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AT HOME

Family Guide

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AT HOME Family Guide

Peter M. Esposito President Jo Rotunno Publisher Susan B. Stark Author

Cincinnati, Ohio

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The Subcommittee on the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has found the doctrinal content of this manual, copyright 2013, to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Mary Malloy Project Editor Mary Wessel Art Director NIHIL OBSTAT Rev. Msgr. Robert Coerver Censor Librorum IMPRIMATUR † Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell DD Bishop of Dallas August 22, 2012 Copyright © 2013 RCL Publishing LLC All rights reserved. Be My Disciples is a trademark of RCL Publishing LLC. This publication, or parts therof, may not be reproduced in any form by photographic, electronic, mechanical, or any other method, for any use, including information storage and retrieval, without written permission from the publisher. Send all inquiries to RCL Benziger 8805 Governor’s Hill Drive, Suite 400 Cincinnati, OH 45249 Toll Free 877-275-4725 Fax 800-688-8356 Vist us at www.RCLBenziger.com and www.BeMyDisciples.com 20709 ISBN 978-0-7829-1620-1 1st Printing Manufactured for RCL Benziger in Cincinnati, OH, USA. August, 2012

Acknowledgements Excerpts are taken and adapted from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms, ©1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All right reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America, Second Edition, © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Excerpts from the General Directory for Catechesis, © 1997, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of these works may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Excerpts from the National Directory for Catechesis, © 2005, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of these works may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Excerpts from Follow the Way of Love: A Pastoral Message of the United States Catholic Bishops to Families On the Occasion of the United Nations 1994 International Year of the Family, © 1994 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. Excerpts from John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), © 1981, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Photo Credits: Cvr © Andersen Ross; Cvr © Ariel Skelley/Jupiterimages; Cvr © Design Pics Inc. /Alamy; all © dpaint ; p5 © DreamPictures/VStock/Getty Images; p6 © Ocean/Corbis; p8 © Andersen Ross; p9 © Purestock/ Jupiterimages; p6 © Mary Wessel; p8 © Mary Wessel; p9 © Blend Images/Alamy; p10 © Design Pics Inc./Alamy; p11 © Design Pics Inc / Kristy-Anne Glubish/Getty Images; p12 © Tom Merton/Jupiterimages; p14 © Jupiterimages Brand X Pictures; p15 © BananaStock; p16 © Ryan McVay/Getty Images; p17 © Stockbyte; p17 © Mary Wessel; p20, 37, 53, 69, 85, 101 © Thinkstock; p21 © Stockbyte; p22 © Brand X Pictures; p22 © OJO Images/Jupiterimages; p 25, 41, 57, 73, 89, 105 © Exactostock/Superstock; p26 © Toltek/iStockphoto; p27 © iStockphoto; p29, 45, 61, 77, 93, 109 © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / © Blend Images / Alamy; p33, 49, 65, 81, 97, 113 © Aflo Relax/Masterfile; p35 © Getty Images; p30 © Tim Pannell/Corbis; p34 © Carol Liddiment; p35 © Getty Images; p35 ©iStockphoto; p38 © DAJ/Getty Images; p39 © Getty Images; p42 © Myrleen Ferguson Cate/Photo Edit; p43 © Lisa F. Young/Alamy; p50 © Dorling Kindersley/Jupiterimages; p54 © Bill Wittman; p46 © Mark Lewis/ Getty Images; p47 © Mary Wessel; p59 © Bill Wittman; p58 © Monkey Business Images/shutterstock; p62 © Design Pics Inc./Alamy; p63 © David Epperson/Getty Images; p66 © PHOVOIR/Alamy; p67 © iStockphoto; p70 © Bill Wittman; p74 © Ryan McVay/Getty Images; p75 © Robert Simon/iStockphoto; p78 © Bill Wittman; p79 ©paulaphotoshutterstock; p79 © Mary Wessel; p82 ©Jeff Greenberg/Alamy; p83 © Mary Wessel; p83 © Mary Wessel; p86 © Jim West/Alamy; p87 © Myrleen Ferguson Cate/Photo Edit; p90 © Hill Street Studios/Jupiterimages; p91 © Big Cheese Photo/ Jupiterimages; p94 © asiaselects/Corbis; p95 © Tim Pannell/Corbis; p98 © Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages; p99 © Myrleen Ferguson Cate/ Photo Edit; p99 © KidStock/Getty Images; p102 © Asia Images Group Pte Ltd/Alamy; p103 © Leland BobbE/Corbis; p106 © Lisa F. Young/ Alamy; p107 © Mary Wessel; p110 © James Shaffer/Photo Edit; p111 © Myrleen Ferguson Cate/Photo Edit

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table of CONTENTS Welcome to Be My Disciples...........................................................................5 The Church of the Home..............................................................................6 How Do Children Grow and Learn?............................................................... 7 How Do Children Grow in Faith?.................................................................. 8 Teaching Be My Disciples At Home............................................................... 10 Features of an At Home Lesson.................................................................... 12 Additional Resources for Be My Disciples....................................................... 14 About BeMyDisciples.com......................................................................... 15 Getting Started with Be My Disciples At Home................................................ 16 Chapter 1 Teach Me Your Ways............................................................. 18 Chapter 2 See God’s Works................................................................... 22 Chapter 3 Great Is the Lord.................................................................. 26 Chapter 4 A New Creation................................................................... 30 Chapter 5 Jesus, the Messiah................................................................. 34 Chapter 6 Children of Light.................................................................. 38 Chapter 7 Be My Witnesses.................................................................. 42 Chapter 8 Go and Make Disciples.......................................................... 46 Chapter 9 Give Thanks................................................................................. .. 50 Chapter 10 Body of Christ..................................................................... 54 Chapter 11 Live in the Spirit................................................................... 58 Chapter 12 The Kingdom of God............................................................ 62 Chapter 13 Increase Our Faith................................................................ 66 Chapter 14 Salt of the Earth................................................................... 70 Chapter 15 Light of the World................................................................ 74 Chapter 16 Give Glory to God................................................................ 78

INTRODUCTION

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

table of CONTENTS Chapter 17 Put on Love......................................................................... 82 Chapter 18 Seek the Lord....................................................................... 86 Chapter 19 Come, Follow Me................................................................. 90 Chapter 20 Rejoice in the Lord................................................................ 94 Chapter 21 Love of God......................................................................... 98 Chapter 22 Love Never Fails................................................................. 102 Chapter 23 Love One Another.............................................................. 106 Chapter 24 Teach Us to Pray................................................................. 110

Cumulative Glossary..................................................................... 114

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Welcome to

At Home Family Guide Be My Disciples is an innovative Catholic catechetical program that leads your children and family to • grow in your conversion to Jesus Christ • develop the habits of discipleship • decide each day to choose life in Christ • live as active, committed members of the Catholic Church

INVITES, TEACHES, CHALLENGES! This innovative religion curriculum empowers you and your children to answers Jesus’ call to “be my disciples.” Be My Disciples shares the Christian story in a balanced approach that invites children to discipleship, teaches Scripture, Doctrine, and Celebration, and challenges children to integrate faith and life. Be My Disciples At Home helps you help your children to understand both what we believe as Catholics and also how to live out those beliefs. This is the process that Jesus used to teach his disciples. When the disciples lived the teachings of Jesus, they discovered the difference that faith made in their lives and in the lives of others. Be My Disciples At Home helps you use this simple process used by Jesus. It is the teaching process repeated throughout your children’s chapters, and the process you will use in the family sessions. Discovering the difference faith makes in your lives and responding to Jesus’ invitation to discipleship is at the heart of Be My Disciples. INVITES The dynamic methodology of Be My Disciples incorporates the latest findings in brain research, psycho-social development, and emotional intelligence to invite your child into the adventure of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

TEACHES Be My Disciples teaches, reinforces, and extends knowledge of Scripture, Catholic doctrine, and the Church year every year in every grade through RCL Benziger’s unique spiral structure. CHALLENGES Be My Disciples challenges children to a deeper integration of faith and life by leading them to higher levels of thinking and encouraging a weekly faith choice. WHAT TO EXPECT Be My Disciples helps your children know and live their faith through service to others. Week by week, you and your children will gather to: • Grow in Knowledge. Through RCL Benziger’s unique spiral structure, children are introduced to Scripture, Catholic Tradition, and the liturgical year, and reinforce and extend their knowledge year by year. Practically speaking, this means that your child will enter into the mystery of the Catholic faith more deeply each year through content, activities, and process adapted to meet the faith development needs particular to his or her grade level. • Connect Faith with Their Experience. Through a process of presentation, application, reflection, and decision, children relate knowledge of the Catholic faith to their life experiences and commit themselves more deeply to the person and mission of Jesus Christ. • Practice the Skills of Discipleship. By learning the gifts and qualities of discipleship and practicing its habits and virtues, children learn the skills required to follow Jesus. INTRODUCTION

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The Church of The Home A Community of Life and Love What is one of your earliest memories about God? Perhaps your family had special prayers for special occasions or rituals and traditions that related to the celebrations of the Catholic faith. Maybe your knowledge and love of God in your childhood came from a grandparent, a special teacher, an adult mentor, or simply from the natural wonder, curiosity and spiritual awareness that children often seem to have. Perhaps your family didn’t talk a lot about God as you were growing up, but you had an intuitive knowledge that God was central in your home. Whichever way you have come to know God over the years, your faith is a result of those people who were faithful before you. “[T]he family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love...” (Familiaris Consortio 17).

Your family, and all its members—from those who are very young to those who are very old—are one of God’s great gifts to you. As parents, your children are not only a great responsibility but a wondrous blessing. During their growing years, you are the most important influence in their lives. Long before your children were old enough for school or any formal religious education program, they were already beginning to grow in faith in the midst of a community of faith—your family. Pope John Paul II simply and eloquently stated in an apostolic letter referring to the family that a family is a community of life and love. A community such as he describes is formed when you wrap your children in the love of Christ so that they become faithful disciples. It is formed when you strive to create a Catholic home that reflects the love that comes from the beliefs and values of your Catholic faith.

In a Catholic home, family members share the Catholic faith story, celebrate rituals, pray together, deepen and enrich family relationships, reach out to those who are in need, and take part in the life of the parish and wider community. In a Catholic home, a family strives to live the faith that comes from following the Commandments, the Beatitudes, and Christ’s example. Be My Disciples At Home supports and nurtures growth in each of these aspects of a Catholic family’s life. Faith-filled moments permeate all of family life—even the most ordinary moments. You don’t need to ask God to be present in your home, God is present! Family life is where you should first have learned that God is always with us, and where your children can first learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. As parents, you are blessed with the love and grace to foster your children’s spiritual growth. As parents, you are uniquely able to teach your children—first because you yourselves are people of faith, and second because you are parents. You have an awesome gift to share as a Catholic parent in today’s world. That gift is your spirituality, your hunger for the holy, your hunger and searching for God in the ordinary (and extraordinary) moments of life. “What you do in your family to create a community of love, to help each other to grow, and to serve those in need is critical, not only for your own sanctification but for the strength of society and our Church. It is a participation in the work of the Lord, a sharing in the mission of the Church. It is holy.” (From Follow the Way of Love)

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How do children

Grow and Learn?

