image Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 18, 2014


Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
“I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.”
John 14:3bc

May 18 is 5th Sunday of Easter. “A concern brought Rose to the parish social justice committee. Problems had forced the local soup kitchen to cut back. This meant two fewer days of hot meals a week for the hungry. She asked a simple question: Could our parish hall and kitchen be used to fill the gap? Where would we find the needed volunteers? Who would provide the food and cover unforeseen costs? Finally, the parish agreed to take on a weekend soup kitchen as a temporary Lenten project. Some 20 years – and many of thousands of meals – later, this ecumenical effort continues to answer a basic community need. But what if the concern brought to that committee had been on human trafficking in a far-off land or an industrial project threatening the environment and traditional lifestyles? How would we have responded? Luke tells us in Acts how the early Christian community reacted to a social concern that crossed ethnic and class lines. They took on the task of caring for widows while not neglecting the word of God, and “the number of the disciples increased greatly.” As individuals, we cannot respond to every issue. However, as Peter says in the second reading, “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.” All of us have our own roles to play in building a Christian community, which knows Jesus is “the way, and the truth and the life.” Michael Dougherty, May Living with Christ, page 89. Jesus, you are the way and the truth and the life, why do I get confused about this? Remind me daily so I don’t rely on my own steam. Look for signs of Spring today…crocuses, tulips, forget-me-nots. And especially the SUN!

May 19th is Victoria Day. “The birthday (May 24, 1819) of Queen Victoria (+1901) has been celebrated as a holiday in Canada West (now Ontario) since 1845; it became a national holiday in 1901 and, in 1952, was established on the Monday preceding May 25. An appropriate prayer is given in the Roman Missal, no. 24 page 1275. Petitions for the Queen, for Canada, and for justice and peace in the world may be included in the intercessions today.” Ordo 2013-2014 p.226.

May 24th is the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. “In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI asked that May 24 be observed as a Day of Prayer for the Church in China. It is a traditional feast of Our Lady of Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.” Ordo 2013-2014 p. 230

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

Grade One BL 2.3 Describe the experience of how we come to know and recognize our parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, etc. (i.e. as children we gradually come to recognize their face, their voice, their acts of love) and relate this natural way of knowing to the process of how God has communicated to us gradually through Scripture his “face” (e.g. in stages – Creation, Covenants – Abraham and Moses, the Commandments, Prophets) and especially in the face of his Son – Jesus Christ. [CCC nos. 50-73; 101-104; 198-231; 422-455]

As we grow inside our mother’s uterus we hear her voice from within. We recognize our parents’ voices first as they are with us through the whole time we are growing and developing. Once the baby is born he/she sees the faces of his/her parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents etc. Everyone loves to put their face close to a baby’s face to try to make the baby smile or laugh. Faces that are seen often are remembered. Voices that are heard often are remembered. Babies have their needs taken care of by their parents, siblings, grandparents and caretakers – these acts of loving care help the baby to feel safe and cared for. This is the natural way of knowing our families and caregivers. It is also the way we come to know God. God is the ultimate caregiver. Early on, parents speak about God as the Creator, God as the Father, God as the protector. All the ways our parents and grandparents care for us can be transferred to how God cares for us too. [This theme is covered in Fully Alive Theme One – rooted in our Christian belief that God creates, loves and sustains each person. This belief is the foundation of the program.] I would teach the song Abba, Father as it is a very simple, repeating song and can teach students about how God is creator and father. Questions about God come early. Children are curious about how things came to be. The changing of the seasons often spurs the questions about who created the world and who controls the seasons. In creation we meet the abundance of God; God is a generous being with great creativity. God could have been satisfied with one or two types of trees or birds. Instead God created many varied kinds. In God’s early relations with Abraham and Moses we see a God who wants to be in relationship with humans. God wants to help us live good lives and with moral guidance (10 Commandments). We learn from the Son of God, Jesus Christ, how to be a face of compassion, loving care, forgiveness. Children relate to Jesus because at Christmas time they see him like a baby. There are many images of Jesus that childen can relate to more so than God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Grade Two BL 2.3 Examine a selection of Scripture passages from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures to find references to God as Father/Creator, Jesus as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit as God’s gift for the glorification and sanctification of the Church. [CCC 185-278]

