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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 28, 2013

Why Be a Catholic?

Catholic Schools Week is a great chance to point out the reasons teens and adults alike are Catholic. Share or adapt the following assignment from Sr. Kieran Sawyer, SSND, to help teens answer the question "Why be a Catholic?"

Part 1

First, give the students the question "Why be a Catholic?" Tell each person to list at least five reasons why a person would want to be a member of the Catholic Church.

Next, make a composite list on the board of all the reasons why a person might want to be Catholic. List both "good" and "bad" reasons. When the list is complete ask the students to put a plus (+) sign next to what they consider to be good reasons and a minus (-) sign next to what they consider to be bad reasons for being a Catholic. Then have them pick out three reasons that best answer the question for themselves: "Why are you Catholic?"

Part 2

Call on individual students to be interviewed in front of the class. Some of the possible questions you can use are:

  • Do you think you will be a practicing Catholic ten years from now?

  • Do you think you will want to be married in the Church?

  • Do you think you will want to raise your children Catholic?

  • Do you think you will send your children to Catholic grade school? high school?

  • Do you think you will be the kind of Catholic that will serve the Church on a parish council, as a lector, in the choir, as a religious education teacher?

Part 3

Take the discussion in a new direction. Ask the students to imagine that they are being put on trial for being a Catholic? Call on volunteers to come before the class. Present them with the classic question scenario. Say, "You are on trial for being a Catholic. How do you plead?" Continue in a mock trial format, perhaps choosing prosecutors and defense lawyers to "try" the case before the class. After some time, play this new seven minute video La evidencia as a summary.

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