March 8 Life Night Recap

“So Much More”

This “Issue Life Night” took a step back from our vocations. The goal for this night was to understand Jesus’ teaching regarding wealth and materialism. This night will also help the teens guard against attitudes of materialism in their own lives.
The night stressed three points:

  • A life with Christ requires simplicity of life.
  • The Church lifts up the poor and encourages the faithful to emulate their life.
  • Setting right priorities helps us clear our lives to make room for Christ.

Supper for the Soul:

This week’s Supper for the Soul theme was Mac & Cheese! Thank you to all of our volunteers who made the meal possible! Volunteers are needed for future meals throughout the semester. If you are interested in contributing, you can sign-up at lifeteenfatima.com/dinner

Gather:

The “Gather” was a mix between the game Monopoly and the current events. Each teen was given an envelope that either had fake money (“JT Bucks”) or a card noting a particular amount of hand sanitizer (this is being posted in the age of Coronavirus/COVID-19). Some evelopes had nothing at all in them. The goal was for each teen to interact with their peers and end up with either the most money, the most sanitizer, or both. Some teens resorted to barter and trade, others to scheming or stealing. Overall, the game helped set the tone for the night that it is easy for materialism to get in the way of loving one another and loving Christ.

Proclaim:

After we counted up all of our “JT Bucks” we talked in the “Proclaim” about how out of control we got in trying to accumulate money…that wasn’t event real!

We discussed the 10th Commandment – You shall not covet your neighbors goods. This Commandment isn’t about directly taking possessions, it’s about our desire to do so. The closer we get to material processions is often at a cost of getting more distant from Christ.

We emphasized that there is nothing wrong with desiring something or working hard to obtain it, but how it is easy for us to become reliant on material things that simply cannot offer the infinite amount of love and support that Christ can.

Break:

We continued with our policy of collecting cell phones for the “Proclaim”, “Break”, and “Send”. This allowed for more flowing conversation, and less distractions. This week, we broke into male and female small groups and went deeper into what we discussed during the “Proclaim”. We began small group sessions by reading and reflecting on related scripture (Matthew 19:16-26). We discussed materialism and its impact on our culture (the goals we desire to achieve and our concept of success).

Send:

Before closing for the evening, we briefly recapped the night. We contemplated Mary’s “yes” to God and her willingness to give up life as she knew it for Jesus. Bringing Jesus into the world required Mary to be seen as culturally taboo but she was open to any burdens. We discussed how this could be an inspiration for us to say “yes” to Jesus by becoming detached from some of our material habits. We then closed, as with tradition, with the Hail Mary.

Announcements:

  • During the Life Nights, attendance is taken using a sign-in on the website (lifeteenfatima.com/signin). Please let JT or another core member know if you need to use a church device to sign in.
  • Next Sunday, March 15, there will be an Open Life House where there is no planned structure for the night after Mass. The Life House will be open for use and socializing for any teens that desire to drop in. Life Teen staff and core members will be present. Light refreshments will be available during Open Life House nights.
  • Just a reminder, we will continue to phasing out cell phone use during the Life Nights by storing them away after the “Supper for the Soul” until the end of the night.



February 23 Life Night Recap

“Love Like This”

This night continued our series on vocations. The goal of this Life Night was to help teens understand the definition of true love, especially as it is expressed within our vocations. This night was designed to encourage teens not to settle for a lesser form of affection and will challenge them to live the two great commandments of love.
The night stressed three points:

  • Every person is called to reflect the love of God in the Trinity; we are called to the two great commandments — to love God and to love our neighbor.
  • Love is fully expressed as self-gift and sacrifice. This kind of love is called “agape” love and is modeled by Christ. We must strive to love God and love our neighbor by means of agape.
  • When our relationships, whether friendly or romantic, are not rooted in agape, they lack sustainability and cannot thrive.

Supper for the Soul:

This week’s Supper for the Soul theme was Tacos! Thank you to all of our volunteers who made the meal possible! Volunteers are needed for future meals throughout the semester. If you are interested in contributing, you can sign-up at lifeteenfatima.com/dinner

Gather:

In the fast-paced world of 2020, we have cashier-free check-outs and self-driving cars. Speed and efficiency are key! Should our connections, and the way we meet, be the same? In this week’s gather we used a “speed-dating” model to learn more about one another.

