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 Respect Life Week 2014

 Grades 10-12

Monday, October 6
Theme:  God's Grace is Enough
Topic:  Forgiveness and Mercy
Discipline:  Whole School
Overview:  Discussion at all grade levels about the role of forgiveness in our lives, about past choices and consequences, and about the benefits of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Additional Student/Classroom Resources

“Your Grace is Enough” acoustic  Matt Maher  4.5 minutes.  Great for all ages.  Good for reflection time. 

“Your Grace is Enough” video with lyrics  4.25 minutes.  Good for sing-along or use at Mass.  

“You’re Dead. Now What?”  ​​​Lighthearted video that discusses heaven, hell and purgatory.  Good discussion starter on mercy and forgiveness. 3.5 minutes.

Forgive 70 times 7 Matthew 18: 21-35​ video, 3 minutes.

"Ocean of Mercy"  Chris Stefanick talks about the mercy of God that is big enough to swallow any sin anyone might ever commit.  2.5 minutes.

Fr. John Nepil on his Path to God​  He talks about the experience he had in high school and college to be the best and fill his college application with highlights—led to drinking, drugs, etc.  But, he found healing and forgiveness and ultimately became a priest.  3.5 minutes. 

“Changed”  Rascal Flatts music video, a song about forgiveness.  4.5 minutes. 

Life is a Journey​ Matthew Kelly invites us to pause to consider how our journey is going and what we may need to change in order to get back on the right track.  Session 1 of the Decision Point Confirmation program. 8.5 minutes

Forgiveness is Waiting for You​  8 tips for an awesome confession.  Article.

How to Slap Shame in the Face​ “Guilt is feeling bad about what you’ve done. Shame is feeling bad about who you are.” Article helping those seeking forgiveness. 

Tuesday, October 7
Theme:  We Cannot Separate from God's Mercy
Topic:  Post-abortion healing
Discipline: Religion
Overview:  Students will learn about the grief and pain following an abortion.  They will confront personal testimonies to hear what prompted women to choose abortion and hear from women who regretted their decisions.  They will learn about the hope that comes from post abortion healing.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources

My 21st Birthday Changed My Life Forever​ Raquel Kato’s positive story of how and why she chose life for her baby and what it has meant since.  3 minutes. 

Carrie's Story​, 4 minute video of a woman who had an abortion in college and has healed years later, learning the effects her abortion had on the rest of her life.

Abby Johnson's Story​, 2.75 minutes, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director shares her story of her own abortion and the healing she has had since.

Imaging Life if I Had Chosen Abortion​ Darby's story of becoming a 16 year old mom who reflects on what life would be like now had she chosen abortion instead.  Positive and powerful. 3 mintes.

What "Choice" Actually Does​, 5.5 minute video of Abby Johnson's story of the day she watched an abortion on the ultrasound and finally realized what was actually taking place.  Non-graphic but compelling testimony.

Abortion Changes You​ testimonials written by women who have been through abortion.  Personal accounts of their experiences.

Metamorphosis  This is a powerful 30 min video of a young woman who had an abortion in high school (her parents took her to the clinic), suffered from serious post abortion grief/depression, and has come full circle through healing, having a child, and becoming Catholic.  There are two seconds of images of blood and verbal description of the abortion. 

NY Times Article-My Abortion--2013.pdfMy Abortion.pdf​  Downloadable article from New York Magazine offering the abortion stories of 26 women, in their own words.  Powerful resource for a mature group of students.  Does not reflect Catholic teaching on life issues, but can be an excellent basis for a debate or guided discussion.  

I'm that girl who chose life  Article by Raquel Kato about choosing life and practical suggestions for ways people can help other women choose life and affirm their choice once they do.

Don't understand why women get abortions?  Article by Raquel Kato debunking  myths about abortion and exploring the real reasons.  She offers insights into how we can help women choose life.

This is the Generation that’s Going to End It  Chris Stefanick talks about the effects of abortion and the great groundswell of support from today’s young people to stop abortion in their lifetimes.  4 minutes.​

How to Talk to a Friend Who’s Had an Abortion​ webpage

Unhealthy Behaviors​ resources for women and men grieving from a past abortion who may also be engaging in unhealthy behaviors to deal with the loss.  This site provides hotlines and resources for help in a variety of situations.

