Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 20, 2014

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.” Luke 24.34

 April 20th is Easter Sunday.  “Christian churches around the world resound today with loud and cheerful alleluias to proclaim the greatest good news ever told in human history:  Christ is risen from the dead!  What makes our joy still greater is that, as Saint Paul puts it, we are “raised with Christ.”  His resurrection opens up forever the future of humankind and of creation.  Both our present and our future shine from the radiant light of Christ’s victory over death.  Such radiant light first illuminated the women who went to Jesus’ tomb after the Sabbath and saw that the stone had been rolled away.  At that very tomb, Mary Magdalene had an encounter with the Risen Lord.  On the same day, the apostles were blessed when Jesus appeared to them, comforting them with the gift of peace and commissioning them to proclaim to the world the good news of his resurrection.  As we celebrate this Eucharist, the Risen Lord is in our midst, and the paschal candle lit on this very day stands as a reminder of how the resurrection of Christ enlightens every moment and every aspect of our lives.  Like Mary Magdalene and the apostles, we too, are commissioned to share the light, the peace and the joy that the resurrection of Christ has brought to our own lives.  Let us sing – and bring other people to sing along with us – heartfelt and heart-filling alleluias.”  Jean-Pierre Prevost, Triduum Living with Christ, page 95

April 22nd is Earth Day.  Every Earth Day it is a good idea to spend time thinking about our connection to the earth.  One way we can be connected to the earth is to pick up garbage outdoors.  It has been snowing later in the month so it may have to wait until May for the pick up to happen.  If your class wants to participate in the 20 Minute Makeover – please take care to pick up the garbage that is safe to pick up.  Do not pick up “sharps” which are things that could cut you or pick your skin.  It is important to tell adults about the sharps that you may find on the school yard and get the adults to remove the sharps.  As well, this year the makeover includes “Graffiti removal.”  Sometimes graffiti is artistic and makes a positive addition to the landscape.  Other times graffiti is “tagging” which means someone uses spray paint to make a doodle or signature sign on walls or boxes.  It is a negative addition and tends to mark up private property in a way that can make people angry.  Happy Earth Day!

April 25th is the feast day of St. Mark the Evangelist.  “Mark lived at the time of Jesus.  Although he was not among the original twelve apostles, he was a relative of St. Barnabas the apostle.  Mark is well known because he wrote one of the four Gospels.  That is why he is called an “evangelist,” which means “Gospel writer.”  Mark’s Gospel is short, but it gives many little details that are not in the other Gospels.  While he was still young, Mark went with the two great saints, Paul and Barnabas, on a missionary journey to bring the teachings of Jesus to new lands.  Before the journey was over, though, Mark seems to have had a disagreement with St. Paul.  Mark suddenly returned to Jerusalem.  Paul and Mark later worked out their differences.  In fact, Paul wrote from prison in Rome that Mark came to console and help him.  Mark also became a beloved disciple of St. Peter, the first pope.  St. Peter called St. Mark “my son.”  Some think that Peter meant to say that he had baptized Mark.  Mark was consecrated a bishop and sent to Alexandria, Egypt.  There he converted many people.  He worked hard to spread love for Jesus and his Church.  It is believed that he went through long and painful sufferings before he died around the year 74.  St. Mark’s relics were brought to Venice, Italy.  He is the patron saint of that famous city.  People go to the beautiful basilica of St. Mark to honour him and to pray to him.  In art, St. Mark’s symbol is the lion.” Saints for Young Readers for Every Day vol. 1 pages 198-199.

Thank you God for inspiring St. Mark to write his Gospel so we can hear the “concise” version.  If you have a disagreement with someone today, walk away and settle it when you have a cooler disposition.


Serving in the Love of Christ – a quote for the week

“to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice”  Sir 15:15

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Believing ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

By the end of grade 3, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Are curious and open to hearing the saving story of our Christian Faith;
  • Actively reflect on God’s Word as communicated through the passages of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures;
  • Stand in wonder and awe before God’s self-revelation in creation and in the mysteries of the Catholic Faith proclaimed in the Apostles’ Creed

[Will return next week with more content.]


