Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning November 16th, 2014

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“You will call upon me, and I will answer you.” Jeremiah 29.12

 November 16th is the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

“Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions: In today’s Gospel, we hear a story about some servants who are given talents. In Jesus’s time, a talent was a large sum on money. Today we use the word talent to talk about our abilities and gifts. What talents do you have? What talents do the members of your family have? How can you use your talents in the service of others?

Reflecting on God’s Word: How have you discerned which talents you have been given? Have you made efforts to increase your talents? How? Do you ever feel envious of the talents that others possess? Does this Sunday’s Gospel help you to see that envy in a new light?

Act on the Word: Jesus’s parable reminds his disciples to increase their talents. Knowing what talents you have is important so you can work on improving them. This week, make a deliberate attempt to identify the talents of people you encounter at school, at church, at extracurricular activities, and in your neighbourhood. As you watch television, identify the talents of people you see there. Talk with your family and friends about the ways in which people waste their talents. Spend some time with a younger family member using your talents to teach about Jesus. Invite him or her to share his or her talents with you.” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, pages 65

November 17th is the memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious. “St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231), the Queen of Hungary and mother of four children, had a special love for the downtrodden. She built a hospital in the basement of her castle, nursed the sick, fed the hungry, and provided life-giving work for the poor. After the death of her husband, she took the habit of a Franciscan tertiary (Third Order Franciscan), devoting herself to a life of simplicity and almsgiving. Along with her selfless service to those in need, she actively pursued God through prayer and spiritual discipline. St. Elizabeth is the patron saint of Franciscan tertiaries, bakers, beggars, brides, the homeless, and charities (among others).

Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 142 God of the poor and homeless, give us compassion to meet the needs of those around us. Do a random act of kindness for someone today.

November 21st is the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “The Gospel accounts tell of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple but do not speak of the Presentation of Mary. Nevertheless, Christians in the East and the West have observed a day in honour of Mary’s Presentation for centuries. Many artists have depicted the scene: a tiny girl (Mary is said to have been three or four years old when she was presented in the Temple), climbing the steps to go into the Temple to offer herself to God. This memorial speaks of Mary’s total openness to God. God kept her free from sin from the moment of her conception, so that she, whose presentation in the Temple, we commemorate today, would become a Temple of the Holy Spirit.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 143. Remind us often, Jesus, that we too are temples of the Holy Spirit through our baptism. Take a moment of silent prayer to offer your day to God.

November 22nd is the memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr. “According to legend, St. Cecilia (c. third century) was beheaded because she would not forsake her vow of virginity and would not make sacrifices to the gods. She is the patron saint of musicians, singers, and poets. Her association with music is most likely related to a line from her passio (an account of her holy “passion,” her martyrdom), where she is said to have sung “in her heart to Christ” as the musicians played at her wedding. Upon its foundation in 1584, the Academy of Music in Rome declared her the patron saint of musicians. St. Cecilia’s popularity grew so much that several hymns were written in her honour, and her life is referenced in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 144 St. Cecilia help us to sing a song to the Lord today and every day. Carry a song in your heart today.

Exploring Paths of Joy – a quote for the week

“For we walk by faith, and not by sight” 2 Cor 5:7

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 1.4: Define the term “Magisterium” as applied to Church (consists of the Bishops of the ordinary and universal Church with the Pope as its head; has the soul responsibility for interpretation of God’s Word as revealed in Scripture and Traditions) and define its role in the Moral life of the Church. [CCC 84-100; 1113-1134; 2030-2051] “Magisterium (from Latin magister = teacher): is a term for the mandate of the Catholic Church to present the faith, to interpret it with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and to protect it from falsifications.” Youcat, page 20.

Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church held by the bishops in their countries/conferences and the bishops with the Pope for the universal Church – the Church of the World. Recently the bishops gathered in Rome for a Synod on the Family. During that time, the bishops listened to presentations given by people living different commitments, esp. married couples. The bishops will continue to pray and listen to different voices about family life before making new decisions or teachings about Family Life at the end of the synod next year. At the Synod on the Family the pope had three points that he wanted to move forward: 1. Seeing the good of LGBTQ unions; 2. Seeing the good of cohabiting couples; 3. Inviting separated and divorced Catholic back to the Church. Give the class the definition of the magisterium as it relates to the teaching authority of the Church. Ask class if there is a comparable group in the school – the staff of the school forms the teaching authority in the school. They make decisions together with the Principal to help the school run effectively and efficiently. The staff has meetings monthly to share what is going on in their classes. Some staff groups’ meetings are CPLC where the teachers discuss the best ways to help students to learn more successfully.

