Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 11, 2014

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
“The Lord is my shepherd.” Ps. 23

May 11 is 4th Sunday of Easter, World Day of Prayer for Vocations and MOTHER’S Day. “One of the Catholic cemeteries in the city where I live is called Gate of Heaven. In the last year, I visited it often because my m other’s remains are now buried there. Before this, I was not much of a cemetery visitor. Now, in her memory, I affectionately tend the roses I planted there. I reflected on my change of heart after reading today’s Gospel, in which Jesus says:”I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” This cemetery’s name, and the fact that my mother’s grave is there, remind me of Jesus’ words, which were also lived out in Mom’s dying. My mother was at the shepherd’s gate for several months. In the midst of her physical suffering, we who surrounded her with our love saw my mother become transformed by profound peace and acceptance of her dying. It was as if Mom heard the voice of the shepherd calling her through the gate and into the pasture beyond it. When I visit Gate of Heaven Cemetery now, it is an act of faith in the power of Christ to give life where there was only death. As we continue to deepen our faith in the shepherd who gives abundant life, let us give thanks for the foretaste of the heavenly banquet we celebrate today in the Eucharist.” Beth McIsaac Bruce, May Living with Christ, page 65. Loving God you call us many times in our lives to pass through the gate of faith, guide us to make the decision to follow your voice always. Pray for Vocations and give your mom’s vocation a vote of confidence by hugging her today!!!

May 12 is Canada Health Day. This day is “celebrated in health care facilities and community services across the country. This day reminds us that health and healing are essential aspects of our baptismal vocation. We are called to take responsibility for our personal health: to prevent illness and to seek a healthy lifestyle. Health means concern for the physical, emotional, social and spiritual health of our communities, respect for God’s creatures and the nurturing of the whole earth.” Ordo 2014

May 12-19, 2014 – National Week for Life and the Family. Pray for all of our families!!! Let us pray in a special way for new families and young families.

May 13 is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. “On May 13, 1917, three children were watching their sheep in a valley called Cova da Iria, near the town of Fatima, in Portugal. They were ten-year-old Lucia dos Santos, and her cousins, nine-year-old Francisco and seven-year-old Jacinta Marto. A flash of lightning suddenly startled them. The children thought a storm was coming, so they quickly began herding their sheep toward home. A second flash made them look around. They saw a beautiful young woman standing above a small oak tree. “Don’t be afraid,” she called reassuringly. “Come closer.” The woman wore a robe and mantle of white, with gold trim. Her hands, joined in prayer, were holding a rosary. She shone with a light that was brighter than the sun. Lucia asked the woman, “Who are you? What do you want?” She answered, “I am from heaven. Come here on the thirteenth of each month for five months. On October 13, I will give a sign that will make everyone believe.” The Blessed Mother kept her promise. The children saw her once more on June 13 and July 13. The mayor of the nearby town of Ourem didn’t like this story of a heavenly lady appearing to children. On the morning of August 13, he offered Lucia and her cousins a ride to Cova, where they were supposed to meet the lady again. But once he had them in his car, he brought them to the police station instead, and kept them in custody for two days. He couldn’t outsmart the Blessed Virgin, though. She simply appeared to the children several days later! A priest of the diocese questioned Lucia about the visions. How many times had they seen the Blessed Virgin? How long did she stay with them? What did she look like? Lucia answered all the questions. The priest also knew that Mary had told the children a secret. But he did not pressure Lucia to tell him what it was. Lucia told the priest a little prayer that Mary had taught them: “My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.” The Blessed Virgin again visited the children at the Cova on September 13. On October 13, 1917, 70,000 people came to the Cova to witness the miracle that Mary had promised. It was a rainy day. But Lucia asked the people to close their umbrellas. The rain stopped. Mary appeared to the children. Suddenly, the clouds left the sky and the sun came out. The crowds saw it spinning and shooting out flames like a fireworks display. One by one the sun took on all the colours of the rainbow. This happened three times and the scene lasted for ten minutes. Then the sun seemed to fall from the sky toward the earth. The people fell to their knees. Many thought it was the end of the world. They wept and asked forgiveness for their sins. Suddenly the sun stopped its fall and returned to its normal colour and its usual place in the sky. While the sun had been spinning and changing colours, only Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta had seen Mary appear as Our Lady of the Rosary, with St. Joseph beside her holding the Child Jesus. Then Jesus alone appeared and blessed the crowd. Mary also appeared as Our Lady of Sorrows and then dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Mary told the children what she wanted: She asked that people pray the rosary and change their lives. They should ask forgiveness for sins. She also asked that a chapel be built at the Cova da Iria. The chapel was begun in 1919. Together with Lourdes, Fatima has become the most popular place of pilgrimage for Christians. In December 1918, both Francisco and Jacinta became very sick with the flu. In those days they didn’t have the medicines we have today, and Francisco’s illness turned into pneumonia. He died on April 4, 1919. A few months later, Jacinta’s sickness developed into pleurisy, a disease which seriously affected her lungs. She underwent surgery, but died on February 20, 1920. Lucia entered the convent in 1928, becoming a Sister of St. Dorothy. In 1948 she transferred to the Carmelite monastery in Coimbra, Portugal. She died on February 13, 2005 at the age of ninety-seven.” Saints for Young Readers for Every Day vol. 1 pages 232-234. Mary, mother of Jesus, pray that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Pray a decade of the rosary today.

