Poverty Quiz Struck a Nerve

At the end of Monday evening’s session, I asked each of the kids to share one thing they learned that evening: spiritual and corporal works of mercy, social justice, service, and living the Beatitudes. I was struck by how many of the young people referred to the poverty quiz that they took in the social justice session with Chris. Many of them pulled the quiz out and quoted a fact or figure about poverty in the United States. I asked them if they were surprised by the information they learned on the poverty quiz and they said they were. I think that sometimes our kids are unaware of the challenges that other less fortunate people are facing. This was a good opportunity to sensitize them to the needs of others. Here’s the poverty quiz and the answer key:

Poverty Quiz

You can find another poverty quiz at the USCCB

On a related note, perhaps this sensitizing to the needs of others will spur some of them on to complete their service experience for Confirmation. My aide, Lisa, tells me that in the session with John on service, a number of them admitted that they had yet to complete their service. This was a good context to address the subject since they will come away knowing that there are real needs that their service can address and that doing service is not just a “hoop” to jump through for Confirmation but rather flows from our commitment to doing works of mercy (corporal and spiritual) and fighting for social justice.

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.


  1. You are so right many of the sudents or should I say the parents take the service as just something they HAVE to do in order to complete the confirmation process. I try to help both student and parent understand that we are all call to help one another and part of the confirmation process is service but not to complete confirmation but to begin our journey as disciples. But it seems parents still have a hard time understanding that each experience will aide their child grow and often they either refuse to have their student work on the service projects or lie about it and this is coming straight from my students when they are asked to tell about their project. This really makes me feel sad.

    • Well said, Nancy. It’s so important that we try to convey to parents the importance of service. For many, this is still a foreign concept because they see Confirmation as the culmination of RE and not the beginning of a new chapter as fully initiated Catholics. Thanks for sharing.

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