For various reasons today, rather more than in the past, the child demands full respect and help in its spiritual and human growth. (General Directory for Catechesis 177)

The Primary Years—Grades 1 and 2 First and second graders are in perpetual motion! They are friendly, enthusiastic, and just beginning to think about how they look in the eyes of others. By and large they are friendly, but can sometimes be reserved or moody. They also have a strong capacity for remembering details, especially stories and facts, and their vocabulary is dramatically increasing. They tend to prefer playmates of the same sex, playing with one friend or even alone. These young people seek both love and attention from their parents, teachers, and other key adults in their lives. GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT CHARACTERISTICS DURING PRIMARY YEARS • Demonstrate short attention span but grow in ability to focus for longer periods of time • Enjoy physical activity—increased gross and fine motor skills • Thrive on encouragement • Remain very family-centered • Love stories • Learn through discovery, movement, and active involvement • Develop increased problem-solving capabilities • Enjoy one-on-one conversations with adults • Learn through inquiry and repetition

The Intermediate Years—Grades 3 and 4 Outgoing, curious, lively and highly energetic describe third and fourth grade children. The world as they know it begins to revolve around their peers, and they are becoming more independent and self-confident. Friendships are developing, and the concept of having a “best” friend emerges. These children tend to spend more time on activities that interest or excite them. They think more critically, but their thinking strategies are still more concrete, logical, and organized. Thinking abstractly is better when it relates to their direct experiences but they do grasp concepts. They have a great fascination with heroes. Parents are definite role models and special witnesses to the faith in the lives of these impressionable children!

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Growth and Development In the intermediate years • Demonstrate a good sense of balance and good coordination • Perform with high energy • Participate in sports • Expand social circles beyond family • Enjoy caring for and playing with younger children • Enjoy cooperative learning groups • Learn to take more responsibility for their actions • Need to be in control of some choices • Learn best through active projects and take more ownership of learning • Relish explaining ideas

The Pre-Adolescent Years—Grades 5 and 6 Fifth and sixth graders abound with energy and budding enthusiasm. They experience mood swings but have an increased level of self-control and tolerance. They enjoy constant activity, and recognize their peers as the source for their behavior standards. As their independence increases, they still want adult guidance. Intellectually, fifth and sixth graders are transitioning from concrete to abstract thinking. They appreciate humor, and at the same time they love to argue! While there are vast differences in developmental growth among children at this age, the unifying characteristic of fifth and sixth graders is change. Growth and Development Characteristics • Rapid and irregular growth • High energy and increased tiredness due to rapid growth • Rapid brain growth • Active and curious • Seek peer acceptance • Desire independence • Focus on role models • Transitioning from concrete to abstract thinking • Creative problem solvers • Increased levels of concentration INTRODUCTION

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How do children

Grow in Faith?

The most important task of catechesis of children is to provide, through the witness of adults, an environment in which young people can grow in faith. (National Directory for Catechesis 48E.2)

The Primary Years—Grades 1 & 2 On their journey of faith, first and second graders are active learners who want a sense of consistency and ritual. They enjoy learning through Bible stories, which is how Jesus taught people. When telling Bible stories, the use of puppets, gestures, art, and role-playing engages children to help them remember the story and the concepts. This is the perfect time to involve these young people in prayer, liturgical gestures, and blessings. Their hearts are touched through prayer experiences such as short meditations, prayers of praise and petition, and simple family prayer rituals. They have a strong spiritual sense about God and imagine God as a human person. This is an exciting time to watch your child’s relationship with God grow as he or she learns to answer Jesus’ call to be my disciples. Faith Growth in the Primary Years • Experience life through wonder and awe • Delight in Bible stories and interpret stories literally • Appreciate prayer experiences, ritual, and ceremony • Grow in understanding of community • Grow in religious imagination • Recognize Church through the experiences of home and parish • Imagine God as human

The Intermediate Years—Grades 3&4 In their journey of faith, third and fourth grade children enjoy learning about the heroes of the Bible and the stories of the People of God. They have a strong desire to learn about people, past and present, and their differences. Because they value the attitudes and habits of important adults in their lives, learning about virtues and moral habits is critical at this stage of faith formation. They begin to realize that true happiness comes from knowing and loving God. They develop a deeper appreciation of Scripture, liturgy, community, and prayer. These young people can begin to apply Jesus’ teachings to their own lives and become involved in efforts that will help them recognize their own unique gifts and their role in the Christian community. This is an exciting age to watch your child grow in faith, as he or she learns to answer Jesus’ call to be my disciples. Faith Growth in the Intermediate Years • Enjoy having a role in liturgical experiences and participating in ritual actions • Delight in retelling and acting out stories from the Bible • Have an increased awareness of right and wrong • Relate to Saints as role models who stand for morality, justice, and faith • Strive to incorporate good works into daily living • Like to participate in community service

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The Pre-Adolescent Years—Grades 5 & 6 In their journey of faith, fifth and sixth graders want to belong and relationships are important to them. They have a strong sense of fairness and perceive God as more rational and less judgmental. These young persons are growing spiritually in their prayer life, their sense of right and wrong, and their ability for deep religious feeling. They have more of a questioning nature in religious matters and especially want to know what it means to be Catholic. Fifth and sixth graders often seek guidance from God in their everyday lives. As these relationships with God, Jesus Christ, and the Church are developed, so is their response to the call of discipleship.

Faith Growth in the Pre-Adolescent Years • Develop a value system • Have a strong sense of justice • Enjoy service activities • Seek everyday guidance from God • May question matters of faith • Attracted to role models through the Saints and Bible stories • Enjoy a variety of prayer forms • Desire meaningful participation in liturgical celebrations • Are interested in the human life of Jesus • Have a heightened awareness of the Church as a community of believers • Have a greater understanding of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

INTRODUCTION

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TEACHING Be My Disciples At Home THE STUDENT BOOK At the core of each student chapter in Be My Disciples is the process of Explore, Discover, and Decide. This is the process that Jesus used to teach his disciples. When the disciples lived the teachings of Jesus, they discovered the difference that faith made in their lives and in the lives of others. Be My Disciples At Home helps you use this simple process used by Jesus to guide your children through their respective chapters. Be My Disciples At Home helps you help your children understand both what we believe as Catholics and also how to live out those beliefs. Discovering the difference faith makes in our lives, and responding to Jesus’ invitation to discipleship is at the heart of Be My Disciples.

The family session encourages interactive sharing between your children about what they are exploring on these pages.

Looking Ahead

13 CHapter

In this chapter the ExplorE how Holy Spirit invites God provided for a you to → Franciscan community.

DiscovEr how three Bible stories tell of God’s loving care for us.

DEciDE how you can be a sign of God’s loving care.

EXPLORE

The first page of each student’s chapter engages their life experiences, grounds the Jesus chapter content in Scripture, Feeds Us and invites reflection on it. The second page, titled The Church Follows Jesus, shares a story from the Church’s Tradition about a Saint, holy person, or ministry that illustrates discipleship. By learning about a person or group that has lived the values of Jesus, children begin to learn the habits of disciples. Tell about a time when you have been tired and hungry. Who cared for you? How?

In the Old Testament, we read about a time when God’s people began to lose trust in God. They grumbled about how miserable their life was. God heard their complaining. Listen to what God told their leader, Moses, “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Have the people go out every day to gather enough bread to eat so that they are no longer hungry.”

Based on exodus 16:4

What other Bible stories do you know about bread? How do they tell about how God cares for you?

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This page also includes a key character formation feature called Disciple Power that teaches virtues, gifts, or qualities that build disciples.

Disciple Power Kindness A kind person is loving and caring toward others. A kind person always treats people with respect. We live the virtue of kindness by treating others as we want to be treated.

Give Us Our Daily Bread “Pssst! Father Solanus!” A Franciscan Capuchin brother tried to catch the eye of Father Solanus Casey. “We’ve no more bread, and hundreds of men are waiting for something to eat”, the worried brother said. The white-bearded Father Solanus nodded his head. He understood, but he stayed calm. Pouring hot coffee, he made his way down the rows between tables. Father Solanus and others had opened a soup kitchen to help the many hungry, troubled people they met. Every day, people came from all over Detroit for a free meal— their only meal of the day. They experienced the kindness of others. But the Capuchins also depended on others to provide the food. Dinner was whatever was available. If a farmer gave bushels of potatoes, then they ate potato soup. When a crate of clucking chickens was left near the back door, a kettle of chicken soup was soon simmering on the stove. Word quickly spread through the room. “The kitchen is out of food.” When the room grew quiet with fear, the softspoken Father Solanus asked for prayer. “Why shouldn’t we ask God for ‘our daily bread’?” Five minutes later, cheering erupted in the waiting line. Men slapped each other on the back. A bakery truck, loaded with food, had just arrived. “See?” grinned Father Solanus. “God provides.” Father Solanus wasn’t at all surprised by the sudden blessing at the back door. How does your parish reach out to share God’s loving care with others?

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Chapter Review

Compare and contrast the story of Moses and the manna in the desert with the story of Jesus feeding the crowd. How are the two stories alike and how are they different? Moses (Exodus 16:13–15)

DECIDE

to hElp yoU rEmEmbEr

This page in the student book summarizes the lesson teaching, provides a response activity, and invites the child to make a faith choice. It gives your children the opportunity to integrate the content with their own lives and respond to a weekly challenge on how they will continue their journey of discipleship.

1. God fed his people, the Israelites, with manna during the Exodus. 2. Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. 3. The Bible invites us to believe and trust in God’s caring love for us.

Jesus (Luke 19:11–13, 16–17)

Jesus, the Bread of Life A litany is a series of petitions that each have a response. This litany is based on part of a poem that is read at Mass on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. leader: Jesus, Good Shepherd and true Bread,

all: be merciful and kind to us.

leader: Jesus, source of our happiness,

all: be merciful and kind to us.

leader: Jesus, you know and can do all things;

all: be merciful and kind to us.

leader: Jesus, make us your guests in Heaven;

all: be merciful and kind to us. Amen.

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The Decide pages also contain a review to check understanding of key concepts, and a closing prayer that helps children celebrate their faith.

You can be kind to people in many ways. When you are, you are a sign to others of God’s caring love for them. Your kind words and actions help people see how much God loves them and cares for them.

KinDness

Signs of God’s Love There are many stories about bread in the Bible. On the first page of this lesson, you listened to the beginning of an important bread story in the Old Testament. It is part of the Exodus story. The Exodus is the journey of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the land God promised them. Here is what happened next: In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, ‘What is this?’ for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, ‘This is the bread which the Lord has given exodus 16:14–15 you to eat.”

Faith FocUs

What is God saying to us through the Bible story of Jesus feeding people with bread?

Faith vocabUlary

Exodus The Exodus is the journey of the Israelites under the leadership of Moses from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the land promised them by God. manna The bread-like food the Israelites ate in the desert during the Exodus is called manna.

Each day the Israelites gathered enough manna for the day. They baked it and ate it until they were satisfied. For Moses and the Israelites, eating the manna was a sign of God’s caring love for them. This is an example of Divine Providence, God’s caring love for us.

Activity

What are some signs of God’s loving care for you? Write one next to each place listed. Home School Community Parish

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DISCOVER

Write a poem, song, or story that describes you and your friends being kind to others. ____________________________________________________________________ title ___________________________________________________________________________________

The doctrinal teaching pages are the building blocks of the student lesson and make the core doctrinal content available to your children. A Faith Focus question predicts the key chapter teaching, and the Faith Vocabulary feature provides clear definitions of chapter terms.

