Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

In planning Catholic Schools Week with my students, there’s a moment each year that warms my heart. Two years ago, when planning this day, one student suggested that the whole day be about saints, because they were the ultimate success story. I can’t really top that, so here are four ideas for the theme succeed.

  1. Pick a patron saint for the day. It could be fun to pick a variety of saints who had different types of “success” and then dramatically changed their lives to reflect the gospel. Ignatius Loyola, Francis of Assisi, Katharine Drexel, Rose of Lima and many more would make great choices for this day.
  2. Dress in college swag. While I am a firm believer that college isn’t the path for every student I teach, going to college is still a large marker of educational success. The local Catholic high school uses it as one of their main marketing tools. Also, this is a free dress option that most students and staff will be able to do without a whole lot of fuss.
  3. Dress as a favorite saint. The year we did this was probably my favorite ever. At our St. Blaise prayer service which coincided with our saint day, the entire gym was filled with saints blessing saints. It was amazing.
  4. Have students create a commercial about success. For this I would show a few inspirational commercials about unexpected “success” stories. I love Nike’s Iron Nun commercial and the Find your greatness series. After finding some inspiration, students can work in teams to act out their own commericials about what success looks like. If you want to be an overachiever, film the commericials and share with your school community.

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