image Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 4, 2014


Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
“Cry out with joy to God” Psalm 65

May 4 is 3rd Sunday of Easter. “Have you ever had an “aha!” moment? They can be quite rare, but when we get one, we know it. It comes as an instant recognition, a realization, a light dawning – we suddenly ‘get it,’ sometimes after a long period of seeming quite dense. And that can feel awfully good. Psychology is looking increasingly at what happens when our brain and body make a ‘mindful’ connection. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone’ – that perfect moment when you can do no wrong. Mystics understand that this connection takes place in the soul. This is the sort of epiphany the disciples experienced while walking on the road to Emmaus with Jesus. There are two key elements of the miracle that occurred on that first Easter, and they remain with us to this day in the gift of the Mass – sharing the Word and sharing the Eucharist. After Jesus shared the scriptures with the disciples, “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.” Think about it! If we open ourselves up to the miracle of Christ in the Word and in the Eucharist, here and now, he is here with us again. And that is a miracle.” Patrick Doyle, May Living with Christ, page 39. Jesus inspire us to see you in the goodness around us. Have an Easter egg hunt in your home/class/office! It is only the third week of Easter. Celebrate!

May 4 is also the beginning of Catholic Education Week 2014. Let us celebrate the week wholeheartedly!

May 5 – We celebrate serving FAITHFULLY in the love of Christ. “serve God in sincerity and in faithfulness” Joshua 24:14

May 6 – We celebrate serving HUMBLY in the love of Christ. “Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it is a tree which stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it is a long way from here. Hold on to life, even when it is easier letting go. Hold on to my hand, even when I have gone away from you.” Pueblo Blessing

May 7 – We celebrate serving COMPASSIONATELY in the love of Christ. “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness” Col 3:12 Today we join in celebrating the province–wide mass with Secondary School students and staff. As well we have our Walk for Justice – supporting Development & Peace.

May 8 – We celebrate serving JUSTLY in the love of Christ. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King Jr.

May 9 – We celebrate serving JOYFULLY in the love of Christ. “When we begin to believe that there is greater joy in working with and for others, rather than just for ourselves, then our society will truly become a place of celebration.” Jean Vanier

Serving in the Love of Christ – a quote for the week
“I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:27c

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Believing ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes
By the end of grade 6, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:
 Reflect on the saving story of our Christian faith and how we are to respond to God’s gift of salvation;
 Cherish the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as an encounter with God, and Christ Jesus as the living Word of God at the heart of the gospels;
 Actively seek to find the face of God in Scripture, in God’s creation, particularly in the face of the other;
 Proclaim with confidence a belief in the mysteries of the Catholic faith, the Creed.

Grade Four BL 2.2: Summarize what the Church teaches about the three states of life that exist after death: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. Heaven:

“Those who died in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face.” [CCC 1023] “This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.” [CCC 1024] After speaking about heaven with students invite them to draw a picture of what they think heaven will look like. If the movie “Heaven is for Real” becomes available on Youtube you could show the images that the young boy saw.

Purgatory: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” [CCC 1030] “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect (the Baptized), which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.”[CCC 1031] Be careful when choosing your words for Purgatory. It can be likened to preparing to go to the dentist…we brush our teeth everyday and floss and sometimes use mouthwash. Then when we go to the dentist for an appointment we brush our teeth before we go. When we meet someone very special. We would prepare ourselves so we would be ready to meet the person, like the Queen. People are taught that they need to curtsy when the stand in front of the Queen. They do not turn their back to the Queen. They need to address her as “Your majesty.” So all the more we may need to prepare to meet God.

Hell: We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love God. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against God, against our neighbour or against ourselves. …To die in mortal (serious) sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”” You may want to read the Matthew 25 passage that describes the judgment of God.

Grade Five BL 2.3: Compare the vows taken at special moments in life (marriage, before testifying in court) to the way we profess the Creed in the Sacrament of Baptism and the Liturgy of Easter Vigil (“Do you believe”…”I do”), and explain why the Creed marks the moment of conversion for those who become members of the Catholic Church.

During the Rite of Marriage the members of the assembly express their role as witnesses by standing. The minister invites the bride and groom to state their intentions in the presence of the Church. The minister then invites them to declare their consent by answering three questions. Catholic wedding vows are usually preceded by three questions from the priest: “(Name) and (name), have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?” “Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?” “Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?” The bride and groom respond “I will” or “yes” (Rite of Marriage #34). – See more at: It is at this point that vows are exchanged before God. The bride and groom declare their love to one another before God in the presence of the minister. Following the consent, the wedding rings are blessed and exchanged. Before testifying in court – Someone will call you when it is your turn to testify or give evidence. You then go to the witness box at the front of the courtroom. Usually, the court clerk will read out the oath and ask you to swear (promise) to tell the truth on a Bible. You don’t have to swear on the Bible. There are other oaths for other religions. If you are not religious, tell the court that you want to affirm, which means you’ll promise to tell the truth. These are serious moments of promise. One to promise to live a covenant of love with another person. The other to promise to tell the truth so legal processes can take place. The word Creed comes from Credo which is Latin for “I believe.” There are two Creeds we can use to profess our faith. The Apostles’ Creed (the older of the two forms) and the Nicene Creed (the longer formula) are the two Creeds. There are a couple of ways to profess our faith. The Baptismal Profession of Faith is done where the presider (priest) poses questions of the statements of the faith and the people answer “I do.” This is formula is also used at the Liturgy of the Easter Vigil. The Creed marks the moment of conversion for those adults who become members of the Catholic Church. If an adult has come from another Christian denomination and has already been baptized, the adult is not baptized again but professes the Creed as a way of joining the Church and they are confirmed as members of the Catholic Church.