Know someone making a pregnancy decision​?  Connect with prolife pregnancy centers and clinics throughout Southern CA for free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and counseling.​

Resources for women and men hurting from a past abortion:


 Wednesday, October 8
Theme:  Slaves Among Us
Topic:  Human Trafficking
Discipline: Social Studies/History
Overview:  Students will learn about the growing problem of human trafficking, both domestic and international. They will learn what trafficking victims experience, how to recognize the victimization of a modern-day slave, and how to keep themselves safe from predators.
 Additional Student/Classroom Resources

Rescue and Restore​, a project of the Department of Health and Human Services, offers a 13 minute video outlining the problem of human trafficking, how to identify victims of trafficking, and what to do to seek help.

How Many Are Enough?  7 minute video from a woman who helps rescue international victims of trafficking.  Powerful and motivational.  It is an excellent conversation starter on what the faith community can do to stop trafficking and help victims heal.

End It Movement's​ creative way to bring awareness to human trafficking at America's largest sporting events.  3 minute video.

Rebecca Bender​ shares her story of being trafficked in the US and what domestic trafficking looks like.  2.5 minutes.

Former human trafficking victim shares her story with CNN  3.5 minutes.  

Testimonies from victims of trafficking  7.5 minutes.  

California Against Slavery website has excellent, 2.5 minute videos from women who have survived trafficking and are now working on legislation to prosecute traffickers. Testimonies:  Stacey; Carissa​; Minh; Amy; Leah​

Chosen​ movie trailer, 2.5 minutes, shares story of two young American women tricked into trafficking. Entire movie can be purchased for use in classroom.

Nicole's Story of being trafficked all over the US and working to attract other girls to the sex trade.  3 minutes.  Maria's Story shares the story of one woman forced into the sex trade in Greece, a major destination for trafficking victims. 3 minutes.  The A21 Campaign works to rescue these women.  They have a high school curriculum​ that can be useful for classes looking to take a deeper look at this issue.

How Many Slaves Work for You?​ Take the Made in a Free World survey to find out how many slaves worldwide have been involved in the manufacture or processing of what you eat, wear, live in, and play with every day.  Eye-opening website.

Destiny Rescue​ frees children from slavery internationally.  Website blog shares stories of freedom and hope.  

Human trafficking in Orange County.pdfHuman Trafficking in Orange County.pdf article tells the stories of two women enslaved in the sex trade in Orange County and how they found freedom through the help of local organizations.

5 Things to Know and Share About Sex Trafficking website with information on what drives the industry and links to organizations that help.​

Fight the New Drug​ 3 minute video and website provides facts on the devastating effects of porn on individuals and society, resources for overcoming addiction, and ways to get involved to change culture.

Prayer card with prayer to St. Josephine Bakhita​, patron saint of slaves and trafficking victims.

Website instructing teens on internet safety.  Information presented through comics, blogs, and games. Created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  

Polaris Project offers links to local organizations that help survivors of trafficking.  They run a hotline.  

Human Trafficking statistics

End Trafficking: A High School Educators’s Guide from Teach UNICEF.   Discusses risk factors and vulnerability and prevention and advocacy.  Offers complete lesson plans for teachers who wish to dig deeper into the topic.  This curriculum is beyond the scope of Respect Life Week, but may be of interest to teachers later in the year to study human trafficking further.

FOR TEACHERS: Website with teaching materials for all grade levels on internet safety and keeping kids safe from traffickers.  Includes handouts, exercise suggestions and online resources.  From the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  

FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS:  Project iGuardian​ offers practical solutions for teens, parents, and educators for keeping kids safe from online sexual predators.  Online resources as well as information on booking school presentations and a local tipline.  Created by Department of Homeland Security.  

FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS:  Why I Stopped Watching Porn​ Ted Talk from international educator on the link between porn and human trafficking with eye-opening insights into the destructive effects of porn, particularly on youth.  Contains EXPLICIT language.  This video does NOT portray Catholic sexual teaching, but it is helpful information for parents and educators. ​

FOR PARENTS:  Covenant Eyes​ internet accountability and tracking software for purchase that can help keep kids safe from pornography online.

Thursday, October 9
Theme:  My Life is in Your Hands
Topic:  Depression/Addiction/Suicide
Discipline:  Science
Overview:  Students will learn about depression, addiction, and suicide as life issues, from the perspective of faith.  They will explore the understanding that God has a plan for each person, and that our responsibility is to respond with respect for ourselves.  These topics are sensitive and will be covered with clarity and compassion.
Additional Student/Classroom Resources
Where Are You Going?​  Chris Stefanick invites us to think about where we are going and where we will end up.  Great as the beginning of a discussion about why this life is not all there is.  3 minutes.

Why Does God Let Us Suffer?  This is the reason so many people lose faith and hope in God at their darkest moments.  Chris Stefanick shares insights that help put suffering into perspective of our faith and the example of Christ.  5 minutes.

