Defeat For Humanity
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to help the middle school youth understand the effects of war on a person and the need to be catalysts for peace in a world filled with violence. The middle school youth should develop a desire for peace above war both in the world and their own lives.
About this night
Blessed Pope John Paul II said, “War is always a defeat for humanity.” This Edge Night will help the middle school youth understand the gravity and severity of war and that we, as Catholics, are always called to strive for peace. The night will also outline the conditions in which war can be morally legitimate. The tone for this Edge night is deliberately serious. War is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly.
The night begins with a skit in darkness and silence and then transitions into the Proclaim. The youth will learn about the effects of war, the Church’s teaching on peace, and the conditions for just war. In their small groups, the youth will discuss fostering peace in their own lives because peace in the world begins with peace in our hearts. They will make a spiritual bouquet for American soldiers in their small groups as well. Finally, the Edge Night ends with a reflection on Blessed John Paul II, a witness to hope in a land ravaged by war, and prayer through his intercession.
During tonight’s Edge session, we discussed war and peace. We took a serious look at the effects of war on a nation and an individual. Blessed Pope John Paul II summarized the Church’s teaching on war by stating, “War is always a defeat for humanity.” War brings about devastating effects on all those involved – soldiers, their families, communities, etc. While war is always an evil, we discussed with the youth that there are justifiable reasons in which a nation can defend itself – the conditions for “just war.” However, the youth also learned about non-violent ways to fight oppression through the example of Blessed John Paul II. Consider recapping the Edge Night with your child by asking the following questions:
- What did you learn about war and the Church?
- What are the conditions of “just war” that were discussed?
- How did Blessed John Paul II find peaceful ways to confront war in his lifetime?
- How do these teachings apply to you?
The room should look like it has been ravaged by war. Have destruction everywhere (garbage cans tipped over, messes everywhere, etc.) Have war sounds playing in the background. If possible, have the Edge Core Team dressed in army camouflage. A local high school with an ROTC program may let you borrow some military camouflage uniforms. Have pictures from war (middle school appropriate) blown up and scattered around the room. You could also have a slideshow of pictures from war playing.
• Handout A: “Is It a Just War?”
• “War and Peace” Reflection
• Supplies for a spiritual bouquet
• Handout B: “Prayers for Peace”
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