Lesson Focus: Ecumenism – The goal of this lesson is to help teens recognize the Church as a Sign and Instrument of Unity.
Before you begin – INSTRUCTIONS FOR PARENTS
To complete this lesson, you will need to refer to pages in the Catholic Youth Bible orange colored edition (CYB-O) OR Catholic Youth Bible teal colored edition (CYB-T) as indicated.
After reviewing the lesson, you may find it necessary to explain the information to your children in language they can better understand. Please contact the FF Office at 716-688-0599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like assistance in modifying an activity to better suite your family’s needs.
Begin the lesson with prayer –
- Begin the prayer with the Sign of the Cross
- Say the following prayer together as a family
Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of faith. Help us as Catholics to work for ecumenism and the building up of one Church so that body of Christ is united. Amen
- End the prayer with the Sign of the Cross
What is Ecumenism? Ecumenism is the unity of all Christian people.
- Though there are great similarities among the Christian religions, the Bible tells us of Christ’s desire that His followers are one, even as He is one with the Father in Heaven. The Church is given to us by one God who exists in the perfect unity of Father, Son, and Spirit. The Church can have so much perceived unity, while at the same time there are many differences among the followers.
Watch this video! What is ecumenism and why does it matter?
- When the Apostles traveled throughout the known world, they established individual churches along their journeys. Aside from the unity of faith, sacraments, and apostolic succession, these churches developed how they do things independently of each other. Paul noticed this in the church in Corinth in the first century. He tells the people that, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God.”
Let’s get to know St. Paul by watching this video.
Now go to your Bible and read – (1 Corinthians 12-25) (CYB-T) pg. 1529 and (CYB-O) pg 1624
“Just as the body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. ”
- This verse helps us to understand the unity and diversity within Christian faiths such as Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist, Protestant and Apostolic Churches. These churches developed how they do things independently of each other but all believe in the Real Presence of Christ.
- Pope John Paul II expressed great respect for these traditions and the recognition of the need for the Church to, “Breathe fully with her ‘two lungs,’ the East and the West,” that the whole world may share in unity of the Christian mission.
Let’s think about this as a family……
- What can you do as a family to build up the Body of Christ?
- How do we treat our own family and friends that are not Catholic?
- Do you have a story to share about a time when you were able to share the truth of the Catholic faith with someone who might have misunderstood something based on what they heard?
As the hands and feet of Christ in the world, your witness to truth and prayer for healing is very powerful.
End your lesson with prayer –
- Begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross
- Say the following prayer as a family:
Dear Lord, We thank you for our church and we pray for healing of the wounds that may divide us. Amen
- End prayer with the Sign of the Cross