Black and Bleached: Moral Relativism and the Role of Conscience

The goal of this Life Night is to get teens thinking about key concepts that are crucial to understanding the Church’s teaching in moral theology. This Life Night will challenge teens to recognize that Truth as an objective reality rather than something that is a matter of personal preference.

This Life Night begins with a classic game, “Two Truths and a Lie,” which helps set up the Proclaim. The Proclaim will take a look at Truth and how teens are called to conform their lives to God’s Truth. When talking about Truth, we are naturally led to speaking about other key concepts such as freedom, morality, and responsibility. After the Proclaim, teens go into small groups for a discussion. After small groups, the Life Night closes the night with a guided meditation on John 18:37-38.

Spend some extra time making this Life Night accessible and relatable to your individual group. Sometimes talking about abstract concepts can seem disconnected or boring. If you approach this Life Night in a relatable way, a honest discussion about Catholic moral theology will begin.

Discipline and Disaster: Virtue and Holiness

The goal of this Life Night is to provide youth with an overview of the theological and cardinal virtues, and an understanding of how both God’s grace and their actions contribute to their holiness. Teens will be challenged to be open to the grace available through prayer and the sacraments to help them live a holy and virtuous life.

This Life Night begins with a game that allows teenagers to get to know more about the Core Members that serve them, while introducing the idea of our universal call to holiness. The Proclaim sets up rotating sessions on each of the cardinal virtues during the Break. Teenagers learn that grace is nurtured in cooperation with God through virtue. They are challenged during the Send to remember their baptism and live virtuous lives that nurture the grace they received through that sacrament.

Keys and Knots: Church Teaching and Authority

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The goal of this Life Night is to help teenagers understand the Church and her role in our lives as teacher and guardian of God’s law. Teens are challenged to understand that, through the Church, we find loving correction and instruction on how to navigate this life in the way that God intends for us His children.

The Life Night begins with an activity called “Voices in the Dark” which illustrates differentiating between which “voices” we follow in life. The Proclaim focuses on the teaching authority of the Church in moral issues in our lives. The Break provides teenagers an opportunity to discuss in small groups the role of the Church as a moral authority, and the Send challenges the teenagers to learn more about Church teaching before they pray a Litany of Humility.

Do’s and Don’ts: The Ten Commandments

This Life Night challenges teenagers to see the Ten Commandments not as an outdated set of rules, but as an everlasting guide to life. Teens will grow in an understanding of the Ten Commandments as a covenant between God and humanity. The teens will be challenged to live the Ten Commandments not out of a fear of God but out of a love of God and neighbor.

This Life Night begins with The Amazing Race for the Ten Commandments, challenging the teens to work as a team, solve clues, and recall what they may have learned about the Ten Commandments in the past. The Life Night will move into the Proclaim to discuss the importance of the Ten Commandments in our adult faith life. During the small groups, teenagers discuss practical ways to live out the “do’s” of the Ten Commandments. The Life Night ends with a prayer and a call to the teens to live one of the Ten Commandments in a specific way for the next seven days.

Pathways and Providence: The Beatitudes

This Life Night helps teenagers understand that the Beatitudes prepare us for eternal life. The Life Night challenges teenagers to live the Beatitudes in their everyday life, even when it is difficult.

This Life Night begins with a modified game of “Family Feud” and asks the question, “What does it mean to be truly happy?” After a short video that provides answers to this question, the Life Night transitions into the Proclaim. The teaching gives the teens an overview of the old and new covenants, and how the Beatitudes provide a path to happiness. During the Break, teens break into small groups to discuss several questions relating to the Beatitudes. The Life Night ends with a brief prayer and meditation in the church sanctuary near the tabernacle.

Freedom and Failure: God's Plan for Happiness

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The goal of this Life Night is to introduce teenagers to God’s original plan for our happiness and fulfillment and challenge them to understand sin as contrary to that plan.

