The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Youth Ministry

Do You Believe in Me or Not? When I was a student teacher of Grade 12 Philosophy Religion and Grade 11 World Religions classes, I felt inspired to have the students in both classes do an assignment that would involve them spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. The emphasis for the Philosophy class was more on whether or not they can know God exists, as we were covering St. Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs for the Existence of God at the time. For the World Religions class, the emphasis was more on communicating with God, as we were covering meditation. The... Read more
At the beginning of my second year of teaching religion in a Catholic high school, I began prompting my students in each lesson with a question that helped them apply that lesson to their own life circumstances. One day, in the middle of a lesson on original sin, I asked the students to write a letter to Jesus telling him what the “forbidden fruit” was in their lives and asking his help to resist it. Because students knew I would be collecting and reading their responses, I did not anticipate anything very serious. I was surprised, therefore, when “Monica” wrote... Read more
By definition, Catholic schools are an extension of the Church’s saving mission of evangelization, with a special responsibility to provide “a privileged environment for the complete formation of her members” within that context. [1] That “complete formation” must have as its goal a lively and enlivening relationship with Christ specifically in the Eucharist, around which all apostolic work and even the other sacraments are centered ( CCC 1324 ). Turning that belief into practice is one of the most critical activities in which a Catholic school must engage if it is to fulfill its own identity within the larger context... Read more
This is a paid advertisement in the October-December 2019 issue. Advertisements should not be viewed as endorsements from the publisher. To order the book or for more information from Ave Maria Press click here or call (800) 282-1865, ext. 1.Read more
I never thought that I was going to work with middle school students. All throughout college, I fully expected that I would spend my years in ministry with ninth through twelfth graders. But the Lord had other plans, and post-college I found myself tasked with building a new middle school youth ministry program. I was young, I was inexperienced, and I had no idea what I was doing. So, I did what any typical type-A, nerdy, recent college graduate would do in the midst of feeling overwhelmed; I reread my notes, where I found this: “Step One: build a team... Read more
Maybe it’s too much of a stretch to say that an unmarried tailor who lived with his mother is the reason communism fell in the west. Then again, maybe it’s not. Venerable Jan Tyranowski was, in many respects, an ordinary working class bachelor. But when he was 35, a homily changed his life. “It is not difficult to become a saint,” the priest said, and Tyranowski believed him. He began reading the Carmelite mystics and praying up to four hours a day. When many of Poland’s priests were sent to death camps in 1940, one of those left behind asked... Read more
I have a pretty realistic looking human skull on my desk, positioned to face my high school students. It’s constantly “looking” at them. I acquired the skull years ago from an old classroom closet and placed it on my desk. Students immediately started to notice the skull and asked, “Mr. Bitting, why do you have a skull on your desk?” I responded with Sirach 7:36 , “In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.” I also tell them about the Latin phrase memento mori (remember your death) and show them images of saints depicted with... Read more
On March 25th, Pope Francis released Christus Vivit , “Christ is alive!” This post-synodal exhortation is addressed both to young people (16 to 30 year-olds) and the entire Church. Rich with inspirational quotes and practical suggestions, the document contains many insights about youth, for youth, and for those who minister to youth, while raising many important questions that need to be addressed. About Youth A young person stands on two feet as adults do, but unlike adults, whose feet are parallel, he always has one foot forward, ready to set out, to spring ahead. Always racing onward. (140) Pope Francis... Read more
Annual St. John Bosco Conference for Evangelization & Catechesis , July 15-18, 2019, to include 3 newer tracks: Hispanic Faith and Family track, Diocesan Officials track, and Retreat track. Register here. Or call 740-283-6315.Read more
Head buried in her screen, she was more concerned with live-tweeting the event than listening to the speaker. She was so busy scrolling through social media, she didn’t realize she had walked past a friend she hadn’t seen in years. She chose a seat based on proximity to an electric outlet and was constantly asking the adult sitting by the charger on the bus to top off her phone. She arrived home cranky and sleep deprived because she had stayed up too late each night scrolling through the conference hashtags. I could be describing any teen since the invention of... Read more