I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I just watched a episode about Bart going to Catholic school called “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.” [S16E21] In the classic Simpsons’ satire, Bart & Homer become Catholic while Protestant Marge tries to bring them back. WOW! A great episode to use with high school discussion groups. This episode touches on all kinds of questions about faith and religion (and there’s lots of paintball in it, too!).
I also found an article about the Vatican praising The Simpsons show.
Animated US television show, The Simpsons has gathered praise from the Roman Catholic Church for their “realistic” way of dealing with religion and spreading happiness among viewers. An article published in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has lauded the long-running show, insisting “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh” if the series hadn’t been aired, reported Contactmusic.
The newspaper story thanked the show’s producers for depicting family patriarch Homer’s struggle with his own faith through its 20 years on the small screen. “Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article said. The story also insisted that The Simpsons success is due to its “realistic and intelligent writing”.
The same newspaper had recently paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, for highlighting the “sacrifice” needed for good to triumph over evil.
WOW! Who would think The Simpsons would be watched at the Vatican? What next, Family Guy?
In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we reviewed God the Father (from last week) and focused on God the Son (chapter 5 in our book).
(A) Reviewed God the Father. Played the video clip from Martian Child (see last week’s summary). Reviewed homework assignment … think of an example of a movie clip demonstrating a “good dad.” From that, we brainstormed why our relationship with God the Father becomes so wounded that we stop trusting the unconditional love He has for us.
(B) Discussed prayer “Core Wounds.” In our diagram of the Christian Heart (body, mind, soul), our life experiences can develop “core wounds” that hurt our lives physically, psychologically and/or spiritually. They are shown as X’s on our diagram. These wounds are actually “LIES” that affect our future relationships, especially with our Heavenly Father. A common example, even shown in movies, is how our hurt relationships with our earthly father affect how we view the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. Wounds can keep us from trusting His loving plan for our lives.
(C) Who is Jesus? We showed a movie clip from the 1996 Sylvester Stallone movie called Daylight. It’s the scene when the rescue worker (Stallone) first encounters the trapped people. Only getting 1 rescuer is not what the trapped people expected. This disappointed reaction is similar to the one Jesus received from people as they came to discover Him as the Messiah. The idea came from thesource4ym.com clip ideas. Click the link to get discussion questions.
Here is a trailer for the movie. The actual clip used is here (but it’s in a foreign language).
Good discussion as we imagined the roles of the people, the Messiah and what our reactions would be in their shoes.
Homework: (1) Chapter 5 assessment questions on the last page.
(2) handout “How the Bible describes Jesus” … look up passages
(3) bring textbook + Bible + journal
In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we touched on God the Father (chapter 4 in our textbook). I finally got to bring in my laptop and play a few movie clips. Awesome topic. – I was really looking forward to today!
(A) Opening prayer song reflection was He is Yahweh by Dean Salyn.
(B) God the Father is always present & knows what’s best for us & forgiving. Showed a clip from Lion King (1994), when Simba takes Nala to the Elephant Graveyard after father Mufasa warns against and ends up saving them from the 3 Hyenas. The focus is the discussion between father and son at the end. [Idea from thesource4ym.com with discussion questions.]
(C) God the Father has unconditional love for me. Showed the movie trailer for the John Cusack movie Martian Child (2007) about a sci-fi writer wanting to adopt a child who thinks he’s a Martian sent to observe Earthling life. The focus clip is when the child breaks something and thinks he’s bad and will be sent away. The father assures him that “Nothing you can do will change the way I feel about you.” and then proceeds to break other “things” showing they don’t matter as much as him. Awesome clip! — I had to “pause” when leading the discussion … it easily resonated how I hear my Heavenly Father’s voice.
Discussion was great. [Idea from thesource4ym.com with questions.]
(1) Chapter 4 Assessment questions,
(2) Pray the Lord’s Prayer each day this week,
(3) Give an example of a movie clip with a “good dad.”
I found a great blog called Catechist’s Journey.com by an 8th grade catechist named Joe who “knows his stuff” and provides resources and discussion about catechesis. He’s been in ministry for 30+ years and does online seminars called “webinars.” Check it out … especially if you’re a catechist.
In the above video, I especially like the following (I’ll use it in class next week)
Jesus’ Three Comings: In …
- History — when Jesus came Man (incarnation)
- Mystery –as Jesus comes to us today in many ways, especially in the Eucharist
- Majesty — as we look forward to His triumphant return at the end of time
Lots more on his site. Check it out!
Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we REVIEWED all our previous classes to date.
Here are links to previous classes:
- (day 8 — Nov 8) Jeopardy Questions + Heaven + Hell + Purgatory
- (day 7 — Nov 1) Like Jesus + Holy + All Saints
- (day 6 — Oct 25) Incarnation + Chapter 1 + God Proofs
- (day 5 — Oct 18) Hats + 3 Birthdays + Vocations
- (day 4 — Oct 11) Prayer Quiz + Lies + Prayerful Heart
- (day 3 — Oct 4) Prayer Share + A.R.R.R.
- (day 2 — Sept 27) P.R.A.Y.S. + Angels + Yom Kippur
- (day 1 — Sept 20) 4 Winds Blow + Doxology + Sweet Spots
All these links are indexed on my Uth + CCD tab (at the top of this blog) for all classes.
- bring parents next class,
- bring Bible, if you have one already,
- review notes with parents in preparation for playing Jeopardy!