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Posted November 29, 2012

Book: When a Teen chooses you: Practical advice for any adult
Author: Joseph Moore
St. Anthony Messenger Press. Cincinnati, OH. 2012. pp. 101

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Drawing on years of experience as a teen advocate, Moore provides insight into how teens think, while offering tips to help you confidently talk about such delicate issues as prayer, morality, sin, and guilt. With practical information for anyone offering spiritual guidance to a teen, this book is an indispensable resource.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Fears and Worry

In addition to fears carried from childhood, new ones loom large on the teenage horizon --- mostly involving social interaction. Fears of speaking in class, failing examinations, and being disapproved of by peers become pronounced during the teen years. The two major problems among both boys and girls are “making something of myself” and “the mistakes I’ve made.”

The spiritual guide can greatly alleviate anxiety by maintaining an accepting manner. Being a good listener offers tremendous support to a young person. Also, of course, prayer. Remind frightened young people that the Lord has invited us to come to him whenever we are heavily burdened. But during times of distress, group prayer often works better for adolescents than does individual prayer. Because they are inclined toward introspection, teens’ private prayer can turn into a period of mulling over problems, whereas group prayer can be a real source of strength and encouragement. It is therefore helpful at times for the spiritual guide to pray with the adolescent.

Even a normally hesitant teen thinks of turning to God in the case of emergency. The threat of nuclear and biological warfare, terrorism, and random violence n the street can be significant factors in shaping personality, even in the very young. Young people realize that adults are unable to protect them from these ultimate threats to life. The seeming inevitability of doom and destruction can render every endeavor and commitment tenuous to the teen. Uncertainty about whether they will even have a future has a subtle impact on teens’ viewpoint regarding putting off pleasure (indulgence in sex, drugs and an attitude of not caring) and investing energies in long-term enterprises (studies, relationships, goals). Teens simply find life’s situations difficult to accept and churn with the question “why?” they have not come to appreciate the comforting thought that it does not add a single cubit to a person’s stature to worry over anything, or that today’s worries are sufficient because there’s nothing that we can do about tomorrow anyway; we are in God’s hands.

Table of Contents:

Who is the teen?

Searching for identity

Moving toward independence

The peer group

Riding an emotional roller coaster

Growing in faith

Developing a moral sense

Needing structure and Guidance

You can be a spiritual guide

Being a good listener

Being a wounded healer

Boosting self-esteem

Praying with teens

3.Talking about prayer

Nurturing growth

Getting practical

Talking about Sunday liturgy

Distractions from the inner journey

Talking about morality

Forming conscience

Recognizing personal sin

Being aware of social sin

Dealing with guilt

A footnote on gay teens

Tough issues for teens


Dealing with death

Fears and worry

Drinking and drugs

Coping with divorce and parental separation

Helping in a crisis

A final challenge

Gospel passages for reflection and discussion

A meeting for confirmation sponsors

A mini-retreat for confirmation sponsors and candidates

An unstructured one-on-one sponsor – candidate program

A structured four-week one-on-one sponsor-candidate program