Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#PopeInTheUS: Youth Ministry Activities

There are some great resources for this week’s visit at (and live/ on-demand coverage), but thanks to ideas from the internet (especially the fantastic @fayemccready), these are some activities we’re doing in youth ministry (adapting difficulty levels for middle and high school) to celebrate the Pope in the U.S. this week:

-To model Pope Francis’s love for the poor, instead of prizes for games, students have a choice.  They can either take a piece of candy for themselves or a can of food to donate to our local Catholic Charities.

-We set up a “Papal Photo Booth” with our stand-up Pope and included props like the Vatican flag, the U.S. Flag, the YouCat, a Bible, Our Lady of Guadalupe, soccer balls, footballs, etc.  I encourage the kids to take photos with Pope Francis and share it on social media!

-Using yellow sprinkles to make Papal “Sundays” with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream (pro tip:  get the ice cream already in cups and just add the sundae toppings!)

Icebreakers/ Games from Faye McCreedy:  

-“Ex Cathedra Musical Chairs”   musical chairs, but with a twist.  When the music stops, the student still standing is able to win back a chair by telling the name of an apostle (who hasn’t been named yet) or of a book or encyclical a Pope has written.  To speed it up (depending on the size of your group) you can take more than one chair out of the circle at a time.

-“Papal Flag Memory”  give teens a few minutes to study the papal flag, then see which team can draw it best from memory (can use this as an opportunity to teach about the symbolism of the flag).

-“Pope Mobile Race” - teams of teens drag each other on a  blanket through an obstacle course (we don’t have the space for this, but it sounds awesome!).

I’m sure there will be several great clips from the visit this week at, but we’ve also been watching the first part of this video:, when the Holy Father gives advice to a teen girl. Students of all ages have loved watching it!

I also created two power point/ keynote quizzes to use with the kids that can be found below.

Feel free to comment with activities you’ve developed to celebrate this week!  Sharing is caring!

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