Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catholic Coffee Club

The Catholic Coffee Club is a group of home-school high-school students that join together to discover and discuss the Catholic faith. We are in the area around Spring, TX. We gather once a week during the school year to discuss what we learned while reading that week’s chapter. We base our discussions on the books printed by the Midwest Theological Forum in the Didache Series. We are a group of teens that gather together to explore the faith and become friends in Christ. The teens are guided in these discussions by a few adults that also love the faith in the fullness and beauty, love the teens for who they are, and own the answer books.

Years ago I decided that I wanted my daughter to have one class that was with her peers. I believe that once a child is in high school that social time together is very important. I didn't want the study of our Faith to be reduced to just another "class" with a "grade" given. The solution was to join with some others to study religion while also accomplishing the goal of sharing my love of my faith with my high school daughter and her peers. I worked up the idea that has grown into the Catholic Coffee Club.

The group has always met at a Coffee House or somewhere that sells a good cup of Joe. As moms we both loved our daily cup and wanted our daughters to learn to let the study of their faith be a part of every aspect of their lives, even the social aspect. At first it was two young ladies and one friend from traditional school that would meet once a week and dive into a wonderful set of books teaching the faith. My goal is that these teens will learn that their faith doesn't stop when they leave school. It is up to them to continue their learning. It is a great idea to start a catholic book club. I hope and pray that as they mature into adults they will encourage their peers by inviting them to have a cup of coffee with them and discuss an great teaching of the church.
The moms purchased the answer book and we went from there. Those three girls graduated last year. We now have about 17 teens that join us. The older one stick around and do a Bible study on their own. We have grown and I have learned so much. I just hope that the teens have also. The really exciting news is that a few cyber friends from around the country have copied this idea. We also have a second group in our own area filled with another group of teens. Across town two other groups formed and pretty much follow our format. I try to keep my group organized by using a free yahoo group. This allows us to send reminders and share information very easily.
We all come prepared having read the latest chapter. We pray and invite the Holy Spirit to guide our discussion. We share any surprises that we learn from the chapter. I am amazed that I still have those "no way, I didn't know that" moments. (Pretty sad considering this is my second time through this year.) We then turn to the back of the book and spend an hour discussing the questions that are listed. This isn't so bad considering the adults have the answer books/teacher additions. We then wrap up our discussion with everyone listing their prayer request. I love hearing what is on the mind of the teens.

It is a simple and wonderful way to share your faith with your highschool kiddos. I recommend this approach to my friends with kiddos in traditional highschool as well. Meet with your son or daughter once a week in a warm setting where you can discuss the faith. Encourage them to learn and to fall in love with the study of our Catholic heritage.

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