As a moral theology teacher at a Catholic high school and moderator of our school's pro-life club, people expect me to teach my students about a Catholic ethic of life. I do, certainly, and conversing with young people about key life issues is incredibly rewarding (albeit challenging!). But just as faith and prayer should permeate every aspect of a Catholic school—and not be relegated to its theology curriculum and ministry programs—the same is true of a Catholic vision of human life and dignity.
Parents (and all people) today are rightly concerned about the safety and well-being of our children, especially when it comes to sexual abuse. While we can and should put institutional safeguards in place to reduce the risks of abuse, we parents can also teach our children to speak up when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. For that to happen, we need to invest our time.
One of the defining marks of a Catholic school is the communal celebration of the Sacraments. Growing up as a student in a Catholic school, I remember having all-school Masses once each quarter. When I began teaching at St. Paul Catholic School in St. Petersburg, Florida, I was delighted to learn that our school gathered every week to celebrate Mass. As the middle school religion teacher, I had the opportunity to coordinate these weekly all-school Masses and facilitate student involvement. Here are a few of the best practices I learned along the way:
Download, color and create this free printable figurine of St. Thomas Aquinas to celebrate the feast day of one of the Church's greatest saints.