Francesca's Story of Overcoming Suicide The love of Jesus and the power of the confessional overcomes the horrible reality of suicide. Hear Francesca share from Ireland her experience of planning, plotting, and eventually confessing her suicide at age 15.  6.5 minutes.  

Kenn Cramer's Search for Happiness​ Kenn shares his story of abuse in early age to drugs and suicide attempt in college.  His search for happiness and meaning led him to a personal encounter with Jesus.  5 minutes.  ​

Stories from Chiara​, a young woman who suffered with eating disorders and self-harm but has sought help and offers insights for teens on how they can stop the self-destructive cycle.  Blog on Made in His Image website.

Yaritza Rodriguez story.pdfYaritza and Marcos Flores story.pdfMarcos share stories of growing up in LA and getting involved with drugs.  Their lives were changed when they met Prevencion y Rescate who brought them to retreats and introduced them to the healing mercy of God.

Why​ music video, Rascal Flatts, 5 minutes.  Every 40 seconds someone ends their life through suicide.  Touching song for reflection.

Hope and Healing After Abuse​.  Catholic wisdom from young women who have suffered abuse, to help with the healing.  Blog on Made in His Image website.​

Videos from former addicts on addiction from a wide variety of drugs.  Each video is approx. 8-9 minutes. Highlight prescription drug use and marijuana​.​

Faces of Meth​ photos of people before and after addiction to meth.  Tough to look at, but good to know.

TeenBreaks​ offers information and hotline and other resources for teens dealing with issues such as abuse, self-injury, pregnancy or suicide.  Good information and testimonials from other teens.  All with hotline support.

NDA website for teens with facts on common drugs.​

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ offers a hotline and online guidance for anyone suffering from depression or having thoughts of suicide.  

FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS: information on Teen Depression and Suicide.  Good resource for parents and educators to understand symptoms and warning signs and know how to help.


Friday, October 10
Theme:  The Power of Home
Topic:  Adoption and Foster care
Discipline:  English
Overview:  Students will learn about the number of infants and children available for adoption or in the foster care system.  They will explore adoption as a loving option for unexpected pregnancies. Activities and personal testimonies will reinforce the need of each person to have stability, love, and family.  They will be presented with practical opportunities to help kids find homes and/or mentors.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources

Unwanted Story of Ryan Bomberger, adopted after his birth mother was raped but chose life.  Positive message of overcoming a bad situation and the power of adoption.  1.5 minutes.
Jessica's Story​ of being a birthmom and placing her child for adoption with a loving home.  Jessica is an important part of her daughter Macy's life and her new adoptive family.

iChoose Adoption stories of birthmoms who chose to place their children for adoption.  Miranda's story, 1 minute.  Cristen's story, 1 minute.  Angela​'s story, 6 minutes.

College student Callie Mitchell​'s story of placing her son Leo in an open adoption.  NBC Rock Center story.  7.5 minutes.​

Adoptive parents meet their baby for the first time​ The results are astounding.  8 minutes.

Gabe Adams shares his amazing story of adoption by a family who treats his special needs as an opportunity for him to grow and develop as a strong, independent teen.  5.25 minutes.

Washington Times story​ of a priest who turned to Facebook to help find adoptive parents for an unborn child given a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.  With one day to make the decision, close to 1,000 families respond that they will adopt the baby.  Beautiful story!

Foster Youth Share their Stories of Loss, Trust, and Hope​ Former foster teens tell their stories of the challenges and benefits to their foster care experiences.  Powerful to learn how so many kids live.  17 minutes.

Alliance for Children's Rights​ shares what they do each day to help foster youth in Los Angeles.  A bit of a commercial for their organization, the video sheds light on the problems facing foster youth and what can be done to help.  7 minutes.

A Husband Lost, a Daughter Found  New York Times article with 2 minute video about one woman's experience when her adult daughter finds her at 17 after being adopted at birth.  Positive depiction of the choice to adopt and good reunion story.

Students for Life​ offer a monthly "event in a box". November's theme is adoption.  You can find and order everything you need to promote adoption awareness at your school to be shipped to you for free.
An Adoption Love Story​ brochure published by USCCB for download and print.
Adopted and Loved  Website with resources and information for birthmoms and people wishing to adopt.​
Wednesday's Child​ is a nonprofit started by Dave Thomas (Wendy's founder) partnering with Fox 11.  Each week they highlight a child in foster care in LA who is in need of a forever home.​ 
These Kids Are Waiting for Adoption photolist of some of the children in fostercare in LA, awaiting adoption.​
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