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 Respect Life Week 2016

 Grades 7-9

 ​Monday, October 17, 2016

Theme:  Agents of Mercy
Topic:  Bringing Love to a Hurting World
Discipline:  Religion/Whole School

Overview:  Our world often is confused by what true mercy looks like. Pope Francis calls us to a culture of encounter, to recognize the dignity in the person in front of us. This encounter leads us to action on their behalf by serving others through works of mercy. Christ has called us to go and make disciples of all nations and in a special way to give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, and bury the dead. In so doing, our hearts change and we learn to be merciful as the Heavenly Father is merciful.​ 
7-9 Day One Lesson Plan Mercy.pdf7-9 Day One Lesson Plan Mercy.pdf
Additional Student/Classroom Resources

Story of Zacchaeus 3 minute animated video of Luke 19: 1-10

Mercy is Greater 2.5 minute video discussing the role of mercy to overcome doubt, sin and suffering.

Who is Worthy of God's Mercy? 1.5 minute animated video of Pope Francis explaining mercy to homeless man in Rome.​

51 Corporal Works of Mercy Ideas from LifeTeen


Year of Mercy website offers overview of the jubilee year of mercy, works of mercy, prayers, suggestions for action, additional lessons and evangelization tools. From Dynamic Catholic.

Vatican's Jubilee Year of Mercy website with an overview of the worldwide celebrations of mercy.

US Bishops' Year of Mercy Resources including prayers, resources from Pope Francis and suggestions for action.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles Year of Mercy resources including confession finder and information about all Pilgrimage Churches in the Archdiocese.

Talking with Kids about Breaking News​ PBS website gives insights into talking with kids of every age about what they are seeing in the news, such as racism, terror, murders, and other terrible happenings.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Theme:  Every Child Welcomed in Love
Topic:  Creating a Culture of Life
Discipline:  Social Studies/History

Overview:  Students will learn that abortion is never necessary when we have the ability to support each other through a pregnancy.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources

Abortion is bad for society, bad for women, and ends a human life 4 minute video introduction to the pro-life position by Chris Stefanick. Positive and designed for an early teen audience, this message is one of hope and action.

Loyola Students for Life video, "Dear Pregnant Student" 4 minute video from students at Loyola who outline help, resources, and options for students pregnant on campus.

Julia and Miki's Story 3.5 minute video of a couple seeking parenting resources when they realized they wre pregnant unexpectedly.

Paid Maternity Leave 2 minute Buzzfeed video about the need for paid maternity leave in the US.

Good sites providing practical resources for pregnant women and families:

Obria Medical Clinics offer pregnancy and sexual health in a life-affirming environment
Claris Health offers medical, educational, and counseling services for unintended pregnancies and sexual health concerns
Get Your Care clinic finder helps women find life-affirming medical care in their area
Kids on a Shoestring  practical, frugal, creative solutions to parenting when money is tight
Pregnant on Campus resources for pregnant and parenting students on college campuses nationwide​


US Bishops' Conscience Formation​ overview, especially in light of political activity and faithful citizenship, but the principles apply to all areas of life.

The Art of Forming the Conscience of a Child by Fr John Hardon, SJ gives a beautiful overview of the lifelong process of developing a conscience, and the role teachers, parents, and others play in helping children properly form their consciences.

Pro-life Pregnancy Resources​ can be found easily throughout Southern California.  This website can connect women with 90 pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics through So Cal, make appointments for pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, find post-abortion healing resources, and recommendations for adoption.​

Resources for women and men hurting from a past abortion:

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


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Theme:  Solutions to Crime and Conflict
Topic:  Restorative Justice/Death Penalty
Discipline:  Math

Overview:  Students will learn about incarceration, the death penalty, and restorative justice. They will learn about the difference between punitive prison time and restorative justice, and be challenged to view those in prison through the lens of the dignity of the human person.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources​

Pope Francis​ speaks to leaders working to end the death penalty 4 minute video provides the moral argument against the death penalty and calls all people of good will to work for abolition.

