A Method of Preparing Catechists to Teach Children a Christian/Catholic Attitude Towards HIV/AIDS

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Kaiser, Mary
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
What children are not learning in their educational settings is the response of the Catholic Church to the AIDS epidemic. For Catholic Christians, behaviors and choices of daily living are to be founded on the Gospel acts and teachings of Jesus Christ. From the time they are very young, children can begin to lay a foundation for learning, responding to the sick, suffering and lonely, with the non-judgemental compassion of Jesus as the prime model. Children nurtured to appreciate and treasure their own human dignity as well as that of others, will grow in freedom and ability to make positive choices about their behaviors. This means they will learn to realize they do not have to submit to peer pressure or be led by social and media messages. A young person growing with a Christian attitude towards AIDS can see that the virus does not have to be a feared threat to his/her welfare, thereby allowing greater openness and empathy towards those ravaged by this devastating illness.