In the first two chapters of Genesis we hear about God who creates the heavens and the earth and all that lives on the earth. When Jesus was lost and then found in the Temple, Mary asked Jesus why he was treating Mary and Joseph poorly, Jesus’ response was “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” The Temple is the house of the Father of Jesus. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus invites all of us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. Not perfect as in no mistakes but perfect in being as loving as God is. In the first chapter of John’s gospel we hear the God created the world and Word became flesh. In chap. 3 of John’s gospel we hear that God so loved the world that He gave us his only Son ~ another reflection of God’s generosity. In John’s 14th chpt. we hear from Jesus that whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father. Jn.14:9-11 A little later in the same gospel Jesus says that “whoever loves me and keeps my word, my Father will love them and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Jn 14:23 In Luke’s gospel Jesus rejoices because of his Father’s wisdom in revealing things to children and keeping them from the wise. Luke 10:21-22 I would teach the symbol of “ichthus” – it is the fish symbol. In the early Christian church to recognize each other Christians wore the symbol of the fish to indicate secretly that they were followers. The letters of the Greek word for fish – formed the acronym for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour.” When Jesus appears to his disciples with Thomas present, Thomas answers Jesus’ invitation to believe with, “My Lord and my God!” Jn 20:28 At Jesus’ baptism by John a voice comes from heaven saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Mk 1:9-11 A very similar message is spoken by God at the transfiguration of Jesus. Mt. 17:1-8 Even before Jesus was born the prophet reveals: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.”” Mt. 1:23 In Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus foretold, the angel Gabriel says to Mary, “you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High” Lk. 1:26-38 The Holy Spirit helps Mary to be with child. Joseph is told in a dream that Mary conceives Jesus “from the Holy Spirit.” Mt 1:20 The Holy Spirit is one of the three names into which the disciples are to baptize the peoples of the nations. Mt 28:19 Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to his followers when he leaves. The Holy Spirit will help to remind them of all the lessons Jesus taught. Jn 14:25-26 The Holy Spirit continues to be present in the church and helps us to come to know Jesus and the Father.

Grade Three BL 3.1 Identify in the Scriptures and in Church teaching the mission of the Church (e.g. spreading the Good News to all people of the world through action, word and deed and to unite them with Christ, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:19-20; cf. Mk. 16:15-16) [CCC 535-570]

I would begin this lesson with the song “Go Out to the World.” It is upbeat and the students appreciate the simple message and rhythm of the song. I would also explain that we make the sign of the cross so often that we forget that it has much power…it is the formula for baptism [I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen+] However, we need to be putting our faith into action. People need to see us acting out of our faith – like when we walk for justice. We believe Justice is so important and we want to share that belief with other people by holding up signs to remind them. The song Be God’s and The Servant Song also fit this lesson’s expectations. You could show your class the sculpture of the Pope washing the foot of a young person showing that even the pope needs to put his faith into action.

A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days

In 1981, for the ninetieth anniversary of Rerum novarum and the fiftieth of Quadragesimo anno, Pope John Paul II readied a companion encyclical to update the church’s social concerns. The result was Laborem exercens (“On human work”). Issuance was planned for May 15, the actual anniversary date of its historic predecessors, but the assassination attempt on John Paul (q.v. May 13) forced a delay. Laborem exercens thus did not appear until September. It was the third encyclical of John Paul’s reign and thus far it is his most memorable. Echoing Leo XIII and Pius XI, John Paul II termed labour unions “an indispensable element” of modern industrialized society and a vehicle “for the struggle for social justice,” but then he took the church’s social thought beyond earlier encyclicals by including women workers in the thought equation. Women who work, he said, must be provided “suitable working conditions,” and “should be able to fulfill their tasks in accordance with their own nature without being discriminated against and without being excluded from jobs for which they are capable.” He added that respect was due “for their family aspirations and for the specific role in contributing together with men, to the good of society.”

