by Lynn and Bob Gillen
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.
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
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
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:
You'll find a list of linked sites here.
This describes an effort to create a "debt-for-nature swap," replacing
the current debt with commitments to preserve ecological balances.
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
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
Some use the Internet to communicate the message of Jesus.
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
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
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 sites archives.
- The New York Times
- Los Angeles Times
http://www.time.com/ - Time
http://www.cnn.com/ - CNN
http://www.msnbc.com/ - MSNBC
- This site will take you to a number of online publications.
http://wire.ap.org/ - The Associated
- The Chicago Tribune
The Washington Post
http://www.herald.com/ - The
http://www.closeup.org/ - The
Close Up Foundation
http://abcnews.go.com// - The
Web site of ABC News
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.