Discovering Catholicism’s Greatness
Sometimes our beautiful Catholic faith can be rather heady or hard to grasp. How do we encourage teens that being Catholic is something they can be proud of? Here are some suggestions, following the four pillars of the Catechism that revolve around the Creed, sacraments, the moral life, and prayer.
■ Pick a Catholic hero for each week, but put a twist on it: Try to stay away from canonized saints. Use these conversations to focus on ordinary people who have lived, or are living, their faith. Be sure to vary the age, gender, ethnicity, and even the century they were born in. Discover “normal Joes” who are faithful Catholics.
■ Have your teens pay attention each week to the Catholics they know — with the goal of settling on their own Catholic hero by month’s end. Then have them share their hero’s virtues with the group.
■ Be aware of sacramental moments at your events. The old teaching adage, “Catch them being good” applies here. Watch for moments when God’s grace is shared from one person to another, or in a particular situation. Then celebrate it. Use it to point out the active presence of God’s grace.
■ Encourage your families to sit in a different spot for Mass each Sunday this month. Take time to recognize how the sanctuary enhances the Mass from each angle.
■ Focus on the four Catholic social teachings: human dignity, the common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity. Choose age-appropriate ways to communicate each teaching.
■ Help your students choose a way to live out one of these teachings during the month (and hopefully longer).
■ Choose a short prayer, such as the Glory Be, and learn it as a group in a different language. Pray it each time you gather. Our Church is universal, and this can show our connection to each other.
■ Introduce the practice of silence at the beginning of your meetings this month. As the month progresses, add some form of prayer as you are led to do so.
Becky Groth is a producer for ODB Films.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, October 2017.
Photo credit: Melissa Askew on Unsplash