts. Give young people time to read the prayer and reflect silently. Say: When you have a difficult time keeping a promise, you might ask a trusted friend or adult for help. When you have a difficult time keeping your baptismal promises, you can talk to Jesus. He will help you stay true to your beliefs. As we continue the session, let us ask Jesus to help us remain true to our baptismal promises.

32  www.findinggod.com

When we pray, we unite ourselves to the one true God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Sometimes we do this by directing our prayer to God the Father. Other times we pray to his Son, Jesus, and sometimes we pray to the Holy Spirit. Through the Sacraments of Initiation, we enter into union with Jesus Christ and the entire Church. If you were baptized as an infant, your parents and godparents made promises for you. These baptismal promises express our commitment to our faith. Each year during the Easter season, we have the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises, affirming for ourselves what was promised for us at our baptism.

When you are ready, tell Jesus what you know about your Baptism. If you received the sacrament as an infant, share what you have heard through family stories or through photos or videos that you have seen. Take a few minutes to talk with Jesus. Then Jesus says that he has a question for you. He wonders if you know what your godparents promised for you when you were baptized. Here are three of the promises that we say during the Sacrament of Baptism. Read them and then spend a moment reflecting on the questions that follow. Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? How have I experienced God’s love in my life? How can I show God my love for him? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father? How can I thank Jesus for the of Salvation that I have received through his Paschal Mystery? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the commun ion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? How can I turn to the Church for the strength to live as a disciple? How can I support others in their life of discipleship?

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End by praying the Lord’s Prayer. Un it 1 • T he E a rly C hu r c h

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Acting on Our Promises PDF Signoff: Production _______ Explain that our baptismal promises are more than nice words. Point out that when we say “I do” to the promises, we also pledge to live out our faith through our words and actions. Have small groups write a list of actions they can take in their daily lives to live out their baptismal promises. Rights and Responsibilities

FYI

LoyolaPress.

Coaching Young to Pray PeopleEditorial Design _______ _______ Remind young people that prayer is spending time with God. Explain that this can take a multitude of forms and can happen anywhere: walking attentively through nature, watching a sporting event, riding on the bus, writing a letter to God, or envisioning a chat with Jesus as they did today.

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Reflect

e R e H W t in

1 Begin

Do i Fi

to communities with all the are our gifts is a way to sh ity to d un lle m m ca we are life of the co As Catholics flects here, ating in the Alice Pratt re long. Particip rs. As Mar y he ot which we be ve to them. th gi wi we ity as d- given gifts the commun m fro share our Go h uc as m we receive sometimes

by Ma ry ratt A lice P

giving and Receiving in Community

Most of the patients at the hospital where I worked were children, including many babies who were dehydrated and undernourished. One of the doctors had developed a formula of bananas, yogurt, water, and a little salt that worked wonders on dehydrated babies. It was wonderful to feed them and watch them recover in a few days. Many of the children were sicker than that, however. I remember one boy named Sa’id. He was about 13 years old and was sick with typhoid fever, a serious infection caused by contaminated food and water. Most of the children in the hospital were from Muslim families, but Sa’id was a Melkite Christian, one of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. He was very sick. We watched him anxiously, and someone from his family was with him almost all the time.

That was when I realized that being a missionary is about relationships—each one gives and each one receives. We had served Sa’id’s family, and they were thanking us.

Reflect

When I was around 10 or 11 years old, I read in a Catholic magazine about missionaries working in Africa. This work seemed exciting. I thought I’d like to serve God that way too. I became a nurse, and I joined a society of Catholic women who use their professional skills in developing countries. I went to Amman, Jordan, very near Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and other places of Jesus’ life.

I learned much from the Arabs, Christians, and Muslims amid whom I lived and worked. I learned to accept customs that were different from my own. My professional skills did not make me superior to the people I helped. That was simply the way I served. The people with whom I lived and worked served me in their own ways. We were equals, giving and receiving from one another, serving Christ together.

Gifts to Share Identify a community into which you have been welcomed. What gifts were you able to share with the community? What gifts did the community share with you? Write your responses on the lines.

Sa’id recovered. To thank us, his family brought a lamb to the door of the church, had it blessed and then gave it to the staff of the hospital for a feast. MARY ALiCe PRATT devoted her life to serving others. in addition to serving as a nurse, she also coordinated peace and justice ministries at the University of Kentucky newman Center.

Session 4 > The Catechumenate in the early Church

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It’s Your Serve Point out that the author of the article devoted her life to serving PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ others in a dramatic way—working as a missionary. Explain that everyone is called to serve others, no matter his or her vocation. Next, have young people spend two minutes brainstorming a list of as many different careers or professions as they can. Write on the board young people’s suggestions. Then randomly point to one job at a time. Invite young people to cite in one minute as many specific ways a person in that job could serve others as they can. Ask a timekeeper to signal when a minute is up, and then move on to the next job. Conclude by pointing out that our opportunities to serve are unlimited. Work and Workers

Have a volunteer read aloud the introductory text. Ask: What are your best talents? (Accept reasonable responses.) With what communities do you share these talents? (Accept reasonable responses.) Point out that our talents are gifts from God and that he wants us to share these gifts with others in order to build up his kingdom.

2 Connect Have volunteers read aloud the section Giving and Receiving in Community. Invite young people to share stories about people or groups they know who have served the Church as missionaries. Then invite young people to describe times when they observed or participated in customs that were not their own. Ask: How did you feel about this experience? (Possible answers: curious, interested) Say: God has given human beings the gift of our differences. The many cultures that make up the human community are like different colors that make up a beautiful palette. Discuss other reasons why differences in a community are important. Have young people complete the activity independently and then share their responses with a partner. Solidarity

3 Close Invite young people to think of a talent or gift they know they have but feel shy about sharing. Have them silently ask God for the strength and the opportunity to use this gift faithfully to serve others.

