Life Teen is our senior catechism/youth programme aimed at grades 8 -11. Every week during the school term, we have what is called a Life Night after our 5:00pm Sunday Mass. Life Nights start at 6.30pm and run until 8:00 and essentially cover all the vital elements for solid faith formation – including teaching, fellowship, fun, discussion and prayer.
A Life Night is structured to mirror the format of the Mass. This can be broken down into the Gather, Proclaim, Break and Send. The Gather parallels the introductory rites of the Mass. During the gather we typically have a bit of fun by playing a game to “Break-the-Ice”. The game will always be based on the theme of the night. The Proclaim is similar to the reading of the Word in Mass. It is during this time that the main teaching of the night is given. The Break typically takes the form of a small group discussion. During the break, we open the topic up and explore it more fully in a communal context, listening to, learning from, and guiding each other. This is like the Sermon in Mass, or the breaking of Christ’s body for us in communion. The Send is usually a meditative prayer service and gives the teens a chance to connect with Christ en solo. They are then “sent forth” into a new week, to love and serve God.
There are four different types of Life Nights. Doctrinal nights cover our core Catholic beliefs as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There are eight semesters which we run over four years. These semester topics are: Sacred Scripture, Person of Christ, Paschal Mystery, Church, Sacraments, Morality, Social Justice and Vocation. We typically have two Doctrinal nights a month.
The second type of Life Night is an Issue night. Issue nights cover topics that are important to teenagers such as bullying, depression, peer pressure, sexuality, alcoholism, drugs etc all from the Catholic Church’s perspective. They also often include liturgically relevant topics such as important Feast Days. We typically have one issue night a month. The last type of Life Night is a Social night. Social nights are there to build community and fellowship which is something that the first disciples “devoted themselves” to (Acts 2:42). It’s a time to have fun in a wholesome Christian setting and grow in love for the bride of Christ (that’s us)! Social nights are not just a free-for-all, however – there is always a message attached. We try to have one social night a month.