LEADERS' KIT

Youth Ministry

This leaders’ kit is provided to help youth ministry leaders build a culture of life throughout the year, whenever Respect Life themes best fit into their youth ministry programming. The provided resources, ideas, and activities are only suggestions. We encourage you to adapt them as necessary for your specific youth ministry. Feel free to get creative as you build "an authentic civilization of truth and love" (Evangelium vitae, 6) among the youth of your parish.

Uplifted Youth

Check out our Action Guides for additional ideas and step-by-step instructions for highlighting Respect Life themes year-round!

POSTER

Consider hanging the Respect Life poster in your youth room or regular meeting space, and use it to introduce the Church's teaching on the dignity of the human person.

 

Order or download today!

SAMPLE ACTIVITY

Respect Life Bulletin Board

This activity* invites youth to help create an interactive Respect Life bulletin board. The idea is to hang the Respect Life poster in the center of a large bulletin board or other prominent area with space around it. Then, invite members of your youth group to add their own items to the board (or to the surrounding area) that illustrate and unpack Respect Life themes.

For a youth group setting, consider having a stack of old magazines on hand that can be used for clipping words and photos that can be posted to the Respect Life display.

You can find this activity in our Respect Life Month Action Guide.

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*This activity can also be completed individually. Download the blank bulletin board template as a double-sided PDF with instructions to allow each youth to create their own display. 

REFLECTION

This short reflection unpacks the role of St. Joseph as defender of life. It explores how throughout his life Joseph acted as the faithful protector of both Mary and Jesus. You can use the reflection to help inspire a youth ministry meeting highlighting Respect Life topics. 

The reflection could also be read aloud together to open a larger discussion or lead into a time of prayer, possibly before the Blessed Sacrament. Or, it could also be used as a small group prompt, with a series of discussion questions.



For example: 
 

  • What story in the life of St. Joseph does each image represent?

  • How does St. Joseph show respect for human life through his care of Mary and Jesus?

  • What does Joseph's example teach us about welcoming and protecting human life?

  • What challenges or difficulties did Joseph face? How do you think he may have felt?

  • What are some ways you can personally be a defender of life like St. Joseph?

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View and download the reflection as a PDF or Word document.

HOMILY HELPS

Homily notes are provided to help priests and deacons illustrate the Gospel of Life and explore Respect Life themes through the witness of St. Joseph.

 

If you are planning a Respect Life and/or Youth Mass, share these homily notes with your priest. 

You can also use the provided homily notes to help make Respect Life connections in your youth group meetings and discussions.

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INTERCESSIONS

Prayer is the basis of all our efforts to build a culture of life. The provided intercessions are appropriate for use during Mass in the Prayer of the Faithful. Consider using them in a Mass being celebrated during a youth event or at a parish Mass where you know many youth will be present.

If you open or close your gatherings in prayer, incorporate one or more of the intercessions, and invite students to add their own prayer intentions related to the sanctity of human life. Perhaps you could send each youth home with a specific intention to pray for throughout the week and encourage them to pray for the intention with their families.

Prayer Group

For all Catholics:
That on this Respect Life Sunday
our resolve may be strengthened
to uphold the dignity
of every human life;
We pray to the Lord:

 

That during this Respect Life Month
our resolve will be strengthened

to cherish and protect
the gift of every human life;
We pray to the Lord:

"...in our daily prayer as individuals and as a community, praise and bless God our Father, who knitted us together in our mother's womb..."

Evangelium vitae, 84

That the life of every person,
from conception to natural death,
will be protected in our laws
and cherished in our hearts;
We pray to the Lord:  

For women and men suffering after abortion:
May the Church’s abortion healing ministry,

Project Rachel, help them find peace and healing
through Christ’s endless mercy;
We pray to the Lord:

 

For those nearing the end of life:
May they receive care that respects their dignity
and protects their lives

as they place their hope
in the promise of eternal life;
We pray to the Lord:

 

May God grant us the wisdom and courage
to lovingly protect His gift of human life
at every stage, in sickness and in health;
We pray to the Lord:

Looking for more intercessions to incorporate year-round?

 

Check out our series of Action Guides, which each include additional intercessions that are connected to annual observances and liturgical feasts. You can also subscribe to our monthly parish liturgical resource, Word of Life.

ARTICLES

Our library of Respect Life articles are especially helpful as catechetical tools and discussion starters. Each article is available as a webpage or can be downloaded and printed. The articles can be helpful in illustrating the application of Catholic moral teaching in real-life scenarios. They can also be used to demonstrate a pastoral response to those facing challenging circumstances.

Therapy Session
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Each article is available in a variety of formats: printed brochure, downloadable PDF, and text-only Microsoft Word file. Find the list of titles on the articles page, or navigate to a specific article using the "Articles" tab in the toolbar at the top of the page.

Models used for illustrative purposes only. Photos courtesy of Wix.com. Excerpts from Evangelium vitae © 1995 and Spe salvi © 2007, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Used with permission. All rights reserved.