Faith-Filled People features a person who models the way of discipleship. Catholics Believe highlights a Catholic doctrine or practice to help build Catholic identity. The Discover pages also include doctrinal presentations and Scripture quotations, photos and illustrations, reflection questions, and application activities to check comprehension.

Faith-Filled People Venerable Solanus Casey Solanus Casey was born in Wisconsin in 1870. He was baptized Bernard Francis. On a small farm and in a big family, the future Father Casey first learned to trust God. Working as a doorkeeper, this Capuchin priest helped thousands with sound spiritual advice and encouragement. Father Solanus also had a gift of healing. He was named Venerable (Holy) in 1995.

___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

With My Family My Faith

ChoiCe

this week I will look for people who are hungry, not only for food, but also for other important things like friendship and kindness. I will

sharing God’s Word

In chapter 13, Jesus Feeds Us, your child learned that:

Read Luke 9:10–17 together, the account of Jesus feeding the crowd. Or read the adaptation of the story on page 122. emphasize that Jesus feeding the people is a sign of God’s caring love.

→ God fed the Israelites with manna in the desert during the exodus.

.

→ Jesus fed five thousand people by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish.

sit for a moment in the stillness. remember God’s kindness and care towards you and your family. say a prayer of thanks.

→ In both stories God reveals his ever-present caring love for people.

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this Week...

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→ the Gospel story of Jesus feeding the people also reminds Christians of the eucharist, the spiritual food of the Body and Blood of Jesus. → We live the virtue of kindness by treating others as we want to be treated. For more about related teachings of the Church, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 302–314, 1094, 1334, 1363, and 1391–1405; and the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, pages 220–229.

We live as Disciples The Christian home and family is a school of discipleship. Choose one of the following activities to do as a family or design a similar activity of your own. → We all know that good nutrition and exercise help keep our bodies healthy. Next time your family gathers to share a meal, talk about how participating in Mass helps our spiritual health.

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand People

→ Jesus fed the crowd to help people understand God’s love for them. How do the members of your family help each other know God’s love for them? → the Bible story about Jesus feeding the crowd is in all four Gospels. read and compare all four stories: Matthew 14:13–21, Mark 6:30–44, Luke 9:10–17, and John 6:1–15.

our spiritual Journey God in his infinite kindness and generosity invites us to live in communion with him. “prayer is a living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2565). God gave us the gift of the eucharist to nourish that communion. Frequent Communion is vital to the Christian life.

For more ideas on ways your family can live as disciples of Jesus, visit

Here is another bread story. It is another story of God’s caring love for us. This story is from the Gospel according to Luke in the New Testament.

www.BeMyDisciples.com

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A crowd of people followed Jesus to a deserted place. The people were hungry and tired. Jesus said to the disciples, “Give the people some food.” The disciples replied, “We only have five loaves and two fish.” Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. Looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke the bread and gave the food to the disciples to give to the crowd. They all ate and were no longer hungry.

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Based on Luke 9:11–13, 16–17

Jesus performed a miracle to feed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. There were even twelve baskets of food left over. Jesus performed many miracles. A miracle is something that only God can do. Jesus performed many miracles to show people how much God loves them and cares for them. Pretend you are in the crowd who followed Jesus. What would you tell your family and friends about Jesus?

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Each family session in Be My Disciples At Home provides you with simple teaching steps to use with your children as they use these pages in their individual books. Questions for discussion reinforce learning and encourage faith sharing.

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In each family session, your children will also have the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned in their chapters through the lens of the family session’s Scripture focus. They will also review their learning of key concepts, and celebrate prayer together.

INTRODUCTION

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Features of an

At Home Lesson

CHAPTER The family session chapter correlates to the same chapter in the student books.

THEME The Scripture focus for the session provides an overarching theme and lens through which the family can reflect and share while each child processes through his or her grade level chapter.

Checking in

Bless, Us, Lord

Gather the children for a focusing activity based on the Scriptural theme for the family session.

Begin your family session with prayer. Each opening prayer facilitates prayer and reflection around the family session’s Scripture focus.

Before You Begin

Intro Essay

A short essay provides theological background and an overview of the chapter content that you will find in the student books.

Your children can preview additional online resources and activities for their specific grade level chapters.

For Reflection

Use this question as a guide for your own spiritual reflection on the Scripture theme for the family session.

At a Glance

Our Focus

Materials

Take a look at the faith concepts covered in each grade level for the chapter.

There is a clear focus for the session, centered around the Scripture theme. Plan on spending an hour to an hourand-a-half with your children on each session. The sessions will move more quickly if you have one child.

You need your children’s student books, a Bible, and materials specific to the grade level chapter for the sessions.

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EXPLORE

DECIDE

Let’s Begin

Reinforce, Respond, Choose

The children read the first page in their respective chapters and choose something from it to share with the family. By reading the Looking Ahead objectives, your children can share their chapter topics. Point out the family session’s Scripture focus. While chapter topics may vary depending on the grade levels, the Scripture theme for the family session provides a common focus.

The I Follow Jesus and Chapter Review pages in the student book summarize the lesson teaching, provide a response activity, and invite the child to make a faith choice.

Introduce, Reinforce, Connect The Church Follows Jesus page (student book) describes a way that the Church sets an example for us in how to be good disciples. The children can share what they read with each other, read aloud their Disciple Power virtues, and discuss how family members can live these virtues.

Reinforce the Scripture theme for the session. Have the children tell how the Scripture theme relates to what they have learned in their chapter. Invite the children to complete the response activity. Have them show or tell other family members about it. Each child can complete the My Faith Choice box (student book) and share what he or she has decided.

DISCOVER

WRAP UP

Teach, REINFORCE, CONNECT

We Remember, WE PRAY, MUSIC

Guide your children through the core content in their respective chapters. Begin by having them read aloud the Faith Focus question. Then give them time individually to read the text, and complete the activities on the pages. Younger children may need your help. Be sure to point out the Faith Vocabulary, Faith-Filled People, and Catholics Believe features. Use the Reinforce suggestions to help children express what they have learned.

Review the chapter, and invite the children make a decision on how to be a disciple based on the family session’s Scripture theme. To conclude, choose a prayer from one of your child’s books, or use the prayer ritual provided, which is based on the family session’s Scripture theme. Begin or end the closing prayer with a song from the Be My Disciples Music Program CD.

Choose an activity from the list to do together as a family, or choose an activity from one of the student books. Disciple Power This feature provides you with an in-depth look at a Disciple Power virtue found in one of the student books for the chapter.

Looking for More? Remember to check out BeMyDisciples.com for the latest in interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich your family’s learning. INTRODUCTION

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Additional Resources for Be My Disciples Assessment Tools Use reproducible masters to create an assessment portfolio with chapter and unit tests and other assessment instructions. Available in print and downloadable versions.

Additional Activities Enhance the lessons with time saving reproducible activities that extend your children’s learning. Available in print or downloadable versions.

A Complete Music Program for Grades 1 – 8 The Be My Disciples Music Program for Grades 1 – 8 is directed by well-known Catholic performing artist Steve Angrisano. A veteran musician, composer, and youth minister who has been featured at six World Youth Days, several National Catholic Youth Conferences (NCYC), L.A. Congress, the March for Life Rally, and many diocesan youth conventions and conferences, Steve brings a fresh, youthful perspective to the Be My Disciples Music Program. He is the composer of the Be My Disciples theme song and is featured on most tracks on each CD. Each music CD contains: • The program theme song • Six hymns (one for each unit) sung by young voices that help children build a musical repertoire of liturgical music as they advance through the grades • Sung Mass parts reflecting the Roman Missal • Instrumental music for family meditation Musicians in Your Household? Complete lyrics and accompaniment for guitar and piano complete the Be My Disciples Music Program.

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About BeMyDisciples.com BeMyDisciples.com offers the best possible support for children and families. • Connections between the student books and the Web site enhance the learning experience at home. • Easy access for parents encourages the use of the extensive practical and creative resources. • Downloadable activities and assessment tools support busy parents. • Interactive chapter reviews reinforce learning.

• Children’s activities and games make learning fun. • A weekly continuing story lets your child choose what happens next. • A children’s literature feature links children’s books to faith themes. • An annotated bibliography of helpful resources will help you build a faith library.

Easy to Use for students and parents

INTRODUCTION

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Getting STARTED with Be My Disciples At Home An Integrated Approach Be My Disciples At Home contains twenty-four sessions that align in sequence with the twenty-four core chapters in the student books. The family session’s integrated process provides your children with individualized grade level learning using the chapters in their student books, and family learning focused around a Scripture theme for the session.

The family session’s Scripture theme provides the integrating focus for your family sessions, regardless of the grade level content in your children’s chapter. The session process allows your children to work individually and as a group. With one child … If you have one child, facilitating your child’s learning for any particular chapter is a simple process of following the methodology outlined in the family session. You will have plenty of opportunity to work one-on-one with your child as he or she moves through the chapter in the student book. If you choose, you can also incorporate the thematic Scripture connections you will find contained in the family session.

sequence, regardless of grade level and even if their chapter topics are different. This not only saves you time, but because you are able to draw on and relate the children’s learning to the family session’s Scripture theme, your children are engaged with you and with each other as they progress through the chapter. Their individual learning is enriched by the faith sharing that occurs around the family session’s Scripture theme. The Importance of Prayer To teach others to pray requires, first of all, that you are a person of prayer yourself. Children look to their parents as an example of what a prayerful person is. Prayer is listening with openness to God’s Word, and responding in faith, hope, and love. Our response involves a willingness to spend time with God, to ponder the words of Scripture, to discern God’s message to us, and to respond with our whole selves—body, mind, and heart. Spending daily time alone with God in an attitude of openness and thanksgiving will transform you and prepare you to be the inspiration to your children that you hope to be and that they deserve. Catholic families pray together. The example you set as a prayer leader, and the example you set in leading and teaching your children to pray is preparing them

With more than one child… If you have more than one child, and your children are in different grade levels, you will find that in certain instances the sequence of topics from grade level to grade level is not always in perfect alignment. These differences are intentional; particular grade levels follow specific sequencing of topics to best meet the faith development needs of the age group. Topical differences can occur between chapters depending on the grade level. The family session provides a central, overarching Scriptural focus around which your children can reflect, regardless of grade level or chapter content. With a little bit of creativity, you can help each child connect what he or she is learning in the student text to the Scriptural focus of the family session. The family session process allows each of your children to work on his or her chapters in the same

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to participate more fully in the worship of the whole faith community. Just as you have certain ways of praying with which are you most comfortable, you will find that your children have their preferences too. Many approaches to prayer are included in the Be My Disciples student books, and each family session begins and ends with prayer that focuses around the Scriptural theme for the session. Together with your children, you can create opportunities in the daily life of your household to hear the voice of God speaking to you.

Getting Ready....Some Ideas

Choose a time. Decide on a time to work on Be My Disciples with your children. You might like to invite your children to share their opinions and set up a schedule together. If possible, choose a day of the week and time when you can meet consistently. A regular schedule will be easier to follow. Allow an hour to an hour and a half for a family session. Choose a place. Decide on a place to meet. Again, ask your children for their input. Do they prefer to work at a table or would they prefer to sprawl on the floor? Keep in mind that televisions and telephones can be tempting distractions. Decide where to pray. Decide on a place to gather as a family for prayer at the beginning and end of each session. This can be a corner of a room where you place a small table, and cover it with a cloth that perhaps reflects the color of the current liturgical season. Place a candle, cross, a Bible on the table. Add flowers or a living plant and other symbols or sacramentals (sacred objects) such as a small statue of a Saint or of the Blessed Mother. Let your children be involved in making this space a special place to gather as a family to pray.