Unit 1  •  Session 4  

33


RESPOND

W h a t ’s

? t a h W

1 Begin What’s What?  Read aloud the directions. Then have young people complete the page independently or with a partner. Point out that young people can use the page references to help them find the answers to the questions.

Say What?  Read aloud the vocabulary terms. Ask volunteers to define each one. Encourage young people to review each term in the Glossary if necessary.

1

7

What happens through the Sacrament of the Eucharist? (PAGE 31)

Why did the catechumenate often take several years in the early Church? (PAGE 28)

Know the definitions of these terms.

2

What sacraments did the catechumens celebrate when they were initiated into the Church? (PAGE 28)

age of reason catechumenate character

justice liturgy neophytes

now What?

Now What?  Read aloud the section. Invite each young person to answer the question independently.

3 Go in Peace Collect materials and return them to the appropriate places. Encourage young people to follow through with their Now What? idea during the week. Remind young people that sharing the Good News with others is one way to participate in God’s plan of Salvation. Say: When we preach the Gospel message, we grow in our relationship with God, and we share his grace with others.

What did the Jews remember during the celebration of the Passover? (PAGE 31)

Say What?

Respond

2 Connect

Write your answers on the lines.

6

34

3

In what do the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation call us to participate? (PAGE 29)

4

The water that is used in Baptism is a symbol of what? (PAGE 30)

5

What does Confirmation do to the graces received in Baptism? (PAGE 31)

We are welcomed into the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation, which call us to share the Gospel with others through our words and actions. How can you share Jesus’ Good News with others this week?

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Service: Welcome Wagon Remind young people that we are welcomed into the Church through PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ the Sacraments of Initiation. Distribute art supplies and have young people make cards for parishioners who have recently celebrated the Sacraments of Initiation. Encourage young people to include notes informing the recipients that the young people are praying for them. Arrange with your catechetical leader to have the cards sent to people who have recently celebrated the Sacraments of Initiation. Family and Community

Session Assessment Option An assessment for this session can be found at www.findinggod.com.

3-Minute Retreat Give young people an opportunity for quiet meditation at www.loyolapress.com/retreat.

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P l a n A h e a d : Get Ready for Session 5 Consult the catechist preparation pages to prepare for Session 5 and determine any materials you will need.


Catechist Preparation S e ss io n 5

Celebrating Ordinary Time 3-Minute Retreat Before you prepare the session, pause and be still. Take three deep breaths and be aware of the loving presence of God, who is with you on this journey.

Knowing and Sharing Your Faith in Session 5 Consider how Scripture and Tradition can deepen your understanding of session content.

Scripture Luke 1:46–49 And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

Reflection Mary is the most perfect embodiment of obedient faith and the model disciple because she never ceased to believe in all that God promised. She is the first person to understand Jesus’ life and ministry, which she did by remaining focused on who God is as the Mighty One who has done great things for her. In him she found peace.

Questions When I think of my spiritual life, am I more concerned with myself or with the greatness of God? In what ways do I rejoice in God my Savior?

Luke 1:46–55 contains the words of the Magnificat, Mary’s prayer of praise to God.

Tradition At the Second Vatican Council, the bishops focused on Mary’s role in the Church. Mary is the new Eve who reversed the consequences of the disobedience of Adam and Eve through her obedience to God’s will. By saying yes at the Annunciation, Mary gave her consent to the Incarnation, thus beginning her collaboration with the whole work of Salvation her Son would accomplish. As he is always Savior, she is always Mother. As Mother of the Church, she is Mother to all members of the Body of Christ. As the model disciple, she is the greatest example of what it means to be a saint.

Catholic Social Teaching In this session the integrated Catholic Social Teaching themes are Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; and Solidarity. See page 1b for an explanation of these themes.

Window on the Catechism Concluding Prayer

Speak to God, using the words of this prayer or one of your own. Mary, Mother of Jesus, intercede for me so I may rejoice in God my Savior in the same heartfelt way as you share with us in the Magnificat.

Mary is discussed in CCC 165, 273, 437, 456, 484–485, 490, and 501.

General Directory for Catechesis Mary’s faith is discussed in GDC 55, and her role in our Salvation is discussed in GDC 108.

Unit 1  •  Session 5  

35a


catechist preparation

One-Hour Session Planner Session 5

  Celebrating Ordinary Time

Session Theme: During Ordinary Time we reflect on our call to discipleship. Before This Session ▶▶

Determine whether you will use the Unit Assessment option listed on page 42.

▶▶ Determine whether you will also discuss the Ordinary Time seasonal pages in

the back of the Young People’s Book. ▶▶

Bookmark your Bible to Luke 1:46–55. Place the open Bible in your prayer space.

▶▶ Display the Finding God poster The Liturgical Year.

Prayer in Session 5

In this session, young people are encouraged to take a moment to ask God for the strength to follow the example of the saints. This session also includes an extended guided reflection. Follow the Prepare directions on the Catechist Guide page before leading young people in prayer.

▶▶ Prepare for the session prayer by deciding whether you will use the

recorded guided reflection or the script to lead young people in prayer. ▶▶ Read the Guide for this session, choose any additional If Time Allows activities

that you might have time to complete, and gather the listed materials. Steps

Approximate Time

Engage Celebrating Ordinary Time 

  10 minutes Page 35

Explore Saints Show Us the Way  Turn to Mary 

  30–40 minutes Pages 36–37

Take It Home

Pages 38–39

Reflect Prayer: Praying with Mary  Where Do I Fit In? 

