Building Blocks

Hierarchy and Magisterium

Edge Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this Edge Night is to teach the middle school youth the structure of the Church’s hierarchy and define the roles of the pope, bishops, priests, and laity. This night also helps the youth understand the virtue of obedience to the Church.

About this night

For hundreds of years, the Church was a voice of authority in the world. It spoke truth into world events and defined how people ought to live. In more recent years, the Church has become less of an authority in the areas of faith and morals. This trend is not because the Church is irrelevant, but because cultures have decided that the authority of truth is not directed from Christ, but from personal beliefs. As we move forward in studying the Church, it is important that the message of Christ, who is Truth himself, is not lost. It is the Catholic Church that Christ gave the authority to echo this truth.

This Edge Night begins with prayer and a small group time of playing an oversized game of Jenga©. The Proclaim will help the youth understand the different roles in the hierarchy of the Church and why obedience and authority is important in the Church. After a time of small group discussion, the youth will have a chance to write a letter to  the pope (or local bishop) thanking him for his service. The Edge Night will end by praying one decade of the Rosary for the protection of the Church.

When preparing the teaching for this session, take some time to create a few visual aids. The topic for this night can quickly become a list of facts. Without engaging the youth in the teaching they will become disinterested and make the teaching harder. Use the examples in the teaching as a guide. Adapt them to fit the youth or change them to be more effective.

Parental Notice

Today’s Edge session took a deeper look at how the Catholic Church is structured and the different roles of the Magisterium. We discussed the role of the pope as the Vicar of Christ. We discussed how the bishops, in union with the pope, are tasked to extend the mission of Christ within smaller communities. We also looked at how we as the People of God are called to obedience to the authority of the Church and to be, like the pope and bishops, a servant in the Church.

Here are a few discussion questions for the week:

  • Where does the Church get her authority?
  • As a member of the Church, what can you do to help spread the Gospel message?
  • How can the Holy Spirit help us to be servants and be obedient to the authority of the Church?


The environment for this Edge Night should be like a construction zone. Have different building materials set up around the meeting space. Use materials like bricks, concrete blocks, wood, etc. Have all the Core Members wearing hard hats and taking random measurements.

Supplies List

• 24 cereal boxes or wood blocks

• Paper and pens

• Rosary handout

• Rosary

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