Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning September 14, 2014


Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen+”

September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

“Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions:

Pay special attention at Mass this week to the number of places where the cross is displayed in your church. Why do you think we display the cross in those places? What crosses do you carry in your life?

Reflecting on God’s Word: How often do you think about the sacrifice Jesus made for you? Are you grateful for the sacrifices others make so that you can have good opportunities in life? How do you tend to treat holy objects and symbols? Do you treat them with reverence?

Act on the Word: Do some research this week to learn about different types of crosses, such as Celtic, Jerusalem, Byzantine, St. Andrew’s, or Dagmar crosses. Print out some pictures of them from the Internet, or post pictures of them from the Internet, or post pictures of them to your social media sites. What do these crosses signify? Which do you like best? Why?” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 29

 Like Us in All Things but Sin – an activity for Intermediate and Senior Students

Jesus was like us in all things but sin. If Jesus were a teen in today’s world, he would enjoy some of the same activities as you do. Consider how Jesus might spend a typical day with them by completing these sentences. Remind them that their answers should be appropriate for Jesus, who never sinned!If Jesus had a Twitter account, what would he tweet today?

  • If Jesus were to eat lunch with you, what would be on the menu?
  • What three songs would top Jesus’ personal playlist?
  • What would be the message of Jesus’ t-shirt?
  • Where would Jesus hang out after school?

2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 32

“Today’s Feast began as a commemoration of a unique event: the miraculous finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine. Helena journeyed to the Holy Land to see the place of the Lord’s Crucifixion. She found the spot and tore down a temple honouring the Greek goddess Aphrodite, which she found there, and began to build a new basilica in honour of Christ. As they began to lay the foundations, the remains of three crosses were discovered, but they did not know which was the true Cross. When a dying woman was healed after touching one of the crosses, they knew that the Cross of Christ had been revealed. The basilica was completed, and the Church in both East and West observes this feast in honour of the Cross on the anniversary of dedication.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 116.

Jesus, inspire us to offer up the small crosses we encounter in our week. Make the sign of the Cross with special attention today! Say a prayer for the Holy Cross Catholic School community!

 September 15th is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. “In the Gospel according to Luke, as Simeon holds the infant Christ in his arms, he tells Mary that her life will be full of suffering. Her son will be “opposed,” and “a sword will pierce [Mary’s] soul, too” (Luke 2:34, 35) That prophecy is fulfilled when Jesus is crucified and Mary stands at the foot of the Cross. The image of the Mater Dolorosa, the Sorrowful Mother, is the subject of one of the most famous works of art, Michelangelo’s Pietà, which shows Mary with the dead Christ in her arms, her face revealing peace and acceptance, and yet profound grief. Today we ask the intercession of this sorrowful Mother for all mothers who suffer for their children, and especially those who have lost a child.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 116

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Google the image of the Pietà. Sit with it for a few minutes and pray for all mothers who have lost their children.

Exploring Paths of Joy – a quote for the week

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living a Moral Life ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

By the end of grade 8, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Make moral decisions in light of gospel values and with an informed conscience;
  • Rely on the power of faith, hope, charity and grace when faced with a personal, social or moral challenge;
  • Recognize that “sin, human weakness, conflict and forgiveness are part of the human journey” and that the cross is the ultimate sign of forgiveness which resides at the heart of redemption; (CGE: 1j)
  • Seek guidance from Catholic moral teaching when faced with a moral dilemma;
  • Appreciate God’s gifts of grace, freedom, conscience and reason and accept the responsibility that comes with each.

Grade Seven ML 1.1 Examine a number of scriptural passages on the centrality of love, marriage and sexuality, and the moral life and explain how they form the basis of Church teaching in these areas.

“The fundamental and innate vocation of every human being [is to love].” [CCC 1604] We are called to love. “[Love] is the greatest social commandment. It respects others and their rights. It requires the practice of justice, and it alone makes us capable of [justice]. [Love] inspires a life of self-giving.” [CCC 1889] “The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbour.” [CCC 2067] “The Decalogue (10 Commandments) brings [human’s] religious and social life into unity.” [CCC 2069] As we mature and grow in relationships we experience different types of love. Our sexuality is expressed in our relationships and we are attracted to others and become attached in relationships and friendships. Our social life and our spiritual life connect in our relationships.

The passage from 1Corinthians13 is read most often at weddings in the Church. It describes love and many of the ways love can be described. Have your students read the passage from verses 4 to 13. Have your students to read the same passage again but every time they see the word ‘love’ ask them to substitute their name. Ask your students if what they have read is true? Are you patient? Are you kind? Are you not jealous? Invite them to pick one of the characteristics of love to practise in an intentional way for a week, especially one that they struggle with. Now teacher read the passage again and this time substitute the word love with the word ‘God.’ God gives us the best example of love. We could easily substitute the word Jesus too. God shows us how to love and how to be loving. All of us are given the gift of love from God as a virtue. God wants us to feel love and to be loved more than anything. That is why at the end of the passage from 1 Cor. 13 it says “and the greatest of these is love.” In Matthew’s gospel a teacher of the Law tries to trick Jesus. He asks Jesus which of the Ten Commandments is the most important. Jesus answers with wisdom. Have a student read the passage from Matthew 22:36-40. If we look at the Ten Commandments we see a pattern that the first three are about loving God. The seven that remain are about loving our neighbour. Jesus’ response is complete and he is not tricked. Ask your class – Why is it necessary to love your neighbour as you love yourself? What does this passage from Matthew’s gospel teach us about love and living a moral life? If we steal, are we loving our neighbour? Are we living a moral life? What does the word moral mean? A life based on right and wrong and doing right. The passage 1 John 4:7-21 reminds us to have no fear when we love. Love comes from God. When we are loving, we are living true to our identity as God’s children. Have students read the passage 1John 4:7-21. What message is the same as the previous two passages? What message is unique to this passage? Why is it so challenging to love everyone?