May 14th is the memorial of St. Matthias. “Matthias was one of the Lord’s seventy-two disciples. He had been a follower of Jesus before the crucifixion. While waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit, 120 of Jesus’ followers gathered to pray. St. Peter asked them to choose an apostle to replace Judas. This was very important because that man would be a bishop, as the other apostles were. Peter said that they should choose someone who had been with Jesus from his baptism in the Jordan River until his resurrection. The first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles tells us what happened. The group proposed two names. One was Matthias, the other was Joseph, also called Barsabbas. Then everyone prayed and asked the Lord to let them know which of the two men should take the place of Judas. Next they cast lots, and Matthias’ name was chosen. He became one of the twelve apostles. St. Matthias was a dedicated apostle. He preached the Good News in Judea, Cappadocia (modern-day Turkey) and on the Caspian seashore. Many people listened to Matthias. They believed his wonderful message. The enemies of Jesus grew furious when they saw how people listened to Matthias. They decided to stop him by putting him to death. Matthias died a martyr at Colchis.” Saints for Young Readers for Every Day vol. 1 pages 235-236. St. Matthias inspire in us the skill of deep listening to God’s Word. Try to really listen to people who speak to you today.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education
Believing ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes
By the end of grade 8, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:
 Recognize in the saving story of the Christian faith God’s call to holiness;
 Appreciate the authority of the Magisterium in the interpretation of scripture and its message for contemporary Christian living;
 Actively reflect on Sacred Scripture as a means to grow in understanding and practice of the Catholic faith;
 Proclaim with confidence a belief in the mysteries of the Catholic faith, the Creed.

Grade Seven BL 3.1 Examine various passages from the Christian Scriptures to identify and describe the mission and life of the early apostles in the post resurrection Christian communities. [CCC 857-870] After the resurrection Jesus appeared to the apostles to ask them to make disciples of all the nations. “Go therefore…, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” [Matt. 28:19-20] Paul describes the mission of the early apostles as: “so we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” [2 Cor. 5:20] Mark says that Jesus’ instruction was “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” [Mark 16:25] Paul’s letter instructs the early Christian community in Ephesus “as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And again later in the same letter Paul says “Pray in the Spirit at all time in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” In the letter to the Hebrews it says: “let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” [Heb. 10:24-25] Paul charges Timothy with the following words: “proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” [2 Tim 4:2] Again Paul charges Timothy as a young man, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”[2 Tim 16-17] In John’s gospel Jesus tells the early community that he will send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit who will teach everything and remind the community of all the Jesus said. [John 14:26] Life among the early believers changed dramatically. In the Acts, “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple (so these believers were in Jerusalem), they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” [Acts 2:42-47] You could ask your class to imagine that they are the Apostles. Read through the passages above and ask them to think about how their lives would have to change if they were going to live by the instructions above. Or ask them to write a newspaper account of the change in the lives of the apostles as they begin to live in the post-resurrection times.

Grade Eight BL 2.3 Identify and explain the meaning of the names, titles and symbols of the Holy Spirit to describe the Church’s understanding of the Spirit’s Mission. [CCC 691-701] The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity ~ one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them. [CCC 685] “Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son.” [691]
The titles of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the “Paraclete” which literally means, “he who is called to one’s side,” ad-vocatus. Paraclete is best translated “consoler.” The Holy Spirit is also called “the Spirit of truth.” In Paul’s letters we find the titles: the Spirit of the promise, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of God. In Peter’s letter we see the Spirit of glory. [692-693] The symbols of the Holy Spirit are water, anointing, fire, cloud and light, the seal, the hand, the finger, and the dove.