  10–15 minutes Page 40

Homework options: Local Relics 

Page 41

Page 36

Devoted to Mary Page 39

Respond

  10–15 minutes

What’s What? page 42

Materials REQUIRED ▶▶ Memento or photo (page 36) ▶▶ Finding God poster: The Liturgical

▶▶ Computer with Internet access

(page 42)

▶▶ Material to make blankets (page 42)

▶▶ Writing supplies (pages 37, 41, 42)

Optional ▶▶ Gospel Reading for one of the Sundays in Ordinary Time (page 35)

▶▶ Various images of Mary (page 38)

▶▶ Newspapers, magazines, poster

Year (page 37)

▶▶ Art supplies (page 39) ▶▶ CD player (page 40) ▶▶ CD 1, Track 6: “Faith Made Real”

(14:36) (page 40)

board, art supplies (page 37) ▶▶ Computer with Internet access,

writing supplies (page 37) ▶▶ Clip from Sister Act,

(page 38)

35b  www.findinggod.com

▶▶ Session 5 BLM, T-353 (page 40)

media player

▶▶ Session 5 Assessment,

www.findinggod.com (page 42) ▶▶ Unit 1 Assessment, T-354–T-356

(page 42)


Engage

Session

5

Session 5

Outcomes

g Celebratin me i Or di n a r y T

▶▶ Explain what the Church celebrates

during Ordinary Time. ▶▶ State why Catholics show devotion

to Mary. ▶▶ Pray the Magnificat.

MAnY families use a calendar to keep track of important events, such as school functions, parish celebrations, social events, doctor appointments, birthdays, and holidays. In a similar way, the Church, our family of faith, has a calendar that we use to help us remember and celebrate important events in the lives of Jesus, Mary, and the saints. By celebrating these events, we recall and reflect on the many ways that God has revealed his love to us throughout history. Like many calendars, the liturgical calendar marks entire seasons and individual feasts and celebrations. During Ordinary Time, one of the seasons of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to think more deeply about the message of the Gospel and how we can respond to Christ’s invitation to live as disciples. We hear about this call to discipleship in the Scripture readings that are proclaimed at Mass. The Church devotes two periods of the liturgical year to Ordinary Time. The first period begins the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and continues until Ash Wednesday. The second period begins the Monday after Pentecost and ends with the beginning of Advent. Together these two periods last for either 33 or 34 weeks.

▶▶ Define Assumption, canonization,

Magnificat, sacramentals, and venerate.

The early Christians turned to the saints for direction and strength. Who in your life gives you moral guidance and support? How does the advice you receive help you live as one of Jesus’ followers?

PR AYeR Loving God, help us follow the example of the saints so that we may live out our faith in all we do.

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If Time Allows ~ pg 35 ~

Read aloud the text in the box on page 35. Give young people a few moments to reflect silently on the questions or to share their responses with a partner.

2 Get Started

Green, which symbolizes hope, is the liturgical color for Ordinary Time. This color reminds us of the new life we receive as Jesus’ followers. During Ordinary Time the church is filled with green plants, the altar is covered with a green cloth, and priests and deacons wear green liturgical vestments.

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1 Set the Stage

LoyolaPress.

Looking for Answers Remind young people that theDesign Scripture readings during _______ Editorial _______ Ordinary Time help us reflect on how we can respond to the call to discipleship. Read aloud the Gospel Reading for one of the Sundays of Ordinary Time. Say: Take a moment to reflect on what this Scripture reading teaches us about the call to discipleship. Be sure to think about how it applies to what you are experiencing in your own life. Ask: How can you respond to this call? (Accept reasonable responses.) PDF Signoff: Production _______

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Say aloud the word ordinary. Invite young people to name words they associate with this word. Write on the board a list of young people’s suggestions. Point out that words sometimes have multiple meanings. Say: In this context the word ordinary comes from the word ordinal, and it means “counted time.” We know which week of Ordinary Time we are celebrating because we count the weeks by using ordinal numbers. Next Sunday, for example, is the [number] Sunday of Ordinary Time. Invite volunteers to read aloud the session title and the page. Say: In this session we will learn how we can ­celebrate Ordinary Time in ways that will help us grow in our relationship with God and the Church.

Rights and Responsibilities

Prayer

Go to www.findinggod.com/sessionextenders for resources for Ordinary TIme. You may wish to use some of these with the group.

Say: Let’s take a moment to pray together. Pray aloud the prayer together. Say: Take a moment to think of a saint whose example you can follow. After giving young people a moment to reflect, conclude by praying Amen.

Unit 1  •  Session 5  

35


Explore

1 Begin Display a memento, such as a photo, that reminds you of an important person in your life. Share why that person is important to you and how the memento helps you remember the person. Invite volunteers to share mementos that help them remember people in their lives. Say: In this article we are going to learn about relics, which are physical reminders that help us remember the saints, to whom we can turn as models of discipleship.

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first four paragraphs. Ask: What is one thing we do during Ordinary Time? (reflect on Jesus’ call to discipleship and how we can best use our gifts to respond to this call) What can we do to help us reflect? (pray, celebrate the sacraments, read Scripture) Why do we study the lives of the saints? (to learn how others have responded to the call of discipleship) How did the early Christians most frequently venerate the martyrs? (gathering for prayer on the anniversary of the martyr’s death) To help young people understand the differences between the types of relics, draw on the board a two-bythree-cell chart. In the left column, list the three types of relics. Ask young people for examples of objects that represent each type of relic. Complete the chart by using young people’s suggestions.

Our Catholic Character

Read aloud the feature. Emphasize that Catholics do not worship Mary, the saints, or physical objects. Say: To worship anyone or anything other than God is a sin against the First Commandment. Point out that we turn to Mary and the saints as examples of how to live and that we ask them to intercede on our behalf.