Preview the family session and student chapter(s). Begin by reading through each family session before facilitating it with your children. Make special note of the Scripture theme for the session. Next, preview the corresponding chapter in your children’s books. At this point, you can begin to formulate ideas for how you can help your children connect the theme of the family session to what they will learn in their chapters. Ask yourself how what your child will learn in his or her chapter connects to the Scripture theme for the session. Gather materials. Gather materials you will need for the family session. These include materials listed in the session, as well as materials specific to your children’s chapters. You will need a Bible for every session. If your family does not own a Bible, an edition of the New American Bible is the best choice. Preview BeMyDisciples.com. Go online to BeMyDisciples.com to access chapter and grade level specific practical and creative resources you can use to enrich your children’s learning.

Preview the student books. Before your first family session, sit down with one of the student books. Start with the table of contents. This will serve as your basic orientation to the units and chapter topics. Then thumb through the book and take note of the layout and flow of each chapter (see pages 10-11 in this guide). Familiarize yourself with where the activities, reflection questions, and special features appear.

INTRODUCTION

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1

Chapter

Teach Me Your Ways

BACKGROUND As you begin the adventure of sharing faith with your children through the Be My Disciples curriculum, the Psalmist’s prayer becomes a central theme of this special time you will spend with them: “Teach me, LORD, your way, that I may walk in your truth” (Psalm 86:11). Throughout the year you have the wonderful opportunity to enter into the mystery of faith with your children and walk with them as they learn what it means to know, love, and serve God. Faith is God’s wondrous gift to us. It is our response to God who reveals himself to us and gives himself to us … it is our response to God, who brings us a “superabundant light” as we search for the ultimate meaning of our lives. Our hearts seek God. The hearts of our children seek God. We are created by God and for God, and God draws us to himself (See Catechism of the Catholic Church, 26, 27). This first session begins your family’s exploration of our Catholic faith—what we believe, how we worship, how we live. As you work through the chapters together, you will reflect on key questions such as these: How do we come to know who God is? How do we come to know God’s ways? How does God reveal himself to us? How does our Church pray? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? In Chapter 1 of each of the grade levels, your children will explore and learn faith concepts such as God’s Word, the gift of faith, the meaning of Divine Revelation, and how God most completely reveals himself to us through Jesus Christ. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue or Gift of the Holy Spirit that both empowers and guides them, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue or gift, and be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be disciples of Jesus. With you, they will reflect on how what they are learning teaches about God’s way.

FOR REFLECTION How has your faith in God helped you to find what is true and good in your life?

“Teach me, LORD, your way, that I may walk in your truth” (Psalm 86:11). WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus. AT A GLANCE Grade 1: The Bible The Bible, which is God’s Word, is where we learn about God’s love. Grade 2: The Bible The Bible, which is the revealed and written Word of God, is made up of the Old and New Testaments; the Gospels tell us about Jesus. Grade 3: God Speaks to Us God’s gift of faith helps us know and believe in him; God speaks to us through the Bible and through the Church. Grade 4: God’s Word to Us The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of the Bible, which is the inspired Word of God; the New Testament begins with the four Gospels. Grade 5: Speak, Lord Divine Revelation is God making himself known and revealing his plan of Creation and Salvation; God most fully reveals himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. Grade 6: The Gift of Faith God placed in our hearts the desire to know, love, and serve him; Jesus invites us to have faith in God; the creeds express the Church’s faith in God. OUR FOCUS • God reveals himself to us; God shows us the way to himself. • God gives us the gift of faith to help us know and believe in him.

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getting STARTED IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 1 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, and a Bible. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child. CHECKING IN... “Who is God?” Pose this simple yet profound question to your children. Their answers will surprise and delight, and likely challenge you to listen to who God is to them at this time in their lives. Gather at the family’s table around a large piece of paper with some crayons or markers, and have the children assist you in creating a word web around the question. Write “Who is God?” in the center of the paper, and together write down the words and phrases that come to mind around the question. Talk briefly about their responses; even share a few of your own. Suggest that every day we can grow in our knowledge of who God is, experience how much he loves us, and learn how to best love him through how we live and how we serve others. Explain that in the next several chapters, they will explore how God makes himself known to us. Give the children several minutes to scan through their Be My Disciples student books. Point out the various features of their texts (see pages 10 and 11 of this guide). Explain that they will each learn from the chapters in their own Be My Disciples books. The family will then share and discuss what they are learning, and pray together using the Be My Disciples At Home Family Guide.

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. • Invite a child to read aloud Psalm 86:11 from the Bible. • Pose the question: How do we learn God’s ways? Listen to responses, and then tell the children that today they will explore ways that we can learn about what God wants of us. • End with the following prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

Holy God,

we praise your name. You are all knowing, and all loving. You are always present with us. Teach us your way. Show us how to love you. Teach us how to love each other the best that we can. Guide us as we learn the truth about you. Bless our family. Bless all those in need today. Amen.

MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q newsprint or large sheet of paper, markers or crayons q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 1

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CHAPTER 1

DISCOVER

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to quietly read page 11 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 - 6 only) and share what they are going to learn about. Point out that each of them will discover how God teaches us about himself. INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 12 in their books. Point out the main heading on the page. Explain that this page in each book explores a way that the Church sets an example for us of how to be good disciples. • Give each child time to read the page silently. You may need to assist first graders. REINFORCE • Encourage the children to share with you and with each other what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power feature. Briefly talk about the topic of each box, and how it relates to the page content. See if they can give examples of how family members practice these virtues. Together, choose one of these virtues or gifts to practice this week. CONNECT Give the children time to complete the page activities. Be ready to help your younger children with the activities if necessary. If the page response is a question, discuss it with your child while the others complete their activities. Invite the children to share their work with each other.

TEACH  ave each child read aloud the Faith Focus question •H on page 13 in their books. Tell them they will learn the answer in the next pages. Give the children time to read pages 13-15 in their books. Help younger children as needed or pair an older child with a younger one. •You may want to ask the children to make flash cards for the Faith Vocabulary words. Have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE •G  ive each of your children a piece of paper and pen, pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 13 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. • Th  en, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: How does our family help us to know and love God’s way? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together. • Make a list of favorite Bible stories. Invite each person to make an illustration of their story. Share what each story tells us about God and how to follow him. • Act out a Bible story. Gather props and costumes from around your home. Let one of your children act as the “director”. Talk about what your family has learned about God from the story. • Write thank you cards and send them to people who have helped you to learn more about God.

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Disciple Power TRUTHFULNESS The guiding Scripture for this family session is “Teach me, O God, your way, that I may walk in your truth (Psalm 86:11).” God is the source of all truth. God’s Word is truth, and his desire is that we live in the truth. Truthfulness is the habit of being honest in our actions and in our words, and is a virtue that shows the true character of a person.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer. Point out the importance of learning about God so that we can follow him and walk in his truth. Chapter 1 has helped the children learn more about God’s ways. RESPOND • Invite your children to turn to page 16 in their books and read the page title. Explain that this page summarizes the lesson, provides a response activity, and invites them to make a faith choice for the week. • Have the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about it. CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice box. Have them share with their family what they have decided.

WRAP UP

WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 17) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Gather together in a family prayer space. Invite everyone to think of a person who has helped them to know and love God. This would be a person who has taught them something about God’s ways. Allow for a few moments of quiet reflection. • Light a candle, and place a Bible next to the candle. Briefly talk about light as a symbol and about how light shows us the way in the darkness. Light is a symbol of faith—Jesus is the Light of the world and he shows us the way to God. Show the children the photo on page 18 of this guide, and suggest that God is the light that shines in the darkness. Leader: God, our Creator, we are thankful for the time we have shared today. Be with us as we pray together. Pass the Bible from one family member to another. As each person holds the Bible, ask them to share the name of a person who has helped them come to know and love God, saying, “God, I thank you for ___________ who has helped teach me your way.” After each petition, have the rest of the family respond,“Lord, help us know you and love you.” Leader: God of truth, help us find you in the Bible, in the Church, in creation, and in other people. Help us to always listen when you speak. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

WE REMEMBER • Have the children complete the Chapter Review on page 17 and invite them to share their answers. • Ask each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters.

End today’s prayer with the theme song, “We Are Disciples”, from the Be My Disciples Music Program. It appears on each grade level CD.

• Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “I can learn about God’s ways by ______________.”

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning. CHAPTER 1

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2

Chapter

See God’s Works

BACKGROUND Where do you see the works of God? Pause for a moment to remember the presence of God in your day. Whether it is in the midst of the hustle and bustle, in the quiet, in the routine, or in the chaos that family life sometimes can be, God is present. Signs of God’s love surround us. All of creation, living and non-living, points to the existence of the living God and his love for us. We first come to know God’s Revelation of himself in the marvelous works of creation. We also come to know God in the events of Salvation History through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. And we come to know God most completely through his Son, Jesus, who shows us the way to know, love, and serve God. You and your children hold a gift that is a treasure—the gift of faith. By the gift of faith, we seek to better understand who God is. By the gift of faith we can sing as the Psalmist did: “Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the people” (based on Psalm 66:5). In their Chapter 2 student books, depending on their grade levels, your children will explore faith concepts such as: the Bible and God’s loving plan of Salvation; God the Creator and his loving care for us and all of his creation; God’s gift of faith which helps us know him and believe in him; and Jesus as the greatest sign of God’s love. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and how our Church expresses that virtue. They will be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be a disciple of Jesus. Together you will reflect on how your family, a household of faith-filled people, sees the works of God present both in your home and in the world.

“Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the people” (based on Psalm 66:5). AT A GLANCE Grade 1: God Loves Us God’s gift of faith helps us know and believe in him; Jesus shows us who God is. Grade 2: We Know and Love God God reveals himself in creation; Jesus is the greatest sign of God’s love. Grade 3: God the Creator God is the Creator; God created us in his image and likeness. Grade 4: I Will Be Your God God gives us the gift of faith; God has revealed himself most fully in his Son, Jesus Christ. Grade 5: The Word of God The Bible is the inspired Word of God; the New Testament reveals that Jesus Christ is the new and everlasting Covenant. Grade 6: The Word of God Through the Bible, God reveals himself and his loving plan of Salvation. OUR FOCUS • God reveals himself to us in Jesus, his Son. • The wondrous works of God are all around us.

FOR REFLECTION How has your faith in God helped you to find what is true and good in your life?

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 2 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, a Bible, and so forth. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child. CHECKING IN... Have you ever considered that your family’s home is a gallery of sorts? Look around your home. What do you see? Perhaps you see works of art, school projects and do-ityourself home improvement projects, photos, personalized screensavers on the family computer, or a vegetable or flower garden. With your children, take a tour around your home. Ask them to point out their “works”— things that reveal a little something about who they are. For example, while in a child’s bedroom say something such as “Here we see the works of Johnny” and name what you see. Then, after you have canvassed the house together, ask the children “Where do you see the works of God?” Listen to all the examples the children can give, then add a few of your own. Point out that the works of God are all around us, everywhere we look. Ask the children “How do we learn about the works of God?” Listen to their responses and suggest that in this session they will explore ways that we discover the works of God.

