In Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, we are taught that “all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (40). If wit and brevity are more your speed, perhaps Mother Angelica said it better: “if you’re breathing and you’ve got two legs, you’re called to holiness.” This is an important thing for every catechist to remember, especially on days when students seem extra bitter, extra ornery, and extra closed-minded. God still loves each of them profoundly and intimately, and he wants to be in relationship with them.
One of the best ways to steer students in the right direction is to bring them to the Sacrament of Confession. After all, the whole power of this sacrament “consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship” (CCC 1468). However, those of us who are parents and teachers—especially of teenagers—know that this sacrament is not as frequently sought out as it ought to be. How can we change that? Here are three brief but hopefully effective strategies to integrating sacramental confession into the life of your high school.