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Saints Show Us the Way DURing

the season of Ordinary Time, we reflect on Jesus’ call to discipleship and how we can best use our gifts to respond to that call. We can do this through prayer, celebrating the sacraments, and reading Scripture. To help us learn how others have responded to the call of discipleship, we can study the lives of the saints. The practice of turning to the saints for guidance and inspiration has been part of our Tradition since the earliest days of the Church. During early periods of persecution, Christians often gathered for safety in the catacombs for prayer and worship. People frequently met in crypts, some of which held bodies of popes and martyrs. Amid the ongoing persecutions, Christians began to venerate, or show respect for, these martyrs in special ways. Most frequently this included gathering for prayer on the anniversary of the martyr’s death. In addition to praying to the saints, many people wanted tangible reminders of the saints that they could hold onto. This desire developed into the practice of venerating relics. A first-class relic is a

Our Catholic Character

piece of a saint’s remains, such as a chip of bone or a lock of hair. As veneration of relics became an important part of early Christian spirituality and as the Church grew in size, the need for additional relics grew. Veneration of two additional types of relics became common. Second-class relics include items that a saint wore, such as an article of clothing, or an item that the person used frequently when he or she was alive. A third-class relic is any object that has been touched to a first- or second-class relic, such as a piece of cloth. The practice of venerating relics continues to be an important part of Catholic spirituality. This practice underscores the sacramental nature of our faith.

Many non-Catholics confuse veneration with worship and think that we worship Mary, the saints, relics,

Saints and Feast Days

statues, and other physical objects that are an

To help keep track of the anniversaries of the martyrs’ deaths, the Church began keeping a liturgical calendar. Before long, this calendar included the anniversaries of the deaths of other holy men and women that the Church community considered to be saints. Over the centuries the calendar grew, and multiple local calendars developed. Eventually the number of saints and martyrs whose anniversaries the Church wanted to remember outnumbered the days in the year. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III named November 1 the Feast of All Saints, the day

important part of our tradition. In reality, we believe that only God is worthy of our worship. We turn to Mary and the saints in honor, we try to imitate their example of discipleship, and we ask them to intercede on our behalf. The physical objects, often called

sacramentals, that we use in our sacramental celebrations always point back to God, the true object of our praise and worship.

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Local Relics Explain that many Catholic churches contain relics. Ask young people PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ to find out whether their parish church contains relics, and if it does, to research the life of the saint to whom the relics belong. Say: Write a three-to-four sentence paragraph about why that saint’s life is a good example of Christian discipleship. If the parish does not contain relics, suggest that young people research whether the diocesan cathedral or another church in the area contains a saint’s relics and write a paragraph about that saint.

S E AS O NAL S E SS I O NS All Souls Day Work through pages 247–250 together with young people to learn more about All Souls Day. This special session can take up to one hour to complete.


Explore on which the Church continues to remember all the saints and martyrs who are with God in Heaven. In the 16th century, Pope Gregory XIII approved an official calendar, known as the Roman Martyrology, for the universal Church. This calendar includes all the feast days celebrated by Catholics all over the world. Bishops in each country still have the ability to include important local feast days, such as the feast day of a country’s patron saint, in their local liturgical calendars. The Church’s calendar of liturgical feast days and celebrations is called the sanctoral calendar.

In remembering and celebrating the lives of the saints today, we honor all they did to teach us about God and build up his kingdom. We also commit ourselves to following their example. When we respond to the call to discipleship by following the example of Jesus, Mary, and the saints, we actively profess our membership in the Communion of Saints.

Below is a list of some of the saints whose feast days we celebrate during Ordinary Time. Research how each person followed Jesus’ example of love and service. On the lines write how you can follow Jesus’ call to discipleship by following the saints’ examples. Saint Francis de Sales (January 24)

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (June 21)

explore

Originally Christians were recognized as saints without any formal process. In time the Church began to define more clearly canonization, the process by which someone is named a saint. The process that is used currently ensures that the person who is a candidate for sainthood lived and died in such an exemplary way that he or she truly can be considered an example of Christian living for the faithful all over the world.

Models of Discipleship

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (August 9)

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (November 13)

De F in e

amental s, venerate, sacr ca noni zation

R e M e M Be

R

des l ca lenda r inclu The lit urgica ints and sa e th of ys fea st da mem bering mar ty rs. By re we and women, en m ly these ho fu lnes s and th fai r ei th recogn ize ing elves to fol low com m it ou rs e. pl am thei r ex

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Caring Collage Distribute newspapers, PDF Signoff: Production _______ magazines, art supplies, and poster board. Have small groups work together to make collages of ways they can live “saintly” lives. Have groups include a minimum of six words, phrases, and pictures in their collages. Invite groups to share their completed collages with one another.

Inclusion

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Gifted Design _______ Editorial _______ Canonization  For a more

challenging project, have young people research the process by which someone is named a saint. Encourage young people to include information about what happens during each stage of the process and how the Church can turn to the example of people who have been named venerable, blessed, and saint.

Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Saints and Feast Days. Display the poster The Liturgical Year. Point out some of the liturgical seasons and major feast days. Explain that while the Church has a universal liturgical calendar for major feast days, each diocese may have a slightly different calendar that includes important local celebrations, such as the feast day of a local patron saint. Name any local feasts that are celebrated in your parish or diocese. Ask: What does the Church celebrate on November 1? (All Saints Day) Say: The Church continues to celebrate this feast day to honor the lives of all the saints, whether or not we celebrate their individual feast days. Draw on the board a large circle with the label Communion of Saints. Within the circle, draw smaller circles with the labels Saints and Martyrs, Souls in Purgatory, Living Christians, and All of Jesus’ Followers. Explain that all those who choose to follow Jesus belong to the Communion of Saints. Say: We often join communities so that we have others who can support us in times of sorrow and hardship and so that we have people with whom we can celebrate our joys. Point out that as members of the Communion of Saints, we celebrate our joys through the Church’s feast days and that we support one another in living as Jesus’ disciples. Family and Community

3 Close Read aloud the section Models of Discipleship. Give young people time to complete the activity with partners. Invite volunteers to share their responses.