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. • Invite a child to read aloud Psalm 66:5 from the family’s Bible. • Ask each child to name one work of God that they have experienced today (such as the love of a family member, an experience of joy or forgiveness, or a beautiful blue sky). • End with the prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

Loving God, Creator of the universe,

we ask for your blessing upon us. Help us remember that you have created each of us in your image and likeness. Help us remember that each member of our family is a work of God. Jesus, your Son, shows us who you are and teaches us to know you, to love you, and to serve you. Bless our time together today. Amen.

MATERIALS

q Bible

q Be My Disciples student books

q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q newsprint or large sheet of paper, markers or crayons q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 2

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CHAPTER 2

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to read quietly page 19 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. Take time to allow them to do so. • Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 – 6 only). Talk about the similarities and differences in what they are each going to learn in their chapters. • Point out that each of them will discover, in their chapter, ways that we come to see the works of God. INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 20 in their books. Draw their attention to the art or photos on the page and ask them to describe what they see. • Invite the children to read aloud the titles on their respective pages, and then give them time to read the page. REINFORCE • Use guiding questions and statements that encourage the children to share what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue on their respective pages. Briefly talk about the virtues, and how they are related to the content on the page. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. • Use the Disciple Power information on this page, or choose another Disciple Power virtue from one of the children’s chapters to focus on this week with your children.

DISCOVER TEACH  ave each child read aloud the Faith Focus question on •H page 21 in their books. Let the children discuss possible answers to the questions. •G  ive the children time to read pages 21-23 in their books. Work with younger children to help them through the reading and activities. Or, pair an older child with a younger sibling. • I f the children are making Faith Vocabulary cards for the chapters, have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE  ive each of your children a piece of paper and pen, •G pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 21 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. • Th  en, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: How does our family honor the works of God’s creation? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT  hoose one of the following activities to do together, choose C one of the activities in your children’s books (pages 21-23) to do together, or design a similar activity of your own. • Look at baby pictures of each family member.

CONNECT • Give the children time to complete the activity on the page. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary.

•H  ave family members tell the stories about each other’s first years of life. •G  o for a walk and name the gifts of creation that you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.

• Invite the children to share their activities with each other.

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Disciple Power REVERENCE The guiding Scripture for this family session is “Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the people” (based on Psalm 66:5). Reverence is the habit of respecting and honoring the works of God. It is a virtue and Gift of the Holy Spirit. We show reverence to someone or something by our words and our actions. Discuss ways your family can show respect for God’s Word, for each other and all God’s creation.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer: “Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the people” (based on Psalm 66:5). Ask them to share the works of God they have learned about in Chapter 2. RESPOND • Invite your children to turn to page 24 in their books. This page summarizes the lesson teaching, provides an integration activity, and invites them to make a faith choice to live as disciples. • Have the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about the activity. CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice section on the page. Have them share what they have decided to do.

• Ask each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters. • Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “I will see the works of God by ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 25) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Gather together in a family prayer space. Invite everyone to think about how they have experienced God’s work and seen his tremendous deeds in the past week. Allow for a few moments of quiet reflection. • Give everyone a minute or two to find an object in your home that symbolizes the works of God. This could be a plant, an art project, or the family Bible. Once again, gather the family for prayer. Leader: God, our Creator, we are thankful for the time we have shared today. Be with us as we pray together. Ask each person to present their object and say, “I am thankful for ________.” After each person speaks, the rest of the family responds, “(Name), you are created in God’s image. You are an amazing work of God.” Leader: God, help us remember to always give thanks for your wondrous deeds. Help us to show reverence for all that you have made. Guide us so that we can work together to bring your love to the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

WRAP UP

End today’s prayer with the theme song, “We Are Disciples”, from the Be My Disciples Music Program.

WE REMEMBER • Have the children complete the Chapter Review on page 25 and invite them to share their answers.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning. CHAPTER 2

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3

Chapter

Great Is the Lord

BACKGROUND Life is God’s generous gift to humankind. The beauty of creation, the order of the universe, and the intricacies of all living things point to the wonder and greatness of God. God has come to us and comes to us now. He has unveiled, or revealed, himself and his loving plan of goodness (of creation and Salvation) to us. Throughout Salvation History to this very day, people from all walks of life in all times and places have praised the name of God. Mary, the Mother of God proclaimed God’s greatness in her song of praise when she said yes to God’s invitation to be the mother of his Son, Jesus. You and your children, together with the whole Church, can join with Mary to magnify the Lord when you proclaim: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:46). God’s grace pulls your family into the light and life of faith. You are empowered, or graced to conform your lives to the will of God. In their Chapter 3 student books, depending on their grade levels, your children will discover much about the greatness of God. They will explore faith concepts such as God the Father, God’s creation of the world out of love, the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and Mary’s role in God’s plan of Salvation. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and how our Church expresses that virtue. They will be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be a disciple of Jesus. Together you will reflect on how your family rejoices in the presence of our God and proclaims the greatness of the Lord by how you live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

FOR REFLECTION How have you experienced the greatness of the Lord?

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:46). AT A GLANCE Grade 1: God, Our Father and Creator God made the world out of love; we are created in God’s image and likeness; Jesus taught us that God is our Father. Grade 2: The Holy Trinity The Holy Trinity is God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Grade 3: Mary Trusted God God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son, Jesus; Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Mary; Mary shows us what it means to say “yes” to God. Grade 4: The Mystery of God God is the Almighty who is all knowing, all loving, and faithful; God is the Creator and we are created in his image and likeness. Grade 5: The Holy Trinity The Holy Trinity is the central belief of the faith of the Church whose mystery is fully realized in Jesus Christ; we profess belief in the Holy Trinity when we say the Nicene Creed. Grade 6: The Word of God Creation is the work of the Holy Trinity; the mystery of the Holy Trinity is at the center of our faith.

OUR FOCUS • God reveals himself and his loving plan of creation and redemption. • As Jesus’ disciples, we proclaim God’s greatness when we say “yes” to God through our words and actions.

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 3 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, a Bible, and so forth. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child. CHECKING IN... Ask the children to describe how people generally react when something amazing, awesome, or wondrous happens to them. Tell the children that something amazing and wondrous happened to Mary in the Gospels. Ask if they can recall the scene from the Gospels where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary. Have the children tell or act out the story as they remember it. You may want to read the Scripture story (see Luke 1:26-37).

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. • Invite a child to read aloud Luke 1:46 from the family’s Bible. • Ask each child to name one reason why they know that “God is great.” • End with the prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

Loving God,

we ask for your blessing upon us. Help us place our trust in you as all of the people of faith who have come before us have done. Help us see your greatness and love in every moment of our day. May we always rejoice in your presence here in our home. Bless our time together today. Amen.

MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q index cards and pencils for Faith Vocabulary cards (optional) q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 3

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CHAPTER 3

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to quietly read page 27 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. For example, they can summarize the page, read the Bible passage, or ask the family one of the reflection questions. • Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 - 6 only) that appears at the top of the page. Talk about the similarities and differences in what they are each going to learn in their chapters. • Point out that each of them will discover, in their chapter, the “greatness of the Lord.” INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 28 in their books. Draw their attention to the art or photos on the page and ask them to describe what they see. • Invite the children to read aloud the titles on their respective pages, and then give them time to read the page. REINFORCE • Use guiding questions and statements that encourage the children to share what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue on their respective pages. Briefly talk about the virtues, and how they are related to the content on the page. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. Invite the children to tell a story about someone they know who lives that virtue. • Use the Disciple Power information on this page, or choose another Disciple Power virtue to focus on with your children. CONNECT • Give the children time to complete the activity on the page. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary. • Invite the children to share their activities with each other.

DISCOVER TEACH • Have each child read aloud the Faith Focus question on page 29 in their books. If you’d like, let the children discuss possible answers to the questions. • Give the children time to read pages 29-31 in their books. Work with younger children to help them through the reading and activities. Or, pair an older child with a younger sibling. The older child can guide his or her sibling through the pages. • If the children are making Faith Vocabulary cards for the chapters, have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE •Give each of your children a piece of paper and pen, pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 29 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. •Then, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: What reasons does our family have to rejoice in God? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together, choose one of the activities in your children’s books (pages 29-31) to do together, or design a similar activity of your own. • Awaken your children’s awareness of the gift of wonder. Share with them the wonder and awe you experience in creation and in the world around you. • Write a special family prayer together that expresses the wonder and awe you experience at God’s presence in your household. Pray this prayer at family meals.

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Disciple Power WONDER Wonder is one of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Traditionally, this gift is called fear of the Lord. It is also described as “awe.” Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel in the Scripture passage for this family session is a response of wonder and awe. Share with your children how we, like Mary, can use all our words and actions to tell God we love him. Tell the children that sharing with each other, helping each other, and obeying you as their parents are just a few ways they can show their wonder at God’s love. Reinforce that these actions give praise to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:46). Ask them to share what they have learned about the greatness of the Lord in Chapter 3. RESPOND • Invite your children to turn to page 32 in their books. Explain to them that this is the I Follow Jesus page which will appear in each chapter. It summarizes the lesson teaching, provides an integration activity, and invites them to make a faith choice to live as a disciple. • Have the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about the activity. CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice section on the page. Have them share what they have decided with the family.

WRAP UP WE REMEMBER • Have the children complete the Chapter Review on page 33 and invite them to share their answers. • Ask each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters. • Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “I see the greatness of God around me when ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 33) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Gather the family in a family prayer space. Have everyone think about one way that they have recently seen the greatness of the Lord either at home, in school, at the parish, or in the neighborhood. Begin today’s prayer with the theme song,“Woman of God”, from the Be My Disciples Music Program. • Light a candle, and pray: Leader: Lord, you are great indeed. We rejoice in your presence here in our home. Be with us as we pray together. Ask each person to share one way they have seen the greatness of the Lord. After each person shares, together pray “O God, you are great indeed.” Leader: May we sing praise to God as Mary did. All: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:46). Leader: God of all goodness, we rejoice in your presence. May we experience wonder and awe at your great love and your great works in our lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning. CHAPTER 3

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Chapter

A New Creation

BACKGROUND Sometimes, when we look out at the world, it may not be goodness and love that we see. There may be times when we teeter on the edge of despair because not everyone loves, people struggle and suffer, relationships are tested. Violence, disorder, and fear can seep into our communities, our homes. We see evil, sin, and death marring the goodness of God’s creation; to put it simply, we see a world in need of redemption. As people of faith, we turn to Jesus Christ and hear his invitation: Be my disciples. In their Be My Disciples books, your children have been learning that everything—yes, everything God created reveals his infinite goodness and love. We believe with all our hearts that God created a very good world. The awesome, wonderful, and almighty Creator of the universe, of all that is, visible and invisible, the One who created humanity in the divine image and likeness, has imprinted his image on creation. Through creation he invites us to know and love him. This truth about creation is our hope for the future. God’s plan of goodness will be restored in Jesus Christ, and will give glory and honor to him forever. Saint Paul explains it this way in his Second Letter to the Corinthians: “So, whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God…” (2 Corinthians 5:17, 18). In their Chapter 4 student books, depending on their grade levels, your children will continue their discovery of God’s plan of goodness, intended from the beginning of creation. They will explore faith concepts such as: God the Creator; Jesus, the Son of God who shared God’s love with everyone; Jesus the Messiah, the Savior God promised to send to announce the Kingdom of God; qualities of God; Original Sin; and our reconciliation with God the Father through Jesus Christ.

