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Our Faith In Action®: a Free Resource for Catechists, Teens, and Preteens
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
An internet and print publication uses current events to teach teens and preteens (ages 12-18) about the Catholic faith and Christian values.

Our Faith In Action
Our Faith In Action is a free resource available online and in print.

August 10, 2009. As catechists and religion teachers know, kids raised in today’s media age are used to electrifying stories told in a visual language, with an expert mix of drama, humor, and surprise. Sometimes these stories convey good values. But oftentimes, they undermine everything parents want their kids to learn.

Still, the faith has its own special drama, especially when it is lived against the tide by courageous men and women who know how to stand up for their values and beliefs. The trick is to tell the story, using words and images to ignite our young people’s imagination.

That’s the goal of Our Faith In Action®, a dynamic internet and print publication aimed at reaching young people with the message that the Catholic faith and Christian values have much to do with their lives “in the real world.”

Monthly Lessons: Full Color, Full Action

The newly updated Our Faith In Action® web site offers over 50 free monthly lessons, each of which is also available in pdf format for printing. Each lesson, chock full of pictures, is based on a specific story or current event that showcases faith and values in action in today’s world.

These same
screen shot of OFIA
The home page of the Our Faith In Action web site gives the user free access to over 50 free issues.
lessons can also be ordered as high-quality, full-color printouts in a mini-magazine format. The magazines are used in a confirmation classes, catechism classes, youth groups, classroom, or family settings.

Some of the topics and values under discussion in the most recent issues include:
• Which Crown?  - about the Miss California USA controversy: the moment on live national television when Carrie Prejean defended marriage as the union of man and woman.
• One Life to Give – about Captain Richard Phillips’ heroic offering of his own life to Somalian pirates in exchange for the lives of his crew.
• A Band of Brothers – about the Jonas Brothers, a pop music sensation, who have made a commitment to purity before marriage and to other Christian values.
• The Bigger Game – about Troy Polamalu and Kurt Warner, two NFL players who live out their Christian faith with courage, even as they faced off against each other in the XLIII Super Bowl competition.

The web site’s 50+ lessons cover categories as diverse as sports, politics, fashion, movies, and current events crises.

In addition to telling a story, each lesson gives students the tools to critically analyze current events from a Catholic perspective. There are
real people stories
Our Faith In Action tells the stories of real people who overcome adversity to follow their dreams.
quotes from the Catechism, from the Bible, and from the Holy Father that interpret the issues discussed in each lesson. There is an explanation of key terms at the end of each lesson (“Virtuous Verbiage Verification”) in order to further clarify and review some of the virtues discussed.

Each lesson features a male saint and a female saint who have lived out a similar drama in their own lives. Discussion questions, activities, and guided reflections help the students assimilate what they have read so that the story really makes an impact.

The ultimate goal is to teach kids to live out their faith in an active way, and to realize that they too must be ready to stand up for faith and values when it counts the most.

Conversation Starters

Father Ernest Daly, LC, the director of Our Faith In Action®, says the web site and magazine is a resource that can make a big difference in religious education programs.

“I’ve had a number of cases where the kids and the catechists come to me and tell me how much the magazine helps them get excited about their faith. They see that it’s real, that it makes a difference in the world,” he said.

One mother told Fr Daly that she had dreamed of having great discussions about values and God with her kids, but in her 12 years as a mom, it just never happened. But one day, her boy came home all excited about his Our Faith In Action® lesson about Tim Tebow. That night, she and her husband were able to have a great conversation with their boy about faith, values, life, and God. Our Faith In Action® had gotten that conversation started.

And that’s the purpose of the program, says Fr Daly. “This isn’t a curriculum. It is not
kids of OFIA
Our Faith In Action effectively reaches kids by engaging their interest.
made to substitute any textbooks. It’s a discussion starter and a takeaway. The kids look at it, especially at the pictures. That usually gets them curious enough to want to know the whole story. It also gets them talking and asking questions. Most catechists know that it’s a good thing when young people start asking questions or are excited enough to add something to a discussion. That is when they are most open to learning.”

Since Our Faith In Action® published its first issue in November of 2003, the materials have been a big support for catechists.  Over the years, many have come back to him saying that the materials are more effective than the textbooks, simply because the stories connect and get the students engaged in the lesson.

The Catholic faith is built around an event that is always current: the life, passion, and resurrection of Christ. As a tool for teaching and evangelization, Our Faith In Action® shows how that story is still alive today, updated and applied in the lives of countless men and women.

For both kids and adults, Our Faith In Action® could be the “conversation starter” that gets them talking to Christ. And that is a conversation that really counts.

Find out more about Our Faith In Action® magazine and the free lesson downloads at the web site: www.ourfaithinaction.net.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2009-08-10


 
 

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


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