Women Witness Resource
for Younger Catholics
Inspired by parents, god-parents and high school teachers who are using the FutureChurch/CTA Celebrating Women Witnesses packets for Confirmation gifts, home prayer services and classroom activities, we have developed a special edition geared to high school teachers, campus ministers and parish youth ministers.
Janet Kohler Claussen, a former Catholic high school teacher and a founding member of the Voices Project, has designed special study guides containing creative and fun activities for independent study as well as cooperative learning. The Voices Project addresses the spirituality of adolescent girls. Claussen has also written a number of books including Biblical Women: Exploring Their Stories with Girls and Seeking: Doing Theology with Girls (both from St. Mary’s Press).
Here are samples of Claussen’s creative teaching strategies:
1. View the movie Mulan. Write a brief paragraph about what Mulan and Joan of Arc have in common.
2. Write an imaginary letter from Perpetua or Felicity to their infant children that the children will open when they are teenagers. How would these women have explained their choice to suffer martyrdom to their children?
3. Using facts from the essay, draw a picture that depicts the kind of building where Prisca and her family worked, lived and shared Eucharist.
4. Listen to a recording of Hildegard's music. Write a review about what you hear and how her music might be appreciated today.
5. Clare made a radical choice when she gave up her wealthy lifestyle for a life of simplicity as a religious sister. Write an imaginary dialogue between a talk show host and a famous celebrity who has decided to work as a lay missionary in a poor country or to enter a religious order today.
The project was funded by a grant to FutureChurch from the Cleveland Congregation of St. Joseph, who have taught Cleveland high school girls for many years. If you would like to order these special resources click here.
In the meantime, hundreds of women and men are benefitting from monthly celebrations of each woman witness. A recent Indianapolis program celebrated the life of Dorothy Day. The service included song, prayer, and an empowering baptismal ritual. According to CTA organizer Lyn Herold, it attracted a great variety of peace and justice people including state legislator, John Day who “is a Dorothy Day-type voice in our legislature.”