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Resource Page

by Lynn and Bob Gillen

December 1998

The following classroom resource is offered to those who would like to use St. Anthony Messenger in an educational setting or for further study at home. This resource is prepared with high school students in mind, but can be adapted for other age groups. We will feature one article for further study each month. Back issues, beginning in May 1997, contain this resource. Teachers with access to computer labs should encourage students to access the article directly online. Students have our permission to print out a copy of the article for classroom use. We encourage you to subscribe to the print edition of St. Anthony Messenger, where you will see all of the graphics, and more articles that you might find useful on a variety of topics. Please let us know how we can improve this service by sending feedback to StAnthony@franciscanmedia.org.

Please see our links disclaimer located at the end of this document.



Curriculum Connections

This resource guide will support curriculum in:

    • Religion - Christian life-styles; sacraments; Church and the Third Millennium
    • Social Studies - society's preparation for the coming Third Millennium

     

Glossary of Basic Terms

Look for these key words and terms as you read the article. Definitions or explanations can be researched from the article itself, or from the resource materials cited throughout the Classroom Resource.

Jubilee Year 2000

The Holy Spirit

George Gallup

Millennium

Evangelize

 

 

 

Jubilee Year 2000

Pope John Paul II wants the Catholic Church to prepare for the coming Third Millennium. He sees it as a time of special grace and opportunity. Preparing will take several years, and this year (1998) is focused on the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing all of us closer to the year 2000.

To better understand what a jubilee year means to the Church, see http://www.knight.org/advent/cathen/08531c.htm. This will bring you to the Catholic Encyclopedia and an explanation of why a jubilee year occurs every 25 years in the Church. The word jubilee means "proclaim" or "rejoice."

For the text of "On the Coming Third Millennium," the 1994 apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II, see http://listserv.american.edu/catholic/church/papal/jp.ii/jp2-3rd.html.

Symbols and Preparations

One specific preparation for the Church is the creation of a bronze sculpture to be built in Rome, Italy. Coordinated by an artist named Joe Orlando, the sculpture will stand 80 feet tall. Parts of it will be forged in foundries in different cities of the world, shipped to Rome and assembled there. See http://www.jorlando.com/participation.htm. Individuals from around the world can also participate in supporting the sculpture by ordering a Millennial candle on the same site. This could be displayed in your classroom and lit at the beginning of the year 2000.

In London, England, work is under way for a Millennium Dome, being constructed in Greenwich. Conceived as the world's largest dome, and built along the Greenwich Meridian Time line, it will be the broadcast location for the year 2000 events. See http://millennium.greenwich2000.com/events/jubilee2000.htm for information, pictures and links to the historical significance of Greenwich. The Greenwich Meridian Zone is the reference line of longitude for the world.

The Importance of Symbols

How do these Christian and secular symbols compare with other structures built to memorialize something special? Recall the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C.; the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; the Statue of Liberty; the Eiffel Tower. Can you identify other symbols that inspire us or jog our memories?

What is the significance of the Cross? Or the Menorah? Do you have personal symbols or events in your own faith life that remind you of your beliefs? Do you have a memento of a special retreat you participated in? Or a treasured gift from a good friend? If you've lost a parent or sibling or someone else close to you, what do you hold close to keep that person's memory alive?

Can you see the connection to a sacrament? A sacrament is a sign or symbol of God's presence in our lives. Some signs are formal and once-in-a-lifetime, such as Baptism or Confirmation. Other signs are more frequent, such as the Eucharist, or less formal, such as our own efforts to live a Christian life.

Preparation for the Year 2000

Centered around the year 2000, a worldwide movement is under way to cancel the international debt of impoverished countries. Specifically, Jubilee 2000 has been launched by aid and development groups seeking to raise consciousness about Third World debt relief. Sponsors, including Catholic Relief Services, speak of the need to put "life before debt." The Vatican is urging organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to help alleviate, and even forgive, the debts of poorer countries. The recent devastation in the countries of Central America caused by Hurricane Mitch has prompted renewed calls for forgiveness of their debt to international banks and lending organizations. The hurricane's physical destruction has not only inflicted great suffering on individuals and families, but also ruined nations’ economies and infrastructures. Rebuilding countries already saddled with debt will be an overwhelming task. For more information, see:

* http://www.j2000usa.org/j2000/.

* http://www-personal.umich.edu/~russoj/debt/. You'll find a list of linked sites here.

*http://www.conservation.org/WEB/ABOUTCI/Strategy/dfnswap.htm. This describes an effort to create a "debt-for-nature swap," replacing the current debt with commitments to preserve ecological balances.

* http://www.sistersofmercy.org/advocacyworldpoverty.html.

Secular Preparation for the Year 2000

You're no doubt very familiar with the computer industry's feverish efforts to rework computers' internal clocks to recognize the new century. If not, computers will read the year 00 as 1900, not 2000, thus allegedly creating economic crises throughout the world. It's the much-touted Y2K crisis.

How about other industries and companies? Can you find in magazines or newspapers, or in online searches, references to how companies are addressing the new millennium and using it in their advertising and marketing?

The Evangelizing Power of the Holy Spirit

You already know that evangelizing is the action or process of proclaiming the gospel, or the Good News of Jesus, in our lives. But the word "evangelize" can certainly frighten away people, can't it? We all have images of bible-thumping preachers (for example, Robert Duvall in The Apostle), or doorbell-ringing missionaries or zealots accosting us in public places. To help us understand the kind of evangelizing not advocated by this month's article, try putting together several scenarios that might put us off. See http://www.hollywood.com/movieguide/movies/apostle/index.html for a synopsis of The Apostle and links to other movies.