FOR REFLECTION What “old things” do you need to let “pass away”?

“So, whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God…” (2 Corinthians 5:17, 18). They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and how our Church expresses that virtue. They will be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be a disciple of Jesus. AT A GLANCE Grade 1: Jesus, the Son of God Jesus is the Son of God and son of Mary who shared God’s love with everyone. The family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is the Holy Family. Grade 2: God, Our Father God is the Creator who is almighty and can do all things. Jesus taught us that God is our Father. Grade 3: Jesus, the Son of God Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior God promised to send. Jesus announced the Good News of God’s kingdom. Grade 4: God’s Promise God created us to be happy with him now and forever. God promised to send someone who would save all people from sin. Jesus is the Savior God promised. Grade 5: Great is the Lord God is one, almighty, holy, eternal, love and truth. God is the Creator. The sin of Adam and Eve was the beginning of sin in the world. Grade 6: The Word of God God is Father, Creator of all things. Original Sin is the sin that Adam and Eve committed. In Jesus Christ we have been reconciled with one another and with all of creation. OUR FOCUS • Jesus has reconciled us with God the Father, with one another, and with all of creation. • As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are a “new creation.”

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 4 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, a Bible, and so forth. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child. CHECKING IN... Recall with your children your discussion from the last lesson about the works of God. Then invite them to each share one or two things about God’s creation that they think are most beautiful or awesome. Ask them to share about one or two parts of God’s creation that have become less than beautiful, or marred because of misuse or abuse by humans. After they have offered their examples, give a few of your own. Point out that God created everything to be beautiful, but parts of God’s creation need to be made “new” again, including humans! Ask the children what they think it means to become a “new creation”. Listen to their responses and then, with them helping, give examples of what this means practically—such as forgive each other, be compassionate, think of others’ needs first, and so forth.

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. • I nvite a child to read aloud 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18 from the family’s Bible. • In the form of prayers of petition, have family members pray for people and situations they see that need to be made “new” again. End each prayer with “Lord, make us a new creation.” • End with the prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

Holy God, you created this

beautiful world and this beautiful family. Guide us as we discover how to love you in the best way possible by the way we love each other. Help us see your greatness and love in every moment of our day. May we always look to Jesus Christ, your Son, and follow him as true disciples. Through your Son, we have been made new creations to know, love, and serve you every day. Bless our time together today. Amen.

MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q index cards and pencils for Faith Vocabulary cards (optional) q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 4

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CHAPTER 4

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN

DISCOVER TEACH

• Invite your children to quietly read page 35 in their Be My Disciples student books.

• Have each child read aloud the Faith Focus question on page 37 in their books.

• Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. For example, they can summarize the page, read the Bible passage, or ask the family one of the reflection questions. They may want to show each other the photos or images on the page.

• Give the children time to read pages 37-39 in their books. Work with younger children to help them through the reading and activities. Or, pair an older child with a younger sibling.

• Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 - 6 only) that appears at the top of the page. Talk about the similarities and differences in what they are each going to learn in their chapters. • Point out that each of them will discover, in their chapter, ways that God calls us to be “new creations” in his Son, Jesus Christ. INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 36 in their books. Draw their attention to the art or photos on the page and ask them to describe what they see. • Invite the children to read aloud the titles on their respective pages, and then give them time to read the page. REINFORCE • Use guiding questions and statements that encourage the children to share what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue on their respective pages. Briefly talk about the virtues, and how they are related to the content on the page. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. You may want to choose one of the virtues and have the children tell a story about someone they know who lives that virtue. • Use the Disciple Power information on this page, or choose another Disciple Power virtue to focus on with your children. CONNECT •G  ive the children time to complete the activity on the page. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary.

• If the children are making Faith Vocabulary cards for the chapters, have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE •Give each of your children a piece of paper and pen, pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 37 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. •Then, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: What new things is God doing in our family? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together, choose one of the activities in your children’s books (pages 37 – 39) to do together, or design a similar activity of your own. • Choose one of the Scripture passages from page 35 of one of the children’s student books. Make a banner using that verse. Display it where it can remind everyone about how wonderful God is. • Describe a “new creation” experience the family has had. • Grow as a forgiving family. Include the prayer “Lord, have mercy” as part of your daily prayer.

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Disciple Power JUSTICE “That’s not fair!” children often exclaim to parents, teachers, and coaches. Justice is the virtue, or good habit, of treating everyone fairly with love, care, and respect. Jesus is the role model of what it means to be just. He treated all people with fairness and with dignity. As parents, you are role models to your children and can help them cultivate the habit of justice by modeling fair treatment of all members of the household. As part of Christ’s new creation, we are called to change hearts and minds, transform our communities, and strive to bring a little bit of God’s justice into the world.

WRAP UP WE REMEMBER • Have the children complete the Chapter Review on page 41 and invite them to share their answers. • Ask each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters. • Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “I am a ‘new creation’ when I ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 41) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Gather together around a family prayer space.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer: “So, whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God…” (2 Corinthians 5:17, 18). Ask them to share what they have learned about the new things that have come because of Jesus Christ. RESPOND • Invite your children to turn to page 40 in their books. Explain to them that this is the I Follow Jesus page which will appear in each chapter. It summarizes the lesson teaching, provides an integration activity, and invites them to make a faith choice to live as a disciple. • Have the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about the activity.

• I nvite everyone to think about how their words and actions have been examples of how they are a “new creation” in Jesus Christ. • Together pray as a family. (The response is “Yes. Amen.”) Leader: As new creations in Jesus Christ, let us bring God’s love and goodness to our world each day. All: Yes. Amen. Leader: Let us look for God in the goodness of creation. All: Yes. Amen. Leader: Let us look for God in the goodness of the people we meet this week. All: Yes. Amen.

CHOOSE

Leader: Let us look for God in family and friends who comfort and guide us. All: Yes. Amen.

Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice section on the page. Have them share what they have decided with the family.

Leader: Let us go in peace. Let our words and actions spread God’s Word to all. All: Yes. Amen.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning.

End today’s prayer with a song from the Be My Disciples Music Program, such as “Open My Eyes.” CHAPTER 4

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5

Chapter

Jesus, the Messiah

BACKGROUND The mystery of the Incarnation-the fact that the Son of God became human without giving up his divinity- reveals the infinite love of God for us. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. In him, God’s promises are fulfilled. Jesus’ whole life on Earth proclaimed God’s love and care for us all. For most of his life on Earth, Jesus was not a recognized public figure. He lived a life similar to that of most of his contemporaries and gave little evidence of his greatness. He lived in Nazareth, obeyed Mary and Joseph, and observed the laws and traditions of the Jewish religion. After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, Jesus began his public life and ministry, a ministry of compassion, healing, and forgiveness. At one point during his ministry, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (based on Matthew 16:15). Simon Peter answered: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). All of Jesus’ deeds and words reveal Jesus as the Messiah and invite us to follow him and become his disciples. In Chapter 1 of each of the grade levels, your children will explore faith concepts such as: God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son; Jesus’ birth is a sign of God’s love and mercy; Jesus is the Savior God promised to send; Jesus is the Messiah and Second Person of the Holy Trinity; and the Paschal Mystery. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and how our Church expresses that virtue. They will be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be a disciple of Jesus.

FOR REFLECTION Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” What is your response?

”You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). AT A GLANCE Grade 1: Mary, the Mother of Jesus God chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus; Mary loves and trusts God. Grade 2: Jesus, Son of God The Covenant is a sign of God’s love and mercy; the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, is a sign of God’s love and mercy. Grade 3: Jesus is Risen! Jesus suffered and died on the Cross to save all people from their sins; Jesus rose from the dead. Grade 4: The Son of God Jesus is the only Son of God; everything Jesus did was a sign of God’s love for people. Grade 5: Jesus Christ, Son of God Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah; Jesus is Lord, true God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; Mary is the Mother of the Church. Grade 6: Son of God, Son of Mary Jesus is the Messiah; God the Father chose the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son.

OUR FOCUS • Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah.

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross.

IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 5 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, and a Bible. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child.

• Invite a child to read aloud Psalm 86:11 from the Bible. • Pose the question: How do we learn God’s ways? Listen to responses, and then tell the children that today they will explore ways that we can learn about what God wants of us. • End with the following prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

CHECKING IN... Talk with your children to find out what they already know about Jesus, the Son of God. Have them complete the sentence: “Jesus is ____________.” Let them complete it several times with varying descriptions if they wish. Be sure to add your own sentences to the mix! Listen to what they share and then suggest the following: We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Let’s each share a story about Jesus that we remember from the Bible.

God the Father of all,

bless our family as we learn about your Son, sign of your love and mercy, son of Mary, the Christ, the Messiah, and Lord. Amen.

MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils or pens q index cards and pencils for Faith Vocabulary cards (optional) qm  aterials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 5

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CHAPTER 5

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to quietly read page 47 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 - 6 only) and share what they are going to learn about. Point out that they will discover that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God. INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 48 in their books. Point out the main heading on the page. Remind them that this page explores a way that the Church sets an example for us in how to be good disciples. • Give each child time to read the page silently. You may need to assist first graders. REINFORCE • Encourage the children to share with you and each other what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue. Briefly talk about the topic of each box, and how it relates to the page content. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. Together, choose one of these virtues or gifts to practice this week. CONNECT • Give the children time to complete the page activities. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary. If the page response is a question, discuss it with your child while the others complete their activities.Invite the children to share their work with each other. • Invite the children to share their activities with each other.

DISCOVER TEACH • Have each child read aloud the Faith Focus question on page 49 in their books. Tell them they will learn the answer in the next pages. Give the children time to read pages 49-51 in their books. Help younger children as needed or pair an older child with a younger one. • You may want to ask the children to make flash cards for the Faith Vocabulary words. Have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE •Give each of your children a piece of paper and pen, pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 49 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. •Then, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: What other names and titles does our family use for Jesus, the Messiah? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together. • List the ways that your family follows Jesus. Then make a mural illustrating the ways that your family follows Jesus. • Look in books or visit your church to find statues and paintings of Jesus. Talk about what each piece of art tells about Jesus. • Watch the news or look in the newspaper for examples of people who are helping others. Discuss how these people are doing what Jesus taught us to do.

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Disciple Power FAITHFULNESS The gift of faithfulness helps us to live according to God’s plan. It was an act of faith for Simon Peter to answer Jesus’ question with the words, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16).” Another example of faithfulness is Mary, who upon learning that she was to be the Mother of God, showed her faithfulness to God throughout her entire life. Explain to your children that when we say that God is faithful, we mean that God will never fail us. God is always with us, loving and caring for us. In turn, God asks us to be faithful to him. Help your children better understand this concept by asking them to think of someone they consider a good friend. Discuss the qualities they look for in a friend. Invite them to identify ways in which friends show their faithfulness.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer. Ask them to share what they have learned about Jesus Christ. RESPOND • Invite your children to turn to page 52 in their books and read the page title. Remind them that this page summarizes the lesson teaching, provides a response activity, and invites them to make a faith choice for the week. • Have the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about the activity. CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice box. Have them share what they have decided.

