Two staff members at a Brisbane Catholic school have published a prayer book aimed at engaging Generation Z. Source: The Catholic Leader.
St Thomas More Sunnybank assistant principal - religious education John Thomas and campus minister Marnie Hewitt both wanted a resource to engage Generation Z, born 1997-2012. Everything out there was from the 1970s, Ms Hewitt said.
What the pair ended up with was a sleek, modern book that aesthetically was closer to an Instagram feed than a volume of the Summa Theologica.
The 95-page Gen Z Prayer Book retains a Catholic feel with traditional prayers – from Our Father to Salve Regina – filling the front section and prayers written by St Thomas More students, teachers and parents filling the middle. The last section includes prayers for life events, such as birthdays.
Ms Hewitt said many young people had never been spiritually nurtured or experienced sacramental care.
“It’s a big step for them to be open to (spirituality), because if they’re not raised to be open to spirituality, it’s quite foreign,” she said. “That’s why journeying with them is so important.
“Because you get them comfortable and you get them familiar with you, and once they’re familiar with you, they’ll be open to what the source and summit of your life is.”
Mr Thomas said if you wanted to build young Catholics who were connected to their faith, it took investment – both time and money.
Mr Thomas found it was cheaper to print 600 copies of the Gen Z Prayer Book than budget for photocopying similar limited-use texts.
Ms Hewitt said the benefit of students being able to take the book home and put in the bookshelf was beyond anything a photocopy would ever achieve.
“If I had a resource like this when I was at school, I’d appreciate it, because someone put a lot of effort into that,” she said.
“We’ve had a lot of traction even with people wanting to give them as graduation gifts.”
Want Generation Z to pray? This Catholic school has a book for that (The Catholic Leader)