Promote a Culture of Life

Background Article

The Catholic Church teaches that every human being has been created by God in his divine image and is precious to him. This is why the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person are the foundation of Catholic social teaching.

We are asked to love and honor the life of every man and woman and to work with perseverance and courage so that our time, marked by all too many signs of death, may at last witness the establishment of a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love.

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life), 77

In our society today, human life is under direct attack from abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, cloning, and the death penalty. Every Catholic has the moral obligation to protect human life from conception until natural death.

  • Which of the life issues do I think is in most need of advocacy today?
  • What are some ways that I can help to promote a Culture of Life?

Links
Culture of Life Resources
From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

CST 101 | Life and Dignity of the Human Person
From Catholic Relief Services YouTube

Photo by lunar caustic

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Modeling Good Manners

Unit Activity

Guide the children to work in small groups. Have them create skits to illustrate ways that children their age can express themselves positively. Encourage them to create skits that model good manners. Encourage them to portray scenes at home, school, church, or the community.

Talk with the children and ask them to name individuals with whom they interact in their daily life. For example, they may name a parent or family member, catechist, priest, senior citizen, police officer, bus driver, or friend. Then encourage them to think about and discuss the ways in which that they show respect to that person on the list. End by asking how they show respect for themselves and for God.

Photo by International Information Program (IIP)

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Honoring One Another

Unit Activity

Put the names of all the children in a bowl. Each child draws a name and is to make a “medal” to honor the child whose name he or she draws. This medal should identify some inner quality the child possesses, not for external appearance or physical talent.

You may want to put on the board a sample list of possible “inner qualities,” such as: truthful, kind, humorous, generous, patient, helpful, sensitive, forgiving, loyal, honest, courageous, gentle, and thoughtful.

Invite the children to think of some good “inner qualities” about themselves. Then have them write or draw symbols of these qualities on a sheet of paper. Individually encourage those who may be having difficulty.

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Examining Our Common Humanity

Unit Activity

Invite a member of your parish’s “Respect Life Committee” to a session. In advance, work with the children to create questions to ask this person, such as:

  • How is our parish involved in respect life issues?
  • What is our parish doing to help end abortion?
  • What are some ways fifth graders can help promote a Culture of Life?

Be sure to send a thank-you note to your guest. Also, encourage the children to share with their families what they learned in this session.

Display images showing people of different cultural backgrounds. Have each child select an image to study. Have them write down answers to questions about likenesses and differences between himself or herself and the person selected:

  • How are we alike? In what ways am I different?
  • What emotion is that person expressing? Have I felt that emotion?
  • What emotions do all people have in common?

Photo by Glyn Lowe Photoworks.

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