Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning October 19th, 2014

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“You alone, O God, are Lord.”

October 19th is the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

“Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions: How do you understand the truth that we are made in God’s image? If we are all truly made in God’s image, what does that mean for how you should treat your body? What does it mean for how you should treat the bodies of others?

Reflecting on God’s Word: What “Caesars” in your life do you put ahead of God? How can you spend less time and energy on earthly concerns? How can you give more of your time and energy to God?

Act on the Word: Jesus challenges the religious leaders to change their hearts and ways to follow him, but they are so entrenched in their own routines and beliefs that they can’t imagine living another way. This week, take time to look at your weekly routine. How do you spend your time? Make a chart that shows the proportion of time spent at various activities. Schedule just one more time slot this week for prayer and service, giving back to God for all that God has given you.” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 49

October 19th is also World Mission Sunday. “World Mission Sunday takes place on the second-to-last Sunday of October each year. Organized by the Vatican Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, this is a time for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church’s missionary vocation. Each year, the need for support grows as new dioceses are formed and new seminaries are opened in mission territories, as areas devastated by war or natural disaster are rebuilt, and as countries where the faith was suppressed begin to open up to hear the message of Christ and his Church. More than a thousand dioceses around the world receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected on World Mission Sunday. Through our support of this important aspect of our Catholic life, we feel our connection with the global Church, and we respond to Christ’s command: “Go…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 obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 124. Let us be an example to all we meet today. Visit the Vatican website – check out the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith’s page.

October 22nd is the memorial of St. John Paul II, Pope. “To tell of St. John Paul II’s 26 years of Petrine ministry is to provide a litany of encyclicals, travels, and historical events. Not only was John Paul II (1920 – 2005) the first pope to enter a synagogue since Saint Peter, but he appealed to both Jews and Christians to be “a blessing to one another,” and offered repentance in the name of the Church for the Shoah. From the moment Karol Wojtyla was elected pope in October 1978, the man who had entered a clandestine seminary while living under Nazi occupation mesmerized the world. In the early years, Catholics and non-Catholics alike were attracted to the athletic man who snuck out of his villa to ski and reached out to the young at World Youth Days. People of many faiths prayed for him when he was shot in St. Peter’s Square and were awed with the mercy he granted his assailant. And none escaped the poignancy of a feeble John Paul II praying at the Western Wall in Israel, leaving a prayer inside the wall. Even a scant follower of the pope knew that the man who forgives his assailant, traveled the world to evangelize, and sought healing in relations with the Jewish people looked to the Blessed Virgin as a model of faith. …The pope credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life when he was shot on May 13, 1981, the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima. He believed that Mary guided the bullet away from his vital organs. A year after the shooting, he place the bullet that was taken from him among the diamonds in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. “I wish once more to thank Our Lady of Fatima for the gift of my life being spared,” he said. With the Church, many surely are thanking the man who espoused the Rosary for modeling a life of faith. Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 131-132. St. John Paul II help us to grow in our faith and be witnesses with our actions and our words. Pray a Hail Mary in thanksgiving for St. John Paul II’s deep love of the rosary, his favourite prayer.

Exploring Paths of Joy – a quote for the week

“Let us walk in the light of the Lord” Isa 2:5

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living a Moral Life ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

By the end of grade 6, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Seek to grow in their understanding of the depth and breadth of the Decalogue and the moral teachings of Jesus;
  • Apply Catholic moral teaching to moral decisions they face in their own lives;
  • Acknowledge their own human weakness and reflect on their sins as the first step in seeking forgiveness and God’s grace for their ongoing conversion;
  • Appreciate Catholic moral teaching as a valid, authoritative interpretation of scripture that addresses contemporary moral issues to guide moral decision-making.

Grade Four ML 1.3: Identify efforts being made by your family, school community and Church to live according to the Ten Commandments (i.e. Decalogue as a path of life). Students will have to identify the efforts made by their families to live according to the Ten Commandments. You can identify the efforts of your particular school community to live according to the Ten Commandments. The Church makes an effort to preach the word of God each Sunday at mass which supports the effort of the community to live according to the Ten Commandments. The Church gathers on Sunday to keep the Lord’s Day (Sabbath) holy. On Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days, there is a special blessing so the heads of families are honoured and appreciated. We are encouraged to live lives of truth and goodness in order to be open to receive the Eucharist. We also confess when we fail so we can receive the grace of forgiveness. God loves us first and we try our best to respond – this is our response to the covenant between God and humanity. “What God commands he makes possible by his grace.” [CCC 2082]

Grade Five ML 1.3: Identify, using passages from the New Testament, the ways we are called to live the New Commandment (i.e. conversion of heart, developing in our lives an interior law of charity [love], openness to the grace of the Holy Spirit) in the choices we make, in our relationship with God and others. [ccc 1965-1986] “The Law of the Gospel is the perfection here on earth of the divine law, natural and revealed. It is the work of Christ and is expressed particularly in the Sermon on the Mount.” [CCC 1965] Explain to your students that the Ten Commandments are still important for us live by; but Jesus also gave us a New Commandment to live in the Beatitudes. The Law of the Gospel requires us to make the decisive choice between “the two ways” and to put into practice the words of the Lord. Read the Beatitudes in Luke’s gospel – Luke 6:20-23. In Matthew’s gospel we get more details about how to live the Beatitudes. Read these passages to your students. Ask them, what does this passage tell us about how to live the Beatitudes?  “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” Mt. 7:12.

