Using Current Events – Rescue in Chile

A very effective way to begin any religious education class is to focus on some current event and use it as an opportunity to segue into your lesson. The current story of the amazing rescue of trapped miners in Chile is a perfect example. I had no class this week because of Columbus Day however I have no doubt that I will find a way to use this story in my class for this upcoming Monday. Just stop and look at the elements of the story that can be tapped into:

  • the cave in – can be compared to humankind’s fall from grace as well as our own individual moments of falling from grace
  • ongoing communication – a feed was established so that communication could take place…this could be compared to our need for prayer
  • reliance upon nutrition and supplies – the miners survived because of the stream of food and supplies that were able to be sent down to them…”give us this day our daily bread!”
  • the rescuers first descended – before anyone was brought up in the capsule, a rescuer descended into the mine to be one with the miners…this can be compared to the Incarnation
  • the joy of rescue – the looks on the faces of those being rescued and their families and friends…this is the joy that we carry with us, knowing of the salvation we have received in Christ Jesus.

What else?

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


    • Thanks, Lisa. I understand that the miners told the rescuers that there were 34 of them down there, not 33…that God was with them the whole time!

  1. I will probably bring in the plastic model of a fetus that I have and show it to them to compare the worldwide concern for lives of the 33 to the daily tragedy of abortion.

  2. I just read where they were able to make 48 hours worth of rations last 17 days! If that’s not a loaves and fishes story, I don’t know what is!

  3. Great food for theological reflection! I may use some of these with my high school students.
    My only concern however it that a few of your bullets may be a bit abstract for 4th graders.
    They will definately get #2 & 5.
    I’m not sure all or even most of them will get 1 & 4 but it is worth a try 🙂

    • I agree Maura. I don’t intend on drawing all of these points out with them…only the ones which will pertain to the lesson I’m teaching Monday, which I’ve yet to plan for!

  4. Rebirth in action. The manner in which the survivors were treated as they arrived outside the cave presented a clear image of giving birth (wrapped in warm clothes and immediate attention) to a new person, to a better person.

  5. This comment came via email from Mary Beth:

    Some quick thoughts . . .

    We find God in each other – from the miners to the rescue workers to the family members

    Why bad things happen to good people – sometimes God lets things happen to get our attention. It’s always for the greater good.

    Love and thanksgiving – self explanatory

  6. This comment came via email from Colette:

    ‘I was with God and with the devil. And I reached out for God’ – joyous rescued Chilean miner

  7. These comments are all so thought provoking. I think I will do a quick current events lesson this week and share some of the above. P.S. I miss reading what you are planning on teaching in your class this week. (Sometimes I “steal” your ideas 🙂

  8. Oh, I also was just thinking how we learned about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in unit 4. Well, one of the gifts is Joy. Can you imagine the joy the miners felt coming up from below after 70 days and the joy their families felt once they did!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.