These three passages form the foundation for a moral life, a life of love and goodness. What in our culture encourages us to live a moral life? When we go to the movies, it is interesting how many of the infomercials teach us how to be attentive to the needs of others, essentially teaching us to live morally good lives. Some commercials teach us how to be good citizens. Hallmark commercials teach us about love. Our Church has been teaching for hundreds of generations how to live a morally good life and how to live in loving relationships. It is important to know and listen to the Church’s wisdom on how to live a morally good life. It has a lot of knowledge about the subject.

Grade Eight ML 1.1 Identify and describe the elements of a moral life outlined in the Beatitudes and explain how beatitude living gives witness to a life of morality, Christian holiness and the work of the Holy Spirit. When I was in high school we had a club called the Be-at-it-tudes. Our mission was to do good works and give witness to our lives of faith. Today we have clubs like Extreme Home Makeovers, or Habitat for Humanity or St. Vincent de Paul. These groups do exactly what our Be-at-it-tudes group did but on a much larger scale. We are all called to live a life of Christian holiness. We are called to listen to the promptings/the nudges of the Holy Spirit to know what we ought to do and when. When we offer help to others we feel blessed by the opportunity to use our gifts and time in the service of others. “Grace is the help that God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his [children]. It introduces us into the intimacy of the life [of the Trinity.]” [CCC 2021] [The only way] “the Church increases, grows and develops is through the holiness of her faithful.” [CCC 2045] Give your students a list of the Beatitudes. [Matt. 5:1-12] Invite them to explain what each Beatitude means. Can they think of how the Beatitude could be lived? The first Beatitude is “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” Ask your students to describe how they could be-at-it (do something) so the spiritually poor would know that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. You may have to explain some of the ideas behind the Beatitudes. If you need some help interpreting these truths check out this webpage – It is good to invite the students to make connections with the beatitudes and how to give witness to a life of morality.

Twenty-first Century Education > We’re All HUMAN – Love & Kindness Should Be What Makes Us Different! > Music Video 3.47 min > Light Up the Sky > The Afters > Music Video 3.41 min Great message about God’s presence and grace. > A blog for women who want to grow in wisdom [I think men would appreciate this blog as well] > a great resources for Religious educators > a Canadian based website for Catholic teachers of Religious Education (my new fav) > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grade


130 Fun Facts from God’s Wonder-Filled WORLD! by Bernadette McCarver Snyder

“A Theodore Bear!

Did you know that the teddy bear was named after the twenty-fifth president of the United States, Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, because he once stopped someone from shooting a baby bear? This president was a sickly child, but he exercised and built himself up enough to become a boxer and then worked as a cowboy and then got the nickname of “Rough Rider” when he led a band of volunteer soldiers called the Rough Riders in a charge up a hill in Cuba and became a hero! When “Teddy” moved his family into the White House, he had six children who were as energetic as their father. Since they were the “First Family,” everything they did made news so people were soon reading in the newspaper about the Roosevelt children’s adventures. They walked on stilts over the White House floors, slid down bannisters, and took their pony upstairs in the White House elevator! Maybe they needed some teddy bears so they could have some quite playtime! Do you ever have “quiet” time? Do you ever sit under a tree and read a book or sit in the sun and close your eyes and travel to faraway places in your imagination or lay in the grass and watch cloud pictures and tell God stories about what you’ve been doing or what you’d like to do some day? Try it! You may be surprised to discover what a special private, happy time “quiet time” can be!” page 92

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?


How well do you know the Gospels? From the Religion Teacher’s Journal’s Creative Catechist page 76

Use these questions to test your knowledge of Scripture. If you need hints read Luke 9.

Gospel of Luke

  1. What does Jesus tell the disciples to do? Take nothing for their journey (9:3)
  1. What is the name of the tetrarch? Herod (9:7)
  1. Who did the tetrarch behead? John the Baptist (9:9)
  1. What were some people saying about Elijah? That he appeared (9:8)
  1. What are the disciples doing on their journey? Preaching and healing (9:6)

How well do you know the Gospels?

Use these questions to test your knowledge of Scripture. If you need hints read Matthew 12-13.

Gospel of Matthew

  1. What do the Pharisees call Beelzebub?
  1. What were the Apostles doing that the Pharisees deemed unlawful?
  1. What happens to the seed that falls along the path?
  1. What sign did Jesus promise to the people?
  1. The mustard seed is the smallest of all the seeds, but what happens when it is full grown?

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

When the Game Stands Tall – in theatres now – at least in Toronto. This movie is about a Religion teacher in a Catholic school who is also a winning football coach. In fact his team won the most football games of any other team at any level in history. This is based on a true story of De La Salle High School, a private all-boys high school in Concord, California. The school’s motto is “Men of Faith.” This coach took the school’s motto to heart. It will inspire you to be a better Religion teacher and understand that what we teach our students helps them to grow to be witnesses of the virtues and gospel messages. I would like to see it again! That is how good it is. I think it could inspire all athletes to continue to press on in their training and competing – from Grade 6 to 12 and beyond.


Weird Facts

“The chemical name of water is hydrogen hydroxide.” Huh!

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