Ask your students, “Does anyone know that this passage is called?” [The Golden Rule]   “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mt. 7:13-14 This passage speaks about two ways/roads. One road is narrow and one is wide. Why are we invited to take the narrow road, through the narrow gate? How does the narrow road/gate connect with the message of the Beatitudes? Read the passage Matthew 6: 25-34. Ask students, “How does this passage connect with the message of the Beatitudes?” Invite students to work in groups – read a passage and connect it to the message of the Beatitudes using Matthew 6:16-18; Mt. 6:19-21; Mt. 7:1-5; Mt. 7:24-28

Mt. 5:43-48; Mt. 6: 1-4; Mt. 5:38-42 Mt. 5:21-26. Then discussion with students – How does the New Commandment [the Beatitudes] call us to live in the choices we make, in our relationship with God and in our relationships with others?

Grade Six ML 1.2: Explain through example, how God’s gift of human reason promotes human dignity (reason and conscience i.e. natural law, working together to help us discern what is good and what is evil) and identify ways we can use reason to participate in the wisdom and goodness of Creation (i.e. care of the created universe, natural and human sciences, human development and building of communities, etc.). [ccc 1954-1960] “We participate in the wisdom and goodness of God who gives us mastery over our acts and the ability to govern ourselves with a view to the true and the good. The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables us to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.” [CCC 1954] “The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation.”[CCC 1955] Explain to students that when God made us he wrote a natural law on our hearts.

This law helps us to make choices between what is good and what is not good. This law is a gift called human reason and it promotes human dignity. We are made in the image and likeness of God. Everyone is made in the image and likeness of God and ought to be treated with dignity. We have dignity because we are made in God’s image. Anything done to dismiss or mistreat another person is against natural law and is not good. We can use the gift of reason in many ways. What are the things that you have learned are the right things to do when you think about Creation?

What are the things that you have learned are the right things to do when you think about your relationships with your family? When you think about your relationships with your friends, your acquaintances, with strangers? WWJD – is always a hint about how human reason should respond when in doubt? But if you don’t know Jesus, then you may not be sure what he would do? So we have to get to know Jesus better.

Twenty-first Century Education > Faith: Taking God Seriously. 1.52 min Do you know what you believe? > New Digital Literacy Program that educates K-12 students on internet safety – It is free! > 11 Simple Ways to Start Using Technology in Your Classroom > register for a webinar on the New Evangelization being held on October 23rd, hosted by Loyola Press and Joe Paprocki > 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

“What is a Ha-Ha?   Oh, you say it’s a laugh, a chuckle, a giggle, a tee-hee? Yes, but what else? You say it’s a snigger, a snickle, a titter, a guffaw? Yes, but what else? You say it’s a fence? A fence? Yes, there IS a kind of fence that is called a ha-ha. At English estates or maybe castles, where there were beautiful gardens and huge acres of lawn, there were also cows and sheep that would wander about unless they were fenced in. But fences did not look nice on those beautiful lawns so instead, the landscapers built grassy slopes of earth. From the castle side they looked like a natural part of the garden, but from the cow’s side they were steeply sloped so the cows couldn’t climb up them and get in the garden to mess up the view. And what did they call such a grassy “hidden fence”? They called it a Ha-Ha….like maybe saying “OK cows, so now you can’t get in …HA-HA!” Did you ever hide something so that no one else could see where it was…and then think, Ha-Ha? Maybe that’s what God did when he hid pictures in the clouds and made tiny wildflowers that you couldn’t see unless you looked very carefully and colourful fish under the water that you could only find if you learned to snorkel. God made lots of HA-Has in the world, just waiting for you to discover them! So always be on the lookout and then every time you find one, YOU can say HA-HA!” page 98


Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?


Fun facts about Marian Titles From the Religion Teacher’s Journal’s Creative Catechist October 2014 page 36

  1. What is the oldest dogmatic title of Mary proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus? (Hint: Theotokos) Mary, Mother of God.
  1. Many Catholic cemeteries are named after this Marian title. Mary, Gate of Heaven.
  1. In Latin it’s Stella Maris. This title makes Mary the patron of sailors and fishermen. Mary, Star of the Sea.
  1. At the final Fatima apparition, Mary identified herself with a different title. What is it? Our Lady of the Rosary.
  1. When Mary appeared at Lourdes, she identified herself with what title? Immaculate Conception.

Fun Facts about Scripture From the twisted mind of Sister Pat Carter csj

  1. What name do the Jewish people give the first five books of the Bible?
  1. Who wrote the first piece of New Testament composition?
  1. What name is the source that assisted Matthew and Luke to write their gospels, but that Mark did not use?
  1. What is your favourite passage of the Bible?
  1. To whom is the book of Revelation attributed?

BONUS question: What is Sister Pat’s favourite passage of the Bible?

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

The Fault in our Stars – This is a great novel about young people who are struggling with cancer. It was released as a movie this summer. It is also a coming-of-age story. The dialogue in the novel is wonderful to read, spicy and clever. It did not seem to translate the same way in the movie. It is a good story. I enjoyed watching it but as in many cases, the book was better. If you need to cry, as we sometimes do, watch the movie and you will find a release for your emotion.

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

“In the early days of the telephone, operators would pick up a call and use the phrase, “Well, are you there?”. It wasn’t until 1895 that someone suggested answering the phone with the phrase “Number please?”” Huh!

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