In the classroom, brainstorm in small discussion groups for several moments. Where do you find the evangelizers that frighten or intimidate you? What is it that scares you, or puts you off? What kind of message actually comes across from these approaches?

If you're doing solo research for a homework assignment, try a Web search for summaries of movies on video. Can you find one or two films or TV shows that have depicted evangelism in a way that would detract from the intended message? You might want to bring the video to class and play a few scenes from it to demonstrate your point.

You can also see http://www.bibletech.com/TSHIRTS/BiblicallyCorrect.htm for the Web site of Biblically Correct, a firm that sells T-shirts with Christian messages. The company says it's a response to Pope John Paul II's call for Catholic evangelism.

How Do Some Christians Evangelize?

The Foundation for Evangelism is one example of Christian approach to preaching. Their Web site, http://www.evangelize.org, has some short articles on gentle, unobtrusive methods of evangelizing. See in particular "One-to-One Evangelism" and "Hospitality as Evangelism."

You are surely familiar with Billy Graham, who has been a nationally known preacher for many years. Through his own efforts, and the work of the Billy Graham Evangelic Association, he has brought words of love and strength to countless Americans. At his Web site (http://www.billygraham.org), you'll find news of a worldwide evangelical conference Graham is planning called Amsterdam2000.

Some use the Internet to communicate the message of Jesus. See http://www.joyfulheart.com for an example of spreading the good news through community study. You can subscribe to a free e-mail newsletter on this site.

How Can I Evangelize?

First, we suggest that you spend a few moments in small groups talking about who the Holy Spirit is, and how the Spirit works in your lives. Based on what you've read in this article, what do you understand about the Spirit? Many of you are active in different ministries in your parish or your local community. What motivates you to volunteer your time and effort? It's easy to say, "My parents make me participate," or "School requires volunteer service hours." But is it that simple? Once you start working on a project, what then drives you to do a good job, to be generous with little children, to be kind with an elderly or disadvantaged person? Do you see the presence of the Spirit in your activities and your daily life?

This month's article encourages us to see evangelizing as a gentle activity, a work guided by the Spirit. You can now connect your service activities and your kindnesses to these gentle, Spirit-filled approaches described in the article. You may also find it helpful to research how others gently preach God's message. See, for instance, the November 1998 issue of AARP's Bulletin. AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) often communicates how the retired can help one another. The article, "Rider plans help many get around," describes how generous volunteers donate their time to drive the elderly who have no car or license wherever they need to go.

Searching AARP's Web site, http://www.aarp.org, will give you more suggestions on how you can help others in need.

Another suggestion for service for older teens and young adults is City Year, a volunteer corps serving many American cities. See their Web site at http://www.city-year.org. In existence for 10 years now, City Year members tutor and mentor children, build playgrounds and clear vacant lots. Their purpose is to provide aid to city neighborhoods in need, as well as offer its members service opportunities.

Other examples might include:

* Babysitting - when done with kindness and caring, with gentle attention to each child

* Sports - avoiding a sore-loser attitude or aggression that borders on meanness

* Classroom - displaying an openness to classmates and a willingness to listen to all opinions

* Retreats - attending a school or parish retreat with an open heart and a desire to learn something more about yourself and others in your life

* Family life - avoiding a sullen, closed attitude; paying attention to the needs of parents and siblings, and not focusing only on your own needs

Seeking Strength

When you begin to feel inadequate about evangelizing, recall that you have the life of the Spirit in you through Baptism. And, if you have been confirmed in the Spirit, you have even greater strength. Evangelizing is the work of the Spirit. We preach with our lives when we let the Spirit live and move in us.

For inspiration, you may look to St. Francis of Assisi. The story is often told that he would tell his friars and followers, "We preach the gospel always; if necessary, using words." Talk about what this means to you. In what situations do you preach the Good News of Jesus without using words? Can you preach simply with your presence? For more on St. Francis, see http://www.ofm.org. Working through this site you'll find biographical data on Francis, as well as links to related sites.

You are probably familiar with the Prayer of St. Francis: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace...." You can find the text of the prayer at http://www.byu.edu/ipt/projects/middleages/People/StFrancis.html.

Research the February 1997 issue of St. Anthony Messenger magazine to read the article on the late Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago. He embraced this approach in the last days of his own life, as he slowly died of cancer.

Further Online Resources

Try accessing some of these Internet sources for further reference. Be aware, however, that some of these sites may charge for downloading articles contained within the site’s archives.

http://www.nytimes.com/ - The New York Times

http://www.latimes.com/ - Los Angeles Times

http://www.time.com/ - Time magazine

http://www.cnn.com/ - CNN

http://www.msnbc.com/ - MSNBC

http://www.pathfinder.com/ - This site will take you to a number of online publications.

http://wire.ap.org/ - The Associated Press

http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ - The Chicago Tribune

http://www.people.com/ - People magazine

http://www.washingtonpost.com/- The Washington Post

http://www.historychannel.com

http://www.herald.com/ - The Miami Herald

http://www.closeup.org/ - The Close Up Foundation

http://abcnews.go.com// - The Web site of ABC News



Links Disclaimer:

The links contained within this resource guide are functional at the time the page is posted. Over time, however, some of the links may become ineffective.

These links are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications of the contents on such third-party Web sites. St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites and does not make any representations regarding the content or accuracy of materials on such third-party Web sites. If you decide to access linked third-party Web sites, you do so at your own risk.


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