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 What Makes Our Church Catholic?
The word catholic means “all-inclusive, general, and universal.” When we profess in the Nicene Creed that we believe in “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church,” we profess that the Church is universal.
What languages do Catholics in your parish speak? What nations are they from? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ How does your parish or school welcome Christians from other denominations? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ In Sunday’s Second Reading, 1 John 3:18- 24, how should Christians show their faith to others? _______________________________________ _______________________________________
Saint Anne-Saint Patrick Parish in Fiskdale, Massachusetts, is a Catholic congregation that
is home to about 1,300 families. It was established in 1883. But it hasn’t always been a spiritual home to only Catholics. From 1994 to 2004, Saint Anne-Saint Patrick hosted the families of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Sturbridge. The two congregations worshipped in the same church building. Then and now, the members of these Christian communities believe that everyone there serves the same God,
and despite some differences in their
religious beliefs, they are united in
that same purpose.
VIS 37-30.indd 1
10:36 AM
One God
by Elaine Ingalls
According to Father Peter Precourt, “We try to focus on who has called us,
not in our theological differences.” pasFtoatrhaetrSPaeintetrAins nthee-Saint Patrick Parish. He was installed as pastor there
in 2005 and belongs the
The sanctuary cross at Bethlehem Lutheran was crafted from pews in the sanctuary at Saint Anne-Saint Patrick Parish.
PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation Program
April 29, 2018
5th Sunday of Easter
Share Experiences
Objectives l The young people will:
l Explore what it means to be a catholic church.
l Appreciate the spirit of ecumenism between two Christian congregations.
Gather the young people in a prayer circle. Play and sing "Yes Lord I Believe" (CD-2, #14). Lyrics are available at
Gathering Prayer Explain to the young people that today we will explore the Sunday Gospel about the vine and branches. Jesus is our common vine; we are the branches. During Mass, we pray the Lord’s Prayer together before we receive the Eucharist. We pray as a community. Invite the young people to join hands and pray the Lord’s Prayer together.
Cover Activity l What Makes Our Church Catholic? (page 1) Ask the young people to identify the two men in the photo, upper left. Pope Francis (left) and Patriarch Bartholomew I, head of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He and Pope Francis speak out to protect refugees and God’s Creation.
Before you begin to read, ask the young people what the word “catholic” means to them. Select one person to read the introductory paragraph in the left column. Distritbute Bibles and pencils or pens, and give the students a few minutes to respond to the three questions. Then invite them to share their answers.
Article l Two Congregations, One God
(pages 1–3) Invite the young people to share their experiences of other Christian churches. They may have attended special events at other churches (weddings, funerals, baptisms/ christenings), and they may have relatives who are members
of other Christian denominations. Explain that this article is about ecumenism, which best described as “working together
for Christian unity.”The two congregations in this story—one Catholic, one Lutheran—have a history of working together in their communities and even shared a building for a time. Take turns reading the article aloud.
Discuss the Talk questions on page 3. Answers:
1. They believe that everyone in their congregations serves the same God, despite any religious differences they
may have. 2. They shared the same church building; they signed a covenant; they run a low-cost clothing store together and collect money for times of need. 3. Open-ended; perhaps they host shared youth group events. 4. They share a belief in God, our Creator, and his Son, Jesus Christ.
Discover Gospel and Doctrine
Objectives l The young people will:
l Explore what the imagery of the vine and branches tells
them about their relationship with Jesus.
l Review prayer forms to prepare for a study of the Psalms. l Trace history from discord to ecumenism in the Christian
l Increase understanding of the faith and traditions of
Protestants and Orthodox Christians.
Gospel Ritual Gather in the space you have prepared for reading the Sunday Gospel. Play and sing “Easter Alleluia” (CD-2, #1).
Sunday Gospel l Jesus Is the Vine, We Are the Branches (page 4) Have four young people take the four Jesus parts and proclaim the Gospel.
Discuss the Talk questions on page 4. Answers: 1. We can share his life and strength. He is the one who is the root and trunk of the vine and gives the vine its character
and life. 2. No one can live apart from the vine, but branches can be pruned to bear more fruit. Whatever anyone on the vine asks will happen. 3. Grandparents are like the main vine from which parents, aunts and uncles, and their families all grow. Same name, similar looks, know same songs or jokes, similar talents, ways of doing things, common history, nationality, religion, values; open-ended. 4. Jesus is the one vine; all Christians are the branches. Jesus shares with us the divine life of Father, Son, and Spirit. Connect this image with other images of Church—Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit. 5. Open-ended.
Connecting Scripture and Doctrine l Jesus Makes Us One (page 4) Ask for volunteers to read aloud the doctrine. Emphasize that Christians belong to the same family, with common roots in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Turn to the Talk questions related to the doctrine on page 4. Answers: 1. Open-ended; we often use family- related terms: God the Father, Jesus the Son, Mary our
Mother. 2–3. Open-ended; have the young people share in small groups, and then bring the group together to share their thoughts. Affirm their efforts to express what can be difficult concepts to explain.
Distribute the What the Church Believes and Teaches handbooks.
Teaching This Week’s Lesson

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