WRAP UP

• Ask each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters. • Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “When Jesus asks me, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ I reply, ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 53) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Find a religious object such as a cross to use during your family prayer time. • Gather your family for prayer in a family prayer space. • Light a candle, and pray: Leader: God our Creator, we are thankful for the time we have shared today. Be with us as we pray together. Each person, one at a time, holds the cross or religious object. Have the rest of the family members take turns naming why they are thankful for the family member holding the cross. Each family member will say, “God, I am thankful for _____ because _______.” After each prayer of thanks, the whole family responds together, “Help us to be like the Holy Family and the first disciples.” Leader: Father in Heaven, we give you thanks and praise for our family. Bless us and help us show our love for you and for one another as the Holy Family and the first disciples did. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. All: Amen.

End today’s prayer with a song from the Be My Disciples Music Program for Unit 2.

WE REMEMBER • Have the children complete the Chapter Review on page 53 and invite them to share their answers.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning. CHAPTER 5

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6

Chapter

Children of Light

BACKGROUND From the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus challenged the religious leaders of his day to think about the true meaning of the Covenant that God had made with his people. Jesus expelled demons and forgave sins. Jesus healed on the Sabbath. He challenged the triviality of the endless number of man-made laws by preaching the Law of Love. He challenged his disciples to move away from the darkness of sin into the light. Saint Paul explains it this way in his Letter to the Ephesians: “Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10). Jesus’ teachings and actions eventually led to his Passion and Death. The suffering of Jesus was not without purpose. Though Jesus was without sin, he suffered willingly for all of us. In accepting his death on a cross, Jesus placed his life in complete conformity with the divine plan. His Resurrection opened the way for us to new life. Joined to Christ and his Death and Resurrection through our Baptism, we share in the Paschal Mystery and are empowered to live our new life in Christ. In Chapter 6 of each of their grade levels, your children will learn: Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us; Jesus died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and is alive; Jesus returned to his Father in Heaven; God sent the Holy Spirit to help the disciples teach others about Jesus; the Paschal Mystery is Jesus’ Passion, Death, Resurrection, and glorious Ascension. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue or Gift of the Holy Spirit that both empowers and guides them, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be disciples of Jesus. With you, they will reflect on how they can “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

“Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10). AT A GLANCE Grade 1: Jesus Shares God’s Love Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us; Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead and is alive. Grade 2: Jesus, the Savior Jesus is the Savior; Jesus suffered death on the Cross to save all people from their sins; God the Father raised his Son, Jesus, from death to new life. Grade 3: The Gift of the Holy Spirit God the Father sent the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name to be with the Church; the Holy Spirit came to the disciples and helped them teach about Jesus. Grade 4: The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Jesus celebrated the Last Supper; Jesus suffered and died on the Cross for us; Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to his Father in Heaven. Grade 5: The Paschal Mystery The Passover; the Paschal Mystery; by his Paschal Mystery Christ freed people from sin and death, gaining for all the promise and hope of eternal life. Grade 6: The Suffering Servant The Paschal Mystery; Jesus Christ suffered death for the redemption and Salvation of humanity.

FOR REFLECTION How does your family live as children of light?

OUR FOCUS • The Paschal Mystery is the mystery of Jesus’ Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension. • We live as children of the light when we live our faith in the Paschal Mystery.

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 6 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, and a Bible. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child. CHECKING IN... Talk with your children to find out what they already know about Jesus’ suffering, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension. (Note that for third graders, this will be a review of Chapter 5. If you have a third grader, also ask what they know about the Holy Spirit and Pentecost.) You can begin the discussion this way: We believe that Jesus died on a cross, was raised to new life, and returned to his Father in Heaven. What do you already know about these events?

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. • Invite a child to read aloud Ephesians 5:8-10 from the family’s Bible. • Pose the question: What does it mean to live as children of the light? Listen to responses, and then tell the children that today they will explore how disciples of Jesus are called to live as children of light. • End with the prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

God our loving Father,

we ask you to bless and be with our family as we learn more about the Death and Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray that your Holy Spirit may be our guide as we grow in our love of you and learn what it means to live as children of light. Amen.

MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q index cards and pencils for Faith Vocabulary cards (optional) q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 6

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CHAPTER 6

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to quietly read page 55 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 - 6 only) and share what they are going to learn about. Point out that they will learn what it means to “live as children of the light.” INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to the page 56 in their books. Point out the main heading on the page. Remind them that this page explores a way that the Church sets an example for us in how to be good disciples. • Give each child time to read the page silently. You may need to assist first graders. REINFORCE • Encourage the children to share with you and each other what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue. Briefly talk about the topic of each box, and how it relates to the page content. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. Together, choose one of these virtues or gifts to practice this week. CONNECT • Give the children time to complete the page activities. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary. If the page response is a question, discuss it with your child while the others complete their activities. Invite the children to share their work with each other. • Invite the children to share their activities with each other.

DISCOVER TEACH  ave each child read aloud the Faith Focus question •H on page 57 in their books. Tell them they will learn the answer in the next pages. Give the children time to read pages 57-59 in their books. Help younger children as needed or pair an older child with a younger one. • You may want to ask the children to make flash cards for the Faith Vocabulary words. Have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE  ive each of your children a piece of paper and pen, •G pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 57 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. •Th  en, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: What does our family do that is pleasing to the Lord? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together. • Visit your church and pray the Stations of the Cross. Afterward, talk about how the Stations of the Cross tell the story of Jesus’ Passion and Death.  e next time you take part in Mass, notice all the • Th words and symbols of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. After Mass, share what you noticed with one another to discover the ways we remember Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.

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Disciple Power HOPE Hope is one of the three Theological Virtues. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the ‘hope that does not disappoint’” and points out that “[h]ope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire” (CCC 1820). Pray the Our Father often as a family. Talk about the hopes expressed in this prayer that Jesus himself taught us. If possible, light a candle when you gather to pray it, as a reminder that your family is called to “live in the light” of Jesus Christ.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer. Ask them to share what they have learned about living as children of light. RESPOND • Invite your children to turn to page 60 in their books and read the page title. Remind them that this page summarizes the lesson teaching, provides a response activity, and invites them to make a faith choice for the week. • Have the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about the activity. CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice box. Have them share what they have decided.

• Ask each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters. • Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “I live as a child of the light when I ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 61) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Gather your family in a family prayer space for prayer. • Light a candle, and pray: Leader: God, our Creator, we are thankful for the time we have shared today. Be with us as we pray together. Reader: “Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10).” Pass the candle from person to person and invite the family to pray together as each person holds the candle, “[name], live as a child of the light.” After each statement, invite the whole family to respond, “Alleluia!” Leader: Jesus, the depth of your love for us is overwhelming. You gave your life for us. May our lives lead others to discover your love for them. In your name we pray. All: Amen.

End today’s prayer with a song from the Be My Disciples Music Program, Unit 2.

WRAP UP WE REMEMBER • Have the children complete the Chapter Review on page 61 and invite them to share their answers.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning. CHAPTER 6

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7

Chapter

Be My Witnesses

BACKGROUND The Scriptures tell us that Jesus’ followers were filled with the Holy Spirit when they were gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem fifty days after the Ascension, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost. That event, which includes the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a strong wind and tongues of fire, empowered the disciples to proclaim the Good News. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the disciples followed Jesus’ command to take his mission to the world. Before his Ascension to his Father in Heaven, Jesus told his disciples, “But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” (Acts of the Apostles 1:8). In Chapter 7 of each of their grade levels, your children will learn: the Holy Spirit helps and teaches us to pray, and gives us the gifts to help us love God and others; Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, who is our helper and teacher; the Holy Spirit came to the disciples on Pentecost; all the people of the Church are called to live holy lives and help others come to know and follow Jesus; the Holy Spirit makes the Church holy; and with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we can help continue the mission of the Church. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue or Gift of the Holy Spirit that both empowers and guides them, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be disciples of Jesus. With you, they will reflect on how they can be witnesses for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit sparks faith in the hearts of all who believe in Jesus Christ. We come to know and believe in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher, our advocate, and our helper. The Holy Spirit blesses us with gifts and empowers us to live as followers of Jesus.

FOR REFLECTION How do you witness to the presence of Jesus Christ in the world?

“But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” (Acts of the Apostles 1:8). AT A GLANCE Grade 1: The Holy Spirit, Our Helper The Holy Spirit helps and teaches us to pray and gives us the gifts to help us love God and others; the Holy Trinity is One God in Three Divine Persons. Grade 2: The Holy Spirit Jesus promised the Father would send the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit came to the disciples on Pentecost. Grade 3: The Church The Church is the holy People of God; all the people of the Church are called to live holy lives and help others know and follow Jesus. Grade 4: Receive the Holy Spirit Jesus promised that he and the Father would send the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost; the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church continues the work the Father sent Jesus to do. Grade 5: Many Gifts, One Spirit Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide the Church as her Advocate, Teacher, and Sanctifier; the Holy Spirit makes the Church holy. Grade 6: The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is at work bringing about God’s plan of Salvation within the Church and strengthening the Church to be a sign of Christ’s love; the Gifts of the Holy Spirit help us continue the mission of the Church. OUR FOCUS • Jesus promised that God the Father and he would send the Holy Spirit. • The Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ followers on Pentecost.

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• The Holy Spirit helps us “be witnesses” for Jesus.

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED

BLESS US, LORD • Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place.

IN ADVANCE

• Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross.

Briefly review the Chapter 7 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, and a Bible. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child.

• Invite a child to read aloud Acts of the Apostles 1:8 from the family’s Bible.

CHECKING IN... Gather with your children around the table with a large blank piece of paper. Brainstorm a list of values that the children think are important, such as love, patience, truthfulness or honesty, forgiveness, and so forth. Write these on the paper. Invite each child to pick one of the values, and tell about someone they know who witnesses to that value. In other words, who do they know who is loving? Patient? Truthful or honest? Forgiving? How? Suggest that people around us are witnesses of the values of Jesus. They are witnesses to what it means to be a disciple.

• Pose the question: How can we be witnesses for Jesus Christ through our words and actions? • End with the prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

Spirit of God,

who came in wind and fire, fill our hearts with courage and strength to be witnesses to Jesus Christ. Help us grow closer to you. Amen.

Talk with your children to find out what they already know about the Holy Spirit and the Church. You can begin the discussion this way: We believe that God the Holy Spirit is our helper and guide. We believe the Holy Spirit helps us be witnesses to Jesus in the world. What do you know about the Holy Spirit? MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q index cards and pencils for Faith Vocabulary cards (optional) q large piece of paper, crayons or markers q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 7

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CHAPTER 7

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to quietly read page 63 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead (grades 3 - 6 only) feature and share what they are going to learn about. Point out that they will learn what it means to give witness to Jesus Christ. INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 64 in their books. Point out the main heading on the page. Remind them that this page explores a way that the Church sets an example for us in how to be good disciples. • Give each child time to read the page silently. You may need to assist first graders. REINFORCE • Encourage the children to share with you and each other what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue. Briefly talk about the topic of each box, and how it relates to the page content. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. Together, choose one of these virtues or gifts to practice this week. CONNECT • Give the children time to complete the page activities. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary. If the page response is a question, discuss it with your child while the others complete their activities. Invite the children to share their work with each other. • Invite the children to share their activities with each other.

