Links for Learning
Curriculum Connections for High School Teachers and Students
This months Links for Learners will support high
school curriculum in:
Christian lifestylesbrotherhood; community
American and world historyBerlin Wall; Civil
Understanding Basic Terms in This Months Article
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
Link for Learners.
Body of Christ
Civilization of love
Deposit of faith
Salt and light
Ordinary moments account for most of the hours of our lives. The commonplace,
however, can lull us if we aren't attentive to what's important. On occasion,
something extraordinary occurs to give us reason to celebrate, reason to remember
what we are all about, reason to be who we are.
The 2002 celebration of World
Youth Day in Toronto was one such extraordinary event. A giant celebration
of faith and community, World Youth Day drew an estimated half million attendees.
The event's purpose - to celebrate who we are as Christian believers. Its rallying
cry - "You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world."
Participants praised the experience of community. "We're family,"
they said. "Catholic equals family." The young people enjoyed the
hospitality of families in the Toronto area. They glowed with their own national
pride, yet thrilled to meet so many fellow Christians from all parts of the
world. They did just what Pope John Paul urged them to do: "Build the
civilization of love."
The experience of community at World Youth Day has parallels in other religious
and secular community events that help define who we are:
many memorials New Yorkers and others held to commemorate
the dead and the heroes of 9/11. The core ceremony in New
York's Yankee Stadium brought together thousands impacted
by the tragedy, thousands who grieved and prayed in community.
Little rivals the Olympics
for celebration of community. The international sports world
sends competitors and observers from almost every country
of the world, seeking, in the Olympics' own words, to unite
the worlds of sport, art and culture.
American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was punctuated by significant
community events such as the march to Selma , Alabama and the March on Washington . These events helped to unite all those working for
civil rights in our country.
levels the Boy Scouts gather periodically to hold grand
Jamborees. "Share our world, share our cultures" is the slogan for
American political parties convene every four years to endorse
a party candidate for national office and develop a party platform.
Teachers in the National Education
Association gather annually to discuss new ideas and learn from one
events can trigger community celebrations, such as the tearing
down of the Berlin
Wall after the fall of Communism.
We also gather on a local level to celebrate faith and community. Events may
have a religious purpose: weekly gathering in churches, mosques and synagogues
for prayer and liturgy; parish parties and fundraisers; school retreats; memorials
for someone lost to accident or illness.
Examples of non-religious gatherings would include: high school assemblies
and pep rallies; family reunions and holiday parties; July 4th parades
and fireworks shows; the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Elements of Community
What are the common elements of community events? Talk about what community
does to our spirits. Touch on your own life experiences. Can you add to this
World Youth Day brought together young people from 170 countries to celebrate
Christian family, a family gathered around its father in the person of Pope
John Paul II.
Mourning: memorial services help us grieve.
community prayer can support and nourish us.
Competition: sports, debates, academic fairs unite us in spirit.
at World Youth Day, bishops taught the young people about the "deposit
of faith" they share as members of the Church.
to participate. Europeans traveled for days to be present at the Berlin Wall,
to share in tearing it down brick by brick. Parishioners gathering for weekly
liturgy choose to pray with their fellow believers. Real community is a decision,
of Community Experience
What are some typical outcomes of community experiences? Again, can you add
to this list from your own experiences?
Identity: community defines us, tells us who we are. Recall the courageous
whose unwillingness to give up her seat in the front of a Montgomery bus to
a white man sparked the city bus boycott, igniting the Civil Rights Movement.
Ms. Parks drew strength and character from her years as a member of her local
church and activist groups. She learned personal integrity in community.
youth at World Youth Day were reminded, "You are the future of the church.
And you are the church now." You don't need to "grow up"
before being part of the church. You have your own gifts and strengths, your
own joys and vision.
strength: encouraging youth to be witnesses to the faith, Pope John Paul told
them, "Be not afraid."
pen pals promised to keep in touch after they went back home from Toronto.
the gathering at World Youth Day worked to break barriers between strangers
· Sunday Eucharist
What conclusions can you draw for your own life? Where are the opportunities
for community? What are the choices you can make now to find such experiences?
Perhaps the greatest result of community experience is the development of skills
learned in a training-ground atmosphere. You are strengthened to bring your
values to the larger world. Remember World Youth Day's rallying cry: "You
are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:13-14)
And remember what the bishops told the Toronto crowds. Do the small things
with love. Stay connected to the church. Pray.
St. Anthony Messenger has featured articles and Links on the papacy in past
Pope in Cuba
Pope in St. Louis
Try accessing some of these Internet sources for further general reference.
Be aware, however, that some of these sites may charge for downloading articles
contained within the site’s archives.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The New American Bible
of Vatican II
The New York Times
The Los Angeles Times
The Washington Post
The Miami Herald
The Associated Press
Pathfinder - Access
site to a number of online news publications
The History Channel
The Close Up Foundation – Washington, D.C.-based
Channel One – online resource for the school channel