Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

November 13, 2014

Pope Francis and his Top Ten Secrets to Happiness

The search for happiness is a universal human quest. Although our deepest desires for happiness can only be fulfilled by God in Heaven, there are steps that Christians can take to experience more joy here in this lifetime. Pope Francis recently addressed this quest by offering his own “Top Ten Secrets to Happiness.” Use the Pope’s list as a segue for a lesson on the same topic. But don’t share the Pope’s list until the end of the lesson. Here are some suggested steps:

  1. Put your students in pairs and assign each pair to develop their own “Top Ten Secrets to Happiness.”
  2. List the ideas that students came up with on the board, putting checks next to tips that are most frequently suggested. Invite students to explain their thoughts more clearly if you or other students look puzzled by some of their suggestions. If two or more ideas are very similar, group them together.
  3. Then ask students to identify which, if any, of their ideas do they think would also be on Pope Francis’  “top ten secrets to happiness.” Engage in conversation as the students select or reject some of their own ideas, saying things like, “Don’t you think the Pope might appreciate good sportsmanship or dislike hypocrisy?”
  4. Finally, display Pope Francis’ “Top 10 Secrets for Happiness.” Go over the list with the students and ask them to come up with ways that the Pope’s ideas could translate into their own lives and concerns.

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