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Explore

1 Begin Display various images of Mary. Ask: What do these images tell us about Mary? (Possible answers: She is a prayerful person. She practiced the virtue of humility. She is Jesus’ mother.) Say: In this article we are going to learn more about Mary’s role in God’s plan of Salvation.

T u r n to Mar y

2 Connect Invite volunteers to read aloud the article title and the first four paragraphs. Ask: According to this article, what is one way we can grow in discipleship during Ordinary Time? (by reflecting on the lives of the saints and committing ourselves to following their example) Ask: Why can we also turn to Mary? (because she is the perfect model of discipleship) Explain that the grace Mary received to remain obedient to God is the same grace that we receive through Baptism. Say: Like Mary, our lives are a pilgrimage of faith. God calls us to grow in our relationship with him, and he has given us the gift of faith to help us do so.

DURing

Ordinary Time we grow in discipleship by reflecting on the lives of the saints and committing ourselves to following their example. We can also turn to Mary, who is the perfect model of discipleship. Mary’s life was a pilgrimage of faith. From her conception she was filled with grace. As she grew older, she also grew in her relationship with God, which enabled her to remain obedient to him. She committed no personal sin in her life. When Mary said yes to God by agreeing to become Jesus’ mother, she was a young girl living with her family in a remote part of the Roman Empire. Both she and her fiancé, Joseph, were living simple lives.

Mary was with Jesus from the very beginning of his life, when the Son of God became man for our Salvation. The Church teaches that Mary was evervirgin, from Jesus’ conception through his birth. In becoming Jesus’ mother, Mary became the first and the greatest of the disciples. She was also the first to understand the meaning of Jesus’ life and ministry. Before Jesus was born, Mary praised God, using words that we now call the Magnificat. This song of praise shows how well she understood the purpose of Jesus’ life. When Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem as a 12-year-old boy, Mary reflected on the event and learned from it. When Jesus’ public ministry began, Mary was there, just as she was there when his public ministry ended with his Crucifixion. After Jesus’ Resurrection, Mary remained with the disciples and joined them in their prayer.

ReADY for Confirmation Through Confirmation we reaffirm our commitment to our Catholic faith. By following Mary’s example and developing an intimate relationship with God through prayer, we can respond “Amen” wholeheartedly when the bishop anoints us and says, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

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Ready for Confirmation

Read aloud the feature. Ask: When did we first make a commitment to our Catholic faith? (at Baptism) Say: Like Baptism and the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation. In Baptism we first receive the grace to live out our commitment. This grace is strengthened every time we receive Holy Communion. Explain that one way for us to respond to this gift of grace is to thank God in prayer. Point out that by developing an active prayer life, we also receive the strength to live out our faith in the world. Encourage young people to take time every day for prayer.

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Dedicated to Jesus Show a clip from the film Sister Act, in which the characters sing the PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ song “My Guy.” Ask young people if, when listening to the radio, they have ever heard someone dedicate a song to another person. Explain that people often dedicate songs as a sign of love or friendship. Arrange young people into small groups and ask each group to think up a song that they can dedicate to Jesus. Give groups time to practice singing their songs. Invite groups to sing their songs for one another.


Explore Devotion to Mary Good things come to the world because of Mary, but they do not come from Mary. They come from Jesus Christ, her Son. Mary shares God’s love with us, but it is Jesus who brings us to God the Father. In addition to following Mary’s example of discipleship, we respect and revere Mary as someone who intercedes on our behalf. As the mother of our Savior and as a person of great virtue and holiness, Mary has a special place in the life of the Church. Because of this we are encouraged to develop a devotion to her. One way to practice this devotion is to pray the Rosary. We pray with Mary because we believe that she can help us worship the one true God. What can you do in your own life to develop devotion to Mary?

The Virgin, Joseph Stella, 1926.

Mag nificat, Assu mpt ion

Re Me MBeR Mar y, the Mot her of God and the Mot her of the Chu rch, is the perfect model of discipleship. We can turn to her for an example of how to live out Jesu s’ call of love and serv ice.

In addition to the Holy Days of Obligation, we celebrate other important events in Mary’s life. We celebrate her birth on September 8. Mary’s parents, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, loved her and raised her as a child of God. On May 31 we celebrate the Visitation, Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth. In the Gospel according to Luke, we read that after the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was going to become Jesus’ mother, Mary immediately went to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth, who was in old age, was also pregnant. As soon as Elizabeth saw Mary, the child that Elizabeth was carrying—John the Baptist— leapt for joy in her womb. We celebrate Mary’s role as the Queen of Heaven on August 22. After she was raised body and soul into Heaven, Mary now sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son. From there she intercedes for us on our behalf.

explore

The Church also honors Mary on specific days during the liturgical year. Three of the six U.S. Holy Days of Obligation are devoted to remembering the unique role that Mary has in God’s plan of Salvation. On January 1 we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. On this feast day, we acknowledge that with the human conception of Jesus, Mary became the Mother of God. We celebrate Mary’s faith and trust in God alone. We celebrate Mary’s Assumption into Heaven on August 15. On this feast the Church celebrates when, at the end of her earthly life, Mary was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven. On December 8 we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This feast day celebrates the special grace that Mary received from God when she was conceived without the stain of Original Sin.

