Faith in Action Unit

Thanks to a generous grant from the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Franciscan Action Network (FAN) has developed this five-part (weeklong) unit that can be used as part of any class, such as social studies or religion, to introduce some key ideas about Catholic Social Teaching from a Franciscan perspective. Because of the integration of Franciscan saints and social teaching information, this unit can be especially useful at a high school, college, or university founded by Franciscan friars or sisters.

We provide readings, visuals, prayers, video links, and discussion starter questions to help an instructor utilize these resources. This is not a scripted curriculum, rather an instructor can take these resources and adapt them for the specific needs of their classroom context. Instructors may choose to add additional depth to the resources as they are presented. If you’d like to be sent these materials, please fill out the form below.

Once these lessons are delivered, we strongly encourage the school to establish a Franciscan Justice Youth Circle as an after school club as a complementary activity to the class–they are a great way of keeping the learning going as well as building community. FAN staff will gladly support you with resources and guidance!

Below you can see a sample day’s lesson from our suggested outline.

We suggest using a circle style of discussion which allows all students to be involved and offer responses to questions. Additional questions can always be added, but we suggest trying to tie together the themes of power (political, economic, and social), Church teaching, and the lives of the saints as much as possible.

Ideally, we suggest assigning the exemplar readings about Franciscan saints prior to each class. That will allow you to have the most class time for discussion.

Please note that this week of lessons includes the use of five videos that are available on YouTube.

We provide prayer sheets to hand out on the first day, but the prayers are also available as slides for each day, so paper copies are optional.

Sample of the Suggested Outline: Faith in Action Unit Day 1

Exemplars = Sts. Louis & Elizabeth (READING 1)

  • HANDOUT 1 = The Franciscan Family and why
  • Opening Prayer
  • HANDOUT 2 = Do Franciscans like learning (think, pair, share / jigsaw reading)
  • Video (7 min.) on “How to understand (civic) power”
  • Discussion: Let’s talk about power … what kinds of power did King Louis and Queen Elizabeth wield?
  • Closing Prayer

If you’d like to be sent the materials for the entire Faith in Action unit, please fill out the form above.

The following session, Faith in Action: Franciscan Justice Circles for Youth, was presented at the National Catholic Educational Association 2023 Convention and provides more in-depth information on what is possible by engaging students in reflecting on the signs of the times with a Franciscan lens and asking what is theirs to do:

Peace and All Good!

Share This