This Life Night begins with a cooking challenge for small groups that illustrates the importance of having rules and guidelines in order to find fulfillment. The imagery from this game transitions into the Proclaim, which addresses God’s plan for our happiness and morality. Teenagers are challenged to reflect on how well they follow this plan before breaking into small groups for a discussion. The Life Night closes with a period of journaling and reflection.

Morality

The purpose of this course is to help students understand that it is only through Christ that they can fully live out God’s plans for their lives. Students are to learn the moral concepts and precepts that govern the lives of Christ’s disciples.

Chain Reaction: The Reality and Effects of Sin

The goal of this Life Night is to help the teens understand the reality of sin in this world and the effects it has on the world. This night will better equip the teens to fight the battle against sin and evil. This night will also look at how God’s mercy and love is stronger than sin. Finally, this night will challenge the teens to follow the example of Christ and choose God over sin.

This Life Night deals with the topic of Original Sin and its effects. This night helps the teens see the chain reaction that has occurred since the first sin. The night begins by using the imagery of dominoes to demonstrate how one thing clearly causes another. The Proclaim and Break will give the teens the opportunity to see how sin caused a chain reaction that affects us today. The Send of the night will illustrate a different chain reaction, but this time it’s one caused by God, not man. Christ’s obedience to God on the Cross caused grace and forgiveness to once again be offered to us. The teens will renew their baptismal promises and sign themselves with holy water to remind them that God conquered Original Sin.

In Pursuit: God’s Plan for Our Happiness

The goal of this Life Night is to introduce the semester on morality. This night will also help the teens understand God’s desire for our happiness and freedom. The night will challenge the teens to see God’s law as a way to help us live in His freedom and not as a hindrance to our freedom.

This night marks the beginning of the Morality Semester. God desires that we would live as He created us, free and loving. This night will look at what law means for our lives; law is not something that hinders our freedom, but is rather something that allows us to live as God intended. This night will begin with an icebreaker where each teen will meet other teens with similarities. After the icebreaker there will be a humorous skit that will transition into the teaching. The teaching will focus on God’s plan for our lives and what it means to live according to His plan. Each teen will have a chance to discuss the teaching in their small groups that will be divided out by grade. The night will conclude with a time of reflection and prayer that will encourage each teen to bring their lives to God’s altar.

Gimmie a Break: Sabbath Rest – Third Commandment

The goal of this night is to help the teens understand that the Sabbath day is a holy day and a day we must honor. The night will also challenge the teens to see Sunday as a day of rest, grace, remembrance, and resurrection.

This night is focused on the Third Commandment, “keep holy the Sabbath Day,” and the importance that commandment has in our lives. Many times we are busy on Sundays and we do not set aside adequate time for God. The night will begin by assigning every teen a task that will keep them “busy.” After a teaching on keeping holy the Sabbath Day, the teens will break into small groups to discuss questions that will apply the teaching to their lives. After small groups, the large group will have an opportunity to celebrate an actual Lord’s Day celebration. This is an old prayer that Christians pray on the vigil of the Lord’s Day to prepare for the Sunday Eucharist. There is also a Parent Night on this same topic. If possible, have the Life Night and Parent Night on the same evening and conclude the sessions in prayer together.

Legit Defense: Death Penalty and the Fifth Commandment

The goal for this Life Night is to help the teens understand the Fifth Commandment as it relates to the death penalty and self-defense. This night will also challenge the teens to see that every life, no matter what someone did, has dignity because every person is created in God’s image and likeness.

Although pretty well understood, the Fifth Commandment encompasses issues like the death penalty that can be very tough to navigate. This night will require many hours of preparation and prayer. This night will not only challenge your teens’ perspectives, but also challenge Core Members and parents. Be ready to have a follow-up discussion after the night concludes. This Life Night begins with a light-hearted small group game to help get the teens talking to one another. After the game, the teaching will discuss the issues of self-defense, the death penalty, and the limits of science and health on human body testing. From the teaching, the whole group will discuss these issues together in a large group setting. The night will close by praying for those who are imprisoned, on death row, and victims of crimes, as well as for the protection of all human life.

