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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 27, 2020

Kobe Bryant and the Importance of Going to Mass

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant (1978—2019) and eight other people, including his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna, were killed on Sunday, January 26, in a helicopter crash in Southern California. They were on their way to a youth basketball game. Kobe was the coach, his daughter was a player.

The Bryant family members are practicing Catholics. Kobe attended 7 AM Mass at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach prior to boarding the plane. Attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion was one of the last things he did in his life.

Take some time to reiterate the necessity of attending Sunday Mass. Remind the students of some of these reasons and have them suggest others:

  • Going to Mass helps to fulfill the Third Commandment.
  • As a member of the Church, it’s important to obey its laws.
  • It is sinful to deliberately miss Sunday Mass.
  • There is no greater grace than to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.
  • Mass is a foretaste of heaven.
  • The Church misses my presence when I am absent from Mass.
  • Jesus asked us to go to Mass to remember him.
  • Going to Mass is a good example to my peers and younger siblings.
  • Mass participation helps me to fulfill my baptismal promises.

Also discuss some excuses students may give for missing Mass:

  • My family doesn’t go to Mass.
  • Sunday is my only day to sleep in.
  • I have to work on Sunday.
  • I catch up on homework on Sunday.
  • I don’t have a ride to Mass.
  • There are very few my own age at Mass.
  • I have a basketball (or other sport) game on Sunday.

Conclude bymaking copies of an article about Kobe Bryant and his Catholic faith and assign it for reading.

Requiescat in pace

Kobe Bryant

Gianna Bryant

John Altobelli

Keri Altobelli

Alyssa Altobelli

Christina Mauser

Sarah Chester

Payton Chester

Ara Zobayan


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