DISCOVER TEACH • Have each child read aloud the Faith Focus question on page 65 in their books. Tell them they will learn the answer in the next pages. Give the children time to read pages 65-67 in their books. Help younger children as needed or pair an older child with a younger one. • You may want to ask the children to make flash cards for the Faith Vocabulary words. Have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE •Give each of your children a piece of paper and pen, pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 65 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. •Connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: In what ways are members of our family Jesus’ witneses at home, school, and work? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together. • The Holy Spirit is our helper. Make a list of ways you can help one another. Invite each person to put a star by one thing that they will do this week. • List ways the Holy Spirit helps your family. Post the list on the refrigerator or in a place where everyone will see it. Make a check mark next to the things on the list as they occur this week. • Talk about the work of the Holy Spirit alive in your parish. How is your parish a witness in your community to the compassion, forgiveness, and justice of Jesus?

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Disciple Power COURAGE Courage is both a Cardinal Virtue and a Gift of the Holy Spirit. It enables us to rise above our natural fears so that we are willing to stand up for what is right, even if it means being rejected by others. Courage gives us the strength to live as we believe and to be witnesses to Jesus Christ through our words and our actions. Disciples of Jesus need courage, and we can call upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen us with this marvelous gift. Have a conversation with your children about what it means to be courageous. Challenge them to share examples of when they have seen others practicing courage. When have they practiced courage? Pray together for the gift of courage to be disciples of Jesus.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer. Ask them to share what they have learned about living as witnesses for Jesus. RESPOND

WRAP UP WE REMEMBER • H  ave the children complete the Chapter Review on page 69 and invite them to share their answers. • A  sk each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters. • Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • I nvite each child to complete this sentence: “I live as a witness to Jesus when I ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 69) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • For prayer today, use a candle as you did in the last session’s prayer, one that can be safely passed from person to person. Gather your family in a family prayer space for prayer. • Light a candle, and pray: Leader: Loving God, we are thankful for the time we have shared today. Be with us as we pray together.

• I nvite your children to turn to page 68 in their books and read the page title. This page summarizes the lesson teaching, provides a response activity, and invites them to make a faith choice for the week

Reader: “But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses … (Acts of the Apostles 1:8).”

• H  ave the children complete the activity on the page. Ask them to show or tell about the activity.

Pass the candle from person to person. As each person holds the candle everyone else says together, “[name], the Holy Spirit is your helper and guide. Be a witness to Jesus Christ.” The person holding the candle responds, “Amen.”

CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice box. Have them share what they have decided.

End today’s prayer with the theme song, “We Are Disciples”, from the Be My Disciples Music Program. It appears on each grade level CD.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning. CHAPTER 7

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8

Chapter

Go and Make Disciples

BACKGROUND The Church is the People of God and the Body of Christ. The Church is the Communion of Saints—the faithful alive on Earth and the faithful who have died, the community of the followers of Jesus who are in relationship with one another. Jesus said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). We, the Church, make Christ visible, continue his mission, and are signs of Christ in the world. Through the community of the Church our faith is nurtured and flourishes. In Chapter 8 of each of their grade levels, your children will learn: the Holy Spirit helps all the members of the Church and the Church helps us do what Jesus taught; the Saints help us live as Jesus’ followers; the Church is the People of God, Communion of Saints, and Body of Christ; Jesus founded the Church on Saint Peter the Apostle; Jesus announced the coming of the Kingdom of God; the Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic; and Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. They will learn about a Disciple Power virtue or Gift of the Holy Spirit that both empowers and guides them, explore ways people of faith have lived that virtue and be challenged to make faith choices about ways they can be disciples of Jesus. With you, they will reflect on Jesus’ words, “Go make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19).

FOR REFLECTION How do you respond to Jesus’ command, “Go make disciples …”?

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit...” (Matthew 28:19). AT A GLANCE Grade 1: The Church The Holy Spirit helps all members of the Church; the Church helps us do what Jesus taught; the Saints help us live as followers of Jesus. Grade 2: The Church The Church is the People of God who follow Jesus; the Church is the Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints. Grade 3: The Communion of Saints The Church is the Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints; Saints are those people whose love for God is stronger than their love for self or anyone else. Grade 4: The People of God The Church is the Body of Christ, the People of God, and the Communion of Saints; Jesus founded the Church on Saint Peter the Apostle; Jesus announced the Kingdom of God. Grade 5: Thy Kingdom Come! The Church is made up of the lay faithful, the ordained, and members of the consecrated life; the Church has four Marks; members of the Church work together for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Grade 6: The Mystery of the Church Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church; the Holy Spirit strengthens the Church to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic; the Kingdom of God is present in the Church. OUR FOCUS • The Church is the People of God. • We belong to the Catholic Church. The Church lives out the command of Jesus to “Go make disciples.”

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WHEREVER POSSIBLE help the children relate the content of their chapter to this family session’s Scripture focus.

getting STARTED IN ADVANCE Briefly review the Chapter 8 content in your children’s Be My Disciples student books. Make note of reflection questions or activities that may need your explanation or support. Check for materials your children may need, such as pens, paper, markers, crayons, and a Bible. Choose one or more questions or activities that you can explore one-on-one with your child. CHECKING IN... Gather at the family table. Distribute a blank piece of paper with markers or crayons to each family member. Instruct each person to draw a church. Encourage them to illustrate their churches by adding any signs or symbols inside or around the church that represent what the church is or that illustrate what the word “church” means to them.

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BLESS US, LORD • A  sk the children to bow their heads, close their eyes for a brief moment, and remember that God is present with them in this time and place. • Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. • I nvite a child to read aloud Matthew 28:19-20 from the family’s Bible. • Pose the question: How do other people know that we are disciples of Jesus? • E  nd with the prayer, followed by the Sign of the Cross.

God of all people,

bless us and be with us as we learn how to live as the People of God. Amen.

Have each family member share their drawing and tell about their “churches.” From this conversation, you will surface your children’s general understanding of “Church.” Then, discuss further using this example: We believe that the Church is the People of God. What do you think it means to be the People of God?

MATERIALS

q Bible q Be My Disciples student books q writing paper, pencils, pens or crayons q index cards and pencils for Faith Vocabulary cards (optional) q materials as needed for the student chapter activities in each book

Before your children begin their exploration of the chapter, have them skim through its pages for a preview. Encourage them to point out any special visuals, features, or activities on the pages. Then, together with your children, preview the resources and additional activities that are available for the chapter on www.BeMyDisciples.com. CHAPTER 8

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CHAPTER 8

EXPLORE LET’S BEGIN • Invite your children to quietly read page 71 in their Be My Disciples student books. • Allow them to choose something from the page that they would like to share with the family. Have each child read aloud the Looking Ahead feature (grades 3 - 6 only) and share what they are going to learn about. Point out that they will further explore what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. INTRODUCE • Have the children turn to page 72 in their books. Point out the main heading on the page. Remind them that this page explores a way that the Church sets an example for us in how to be good disciples. • Give each child time to read the page silently. You may need to assist first graders. REINFORCE • Encourage the children to share with you and each other what they read. For example, “Tell us about what you learned.” “How did this person or group follow Jesus?” • Next, have each child read aloud the Disciple Power virtue. Briefly talk about the topic of each box, and how it relates to the page content. See if they can give examples of how family members can practice the virtues. Together, choose one of these virtues or gifts to practice this week. CONNECT • Give the children time to complete the page activities. Be ready to help your younger child with the activity if necessary. If the page response is a question, discuss it with your child while the others complete their activities. Invite the children to share their work with each other. • Invite the children to share their activities with each other.

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DISCOVER TEACH • Have each child read aloud the Faith Focus question on page 73 in their books. Tell them they will learn the answer in the next pages. Give the children time to read pages 73-75 in their books. Help younger children as needed or pair an older child with a younger one. • You may want to ask the children to make flash cards for the Faith Vocabulary words. Have them write the word on one side of an index card, and write its definition on the other. Use these cards at the end of the chapter to help the children review what they have learned. REINFORCE •G  ive each of your children a piece of paper and pen, pencil, or crayons. Ask them to write the Faith Focus question that appears in their student books on page 73 at the top of the paper. Then, ask them to answer the question by writing key words, phrases, or sentences below the question. Younger children may want to draw a picture that answers the question. Older children may want to write a paragraph. Have the children share what they have written or drawn with each other. •Th  en, connect what the children have learned in their chapters to the Scripture focus for the family session by posing this question: Who told and taught members of our family about Jesus? (Answers will vary.) CONNECT Choose one of the following activities to do together. •L  ist ways your parish follows Jesus’ example. Use a parish bulletin as a reference to help you come up with ways that your parish helps others be Jesus’ disciples. • Talk about all of the people who take part in the celebration of Mass at your parish. Be sure to include the priest, music ministers, altar servers, greeters, ushers, readers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, sacristans, liturgists, and everyone gathered (the assembly). Discuss the role of each of these people or groups of people. Notice that everyone has an important role in the celebration of the Mass. •R  esearch when and how your parish began. Find the answers to these and similar questions: Who were the first parishioners? Who was the first priest? How did the parishioners raise the money for the Church to be built?

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Disciple Power PEACE A virtue that disciples of Jesus cultivate is peacefulness. The home is, undoubtedly, one of the best places for children to practice what it means to be a person of peace. Invite them to talk about concrete ways to be peacemakers in one of the following settings: at home; at school; with friends;or in the community. Help your children craft a “Family Peace Resolution” describing the commitment the members of your household have to live peacefully with each other.

DECIDE REINFORCE Remind the children of the Scripture passage from the family’s opening prayer. Ask them to share what they have learned about the Church and her role in forming people as disciples of Jesus Christ. RESPOND • I nvite your children to turn to page 76 in their books and read the page title. This page summarizes the lesson teaching, provides a response activity, and invites them to make a faith choice for the week  ave the children complete the activity on the page. •H Ask them to show or tell about the activity. CHOOSE Invite the children to complete the My Faith Choice box. Have them share what they have decided.

WRAP UP

• Ask them to read aloud the To Help You Remember statements on the page. • Invite each child to complete this sentence: “I live as an active disciple and member of the Church when I ______________.” WE PRAY Choose the prayer from one of your child’s books (page 77) to pray together as a family. Or, use the following prayer ritual. • Have your family gather in a family prayer space and form a circle for prayer. • Light a candle, and pray: Leader: God of all people, we are thankful for the time we have shared today. Be with us as we pray together. Reader: Read aloud Matthew 28:19-20 One at a time, ask each person to stand in the center of the circle. As each person stands in the circle, the other family members say together, “Lord, help [name] go and make disciples by living as a disciple of Jesus.” The person in the circle responds, “I will go and make disciples by the witness of my life.” Conclude by praying the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed together (see page 258 in the student book).

End today’s prayer with a song from the Be My Disciples Music Program, Unit 2.

WE REMEMBER  ave the children complete the Chapter Review on •H page 77 and invite them to share their answers. •A  sk each child to review the Faith Vocabulary words that appeared in their respective chapters.

Looking for More? Visit www.BeMyDisciples.com for interactive chapter reviews, activities, music suggestions, and prayers to enrich and extend your family’s learning.

CHAPTER 8

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BMD At Home Guide Preview (20709)