*Pastoral Note
The topic of the death penalty is a controversial topic. When planning and preparing for this Life Night, it is imperative that everyone involved is well educated and prepared to present the topic to teens. Spend time as a Core Team learning the Church’s teaching on this topic. If necessary, bring in a theologian who can help teach and shed light before any planning begins. This will help you dictate the direction of the Life Night for your teens.

News Feed: Media and the Eighth Commandment

The goal of this Life Night is to help the teens understand the importance of perception through social media. This night will also challenge the teens to be people of integrity when they use technology and to commit to using media in a healthy moderation.

More and more, media is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives. This Life Night seeks to help the teens understand how media and the Eighth Commandment work together. The night will begin with a friendly competition between small groups to come up with the best “status updates” for different topics. Following the competition, the teaching for the night will challenge the teens to use media with responsibility and integrity. In small groups, the teens will discuss their use of media and create a plan that helps them limit the amount of time using media. Finally, the night will close with a reflection on Pope Benedict XVI’s message on the role of media in our current culture.

Happy Days: The Beatitudes

The goal for this Life Night is to help the teens live a life of beatitude. This Life Night will look at the Beatitudes as a fruit of discipleship and challenge the teens to embrace the life of holiness outlined in the Beatitudes.

The Life Night begins with a fast-paced competition between teens of matching the first and second parts of the Beatitudes. After a teaching on the Beatitudes and the call to holiness, the teens will break up into small groups to discuss the role of the Beatitudes in their lives. The night will end with a recap of the semester and close with a time of silent Eucharistic Adoration.

What’s Your Sabbath?: Third Commandment

The goal for this night is to remind parents of their personal obligation to “keep holy the Sabbath Day” as well as their obligation to help their children to follow this commandment.

This night is a parent version of the Life Night “Gimmie A Break.”  This night, like the Life Night for the teens, challenges the participants to look at how they can keep holy the Sabbath day. Ideally, this Parent Night and the Life Night are run simultaneously on a Sunday evening. This night begins with a time for the parents to mingle and get to know one another. The Proclaim will explain the Third Commandment and how we are called to live it out today, particularly as families. The parents will then have time to discuss the topic. Finally, the teens and parents will gather together for a Lord’s Day celebration to conclude the night.

Gifted: Christian Purity – Sixth and Ninth Commandments

The goal of this night is to help the teens understand the virtues of chastity and purity and their responsibility to practice those virtues in all relationships. This night will also challenge the teens to protect their sexuality and treat it as a gift from God.

This night will have the theme of “gift,” beginning with the environment and the opening games. The night will begin with two fun games that will involve the teens and then transition into the Proclaim for the night. This talk will unpack what it truly means to live a life of purity. After the Proclaim, guys and girls will break into separate groups to discuss what was presented in the talk. It will give an opportunity for each group to open up with their peers of the same sex. The night will close with each group writing and sharing a prayer that they wrote for the opposite sex. Also, each person will be  given a prayer partner, whom they will commit to pray for during the upcoming week.

The La La Game

Jackie Francois leads a game that she calls “The La La Game.” The girls and boys that were at Steubenville West compete against each other to determine what song Jackie is singing using only the words “La” and “La.”

Praise & 80s

I’m going to guess what you’re thinking: you’re wondering what would happen if you combined worship music with 80’s music? You’re in good company because Ike Ndolo wonders the same thing! See what happens when he combines the two genres!

Rooted in God’s Love

Chris Padgett talks about how God continually seeks out His people. He created out of love, which makes us rooted in Love. He talks about what love is and whether it actually exists.

Good Morning

Eric wakes up to a nightmare of demands from the people in his life, each requiring his full attention and priority

Family Ties

Kelly and her mom reminisce on stories of their relationship and past family experiences

Image and Likeness

Charlie and Lisa share the story and goodness of how men and women were created