On October 11, Ave Maria Press hosted its Fourth Annual Teacher Enrichment Day at Notre Dame. The teachers in attendance participated in a lesson plan exchange. Periodically we will be highlighting some of those lessons on the Engaging Faith blog.

This lesson is for a Catholic Social Justice class. It features the article “Living and Dying on Death Row: An Eyewitness Account” by Joseph Ross, a former volunteer chapter at the Indiana State Prison.

It is important that the students follow the directions listed below in order. Discussion of the issue of the death penalty can proceed and follow the reading of the article.


1. Before reading the article, answer the following question: “What are your ideas/feelings about the death penalty? Be as specific and thorough as possible.

2. Now go ahead and read the article.

3. Related to the death penalty, what is your reaction to the following statements:

  “Every person, without exception is redeemed by Christ.”
  “The way we treat others reflects our relationship with God.”

4. Look up and read the following passages from the Gospel of Matthew. Write your reaction to each passage in relation to the article and the topic of the death penalty.

  Matthew 5:38-48
  Matthew 6:7-15
  Matthew 18: 12-22
  Matthew 25:31-46

This lesson was shared by Elise Hilton of Muskegon Catholic High School, Muskegon Michigan.