A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days

EASTER SUNDAY….BUT WHICH SUNDAY?  Cooler logic stayed Victor from enforcing his excommunications of the Asiatics, notably that of Irenaeus and the bishops of Gaul.  The interest of Gaul’s bishops was not surprising, as they had long since despaired of all paschal computations, and preferred the simple solution of a fixed date for Easter; namely March 27, with March 25 being observed as Good Friday.  That preference did not prevail either.  Instead, most Christian communities gradually moved to Sunday observance of Easter.  With that the Easter Controversy entered a new phase – namely, if Sunday it be, which Sunday would be observed as Easter?  The question was thrashed out at the Council of Nicaea in 325, and was settled by the Council Fathers with unecumenical bluntness.  They severed the issue completely from Jewish tradition (“…it appear[s] an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin…”), then settled on a four-part rule:  (1) Easter must be celebrated throughout the world by all on the same Sunday; (2) that Sunday must follow the fourteenth day of the paschal moon; (3) the moon to be accounted the paschal moon was the one following fourteen days after the spring equinox; (4) the determination of the precise date for Easter was to be made, probably by the church of Alexandria as best skilled in astronomical calculations, then conveyed to Christendom at large.  Harmony would then be achieved – or so they thought.  It wasn’t.  There were lunar variations in different longitudes.  Also, different parts of the world were following different lunar cycles – some the Jewish cycle of 84 years, some the Roman cycle of 532 years.  Chaos.  In 387, for instance, Augustine recorded that Easter was observed on March 21 in Gaul, April 18 in Italy, and April 25 in Egypt.  In 455 Leo I noted that there was an eight-day difference between the Roman and Alexandrian Easters.”  +John Deedy   TO BE CONTINUED


Equity and Inclusive Education – Leadership for Equitable and Inclusive Schools

Leadership for Equity at the School Level COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP It is important for school leaders to seek input from staff members about their leadership, and encourage open dialogue about the value of their actions.  Some principals provide their staff with an anonymous evaluation form to get feedback on their own performance.  This mechanism provides staff with a safe, non-threatening way to share their thoughts.  Leaders who seek this kind of feedback are truly committed to continuous improvement.  They not only have to be able to ask the tough questions, but be willing to be questioned as well.”  Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, Avis Glaze, Ruth Mattingley, Ben Levin, page 157.

 Twenty-first Century Education > Psalm 138 – You Answer Our Prayer

www.catechist’ > Blog entry > Knowing how the story ends, changes how you experience of it!  All about Easter > a Canadian based website for Catholic teachers of Religious Education (my new fav) > Inspiring and soul-satisfying AMAZING videos about images of faith, love and hope  > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grade


130 Fun Facts from God’s Wonder-Filled WORLD! by Bernadette McCarver Snyder

“Now Where Did I Put That?

Did you ever hide something and then forget where you hit it?  When somebody hides something, they sometimes say they “squirreled it away.”  That’s because squirrels are always hiding things.  Did you know that in the fall, a squirrel hides as much as 600 quarts of food – saving it for the winter?  But then the squirrel does just what YOU do.  He forgets where he hid it all!  When spring comes, the squirrel has probably only found 60 of the 600 quarts of food he hid.  But a squirrel is not very big so he probably got by just fine with what he found!  And besides, squirrels are always so busy, maybe they just like to play hide and seek and don’t really care if they forget some of the things they hid!  Do you ever play hide and seek?  Do you ever hide when you hear someone calling you to ask you to help with a chore or telling you it’s time to go to bed?  You wouldn’t do that, would you?” page 77


Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?  

CATHOLIC JEOPARDY :  Do forget to give your answer in the form of a question.

The Topic is EASTER

1. The Octave of Easter is celebrated at this time.  What is Easter Sunday to Divine Mercy Sunday?

2.  The length of the Easter season.  What is 50 days?

3.  The day that at the Easter season ends.  What is Pentecost Sunday?

4.  The liturgical colour worn by the priest during the Easter season.  What is white?

5.  The Easter candle is lit from this source. What is the fire from the Easter Vigil?



Let’s change it up.  Answer the questions!

1.  When is Divine Mercy Sunday celebrated?

2.  Jesus appeared to which saint and asked for a feast day dedicated to Divine Mercy?

3.  Which pope granted this feast day for the universal Church?

4.  Jesus asked for an image of himself to be painted with what written message?

5.  When does the Divine Mercy Novena start?


BONUS question:  What two popes will be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday?

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Last weekend I watched a movie on Netflix that has been such a balm for my spirit. The title of the movie (documentary style) is called The Lady in No. 6:  Music Saved My Life.  This Canadian made movie won the Oscar for best   Documentary Film this year. This woman lived through some of the most horrific times on the planet but lived a life of simple joy and hope.  It is definitely a great Easter movie!


Weird Facts – how many people will read this far down the email…?  Are you one who will?

“Bubble wrap was invented accidentally when researchers were trying to invent three-dimensional wallpaper. ”   Huh!


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