Missionary Discipleship Institute for Seventh Graders
The Missionary Discipleship Institute (MDI) is a year-long 3-part faith and outreach experience which provides a framework for students to encounter God in their lives and the lives of their neighbors on the margins and gain awareness of injustices that they face; reflect on how the Church is responding in love and the disturbance this creates in our own sense of discipleship; and discern, develop, and carry out a response rooted in God's mission.
This program was developed in partnership with Missions Office and Office for Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Seattle, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, and the Poverty Education Center at Seattle University. The Seattle program includes an MDI Institute Capstone Gathering of students.
The program includes three basic learning phases, divided into units. Each unit contains three lessons.
Students identify the presence of God in their lives, discern where they are called to share God’s love as missionary disciples, and learn and share with peers about the realities faced by people at the peripheries. This includes a local immersion encounter where they enter into relationship with people at the peripheries of their community.
Unit Two: Who is showing love to my neighbor?(DISTURBANCE/Lent)
Students discern a mission cause to respond to as a class, learn principles of missionary discipleship, reflect on and assess ways in which the Church responds (locally and globally) to this cause as witnesses to Jesus, and plan their own missionary response. This rubric is used to help discern a holistic sense of missionary discipleship.
Students get feedback from peer groups involved in the program and/or community leadership and then refine and implement their missionary action which includes Prayer, Liturgy, & Contemplation; Discernment & Solidarity; Encounter & Relationship; Witness; Proclamation & Dialogue; and Justice, Peace, & Care for Creation. Students reflect on the experience and share information with others in school, with a partner school, and the larger community.
View the entire curriculum as one document here.
Teachers in the Archdiocese of Seattle:
What They Taught Us Reflections
As a tool for ongoing reflection, Maryknoll offers a free online companion guide for the Orbis book What They Taught Us: How Maryknoll Missioners Were Evangelized by the Poor.
Resources on Issues Facing People on the Margins
The MDI asks students to research five topic areas related to the life and health of people around the world, and select one to which they feel called to respond. Resources provided around these topic areas include:
- Reflection activities that invite students to consider more deeply these issues through the lens of their faith and life experience
- Links to research sites where students can find information on each topic
- Summaries of the five topic areas with connections to Catholic Social Teaching and links to community responses
- Case studies of how Maryknoll missioners, Catholic Relief Services, and others are responding to each topic area in love and faith
Rubric for Missionary Discipleship
This rubric can be used by both students and teachers to assess missionary discipleship activity. It is also the basis for how students plan their response.