De Fin e

SACRED ART

Sacred Art

In this image the artist painted Mary as if she were in a garden filled with flowers and fruits that symbolize the meaning of who she is. The lilies and violets symbolize her purity and humility, and the red rose reminds us of the sorrow she felt when witnessing Jesus’ Death.

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Invite volunteers to read aloud the section Devotion to Mary. Emphasize that all the good that comes to us through Mary actually comes from God the Father. Ask: Why does Mary have a special place in the life of the Church? (She is the Mother of our Savior, and she is a person of great virtue and holiness.) What is one devotion we can pray to Mary? (the Rosary) What feast do we celebrate on January 1? (Mary, Mother of God) What do we celebrate on this feast day? (Mary’s faith and trust in God alone) Point out that the name of the feast day for August 15 is the Assumption. Say: According to Church teaching, at the end of her earthly life, Mary was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven. Explain that the words of the Magnificat are the words Mary used to greet her cousin, Elizabeth, after John the Baptist leapt for joy in Elizabeth’s womb.

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Devoted to Mary Have young people research different prayers of devotion that we can PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ pray to Mary, such as the Rosary and various novenas. Say: Choose one prayer of devotion, and during the next week, pray it during your personal prayer time. At the end of the week, reflect on how the prayer helped you grow in your relationship with God. During the next session, invite volunteers to share what devotions they researched and to describe their experiences of praying the devotion throughout the week.

Read aloud the feature. Point out in the painting the symbolic images that are mentioned. Say: You may have heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This means that sometimes we can say more with images than with words. Ask: In addition to the symbols that were mentioned in the text, what else does this painting tell us about Mary? (Accept reasonable responses.)

3 Close After distributing art supplies, ask young people to make their own pictures of Mary, in which they use symbols to convey something about Mary and her faith in God. Invite volunteers to share their completed pictures.

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Reflect

Prayer Choose an approach and pray with young people.

Prayer

Praying with Mary

Approach 1

Guided Reflection Prepare  Listen in advance to the recorded guided reflection “Faith Made Real” [CD 1, Track 6]. Decide if you will use the recording or lead the reflection yourself. If you choose to lead, listen to the recording a second time, following the script [pages T-339–T-340] and noting pauses and tone. You can then use the script or adapt it as you wish. Pray  During the session, have volunteers read aloud the paragraph in the left column. Then play the recording or lead using the script, joining the young people in reflective prayer. If you use the script, play reflective music softly in the background.

Mary believed in and responded to God’s call in all that she did. Because of this she is an example for all of us. Mary, Jesus’ first disciple, shows us what it is like to be a perfect disciple. Mary found the strength to be a perfect disciple through prayer. While Scripture tells us very little about Mary’s life, it does tell us that as the events in Jesus’ life unfolded, she pondered these in her heart. Through this pondering, Mary was able to hear what God was revealing to humans through events in the life of his Son, Jesus. We too can reflect on events in Jesus’ life so that we can know what God continues to speak to us today.

The Magnificat

My soul procla ims the great ness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior ; for he has looked with favor on his lowly serva nt.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the streng th of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungr y with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty . He has come to the help of his serva nt Israel for he has remem bered his prom ise of mercy, the prom ise he made to our father s, to Abraham and his children for ever.

Approach 2

Young People’s Page Prepare  Pray the prayer in advance to become familiar with it. Pray  Ask volunteers to read aloud the page title and the two paragraphs in the left column. Remind young people that this prayer is based on the words Mary said to Elizabeth after she found out that she was going to become Jesus’ mother. Invite young people to pray aloud the Magnificat together. Then say: Quietly pray the reflection to yourself. After giving young people time to reflect, pray aloud the Hail Mary.

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Session 5 BLM Mysteries of Faith Remind PDF Signoff: Production _______ young people that we can always turn to Mary in prayer. Distribute the Session 5 Blackline Master [T-353] to each young person. Invite a volunteer to read aloud the paragraph and the introduction. Give young people time to complete the activity independently. After young people have finished, invite volunteers to share their reflections.

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Coaching Young to Pray PeopleEditorial Design _______ _______ Remind young people that we can always pray to Mary and the saints. Point out that we do not worship them but turn to them for guidance and ask them to pray to God on our behalf.

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Reflect

e R e H W t in

1 Begin

Do i Fi

nce of God. olic experie as s can serve t of our Cath ysical object is at the hear y ph lit d ta an , en le entalit y peop am , Sacram cr ts sa ar e of th ciple that music, es. The prin We believe inder of ce in our liv visible rem God’s presen n serve as a at ca e lif reminders of r ou remind us th ng in l, hi ta yt en an am at th of sacr ent, teaches us st and pres lics, one type pa Re th e. ac bo , gr le beings God’s invisib other human one and that we are not al ith. fa of y ne ur in our jo suppor t us

ael by Mich n Ca m e r o

I confess to an almost incurable habit of saving things. Sometimes the things I haven’t thrown out threaten to swallow me up! The saving urge is especially strong when things connect to important people in my life. For instance, for many years I’ve carried four items in my wallet: a ticket from visiting the Empire State Building with my son, Erik, in 2000; a theater stub from a movie I saw with my son, Matt, in 2002; a receipt from visiting the Mt. St. Helens volcano with my mom and dad in 2005; and an undated love note from my wife, Lorie. Why? Certainly these items flood me with warm thoughts of important people and times. But they give me more than memories of mountaintop moments. Suddenly I’m invaded by the love of the people I love. I vividly recall that I’m not alone in the world—that actual people cherish me as I do them and that we are part of one another no matter what. Strangely, that’s somehow even truer since my dad passed away in 2008.