Archbishop Gomez 2 minute video encouraging all Californians to vote YES on Prop 62 to end the Death Penalty in CA.

Catholics and the Death Penalty​ new 5 minute video created for Prop 62 shares the powerful stories of four Catholics closely connected with the death penalty and why they choose the path of mercy.

Death Penalty in America 1.5 minute video overview from CNN provides statistics on the use of the death penalty in the US

Inside Juvenile Prison 6.5 minute video interviews an inmate in juvenile prison and provides a look into his life.


California has the opportunity in 2016 to end the use of the Death Penalty in our state. On the CA ballot in November, vote YES on Prop 62 to end the use of the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. And, vote NO on Prop 66, a bill that would speed up the use of the death penalty. For more information, please see

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Theme:  When We Don't Have Enough
Topic:  Preferential Option for the Poor?
Discipline:  English

Overview:  Students will learn about poverty in the United States and around the world. What does poverty look like? We explore the topic of poverty through the lens of being agents of mercy.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources​​

Catholic Social Teaching 101: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable 4.5 minute video produced by the USCCB offers a great introduction to the Christian's care for and service of the poor.

Tour Poverty USA 4 minute video produced by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development explores what it is like to live life at the poverty line.

Poor Kids, a Frontline special, follows several families living in serious poverty in the US. A 1 hour program that can be broken up into 5 minute segments.

Living on One Project: Change Series explores the adventures of three Americans who travel to Peña Blanco, Guatemela to live on $1/day. Multiple videos here explore living in extreme poverty. Recommended: Episode 3—Hunger and Tortillas; 7 minutes​

Mary’s Meals Stories: Fatima’s Story | Shazia’s Story | Tony’s Story (3-4 mins each)​

Mary's Meals Child 31 Documentary 32 minutes

Interactive Poverty Experience in the US

US Bishops' Poverty USA Program offers ideas for every grade level to fight poverty and hunger in your community.

Individual/family/class project making drawstring bags for the homeless.


Looking for services for your family? Looking to offer assistance to families in need?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Theme:  Living for Life
Topic:  Celebrating Special Needs
Discipline:  Science

Overview:  Students will learn about the amazing potential for people with special needs and disabilities and the importance of respecting those who are different from us.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources

​​​Paralympics 2016 "Yes I Can!" 3 minute video highlights the very best celebratory approach to people with special needs and disabilities. The music and the amazing sights will leave everyone feeling invigorated.

Lizzy Velasquez 13 minute TEDx talk by the woman labeled "the ugliest woman in the world" on why her life is so full of joy.

My Name is Deformed 6 minute video explains how a simple surgery can change lives and identities

Carly's Cafe: An Experience with Autism 2 minute video offers a glimpse of what life is like for a person with autism.

Don't Be Awkward: How to Interact with People with Disabilities 3.5 minute humerous video offers practical tips on ways to be kind, not awkward, toward people with disabilities and special needs.

Dyslexia Experience website offers students an opportunity to see what it is like to read with dyslexia.

Learn what it is like to have ADHD through this website's use of the Stroop Effect.​​​​​​​​

The Butterfly Circus 23 minute short film starring Eduardo Verastegui and Nick Vujicic.

Elena Della Donne for the Wind​ 2 min video of WNBA star Elena and her special needs sister, Lizzie, who teaches her about life and puts it all in perspective.​


This year, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is participating in a fundraising opportunity for the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletonUSA. Located in San Antonio, TX, the Institute offers services to children and families from birth to 18 years of age with neurological and musculoskeletal disabilities, regardless of their ability to pay. Offering envelopes will be sent to schools for distribution to families suring Advent. 

You can help orphaned children with Down syndrome and other special needs while they await adoption by supporting Reece's Rainbow, a nonprofit organization matches special needs children with families for adoption.

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