The symbol of the Holy Spirit
Explanation of the symbol
Symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit’s action in Baptism, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified as its source and welling up in us to eternal life. [694]

Symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. In Christian initiation, anointing is the sacramental sign of Confirmation. Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit, that of Jesus. Christ means the one “anointed” by God’s Spirit. The Spirit filled Christ and the power of the Spirit went out from him in his acts of healing and of saving. [695]

While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. In the form of tongues “as of fire,” the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself. [696]

Cloud and light
These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Jewish Scriptures, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory – Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert, and with Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and “overshadows” her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Spirit in the “cloud came and overshadowed” Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and “a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” Finally the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory on the day of his final coming. [697]

The seal
This is close to that of anointing. “The Father has set his seal” on Christ and also seals us in him. Because this seal indicates the indelible effect of the anointing with the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, the image of the seal has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible “character” imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments. [698]

The hand
Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them. In his name the apostles do the same. Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles’ imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given. [699]

The finger
It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons. If God’s law was written on tablets of stone “by the finger of God,” then the “letter from Christ” entrusted to the care of the apostles, is written “with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, by on tablets of human hearts.” [700]

The dove
At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable.” When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him. The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized. [701]

A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days

It was a blessedly beautiful May 13, 1981 spring day, and Pope John Paul II moved in an open car through St. Peter’s Square, blessing the faithful lining the way. Suddenly shots rang out, and John Paul slumped into the arms of attendants with bullet wounds of the abdomen, right forearm and left hand. The car sped to Gemelli Hospital, two miles from the Vatican, where the pope underwent two and a half hours of surgery, including a colostomy made necessary by damage to the intestinal area. The pope recovered, of course, and even the colostomy was closed in time. But it had been a close call. John Paul attributed his survival to the Virgin Mary, none other. Certainly the date was auspicious; May 13 marked the first of her six appearances at Fatima in 1917. The man who shot the pope was Mehmet Ali Agca, twenty-three, a convicted murderer who had escaped in 1979 from a maximum-security Turkish prison, where he was under sentence of death. The case against Agca enveloped alleged co-conspirators, and dragged on for five years in the courts. By trial’s end, Agca was serving a life sentence, but charges against three Bulgarians and three Turks for complicity in the deed ultimately were dropped “for lack of proof,” an Italian legal nicety which stopped short of full acquittal and implied that evidence existed to support both the guilt and the innocence of the defendants. Did a wide, even international conspiracy exist to kill the pope? Agca was the state’s key witness in its effort to prove so, but his credibility eroded, and with it the state’s case, as he experienced what came to be called religious deleriums. Several times Agca proclaimed himself Jesus Christ reincarnated. Papal security has been beefed up since the 1981 shooting, but it should have come sooner. There had been a forewarning. In 1970 Paul VI narrowly escaped assassination when a man disguised as a priest rushed at him with a knife in Manila, and actually got within a few feet before being subdued.”+John Deedy

Equity and Inclusive Education – Leadership for Equitable and Inclusive Schools
“Leadership for Equity at the School Level BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Principals build relationships outside the walls of the school, as well. Developing community partnerships will benefit the school in many ways. Members of diverse cultural groups can be a valued resource when establishing school policies. Community agencies can provide much needed support for students in difficult circumstances. Volunteers and mentors can help support students who are struggling academically. …the community provides a wealth of resources that can be tapped into by schools.” Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, Avis Glaze, Ruth Mattingley, Ben Levin, page 159.

Twenty-first Century Education> This is Easter – Ministry video 1.30 min > These Twins are Up to No Good and Mom and Dad will Never Know – Cute video 1.28 min > All In – Ministry video 3.28 min > 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
“Take Off That Mask!
Do you know who wears a mask? Well, a raccoon LOOKS like he’s wearing a mask, Batman wears a mask, and lots of kinds wear masks on Halloween – but there’s a different kind of “mask” that people wear to cover up how they feel. A man may be very mad at his boss, but he covers his face with a smile, pretends everything is just fine and keeps working. A lady may be so sad she wants to cry, but she makes her face look happy and everybody thinks she’s doing OK. And a boy may be really scared about getting a shot, but he acts real cocky and brave and laughs and kids around so nobody will guess. You’ve probably worn a mask on Halloween for fun but did you ever wear a “mask” so nobody would know how you feel? Sometimes that’s good…sometimes acting brave or happy helps make you FEEL brave and happy. But when you have a REAL problem, it’s probably best to try to take off your mask and talk to somebody about it. And then it’s a good idea to tell God about it too.” page 81

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?

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

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

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

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

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?​Taize Prayer

The Topic is WORLD RELIGIONS by pcartercsj – another of my favourite subjects to teach.
1. Which is the oldest world religion?

2. Which world religion is really a philosophy of life?

3. Which world religion is monotheistic?

4. Which world religion believes in the Decalogue?

5. Which world religion’s followers are expected to wear the 5 Ks at all times?

6. Which world religion believes in many deities?

Movie Blog by Sister Pat
Last night I watched The Book Thief on Shaw PPV. I had read the book many years ago and knew it was set in the time of the Nazi regime. I had forgot some of the detail of the story but became engrossed very quickly. The characters are well casted. The viewer becomes hooked and empathizes with the young girl Liezel. Her quick friend Rudy is a beautiful boy. Her parents teach her quickly how to be compassionate. It is a story for youth and adults. I hesitate to introduce young children to the evils of Kristallnacht and the Nazi too early in life.

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!

Leave a Reply