image Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning June 8, 2014


Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:4

June 8 is the Feast of Pentecost. “In L’Arche, where I live, people who have intellectual disabilities are a constant reminder of the values of the heart, as Jean Vanier has often pointed out. Today’s Gospel brings strongly to mind a moment years ago that permanently changed our community. Father Henri Nouwen was celebrating Mass. The Gospel we hear today was being read. As we stood in a circle, Ellen, who is Jewish but likes to pray at Mass, suddenly interjected, “I am a Jew.” Her statement was simple and pain-filled. There was silence for a moment. We knew that Jesus and his disciples were Jews, and that the people the disciples feared in the Gospel were the authorities, not Jews in general. Ellen’s comment initiated an enriching interfaith journey of learning and friendship that continues for us today. Indeed, the Church urges that we grow in understanding our Jewish roots. As we celebrate Pentecost, let us recall that among the many gifts of the Holy Spirit are insight, wisdom and courage. Father Henri and others received the insight that came from the comment of a person whom many in society would put aside. Ellen herself was listening to the impulse of the Spirit when she spoke. As Paul says to the Corinthians, we each are given gifts of the Spirit for the common good. Let us give thanks and choose to contribute our gifts and receive the gifts of others.” Beth Porter, June Living with Christ, page 59

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Listen to yourself breathing today and know the Holy Spirit lives within you.

June 11 is the memorial of St. Barnabas. “Although he was not one of the original twelve apostles, Barnabas is called an apostle by St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles. This is because, like Paul the apostle, Barnabas received a special mission from God. He was a Jew born on the island of Cyprus. His name was Joseph, but the apostles changed it to Barnabas. This name means “son of consolation.” As soon as he became a Christian, Barnabas sold all he owned and gave the money to the apostles. He was a good, kind-hearted man. He was full of enthusiasm to share his belief in and love for Jesus. Barnabas was sent to the city of Antioch to preach the Gospel. Antioch was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. It was where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Barnabas realized that he needed help. He thought of Paul of Tarsus, a former persecutor of the Christians who had been converted when Jesus appeared to him. It was Barnabas who convinced St. Peter and the Christian community that Paul really loved Jesus and wanted to spread his Gospel. Barnabas asked Paul to come and work with him. Barnabas was a humble person. He was not afraid of sharing responsibility and power. He knew that Paul, too, had a great gift to give, and he wanted him to have the chance to share that gift. Sometime later, the Holy Spirit chose Paul and Barnabas for a special assignment. Not long afterward, the two apostles set off on a daring missionary journey. They had many sufferings to bear and often risked their lives. Despite the hardships, their preaching won many people to Jesus and his Church. Later St. Barnabas went on another missionary journey, this time with his relative, John Mark. They went to Barnabas’ own country of Cyprus. So many people became believers through his preaching that Barnabas is called the apostle of Cyprus. It is commonly believed that this great saint was stoned to death in the year 61 C.E..” Saints for Young Readers for Every Day vol. 1 pages 283-284

Holy Spirit help us to be humble like St. Barnabas. Today look for an opportunity to be kind-hearted.

June 12 is the World Day against Child Labour. Many organizations have been formed to address this international issue.   The best known is Free the Children. Craig Kielburger brought the world’s attention to this issue in 1995 when he was just a boy himself. There are books in your Book Room or Library that could be read today to celebrate this day. Children in Canada can be grateful that they are not forced to work in order to help their families to survive. Some of the books dealing with this topic are: Lessons from a Street Kid – C. Kielburger (purchased for every school library with EIE funds); The Carpet Boy’s Gift – Pegi Deitz Shea; and I Have the Right to Be a Child – Alain Serres.

June 13 is the memorial of St. Anthony of Padua. “This very popular saint was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195. His baptismal name was Ferdinand. Ferdinand was taught by the Augustinian friars. When he was old enough, he joined their order. At the age of twenty-five, Ferdinand’s life took an exciting turn. He heard about some Franciscans who had been martyred by the Moors of Morocco. These friars were St. Berard and his companions. Ferdinand was so impressed with the courage of the martyrs that he got permission to transfer from the Augustinians Order to the Franciscan Order. This order was very new. St. Francis, its founder, was still alive. Ferdinand took the new name “Anthony.” He went off to Africa to preach about Jesus to the Moors. But he soon became so sick that his superiors called him back to Portugal. On the way there, however, his ship was caught in a terrible storm. It had to land in Italy instead of returning to Portugal.