But John Paul II was not sounding a rallying cry for women to join the work force. A “family wage” was needed, he argued, a sufficient single salary paid the head of the family so that the other spouse, presumably the wife, does not have to take up gainful employment outside the home. In similar context, the pope urged “measures such as family allowances or grants” so that mothers can be able to devote themselves exclusively to their families. The encyclical also broke new ground in addressing issues of health care, handicapped workers, unemployment benefits, foreign work pools and modern technology, which he said should be the worker’s ally, not boss and enslaver. John Paul II in 1988 moved social/labour discussions to a new and in some ways loftier international plain with an even more controversial social encyclical, entitled Sollicitudo rei socialis, “The Social Concerns of the Church.” The encyclical charged that rivalry between the world’s superpowers was subjecting the [Developing] nations to imperialistic “structures of sin” that deny them freedom and economic development, and it held accountable for this both “liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism,” though not specifying any nations by name. It was hardly any secret, however, about whom he was talking. The encyclical attributed to nations of those two ideological blocs “an unacceptably exaggerated concern for security, which deadens the impulse toward united cooperation for all the common good,” and it appealed for a turn away from the competition between East and West to solidarity and interdependence, said to be necessary for the elimination of social inequities between rich and poor nations. Among correctives recommended were a reworking of the international trade system, revision of international debt structures, new forms of technology transfer, and “review and possible correction” of the operating methods of international organizations. With Sollicitudo rei socialis, the church widened the lens on a watch Leo XIII began in 1891. Now it was international survival.” +John Deedy

Equity and Inclusive Education – Leadership for Equitable and Inclusive Schools
“Leadership for Equity at the School Level [Catholic] PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES Effective school leaders recognize the importance of developing learning communities within their schools where educators can share their knowledge, discuss challenges, and determine next steps in instruction. By ensuring that teachers have the opportunity to collaborate and learn together, improved student achievement becomes the focus. Research has shown that schools that promote the development of a professional learning community focused on student work and teaching practice have higher student achievement (McREL, 2005). Allington and Cunningham (2002) stress the importance of collaboration and professional trust if schools are to see all students succeed: ‘Schools where all children become readers and writers are schools where public professional conversations are fostered and supported. They are problem-exposing, problem-solving conversations. For public professional conversations to occur, the school has to be a place where professional trust is high – trust between teachers and between teachers and their administrator.’(p.16)” Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, Avis Glaze, Ruth Mattingley, Ben Levin, page 164.

Twenty-first Century Education The Friendliest Bear You’ll Ever Meet – Cute video 7 sec. I Love Moms or Something – Cute Video 6.15 min
This song was inspired by children. Skit Guys Why She Gets a Day – Comedy 2.36 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
“Riddle – Dee – Dee!
What is gray and has a tail and a trunk? Did you say an elephant? Wrong. It’s a mouse going on vacation! Why does a boy tiptoe past the medicine cabinet? So he won’t wake up the sleeping pills! What is black and white and has sixteen wheels? A zebra wearing roller skates! There are so maaaany crazy riddles. What’s your favourite one? Riddles are silly and fun too. But here’s a serious riddle/puzzle: why do people throw cans and bottle and paper and trash all over our nice streets and pretty country sides? That’s a silly thing to do, but it is NOT funny. Tell all your friends that trash belongs in a trash can, NOT in your house or your neighbourhood or your city or your world. Then you can tell them this riddle: What did the elephant do when he tripped on some trash and hurt his toe and couldn’t walk? He called a “toe truck!” page 82

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?
The Topic is WORLD RELIGIONS by pcartercsj – another of my favourite subjects to teach.
1. Which is the oldest world religion? Hinduism, however the First Nations peoples of the world had a spirituality earlier

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

3. Which world religion is monotheistic? Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

4. Which world religion believes in the Decalogue? Judaism, Christianity

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

6. Which world religion believes in many deities? Hinduism

The Topic is WORLD RELIGIONS by pcartercsj
1. As of 2001, which world religion had the greatest population?

2. During which century did the Catholic church arrive in Canada?

3. What are the four sacred medicines of our First Nations brothers and sisters?

4. To what couple does Judaism trace its origins?

5. In what world religion is there a ritual of the five pillars?

6. What world religion worships in a temple?

Movie Blog by Sister Pat
A while back I watched the movie Philomena on Shaw PPV. It has a very different focus from the book by the same name, which I insisted on reading before I saw the movie. And I am grateful I read before I watched but this time the movie was better. The story of a woman separated from a child born out of wedlock, when that was a scandal, and her attempt to reconnect with him as an adult. My favourite part of the movie is the theme of forgiveness and simplicity. Philomena is a simple Irish woman and I was inspired by her capacity to forgive and let go of hurts from her past.
This movie is a 4 tissue film.

Weird Facts – how many people will read this far down the email…? Are you one who will?
“A spermologer collects trivia.” Huh!

Leave a Reply