Connections

The Church and Other Religions

Life Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this Life Night is to help teens understand why religions and Christian denominations are not equal to one another or Catholicism. This Life Night will also explain the relationship the Catholic Church has with these Christian communities and other religions. Finally, the Life Night will emphasize Christ’s goal of unity, not division.

About this night

The Life Night begins with activities that challenge the teens to see the similarities and differences between the Catholic Church and other Christian communities and religions. After this, the Proclaim will explain the relationship of the Church to these different groups and why it is necessary for us to be in respectful conversation with them. During the Break, the teens will share their own experiences of friendships with those of other faiths. The Life Night will finish with intercessions for unity.

Parental Notice

This week at Life Night we talked about the Catholic Church’s relationship with other Christian communities and other religions. We particularly noted why we cannot just say that they are all the same and let it be; Christ’s prayer was for unity. Knowing that, we talked about how we can humbly engage in ecumenism and interreligious dialogue while standing firm in our belief that the Catholic Church has the fullness of the means of salvation. Here are some questions for you to bring up at home:

  • What friends or family practice a faith outside of the Catholic Church? What do you have in common? What is different? What have you learned from them about your own faith through discussion with them?
  • Spend some time praying for unity, lifting up those who especially seem to have difficulty with the Catholic Church.

Pastoral Note

This topic can be difficult for some teens because they come from homes in which one parent may not be Catholic. This often causes an extra stressor on the teen, especially if both parents are actively practicing different faiths or if one is not supportive of the Catholic faith. Be sensitive to this issue as you discuss this topic. Additionally, be aware that you may have teenagers other faith backgrounds that join you for your Life Nights and that Core Members are available to clarify and answer any questions those teens may have about the teaching after the Life Night.

Environment

At the front of the room project a picture or silhouette of St. Peter’s Basilica. On the walls, hang up large photos of or silhouettes of the buildings of other Christian denominations and religions. Hang the photos of those who are most similar to the Catholic Church closest to the front of the room. The groups with the least in common should be farthest from the front. If you are able, use those that are local to your community that the teens would be familiar with. If not, choose some common Christian communities and world religions. To go the extra mile, put up other images of symbols or people that are associated with each one.

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