No one in his new religious order realized how brilliant and talented Anthony was. He never spoke about himself or how much he knew. So the Franciscan superiors assigned him to a quiet friary in Italy. There he washed pots and pans. One day Anthony was unexpectedly asked to preach in front of a crowd of priests and important people. Everyone was surprised at the wonderful things he said about God. From then on, until he died nine years later, Anthony was sent to preach all over Italy. He was so popular that people even closed their stores to go to hear him. After 1226, Anthony remained in the city of Padua, Italy. There his preaching completely changed the lives of the people. He helped the poor and worked to keep people who couldn’t pay their bills from being thrown into prison. His sermons helped people to not only understand their faith better, but to put it into practice, too. …Many people ask St. Anthony to pray to God for them when they need help. And many miracles have taken place through his intercession. Statues of St. Anthony show him holding the Infant Jesus because Jesus once appeared to him as a baby. Other pictures show St. Anthony holding a Bible. This is because he knew, loved and preached the Word of God so well. In fact, St. Anthony knew Scripture so well that Pope Pius XII proclaimed him the “Evangelical Doctor,” or Doctor of Sacred Scripture.” Saints for Young Readers for Every Day vol. 1 pages 287-288

This is one of my favourite prayers: “Anthony, Anthony come around, something’s lost that can’t be found.” Unfortunately, I have to use this prayer too often. Open the Bible today and read a passage of Scripture.

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

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia


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 3.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the Gospels as the inspired narrative accounts of Jesus Christ (i.e. Paschal mystery – his life, his ministry, his death and resurrection) and retell the narrative that tells the story of God’s love and plan of salvation for us. [CCC nos. 101 – 130] I would explain to the students that God inspired/invited writers to write stories of Jesus’ life. These writers went around to other people who were friends of Jesus and asked them about what Jesus said and did while he lived on earth. The apostles and disciples (friends of Jesus) told the writers about how Jesus lived (their memories of how he liked to eat with people and to celebrate with them), and how he worked (what he said about his Father, the miracles he performed), and about his death and resurrection from the dead. Then I would share some of those stories…first reading them, then asking the students to retell the stories in their own words. Some of the stories I would retell would be miracle stories and healing stories. I would not share parables with the students to apply this particular expectation because they are a bit difficult to interpret as part of the account of Jesus’ life.

Grade Two BL 2.4 Identify time in the liturgical life of the Church when Christians are invited to make a profession of faith in the belief that God is a Trinity of Persons (e.g. before receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, during the Mass and during the Easter Vigil, when making the sign of the cross). Make the sign of the cross with the students without using words. Then ask the students, “why do we do this?” Listen to what they say. We do this to express our faith in the Trinity (that is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.) There are other times we express our belief in the Trinity. Before receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, the baby is signed with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The priest pours water over the head, or body (in the case of Baptism by immersion), three times. During Sunday Mass we pray the Creed. We profess our belief in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in the prayer called the Creed. During the Easter Vigil, a special Mass prayed on the eve of Easter Sunday, there are many moments when we are invited to make our profession of faith in the belief that God is a Trinity of Persons. Then make the sign of the Cross with your students slowly with words.

Grade Three BL 3.2 Give examples of how the Church, like a sacrament makes Christ present through its witness (e.g. service to those in need; outreach programs to the young, elderly, sick and poor; celebrations of prayer and times of retreat, Catholic school religion classes, parish sacramental preparation programs, etc.).

The definition of the term sacrament is “outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” The traditional list of sacraments has included baptism, eucharist, confirmation, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage and holy orders. Since Vatican II the Church is included as a sacrament because it can be an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. The ways that the Church offers grace (making Christ present) is through its witness in the many forms of service. Some types of service to those in need – for example feeding the hungry and giving drink to those who thirst. Outreach programs to the young, elderly, sick and poor – spending time with young people, visiting the elderly, being present to the sick while they heal and helping the poor to have shelter, clothing, anything they require. Celebrations of prayer, mass, times of retreat are moments that help people feel closer to Jesus. Our religion class is a time to learn about Jesus and become a better friend. When children and young people prepare to receive the sacraments for the first time the parish community supports them and prays for them. So the Church is like a sacrament just like the traditional sacraments of grace. But it takes committed members to witness to Jesus Christ by how they live.

A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days


When Gilbert Keith Chesterton was conducting a class in Dante at Milbrook Junior College in California during a visit to America, a student who had lost her place exclaimed: “Where in hell are we?” The class roared. Chesterton warmed to the ejaculation. “I rather like that phrase,” he responded, “Good Catholic expression. A Catholic doesn’t live in Milbrook or in England, but sub specie aeternitatis, and the question always is, where in hell are we, or where in heaven are we, or where in purgatory are we. We live in that spaceless, timeless commonwealth and the question is very important.” The response was a measure of depth of Chesterton’s faith. He was born in 1872, and became a Catholic in 1922. Observers wondered why it had taken so long, so Catholic were his beliefs and writings. Still there were skeptics. “This is going too far,” said George Bernard Shaw, who regarded the conversion as something of a stunt. But then Chesterton and Shaw were forever needling one another. Once on meeting in a restaurant the huge, 350-pound Chesterton remarked to the tall, string-like Shaw, “To look at you, people would think there was a famine in England,” to which Shaw rejoined, “And to look at you, they would think you were the cause of it.” Chesterton once said that if he were ever going to hang himself, he’d use Shaw as a rope. He was a great wit. Chesterton was also one of the great conversationalists of his age, and jousted with everyone in sight, including Wells and Kipling. He formed a team with Hilaire Belloc, and like Belloc was militant in defense of the Catholic Church. As to why he became a Catholic, Chesterton said simply: “To get rid of my sins.” As a writer he was extraordinarily prolific, producing essays, biographies, novels, criticism, poetry – even a series of Father Brown detective stories, his priest-detective being modeled on the Father John O’Connor who received him as a Catholic. Chesterton died on June 14, 1936.”+John Deedy


Equity and Inclusive Education – Leadership for Equitable and Inclusive Schools

Leadership for Equity at the School Level LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT One cornerstone for developing future educational leaders is to provide opportunities for them to develop leadership skills early in their careers. Teacher leaders have a great deal to offer and, if nurtured and encouraged, will consider taking on roles of added responsibility. Principals should provide opportunities for teacher to take on leadership roles within the school and district. Ways to do so include these: chairing school committees; volunteering in the school’s welcome centre; mentoring a fellow teacher; participating on the school [well-being committee]; assisting the principal in developing a staff meeting agenda; chairing department or divisional staff meetings; conducting a learning session for a staff meeting; leading a book study; coaching a school team; being the school advisor for a club; and organizing a special event at the school (e.g., a science fair, special assemblies, a parent evening.)” Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, Avis Glaze, Ruth Mattingley, Ben Levin, page 167-168.

Twenty-first Century Education

Youtube links that have songs (lyrics and images) that teachers might use for prayer in the class: – Holy God We Praise Thy Name (a traditional hymn every child should know) – Here I Am, Lord – Jesus, Remember Me (Taize) – Veni Sanctus Spiritus – very appropriate for Pentecost (Taize) > Extremely Polite Kitten Wants to Snuggle More – 25 sec. Primary student will love this. > 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

Pen Names and Nicknames

Did you ever hear of a famous author named Mark Twain? He wrote stories about boys named Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But the author’s REAL name was Samuel Clemens. Mark Twain was his “pen name,” the name he used when he wrote books. And you might not recognize the name Theodor Geisel but that was the REAL name of the man who wrote about Horton the Elephant and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas so you probably know him by his “pen name,” which was Dr. Seuss. Only authors have pen names but lots of people have nicknames – even criminals. Did you know the FBI has a list of over 150,000 nicknames of criminals? Some of them are Gold Tooth Frenchy, Iron Foot Florence, Clothesline Slim, Fire Alarm Brown, and Step Ladder Lewis (a crook who carried a ladder with him so he could break into second-floor windows!) Criminals also sometimes use aliases – regular-sounding names like Jack Smith or Mary Brown but names that are not their REAL names. If they do that, the police record will include as AKA for “Also Known As,” like AKA Alexander Flintnoogle, AKE Jack Smith. Even God has some AKAs…he’s also called Lord, Jesus, Father, Saviour, Christ, etc. And he would like for you to USE one of his names by saying a prayer at least once a day. Will you do that?” page 86.


Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?



Read the following statements and indicate whether the statement is True or False in the Church’s teaching.

1. It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. True

2. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. True

3. All Christians are called to live a chaste life. True, chastity is not abstinence. Chastity is living with a pure heart so married persons are called to have a pure heart devoted to their spouse.

4. The various techniques of artificial reproduction, which would seem to be at the service of life and which are frequently used with this intention, actually open the door to new threats against life. True

5. There is no justification for the deliberate killing of an innocent human life.   True


Was that too easy? Try this quiz!!! Same Topic!

1. In the Song of Songs, the poems are long-songs meant to exalt conjugal love.

2. Eros, reduced to pure “sex”, has become a commodity, a mere “thing” to be bought and sold, or rather, the human becomes a commodity.

3. Love is “divine” because it comes from God and unites us to God.

4. Abortion is permitted in the case of rape or incest.

5. Conjugal love has two purposes: union of husband and wife and procreation.


Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Last weekend I watched a movie called The Amazing Spider Man 2. I really like Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in their roles. In this movie Jamie Foxx plays Electro. It is a good example of how someone who is bullied has pent up anger and hostility. Even though Spider Man was kind to Jamie Foxx’s character when the anger is ignited, chaos ensues. There is a fair amount of violence. I would recommend children should be teenage to watch and not be disturbed by the violence.


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

“In 1647, British Lord Oliver Cromwell outlawed Christmas, and by extension, Santa Claus.” Huh!


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