Reflect

What good Are Relics? The Church keeps alive their memory and channels God’s love to us in special ways by reverence for relics. That’s why the Church embeds sacred relics of the saints beneath the altar of every church in the world. While sharing our Lord’s Body and Blood there, we also partake of one another’s love for God. This spectacular truth of faith shines brightest in our darkest hours: we are never, ever alone without people who love us and love God!

A Living Reminder Reflect on a person, object, or experience that has served as a reminder of God’s presence in your life. In the box below, express how that person, object, or experience helped you grow closer to God. You may wish to write a poem or reflection, compose a song, sketch something, or attach a photograph.

Those four items work like relics. An amazing spiritual power of love at work in the saints leaps to mind as we encounter their lives in things they touched, an item of their clothing, or even a part of their own bodies. But even more than their memory, their love for God surges through us as we open ourselves to their holy memory. The Body of Christ makes us all part of one another—even persons who lived centuries ago! MiCHAeL CAMeROn teaches theology at the University of Portland in Oregon. He is married to Lorie Simmons and is the father of two grown sons, erik and Matthew.

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Group Relic Have young people brainstorm important insights or events that have PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ happened within the group during the year. Then have young people suggest small objects that might serve as reminders of these events. For example, they might choose a remnant of a creative project, a visual image, a phrase written on a strip of paper, or a religious token. Then have young people decide on one object to use as a relic. After the group reaches a consensus, have young people plan and participate in a small ceremony in which the item is installed in the classroom prayer space or in another place of prominence. Refer to the relic throughout the year.

Invite a volunteer to read aloud the introductory paragraph. Say: Look through your wallets, purses, backpacks, or binders for small objects or mementos that remind you of relationships or memorable experiences. Ask: Why do you carry these with you? (Possible answer: to remind me of the person or the experience) Point out that humans are sensory beings and that we tend to collect or hold on to physical objects that remind us of our identity. Explain that the Church does the same thing.

2 Connect Have a volunteer read aloud the title and first paragraph of the section What Good Are Relics? Ask: How do the author’s personal relics make him feel whenever he comes across them? (They flood him with warm feelings and remind him that he is loved, cherished, and not alone.) Invite volunteers to read aloud the final two paragraphs. Ask: How are Church relics similar to personal ones? (Possible answers: They remind us that we are not alone. They remind us of God’s love.) Discuss any relics in your church. Explain that relics and other sacramentals can inspire us if we remain open to God working through them. Have young people complete the activity independently. Allow time for volunteers to share their reflections.

3 Close Explain that a reliquary is a container for relics. Give pairs of young people time to brainstorm items that they might place in a family reliquary. Say: Think about items that remind you of your family members, both living and dead. After giving pairs time to discuss, invite volunteers to share the items they named and to explain why they chose them.

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RESPOND

W h a t ’s

? t a h W

1 Begin

2 Connect Say What?  Ask volunteers to read aloud each vocabulary term. Then ask volunteers to use each term in a sentence. Encourage young people to use the Glossary if they need help defining the terms.

Write the letter of the choice that best matches each description. 1

Her life was a pilgrimage of faith. (PAGE 38)

3

the feast that celebrates Mary being assumed body and soul into Heaven

Say What? Know the definitions of these terms. Assumption canonization Magnificat

sacramentals venerate

now What? During Ordinary Time we can reflect on Jesus’ call to discipleship by studying the lives of the saints and committing ourselves to following their example. Which saints appeal to you, and what can you do to follow their example?

(PAGE 39)

Now What?  Read aloud the section. Give each young person quiet time to answer the question independently.

3 Go in Peace Collect materials and return them to the appropriate places. Encourage young people to reflect on the lives of the saints during the next week. Say: Remember that we can follow the example of Mary and the saints in our own life of discipleship.

a prayer of devotion that focuses on events in Mary’s life in relation to her Son, Jesus (PAGE 40)

2

Respond

What’s What?  Read aloud the directions and the terms. Give young people time to complete the section individually or in small groups. Invite volunteers to compare pages once completed to check for comprehension. Remind young people that they can use the page references to help them find the correct answers.

4

a piece of a saint’s remains, such a chip of bone or a lock of hair (PAGE 36)

5

The child she was carrying leapt for joy. (PAGE 39)

6

invites us to think more deeply about the message of the Gospel (PAGE 35)

7

marks entire seasons and individual feasts and celebrations (PAGE 35)

8

a feast that celebrates Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth (PAGE 39)

9

a practice that underscores the sacramental nature of our faith (PAGE 36) a. Mary

f. The Rosary

b. Ordinary Time

g. venerating relics

c. Assumption

h. liturgical calendar

d. relic

i. Visitation

e. Elizabeth

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Service: Make Blankets Say:PDF There are many ways to put discipleship into action. Obtain Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ information about a local charity that will accept tied blankets. Contact a fabric store to inquire about donating materials for this project. Invite young people to make no-sew blankets. Explain that the blankets are for those who need love and warmth. Point out that by sharing these blankets, they are living as Jesus’ disciples. Solidarity

Session Assessment Option An assessment for this session can be found at www.findinggod.com.

Unit Assessment Option 3-Minute Retreat Give young people an opportunity for quiet meditation at www.loyolapress.com/retreat.

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If you wish, photocopy the Unit Assessment on pages T-354–T-356. Administer the assessment during the session or send it home.

P l a n A h e a d : Get Ready for Session 6 Consult the catechist preparation pages to prepare for Session 6 and determine any materials you will need.


ACT

Faith in

ACT I O N

Unit

1 Faith in Action Complete one of the suggested Faith in Action projects as a class, or organize young people into two groups, having each group complete a different project. Note that directions continue on the next page.

