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Welcome to the P aum Gospel Weeklies Faith Formation Program:What the Church Believes and Teaches e sacred duty and the joy of each succeeding gen- eration of Christian believers has been to hand on the deposit of faith that was  rst entrusted to the apostles by Christ himself. We have received this gift, the deposit of faith—we have not conceived it. It is the heritage of the whole Church. It is our privilege and our responsibilityto preserve the memory of Christ’s words and the words themselves and to teach future generations of believers to carry out all that Christ commanded his apostles.National Directory for Catechesis, #26For over thirty- ve years the P aum Gospel Weeklies have pro- vided schools and parish religion programs with a basic cateche- sis on the Sunday Gospels.  ese widely acclaimed magazines o er the  nest in up-to-the-minute catechetical re ections, exercises, and activities based on the words of Jesus Christ and on his Gospel as celebrated weekly in the Sunday assembly. e P aum Gospel Weeklies have formed several generations of young people and helped bring faith to their lives and bring their lives to the Catholic faith. e basic teachings of the Catholic faith are seeded generously throughout each level of the P aum Gospel Weeklies.  ese basic teachings are documented in an annual Scope and Sequence. Nonetheless, because of the very nature of a liturgically-based resource, the basic teachings do not occur in exactly the same way each year in the 32 issues of each level of the P aum Gospel Weeklies. erefore, P aum Publishing Group has undertaken to make part of each year’s subscription to the Weeklies a student’s handbook of those elements of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that have been judged necessary and appropriate for the age group served by each level. What the Church Believes and Teaches is a component for the P aum Gospel Weeklies. At the beginning of each year—with the  rst shipment of the P aum Gospel Weeklies—every child will receive his or her own book of basic Church teachings.  e content for this book is based on protocols established for the teachings to be learned and mas- tered at each level of elementary-age catechesis.  is handbook gathers under one cover the Church teachings presented in the 32 issues of the P aum Gospel Weeklies.  is Teaching Compan- ion provides you with ways to help children master these teach- ings. In addition, the guide that accompanies each issue of the P aum Gospel Weeklies will point you to the handbook and to those teachings that are re ected in that issue. What the Church Believes and Teaches, together with the P aum Gospel Weeklies, can also be of great help to parents who want to take an active role in the faith formation of their children. e handbook provides, in one convenient publication, all the teachings that must be mastered.  e weekly issues provide the stories, exercises, activities, re ections, prayers, and challenges that show how a faithful Catholic can live out these teachings, celebrate them in the liturgy, and share them at home, at school, and with friends.Learning by HeartMuch of what you  nd in What the Church Believes and Teaches can be learned by heart. From earliest times, catechesis has used the formulations of the Creed, the sacraments, the Command- ments, and prayers (especially the Lord’s Prayer) to transmit the faith.  e handbook a ords you the opportunity to help your students learn by heart the principal expressions of the faith, basic prayers, key biblical themes, personalities, and language. Such learning is not mere rote. Memorization is an e ective form of catechesis that nourishes the human heart and helps form the human spirit in Christ.ConclusionIt is our hope that this new and exciting addition to the won- drous experience of the P aum Gospel Weeklies will assist you in your ministry. It is our prayer that What the Church Believes and Teaches will give you the added assurance that you are indeed cultivating in your students the good soil in which the seed of the Catholic faith can take root and bring forth a lifetime of good fruit.Tips for Teaching Pre-TeensPre-teens are a little like sophomores in high school— neither  sh nor fowl.  ey are no longer the youngest kids in school and not yet the oldest kids in school. However, in their own minds, many already are making big plans for their teen years. By the time a boy reaches the age of 10, for example, he may know what kind of car he wants when he gets his license!Pre-teens’ bodies do lag behind the fantasies of their minds, though. It is common for young people in this age group to expe- rience actual, physical growing pains. If forced to sit too longin one position, they can get muscle pains and cramps.  at’s why it is important for you to build changes of posture into your class routines. Have students stand, for example, whenever you sing or pray together. You can also make physical activity part of some question-and-answer games.  e results of brainstorming in discussion groups can be shared in a relay race. Two teams can line up with the person at the front of each line racing to the chalkboard or newsprint to record an idea on a given topic.  at student returns to his or her team and hands o  the chalk or marker to the next person, who races forward to record another idea the group has brainstormed.  e  rst team to send every member forward with a new idea to record wins the relay.Growing pains can be mental as well as physical. Be aware of the children’s self-consciousness about their appearance and their changing bodies. During casual moments, such as when the students are entering or leaving the classroom, give individuals5

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