A Lot Can Happen in 75 Minutes! (part 4)

One last thing to share about Monday evening’s class.

I was sharing some ideas with the young people about how they can share their faith in practical ways. (I posted about this earlier). One of the suggestions I offered was to wear a sacramental such as a medal, a cross, a pin, or a scapular. As I was saying this, I glanced over at my aide, Ben, who is a high school sophomore. He started fingering his scapular. I said, “Here’s an example right here in our midst. Ben is wearing a scapular. Ben, tell the class about it.”

Ben explained that the scapular has a picture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on it. I told the young people that this is an example of how Ben is preaching the Gospel: he’s here on Monday nights (working without pay!) and he daily wears a scapular that identifies him as a Catholic. I reminded them that St. Francis of Assisi once said, “preach the Gospel…and sometimes even use words!” This reminds us that, even though we’re all not called to stand on street corners and preach verbally (as did St. Paul), we are all capable of preaching the Gospel through our actions.

Now, this may not seem like such a big deal, but Ben is thought of by these kids as being really cool (he, in fact, is!). He’s personable, good-looking, funny, athletic (he plays hockey and football at his school!) and just an all around great guy. AND, he considers his faith to be something important…important enough to serve as a catechist aide weekly and to wear his scapular daily. I could see the looks on the kids’ faces as they saw Ben showing his scapular. It was one of those, “well if Ben thinks this is important, then it must be” moments!

Thanks, Ben!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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