We build up the Church by putting our faith into action. When we freely choose to do this, we respond to Christ’s call to discipleship, and we share the Gospel message of peace and love with others. Taking action to create a more just world is not optional behavior. Working for justice is a central component of the Christian faith. Jesus preached not only with words but with how he lived his life. We are called to do the same.

“Blessed are they thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” —Matthew 5:6

Act

who hunger and

In this unit we explored how Jesus founded the Church by sending the Holy Spirit to his disciples after his Ascension into Heaven. Since then, the presence of the Holy Spirit has filled each of Jesus’ followers. In the early Church, this helped the disciples remain true to their faith in the face of persecution. Today, the presence of the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to stand up for people who are marginalized and oppressed.

Defend Life Purpose Learn about actions we can take in order to defend the lives of all people, especially those who are marginalized and oppressed by society.

Background Since its beginning the Church has taught that human life is sacred. We are made in the image and likeness of God. In recent years the bishops have pointed out that respect for human life is not an independent issue. People can only live lives of dignity when they have access to food, clean water, clothing, and shelter. Respect for life is interwoven with the issues of poverty, education, and health care. The bishops in the United States have established the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), an organization whose mission is to work for respect for life in relation to these issues.

Steps 1. Read together the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3–12). What does Jesus teach us about working for justice? What do the Beatitudes say to us today? 2. With an adult, spend some time exploring the CCHD Web site. Learn about the initiatives that are currently under way. 3. Develop a plan for how you can advertise CCHD’s work within your parish in order to encourage others to get involved in working for justice. 4. Make a commitment to complete one action suggested by the CCHD.

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Right-to-Life Posters Remind young people that human beings are made in the image and PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ likeness of God. Say: Because of this, everyone has the right to live a life of dignity. Distribute art supplies and have young people make right-to-life posters. Encourage young people to use slogans, Scripture passages, and images to decorate their posters. Arrange with your catechetical leader to have the posters hung around the parish. Life and Dignity

MAT E R I ALS: Get Ready for Faith in Action For these projects, you will need a presenter from the diocesan respect life office to discuss local right-to-life initiatives, Church documents such as Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, computers with Internet access, art supplies, poster board, the prayer service planning guide, prayer service planning tips, writing supplies, paper bags, and items to include in welcome kits. Also see the project steps.

1 Prepare Discuss the project ideas with young people and involve them in the decision-making process to determine a project. Discuss the project in terms of how service helps us build up the Church. Ask: What do you hope for from this project? What are you concerned about? Whom will you serve, and how will your service be beneficial to them and to you? Are you prepared to recognize the humanity in those you will meet? How does this project help you put your faith into action? What theme or themes of Catholic Social Teaching will you be experiencing in the project?

2 Implement Have young people follow the directions to complete Defend Life on page 43 or Called to Community on page 44. Be sure young people do research before taking action. For Defend Life, invite a presenter from the diocesan respect life office to present right-to-life initiatives that are underway in your area. For Called to Community, have young people read and reflect on Church documents such as Strangers no Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. Also ask young people to search the USCCB and the Vatican Web sites for additional documents by using key words such as immigration. Be sure young people are supervised during their project as appropriate. Consider asking for parent volunteers to be Faith in Action facilitators for the entire year. Unit 1  •  Faith in Action  

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ACT Cardinal Roger Mahoney

Called to Community Purpose

3 Close

When Jesus sent the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, his community of followers became the Church. As the People of God, we are called to participate in the life of the Church and to support one another, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. The purpose of this activity is to learn about the importance of immigration reform. Participants will research this issue and then write letters to federal legislators to encourage them to support a more humane immigration policy.

Bring closure to the project by leading young people in completing one of the following:

Pass It On  Remind young people that as members of the Christian community, we both learn from and teach one another. Have young people prepare brief memos about the project they completed. Encourage young people to include ways that others can engage in a similar work of justice. Arrange with your catechetical leader to have the memos sent to parish leaders, including staff and committee members.

Background Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the retired cardinal for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has spoken out for immigration policy reform. He has been especially critical of legislation that would outlaw charitable aid to undocumented migrants. The U.S. bishops continue to encourage national immigration policy reform. They suggest that a just immigration policy should include the following components: anti-poverty efforts, opportunities for family reunification, and provisions for temporary workers.

Act

Prayer Service  Download and print out the prayer service planning guide and prayer service planning tips at www.findinggod.com. Have young people plan and pray together a prayer service that expresses gratitude to God for the opportunity to build up the Church by serving others.

“The building of

Steps 1. Research the U.S bishops’ position on immigration policy reform by visiting their Web site JusticeforImmigrants.org or by reading the pastoral letter Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. 2. Using what you have learned, discuss what your parish community can do to support undocumented immigrants. Choose concrete actions your parish can take and work together to implement a plan. 3. Write letters to your federal legislators, asking them to support immigration policy reform. 4. Raise awareness of this issue by speaking with others about the need for immigration policy reform.

community with migrants and new immigrants leads to a growing sense of solidarity.” —United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Immigrants marching for reform in Chicago, Illinois.

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Welcome Kits Remind young people that we are called to follow Jesus’ example PDF Signoff: Production _______ Design _______ Editorial _______ by caring for one another’s needs. Distribute art supplies and paper bags. Have young people decorate welcome kits for families who have recently arrived to your community. Ask young people to include welcome cards to go with the kits. In advance, work with your catechetical leader to obtain materials to include in the kits, such as information about diocesan services, city maps, and public-transit schedules. Arrange to have the completed kits delivered to a local agency that can distribute them. Solidarity

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Finding God 2013 Grade 8 Parish Catechist Guide | PART 1