Bullying: A plague to combat together – Workshop Guide

Wednesday, 13 November 2013
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Bullying has become an epidemic in our communities. Is there anyone who has not been touched by it in one way or another? How and why has this come to pass? This workshop can help in our reflection on both the underlying causes of bullying and their antidote. During this time of New Evangelization we do well to remember the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). This workshop can be hosted as a parish-based event or in “domestic churches”, with couples and families acting as hosts in their own homes, for themselves or with groups of friends.

A. Opening greeting from moderator:

The moderator extends a few words of welcome to those gathered.

B. Communal Prayer:

The moderator invites those gathered to join in the following prayer:
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, you promised to send the Holy Spirit to your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in our lives the work of your grace and love.
Grant us:

  • the Spirit of Fear of The Lord that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward you;
  • the Spirit of Piety that we may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
  • the Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear our cross with you and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with our salvation;
    the Spirit of Knowledge that we may know you and know ourselves and grow in holiness;
  • the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our minds with the light of your truth;
  • the Spirit of Counsel that we may choose the surest way of doing your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
  • Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom that we may aspire to the things that last forever;
    Teach us to be your faithful disciples and animate us in every way with your Spirit.

C. Reading from the Word of God:

Matthew 5: 43-48

D. Small Groups Discussion:

The moderator breaks the gathering into small groups — ideally including no more than six individuals. Each group is assigned a limited number of questions — found on the last page of the brochure. A photocopy of the last page of the brochure is provided to each participant. Each group nominates a spokesperson/secretary who will report to the larger group at the completion of the exercise (45 minutes).

E. Sharing with large group:

A spokesperson from each of the small groups is invited to report the insights of his or her group relative to each question. Contributions to the larger group should be limited to one main insight per question considered (45 minutes).

F. Closing thanks and optional prayer:

The moderator thanks the participants for their presence and their insights and—optionally—closes by inviting all gathered to join in praying the Lord’s Prayer.

G. Parish Bulletin:

A summary of the main insights emerging from the workshop can be published in the parish bulletin.

Suggested supplementary reading:

Catechism of the Catholic Church (see especially paragraphs 356 through 361)

The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae)(see especially paragraphs 2 and 10)
(1995 encyclical of Blessed John Paul II)

Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris)
(1963 encyclical of Blessed John XXIII)

For personal prayer and reflection:

  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Isaiah 41:11-13; 51:12-13
  • James 4:11-12
  • 1 John 3:15
  • Luke 6:27-29
  • Matthew 5:11, 22, and 25:31-46
  • Proverbs 6:16-19
  • Psalm 35:17-28
  • Romans 12:19-20
  • 2 Timothy 1:7

With a view to making this workshop as fruitful as possible, copies of the brochure should be made available one or two weeks in advance of the event. If the brochure is not distributed in advance, copies should be made available to participants following the completion of the workshop. To order, contact the Catholic Organization for Life and Family: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (613) 241-9461, extension 161. Suggested donation: 40 cents per copy.