Yesterday’s Class – Concern About Those Who Are Homeless

Last evening’s session went very nicely as we looked at Jesus’ Law of Love (Love one another as I have loved you) and learned about how we are called to imitate Jesus’ love for others. Here’s a summary:

  • We had a nice review of our last session which was 2 weeks ago. I held up a can of Play-Doh and asked, “Anyone remember what we learned?” and one girl said, “That we can shape our consciences.” Wow! That was gratifying.
  • For our opening prayer, I find that they are sharing with such great sincerity, praying for family members and relatives who are sick, who have died, or who have experienced a divorce. I told them how wonderful their prayers have been.
  • I gave them time to look through some Halloween sales circulars and choose their favorite costume. Each child then shared which one they picked and we talked about how we IMITATE the character whose costume we are wearing.
  • I then showed them a baptismal garment and said that we all wore one when we were baptized and how it means that we are to imitate Jesus.
  • We then read from the Finding God textbook about Jesus’ Law of Love and how we can imitate Jesus.
  • I ditributed Bibles and then Daneen and I walked around helping each child locate one passage from this Scripture search worksheet. We helped them to identify what Jesus did in each story that showed love for others. It was a good experience to have them working with the Bible. Only one or two of them had an idea of how to find the book, chapter, and verse. I hope to work with them on this during the year. They then each reported on what they found and completed the worksheet.
  • We got into a very interesting discussion about helping those who are poor, hungry, and especially homeless. One girl volunteered that she has a relative who makes sandwiches and takes them downtown to distribute to the homeless. That set off a flurry of hands as kids talked about their encounters with people who are homeless. Most of them talked about how they were scared. I told them that it’s natural to be frightened because we don’t know if the situation is safe but that we also need to feel sadness for those who are homeless. I emphasized that if they ever want to help a homeless person, that they must be sure they are with an adult. I shared with them the story of my late uncle who ended up homeless for periods of his life and, as usual, they are fascinated by real-life stories. All of this, of course, made for a great segue into inviting them to help the homeless in a safe way, by donating clothes to the St. Vincent de Paul Society drop-off box in the parking lot. Several kids said, “I know where that is…it’s in the parking lot!”
  • We spend about 10 mins in quiet reflection, listening to the Prayer of St. Francis/Make Me a Channel of Your Peace as I explained that St. Francis was someone who imitated Jesus. I then led them through a brief reflection inviting them to ask Jesus for the help they need to imitate him at school, home, and in their neighborhood.

Next week, we take our kids to the church to see the 3rd graders lead a Living Rosary. I look forward to telling you about this after I experience it for the first time!

About Joe Paprocki 2173 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.

2 Comments on Yesterday’s Class – Concern About Those Who Are Homeless

  1. This comment came via email from Catherine:

    Dear friend, I run a food pantry through our church HOLY SPIRIT R.C. NEW CASTLE DE. We provide 100 families a week with groceries. When you hear some of the heart-wrenching stories of how things got this bad for some of these people it makes us even more thankful for the things we have. We are an entirely voluntary program and if not for the help of this group of volunteers, none of this would be possible. We are truly Blessed. Your friend in Christ Catherine M. Ciesielski

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