Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Faith In Action: Catholic Charities

Materials for Activity

  • Paper and pens
  • A list of Catholic service agencies in your area
  • Optional: Computer with Internet access

Preparation for Activity

  • If you have a computer and Internet access in the meeting space, set up and test the equipment before the activity. If you do not have access, print out relevant material from the website of Catholic Charities, especially information on the "Catholic Tradition" and the "Local Agency Directory."
  • If you attend Mass before this activity, pick up a church newsletter.

Description of Activity

Participants work with Catholics to help people.

Tell participants that the Catholic Church has a long tradition of justice and charity work. If you have a church newsletter, look through it for examples.

Catholic Charities USA is an umbrella organization that is the national office for over 1,700 Catholic agencies and organizations that offer services in communities.

If you have access to a computer and the Internet, visit their website. If not, show the group the pages you have printed.

Catholic Charities is currently involved in a campaign to end poverty in America. If you have Internet access, watch a six-minute video on YouTube about the campaign. Ask youth:

  • The video on YouTube about the campaign is called "Poverty in America: A Threat to the Common Good." How is poverty a threat to the common good? Why does poverty hurt all Americans?
  • Sometimes people quote Jesus saying, "The poor you will always have with you." Does that mean poverty is inevitable and we should not try to eliminate it? There are many passages in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures that say we will be blessed for taking care of the poor.
  • What is the difference between "poor" and "poverty?"
  • Is ending poverty in America a goal UUs support?
  • Why would we want to work with Catholics on this campaign?

Locate a Catholic agency near you. Contact them and ask how you can help. If possible, ask leaders at the agency to talk with the group about why this is the work of people of faith. Youth can explain why their faith leads them to this work.

After the visit, ask youth if it was easy to explain how their faith supports justice work Youth might have worked on writing credos, statements of faith, or elevator speeches about their UU faith. Invite youth to write a social justice elevator speech that speaks directly to why their UU faith calls them to do good works. After 10 minutes, have them pair up to share the speeches. Suggest that they practice further with family and friends, until their words come naturally.

Including All Participants

If you go out into the community to serve, make sure the site is accessible to everyone in the group.