Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 25th, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Lord, make me know your ways.” Psalm 25

 January 25th, 2015 is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

“Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions: If Jesus came to you in person and invited you to be his disciple, but told you that you had to leave all of your possessions and activities behind, what would your answer be? Why? How would you define modern discipleship? What kinds of things does a modern disciple do?

Reflecting on God’s Word: Are you willing to give up time spent on hobbies and friends to open up more time for Jesus? If Jesus came to your group of friends and asked you to follow him today, which of your friends do you think would go on the path of discipleship? Do you have any friends who you think might reject the path to discipleship for some reason? What would you choose to do?

Act on the Word: Many parishes invite missionaries to share their experiences and make an appeal for prayer and financial support. These talks usually take place at weekend Masses. Ask your pastor when a missionary will next visit your community. If you can, find out which religious order he or she belongs to and what country he or she is serving. Do some research on the country, the people, the culture, and the missionary work done there, and find out the characteristics of the missionary order. Share what you learn with your family and friends. When the missionary arrives, spend some time before or after Mass welcoming him or her and asking questions based on your research.” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 117, 120

January 25th is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. “Saul of Tarsus (c. 4-64) had a history of persecuting Christians. He was present at the martyrdom of St. Stephen and held the cloaks of those who stoned him. While on the road to Damascus, where Paul was headed to suppress the Christian community, he was blinded by a bright light and heard the voice of Christ saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts of the Apostles 9:4). He took the name Paul and became the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” traveling the known world with the message of the Gospel. St. Paul’s conversion is a witness to the mercy of God and the possibility of conversion.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 40. St. Paul, inspire us to be open to change, change of our thoughts, our actions, and our relationships. 

January 26th is the memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, Bishops. “Sts. Timothy and Titus, first century bishops and martyrs, are celebrated together because of their joint association with St. Paul. Timothy is first mentioned in Acts of the Apostles 16:1-2, when Paul visits Lystra, in what is now Turkey. Timothy’s mother was Jewish, Paul circumcised him so he would be accepted by Jewish Christians. Timothy accompanied Paul on some of his journeys, and he is the one addressed in the Letters to Timothy in the Christian scriptures. Tradition says that Paul made him bishop of Ephesus in 65. He was martyred by stoning in either the year 65 or 80 for preaching against the worship of idols. St. Titus was also a disciple and companion of St. Paul. He was probably a Gentile, and Paul refused to have him circumcised because the Gospel freed Gentiles from the Law of Moses. Although he is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, he is mentioned several times in Paul’s letters and was probably commissioned to preach to the Gentiles. According to Paul, Titus was with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus and was sent to Macedonia to collect alms for the Christians in Jerusalem. He also spent time in Macedonia, Crete, and Dalmatia in modern-day Croatia. Tradition says that he was a bishop in Crete and died in the year 107. Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 40. St. Timothy help us to be leaders in our faith. As we journey through our week, let us be a good example to others in our words and actions.

January 28th is the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and Doctor of the Church. “St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), called the “Angelic Doctor” for his writings, was born near Naples. Against his family’s wishes, he joined the newly established Dominicans and went to study under Albert the Great in Paris. Thomas’s theological writings, especially the Summa Theologia, remain preeminent texts to this day. For all his brilliance, Thomas was also a man of deep prayer who realized that the mysteries of God cannot fully be expressed by words. He contributed the liturgical texts for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, including the Tantum Ergo, which is still sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 41. St. Thomas help us be people of deep prayer. Be attentive to your studies today in honour of St. Thomas who was a great student.

January 31st is the memorial of St. John Bosco, priest. “God gifted St. John Bosco (1815-1888) with the ability to read and interpret the signs of the times. Living during rapid industrialization and growing anti-clericalism, he became very concerned about the emotional and spiritual livelihood of people, especially the plight of the young. He worked to provide positive and affirming environments, including orphanages and oratories, where the young would learn and recognize their infinite potential. In the spirit of his favourite hero, St. Francis de Sales, he founded the Salesians, a religious congregation devoted to works of charity, with an emphasis on empowering young people to become strong pillars of faith in a culture of instability. His work among your men living in the slums proved to be a worthy endeavor. Whether he was presiding at Mass or playing games with children or carrying the sick to hospitals, it was obvious he lived until his “last breath…day and night, morning and evening” for the neglected and abandoned (as quoted in Butler’s Lives of the Saints [New Full Edition – January], p. 229) Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 41. St. John Bosco thank you for your care of young people. May we have mentors that will offer us opportunities like you shared with the youth of your day. Live today like every minute is important.

Exploring Paths of Joy – Walking Together and Sharing our Stories~ a quote for the week

“This is the way; walk in it…” Isa 30:21

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living a Moral Life ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

By the end of grade 3, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Desire to know what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus and a child of God;
  • Strive to live according to the moral examples of Jesus provided through his words and actions
  • