image Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning June 29, 2014


Sr. Pat writes, “This is the last Catholic Culture Update of the year 2013-2014.  Next year’s CCU will begin in the last week of August.  Thank you for all your comments and suggestions offered throughout the year.”

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
“Thank you God for summer and holidays!”

June 29 is the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. “Living in Nova Scotia, you learn great respect for rocks. They are everywhere, in every shape and size. The smallest ones sneak inside your shoe and cause you to hobble along the road, while the largest ones seem to have no beginning or end. We don’t have the awesome mountain ranges found in other parts of North America, but we do know the ways of our rocks. Though rocks seem solid, impenetrable, immovable and unchanging, they actually do change because of the interaction between their geological make-up and the effect of the environment. The stone mason can tell you which stones can be cut for a building foundation; which will make a great seawall; which must be placed very carefully to allow for shifting, cracking and erosion; and which should just be left alone. In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus promise to build his church on Peter – the Rock – the one who confesses that Christ is the Son of the Living God. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus says in response to Peter’s assertion of faith. Like the stone mason, Christ forms and shapes Peter to be the foundation for his body, the Church, which is sustained by the Spirit of the Living God to fulfill the mission of bringing the Good News of salvation to our world. Some rock indeed!” Marilyn Sweet, June Living with Christ, page 145. St. Peter, help us all to be living stones of the Church no matter where we find ourselves this summer. Carry a rock with you today.

July 1st is Canada Day. “Canadians should seek to be witnesses to Christ in Canada and the world, and to continue working to influence those in government to act from Christian principles and attitudes. Christians, realizing they do not have a lasting home here, should pray and work for justice and peace in Canada and throughout the world, so that all God’s people may share in the goods of this earth. God’s kingdom will come only when all people are ready to let Christ’s teaching guide and rule their lives and actions. Parishes should see that the spiritual aspects of today’s celebration are given their proper place and not lose in the holiday.” Ordo, Liturgical Calendar 2013-2014, page 271
July 3rd is the memorial of St. Thomas the Apostle. “Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. In the Syriac language his name means “twin.” Once when Jesus was going to face the danger of being killed, the other apostles tried to keep the Master back. St. Thomas said to them, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (Jn 11:16). When Jesus was captured by his enemies, Thomas lost his courage. He ran away with the other apostles. His heart was broken with sorrow at the death of his beloved Lord. Then on Easter Sunday, Jesus appeared to his apostles after he had risen from the dead. He showed them the wounds in his hands and side. Thomas was not with them at the time. As soon as he arrived, the other apostles told him joyfully, “We have seen the Lord.” They thought Thomas would be happy. Instead, he did not believe their message. He hadn’t seen Jesus as they had. “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails,” he said, “and put my finger into the nailmarks, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Eight days later, Jesus appeared to his apostles again. This time, Thomas was there, too. Christ called him and told him to touch his hands and the wound in his side. Thomas fell down at the Master’s feet and cried out, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” You will find this story in the Gospel of John, chapter 20, verses 24-29. After Pentecost, Thomas was strong and firm in his belief and trust in Jesus. It is said that he went to India to preach the Gospel. He died a martyr there, after proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to many people.” Saints for Young Readers for Every Day vol 2 pages 6-7. When the priest lifts the consecrated Host at Mass, we too can pray the words of St. Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” Are you among the blessed who have not seen, and yet believe? Rejoice!

Serving in the Love of Christ – a quote for the week
“A harvest of justice is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:18


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 3.2 Describe the various ways that Sacred Scripture is used in the Church to strengthen our faith, to form the common life and teaching of the Church (i.e. communal prayer and celebrations, teaching, etc.). The Sacred Scriptures are used as the source of the readings at Mass every time it is celebrated. In Ordinary Time the first reading is taken from the Jewish Scriptures and the second reading and Gospel are taken from the Christian Scriptures. During the reading of the Gospel we all stand together to show our unity as a Church and to give honour to the Word of God in the Gospel. Sacred Scripture is the source for the homily, the interpretation of the Word of God as food for thought and our lives. Everyone who attended mass ought to come away with a thought or insight to guide their week. At school Sacred Scripture may be used to help the community pray as one body. It may be used to help everyone to grow in the virtues during virtue assemblies. The Sacred Scripture may be used in religious education classes to teach us about who God is and how we are to live as followers of Jesus. The Sacred Scripture may be used as a focal point for the letters written to the local Church by a bishop. The Prayer of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours, is the prayer used by Religious congregations. It is based on the psalms and the gospels.
Grade Two BL 3.1 Explain how in the Eucharist we all share in the presence of Christ, first at the table of the Word (i.e. by listening to the Scriptures we are united in Christ the Word who forms our thinking, speaking and acting) and secondly at the table of the Eucharist (i.e. we receive in communion the Body of Christ and are united in this action of reception). The liturgy of the Eucharist has been preserved throughout the centuries from the Last Supper until our time. There are two great parts that form the Eucharist: the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily, and general intercessions; and the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion. There are two tables from which we receive the goodness of Jesus. We receive first from the table of the Word (the ambo, or lectern), then the table of the Eucharist (which is more like a dining room table.) We gather together and because we have been baptized, Christ is present in the assembly of the faithful. We pray and stand and sing and gesture together as one body. We present our gifts as an offering to our God, these gifts are usually brought up in procession – to signify that the gifts symbolically come from all of us who are gathered. In the prayer of the faithful we ask God to bless us and those we acknowledge in our prayer. Having received Christ in the Eucharist we are sent out to bring what we have received to the world outside of Church.
Grade Three BL 3.3 Identify the responsibilities a person takes on when they agree to participate in a mission (i.e. to receive a role to fulfill, to be sent to do a task, to be of service, to sacrifice, to assist others) and compare this to the responsibility of accepting to participate in the mission of Christ in the world under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (i.e. to announce the Gospel – Jesus Christ, to teach, to baptize, to heal, to offer forgiveness, to serve the sick and poor, to make Christ present). By our Baptism we have received a sacred calling, a mission to bring Christ to the world. This is the role we are invited to fulfill. That Christ inspires in us a way of living that others who see us question our motivation and mission. We have a task to do, to be of service to our brothers and sisters. Jesus tells us in the parable of the Goats and the Sheep that what we do to the least of his brothers and sisters we do to Him. Sometimes it will mean that we will have to make sacrifices. Just ask any parent if s/he has had to make sacrifices while raising their children. Our mission gives these sacrifices meaning. The Holy Spirit guides us as we participate in this mission of Christ in the world. We are guided to announce the Gospel, that is Jesus Christ. We are to teach, to baptize, to heal, to offer forgiveness, to serve those sick and poor, in other words to make Christ present to those in need. When we do this in Jesus’ name, we bless those we serve and in turn are blessed ourselves.

A Teaching from the Catholic Book of Days
…Conscience we know; we all have one. It is, quite simply, that intrinsic faculty by which we arrive at a judgment concerning the rightness or wrongness of a particular act. Historically, the church has honoured the primacy of conscience, while holding that the best-formed conscience is one aided by good will, by the right use of emotions, by the external experience of living, and by certain external helps. Among the latter is the Magisterium, or teaching authority of the church. But to say this is also to set up a dichotomy. Conscience is the “voice of reason” or the “voice of God,” and in Catholic understanding a person who follows/obeys the dictates of conscience shall never offend God. At the same time, however, Catholic understanding ties conscience to obedience, and further exalts obedience to a virtue when the individual subjects his or her will to that of another for God’s sake. Conscience thus is absolute, but it is also subject to obedience. The dichotomy is glimpsed in successive paragraphs of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, specifically Section 16 dealing with the dignity of the moral conscience: “In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience…. “Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths. In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbour….” This dichotomy makes for certain complications, at least one of which many find surprising. [will continue in August]+John Deedy

Equity and Inclusive Education – Advocacy for Equity – The Time is Now
“The most powerful and sustainable change happens from within an organization, not when it is imposed from outside. Advocates seek to understand, deconstruct, and confront issues such as power and power relationships. A discussion of equity requires a discussion of issues such a power and power relationships within schools and society. …These are sometimes based on factors such as socio-economic status, race, gender, and others discussed in this book. Differential power and privilege often manifest themselves in decision-making ability and access to all that society offers. All students must be able to envision themselves in positions of power in society and must be given the skills to realize their potential as leaders in positions of influence. There can be many negative repercussions if students go through feeling powerless and marginalized. This feeling often leads to lack of motivation, a sense of inadequacy, and school failure.” Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All, Avis Glaze, Ruth Mattingley, Ben Levin, page 178 – 179.

Twenty-first Century Education > One Inspirational Teen Shows That God Has a Plan for YOU! – Inspirational Video – 3.45 min > Don’t Go To Church (Summer Edition) > Ministry video
1.34 min > The Cost of Discipleship > Education video – 4.58 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
“Did You Ever Meet Mother Goose?
Did you ever hear any stories or rhymes about Old King Cole, Little Jack Horner, Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Jumped Over the Moon? Those all came from a Mother Goose book. And do you know who Mother Goose was? No, she was NOT a goose who could write. She was a real lady named Elizabeth Foster who married a man named Isaac Goose and became Mrs. Goose. When she had grandchildren, Mother Goose made up stories for them and the stories and rhymes were published in a book and Mother Goose has been a favourite of children ever since. How many Mother Goose stories have you heard? Humpty Dumpty, Jack Be Nimble, The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens? Do you ever like to make up rhymes or poems or prayers? You might make up a silly one like this: Thank you, God, for birds and tress. And tell me, God, do bees have knees? Why don’t you try to make up some poem-prayers right now?” page 89.

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. Sexuality concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others. True

2. “In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.” True, in our time it is recommended that the sentence above would use inclusive language, i.e. In creating humans ‘male and female.’ Language is so important in how it forms and informs our thinking.

3. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. True

4. Rape is always an intrinsically evil act. True

5. Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. True

We will take a break for the summer ~ see you in late August! Happy Holidays!

Movie Blog by Sister Pat
While in Toronto last week I had time to see the movie “The Immigrant.” It is a powerful drama about the lives of two sisters who immigrate to America with hopes of freedom and peace at the beginning of W.W. II. It is not a movie for the whole family due to scene of sexuality and harshness. It is a story of love and hope that does not give up! Three thumbs up!

Weird Facts – how many people will read this far down the email…? Are you one who will?
“Strawberries and cream is the traditional dish served at Wimbledon.” Huh!

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