The Magisterium has the soul responsibility for interpretation of God’s Word as revealed in Scripture and Tradition. The bishops may be scholars of the Word of God. There are many scholars who dedicate their lives to the interpretation of the scriptures and tradition. These scholars report to the bishops. The Magisterium is responsible for the Moral life of the Church. “In the work of teaching and applying Christian morality, the Church needs the dedication of pastors, the knowledge of theologians and the contribution of all Christians and people of good will.” There are many sections of the Believe in Me text that deal with moral life. In Unit 1 – Being Whole it is discussed that God created us to make good decisions and supports to help us achieve wholeness. Use pages 13-17 to discuss how we are invited to be in relation with God and to be morally whole. Page 50-61 deals with more moral issues. These pages can be used to respond to this expectation. We have the capacity to know right from wrong…it is in our spiritual DNA. The Magisterium helps us in cases like abortion – it has become legally okay but it is still morally wrong in the church’s teaching. Just because something is legal does not mean it is morally sound. [Very important for students to understand]

Grade Eight ML 2.1: Describe how the Holy Spirit and the Church’s teaching (i.e. Magisterium) form our consciences in assisting us to address the challenging moral situations that face society today. (Bestowed on us in Baptism and strengthened in the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit assist us in the formation of our conscience). [CCC 1776-1802] I would begin to teach this expectation using the Grade 8 Stand By Me text pages 10—12. The diagram on page 10 explains the different ways people experience God. The story that follows is an introduction to how the Holy Spirit can work in our lives. 1.2 Am I strong enough? is about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This will assist in teaching that the gifts of the Holy Spirit assist us in the forming of our conscience. 1.3 How do I know I’m on the right track? will assist you to teach the first part of this expectation. “Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him/her at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil….It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he/she listens to his/her conscience, the prudent person can hear God speaking.” [CCC 1777] “Conscience must be informed and moral judgments enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creation. The education of the Conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.” [CCC 1778] It is important to help students to understand that they must take responsibility to form their consciences. There are many challenging moral situations in the world and in our Western culture. They need to educate themselves about the situations and learn to judge the situations with their conscience. The Ten Commandments give a broad outline of what is right and wrong. Just because some action is legal does not mean that it is right. The example of abortion is legal but no killing of a human life is right. It takes a lifetime to form one’s conscience. Little steps lead to giant leaps. Choosing not to lie in any situation build a character and one’s conscience. Here are some rules that apply in every case: 1. One may never do evil so that good may result from it; 2. The Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that [someone] would do to you, do so to them.”; 3. Love always proceeds by way of respect for one’s neighbour and [that person’s] conscience: “Thus sinning against your [neighbours] and wounding their conscience… you sin against Christ.” Therefore “it is right not to …do anything that makes your brother [or sister] stumble.” [CCC 1789] You may want to teach these three rules to support your students as they form their conscience.

Twenty-first Century Education > Check Mate – Inspirational Video about two enemies who became friends. 3.17 min. Remembrance day can continue throughout this month. > This Teen’s Addiction to her Phone Almost Took Her Life. 3.12 min – A reminder to young drivers not to text and drive. – a resource for integrating life, faith and family – has a variety of resources for teachers of religious education > 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

“Once in a Blue Moon   Did you ever hear of a BLUE moon? Did you ever hear someone say, “That only happens once in a blue moon.” Well, there IS something called a blue moon but it only happens once in a VERY, VERY long time. When you look up in the sky and you see just a crescent-shaped sliver of a moon, that’s called a New Moon. Then each night, that sliver gets a bit larger until it is finally a big round circle and you call that a Full Moon. Now it takes a little less than a month for the moon to revolve around the earth so you only see one FULL moon each month or three full moons in each season – summer, winter, spring and, fall. BUT once in a very, very long time, there will be four full moons in one season – and the third one is called a blue moon! So you can say it’s only once in a blue moon when someone wins a million dollars…or once in a blue moon that someone gets a chance to go on the space shuttle to the moon…or maybe only in a blue moon that you get the kind of lunch you like! Isn’t it amazing how God made the moon and the sun and the stars and the earth and figured out how to make them all revolve without crashing into one another? Amazing!” p. 103


Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?


What’s Your Catholic IQ on the Sacraments? by Page McKean Zyromski                          

  1. The usual minister of the sacrament of Confirmation is C. a bishop
  1. The primary, or first, educators in the faith for children are B. their parents
  1. The newly baptized receive A white garment   B a candle   C. a solemn blessing    D. all of these
  1. Rosaries, medals, scapulars, and holy water are all A. sacramentals
  1. Holy chrism is  A. Oil to which lavender is added for fragrance    B. Blessed during Holy Week at the Chrism Mass  C. Used in Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders   D. All of these

What’s Your Catholic IQ on Catholic Identity? by Page McKean Zyromski  

  1. Before the Second Vatican Council, Mass all around the world was celebrated in  A:  German    B:  French  C. Latin            D. English
  1. “Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts” is the beginning of:  A. the Apostles’ Creed   B. Grace before Meals  C. the Lord’s Prayer   D. the Guardian Angel Prayer
  1. If you find a lost object, the Church teaches that:  A.  you should leave it where you found it   B. the rule is finders keepers   C.  you should try to return it to the owner if possible   D. you should give it to the poor
  1. The Our Father was taught to the disciples by:  A.  The Blessed Mother    B.  St. Joseph  C. the prophet Isaiah  D. Jesus
  1. All these actions are sins against the eighth commandment except for:  A.  gossiping     B. lying    C. stealing                   D. speaking falsely under oath

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

The Judge – This movie is about relationships, the challenging relationships between children and their parents, between the siblings of one family and relationships between townspeople and their judge. The cast is very well selected. The story evolves with a few twists and turns to keep you interested. I totally enjoyed every minute.

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

“When you die your hair still grows for a couple of months.” Huh!

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