Proclaim:

In the 2/9 Life Night we discussed the vocation of marriage with witnesses from the couples in the Life Teen Band. Both couples noted how they were friends first before their relationships developed romantically. In this Life Night, we dived into the differences between friendship and romance and what the word “love” means in the first place.

We focused on how in English, the word “love” confusingly correlates with many different feelings and behaviors. While the way we love a favorite meal and the way we love our parents are different, we use the one word “love” to describe both experiences. In this Life Night, we discussed how in Greek, there are different words that translate into the word “love”. Knowing the different kinds of “love” allows us to better know just what love means and how we love. It can help us prevent having a speed-dating style of connecting with others.

  • Storge: The natural, instinctual and affectionate love. The kind of love you do “just because”. Examples would be helping someone who has just dropped something and made a mess or tending to a crying baby in the middle of the night. It is affectionate, but conditional and often self-serving.
  • Eros: Has to do with touch, feel, sound, and all the senses. Like storge, it is naturally occurring. Eros is passion and what we would likely associated with “mad love”. Also conditional.
  • Philia: This is brotherly love or friendship. Unlike storge or eros, philia happens by choice. Occurs from common bonds as simple as being in the same class or as complex as shared deep experiences. These bonds can become conditional and end up being barriers to forming new philia relationships.
  • Agape: This is supernatural, unconditional, sacrificial love. This is loving and not needing anything in return. This is how God loves us and was modeled by the sacrifice of Jesus. As humans, our limitations prevent us from loving via agape 100% of the time. Therefore we need reliance on God in how we love. Without agape added to the other three loves, and how we use them, their conditional self serving purposes are expressed.

Break:

This was our first cellphone-free Life Night. As we have been planning, we ditched phones after the “Gather” component of the night. This allowed for more flowing conversation, and less distractions, during the “Break”. This week, we broke into male and female small groups and discussed the four loves, and how they have played into our friendships and relationships.

Send:

Before closing for the evening, we briefly recapped the night. We then closed, as with tradition, with the Hail Mary.

Announcements:

  • Any teen that has been enjoying the Sunday evening Life Nights or Pizza & Prayer is strongly encouraged to join us for the upcoming Maine Retreat. This retreat is not part of the Confirmation curriculum and is open to any and all high school teens. For more information, visit lifeteenfatima.com/retreat
  • During the Life Nights, attendance is taken using a sign-in on the website (lifeteenfatima.com/signin). Please let JT or another core member know if you need to use a church device to sign in.
  • Next Sunday, March 1, there will be an Open Life House where there is no planned structure for the night after Mass. The Life House will be open for use and socializing for any teens that desire to drop in. Life Teen staff and core members will be present. Light refreshments will be available during Open Life House nights.
  • Just a reminder, we will continue to phasing out cell phone use during the Life Nights by storing them away after the “Supper for the Soul” until the end of the night.



February 9 Life Night Recap

“Marriage”

This night continued our series on vocations. The goal of the night was to present marriage as a sacrament. This night was designed to help teens understand God’s plan for marriage and the role this sacrament plays in building up the Church. It asked teens to think about what kind of marriage they want to have, as well as what they will bring to their marriage rather than what they will “get” from it.
The night stressed three points:

  • The Sacrament of Matrimony is something that every teen has seen in their own lives. Their experience of witnessing the marriages of others, whether good or bad, impacts their hopes and fears for the possibility of his or her future marriage.
  • Marriage is a vocation. Like a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, it requires prayer and intentional preparation in order to follow God’s call and live a holy marriage.
  • Marriage reveals divine truths about the reality of God. God is a relationship, God creates, and God loves in a sacrificial way. The Sacrament of Matrimony is intended to reveal these qualities of God and provide a daily witness of the love Christ has for His Church.

Supper for the Soul:

We got our fill of carbs this week with a Spaghetti and Meatballs theme for Supper for the Soul. Thank you to all of our volunteers who made the meal possible! Volunteers are needed for future meals throughout the semester. If you are interested in contributing, you can sign-up at lifeteenfatima.com/dinner

Gather:

A wedding takes lots of prep! To kick off the night, and burn off the pasta just consumed, the teens were broken into a few groups for a timed “wedding prep” challenge. Each group was tasked with decorating a multi-tiered wedding cake and constructing bride/groom wedding toppers for their cake. The clean-up crew averted their eyes while the teens got to work on their edible works of art!

