Browsing Faith Formation for Middle School

The best-kept secret?

Years ago, I heard Catholic Social Teaching described as our Church's best-kept secret. I don't think of it as a secret – and certainly the Church would prefer that everyone know what the Popes, Bishops, and theologians have written over the past 130 years about how a society can best reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ.  It is, however, a complex subject.  That's why the Bishops of the United States have identified 7 major themes of Catholic Social Teaching.

Since we were discussing Catholic Social Teaching, we served pizza in class.  Why pizza?  Because Bishop Ken Untener of MIchigan, realized that using the word pizza gets the attention of teens.  He came up with a phrase to help youth remember those 7 major themes of Catholic Social Teaching. The phrase is "Please Find Round Pizza With Square Corners."  

This week there is homework for the middle school classes. We are asking parents to help their son or daughter apply Catholic Social Teaching to one issue in society today, before the next class.  Here is the assignment:

  • Ask your son or daughter to show you the “Catholic Social Teaching Pizza Chart” they completed in class. (Or download that chart here.)
  • Ask him or her to tell you what Catholic Social Teaching is, and to explain the notes he/she wrote in each of the pieces of the pizza on the chart.
  • Ask your child to find one example from a newspaper or internet news story of something in society and relate that to Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Talk about why that follows or does not follow Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Sign the pizza chart and have him/her bring it back to class on January 21st. (Or, if it will make your life easier, you can just send an email saying he/she did the assignment.)

 Here is a brief summary of the 7 themes of Catholic Social Teaching, along with the phrase about pizza, to help you with this assignment.  In addition, if you would like more information or resources on this topic, you can go to the US Catholic Bishops’ website.

As an incentive to complete the assignment, we will put the names of every student who complete the assignment into a drawing.  The winner of the drawing will receive a $25 pizza gift certificate!

Our Faith Formation classes are supported in part by the Mid-Winter Gala, which takes place on February 10 this year.  Please visit the Gala page to purchase tickets or support this important biennial Faith Formation fundraiser!

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