Grade Six BL 2.2: Through an examination of the account of the Incarnation in Scripture, identify the role of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin May and describe the meaning and significance of the Incarnation (i.e. the Son of God became human). “Taking up St. John’s expression, “The Word became flesh,” [John 1:14] the Church calls “Incarnation” the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. In a hymn cited by St. Paul, the Church sings the mystery of the Incarnation: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of [humans.] And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”[Phil. 2:5-8]” [CCC 461] In the words of the Creed we pray “conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary” when we are referring to how Jesus came to be incarnated. Mary’s role: Mary is invited by the angel Gabriel to be the mother of God. Her response to this request is “How can this be, since I know not man?” The Holy Spirit’s role: The angel responds, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” The meaning and significance of the Incarnation is that Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God…loved me and gave himself for me.” [John 19:34] He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that…love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception.” [CCC 478]

A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days
Returning for one last time to Easter…there are a number of colourful customs connected to the season, like colouring eggs and things like that. Did you ever wonder about their origin? Let’s look at some of them. Easter eggs. The colouring of them goes back to when the use of eggs was forbidden in accordance with the Lenten fast. People coloured them at Easter as an expression of Easter joy. The Lord was risen; eggs were back on the table – and they arrived there brightly coloured, the symbol of the new life of the church and the germinating life of spring. The Easter rabbit. The rabbit theoretically lays the Easter egg; thus the egg hunt of Easter Sunday morning. The rabbit was a pagan symbol, but it fit nicely into Christian mythology as the emblem of fertility and new life. The Easter fire. Here’s another pagan custom carried into Christian tradition. For pagans this was the new fire that signified the victory of spring over winter. The church incorporated the tradition into the Easter liturgy as the symbol of the new life of resurrection. Easter water. This is the holy water, once upon a time blessed only twice a year, on the vigils of Easter and Pentecost, and in the old liturgy distributed to the faithful before the holy oils were poured in it. Catholic Christians of old attached great healing power to the Easter water. The Easter blessing. It was extended to homes (in memory of the passing of the angel in Egypt and the signing of the doorposts with the blood of the paschal lamb), and among some ethnic groups is still sought for the foods of the Easter table, so that what was for forty days banned by the church might now be blessed in the Lord. Easter laughter (Risus Pachalls). The somberness of Lent behind, priests inserted jokes and funny stories into the sermons of Easter, and drew their moral, as the congregation laughed. Clement X barred the custom as unseemly.” +John Deedy

Equity and Inclusive Education – Leadership for Equitable and Inclusive Schools
“Leadership for Equity at the School Level BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Effective school leaders interact with students frequently, fostering personal connections. They get to know students by name and engage them in conversations so they can know them better. They visit classrooms regularly and discuss assignments and daily lessons with their students. They listen to their students and look for cues that they understand the work and how it will be evaluated. They check on student well-being and are astute at noticing signs of distress or concern. They take a personal interest in all of their students.” Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, Avis Glaze, Ruth Mattingley, Ben Levin, page 158.

Twenty-first Century Education > Royals gets a Christian makeover – Very clever! Excellent for Junior, Intermediate or Senior students and Adults. 3.26 min > In God Alone – a remake of a traditional Catholic hymn by a young vocalist. 4.06 min – A great Easter Hymn. An amazing voice!! > Jesus Give Us Love – an artistic depiction and reflection of the words to this song which will inspiration all viewers. 4.13 min > a completely new kind of presentation software – it makes telling your story simple, beautiful and fun. > 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
“Who Said That?
Did you ever hear someone say, “That’s sour enough to make a pig squeal!” or “He’s up a creek without a paddle!” or “She’s as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” These are silly sentences that we just call “old sayings” because people have been saying them for a long time but we don’t know who said them first or why they keep being repeated! Sometimes one family has “old sayings” of their own that another family may have never heard. One grandma might say, “He’s as ugly as sin” and another might say, “She’s as pretty as a peach.” Are there any old sayings like that in your family? If you can’t think of any, why don’t you ask your mother or aunt or cousin and see if there are some you haven’t heard yet. And then you can giggle and think how nice it is that each family has sayings, customs, traditions, favourite foods, etc., that belong ONLY to that family. And yet there are some things that MOST families say or do or enjoy. So families are different and also alike. That’s the way God’s whole world is. Wherever you go, you’ll find some things that are different and some that are alike!” page 80

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?
CATHOLIC JEOPARDY : Do forget to give your answer in the form of a question.
1. The Ascension of Our Lord occurs 40 days after Easter.

2. What happened on this feast? Jesus ascended into heaven.

3. Is Ascension Thursday a holy day of obligation? Not in Canada, we transfer the feast to the Sunday.

4. As Jesus ascended, who came to visit the apostles? Two men dressed in white garments (angels) came to visit the apostles.

5. What did these visitors say? The angels said “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?”

The Topic is PRAYER by pcartercsj – my favourite topic!!!
1. What is the form of prayer where a circle of beads is used?

2. What is the form of prayer where the imagination is employed?

3. What is the form of prayer where only one word is repeated over and over?

4. What is the form of prayer where we are spiritual present to someone without being physically present?

5. What is the form of prayer where the word of God is proclaimed in as many languages as are represented by the Congregation present?

Movie Blog by Sister Pat
Last night I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on Shaw PPV. It was delightful. It reminded me of young children who are daydreamers, suspended in their imaginations. When I was in Grade eight, our elementary school put on the stage play by this name. I did not act but sang in the chorus. This cinematic presentation is beautiful and would have been impressive on a large screen. It was fun to be suspended with Walter, trying to figure out what was real and what was imaginary.

Weird Facts – how many people will read this far down the email…? Are you one who will?
“A group of parrots is called a pandemonium.” Huh!

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