Proclaim:

Two of our favorite musical Life Teen couples dropped in and gave witnesses on marriage.

Camille and Danny shared their journey of transforming their college friendship into a vocation. All five of their daughters were present for a powerful talk on how marriage is a calling. They shared that marriage is not perfect, but that God is and how important God is to a marriage.

Megan and Jon shared their story from friendship to marriage as well. In another moving talk, they emphasized how important having a solid friendship with each other was before they could develop a deeper relationship.

Fr. Souza wrapped up the proclaim asking the teens what they saw in their future spouses. On the topic of dating, Fr. Souza emphasized how if our teens desire marriage and parenthood, that their dating lives should reflect that. “If you meet someone and you don’t think they would be a good parent or spouse, then don’t waste your time. Ultimately you deserve someone who is going to love you and your family completely. God is going to bring that person into your life on God’s time”

Break:

For the break, we separated into girl-only and boy-only groups and continued discussing the vocation or marriage. We discussed how we prepare to enter into a marriage and a relationship and what we contribute to a relationship.

Send:

Before closing for the evening, we briefly recapped the night. Where we typically close with the “Hail Mary”, in the spirit of Marriage and unity we closed prayer through our Father and Mother, prayer the Lord’s Prayer as well.

Announcements:

  • Any teen that has been enjoying the Sunday evening Life Nights or Pizza & Prayer is strongly encouraged to join us for the upcoming Maine Retreat. This retreat is not part of the Confirmation curriculum and is open to any and all high school teens. For more information, visit lifeteenfatima.com/retreat
  • Next Sunday, February 16, we will be having a Life Night themed around some of the church’s great female saints. The night will have curriculum but be more social and activities based. We hope anyone not away during break will join us. Teens with siblings in the middle school program are invited to bring their siblings along!
  • On Sunday we launched a new SnapChat account for Life Teen Fatima. Be sure to add “lifeteenfatima” on SnapChat! If you’re not on social media, you can still check out out our Instagram feed as it is on the bottom of our homepage at lifeteenfatima.com!
  • Just a reminder, we will be phasing out cell phone use during the Life Nights by storing them away after the “Supper for the Soul” until the end of the night.



January 26 Life Night Recap

“Would You Rather”

This night continued our series on vocations. The goal of the night was to define discernment and help the teens understand how discernment plays out in everyday life as we live our universal call to holiness. The night also provided practical ways to discern God’s will in both small and big decisions.
The night stressed three points:
• Discernment is needed for more than our vocation. It is something we can use for all decisions.
• Discernment will help us to find out how to love God, love others, and spread the Gospel. All people have this universal call to holiness.
• The Church provides guidance for discernment and provides tools to help people better understand what God is saying.

Supper for the Soul:

We had a pizza night during Supper for the Soul. Volunteers are needed for Supper for the Soul in February. Sign up using lifeteenfatima.com/dinner

Supper for the Soul is a nice time for the teens to socialize, catch up with one another, and prepare for the evening. It’s always a great time for forcing the youth minister to take selfies as well.

Gather:

To get our night on discernment going, we viewed the latest feature from “OLF Productions”. In this movie, JT finds himself struggling to determine what his vocation should be and consulting with a “spiritual director” for advice. Click below to watch our latest Life Night movie. 

Proclaim:

Matt M and Matt B gave witnesses on their vocational journeys. Matt B talked about what led him away from his traditional academic path, into the seminary, and on his way towards being a priest. Matt M discussed what also lead him to the seminary, and eventually out of it. Both emphasized how finding their callings dealt with trusting that God had a plan for them.

Break:

During small groups, the the emphasis was on discernment and how the process can often be very difficult. Groups discussed practicals ways to discern and getting around the speed bumps that can get in the way of it.

Send:

Before closing for the evening, we briefly recapped the night. We discussed how we can’t go with God’s flow until be jump in the water. This week we will pray on what keeps us from jumping in.