Pope Francis’ Visit Sparking Classroom Discussion in Area Catholic Schools
ST. CLOUD/COLLEGEVILLE - Area Catholic schools are using Pope Francis' visit to the United States this week as an opportunity to teach their students about him and his messages.
Both Cathedral High School in St. Cloud and Saint Johns Prep in Collegeville have been showing students video clips of the Pope speaking during classes. Teachers are giving students a chance to respond and discuss his message, including his comments on inclusiveness, respect, the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria and global climate change.
Deb Schnettler is the campus minister at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, she says students have been excited to watch the Pope's visit through the news and social media.
"This Pope especially since he's known for his very deep humility, prayerfulness and also his inclusiveness, students are really interested in him and have been in his two and a half year time as Pope."
David Fremo is the assistant principal at Saint Johns Prep and says students there have also been fascinated by the Pope's visit.
"Students are genuinely interested-they're asking questions and approaching their teachers with a lot of curiosity."
Fremo says they have put the Pope into their advising-home room lesson plans for the week. Groups of students will also be able to watch the Pope speak during class hours.
"When they have a curiosity about this-the right thing for us to do is to respond to that and honor that."
Cathedral will be recording speeches the Pope makes during his visit and is making them available to teachers to use in class. They are also utilizing Facebook and Twitter feeds to update students on his visit. Schnettler says the Pope's messages create many teachable moments for students and staff.
"I'm just so impressed by him and his message of inclusiveness and how we need to be respectful and loving to all people all the time, because that's what we're called to do,"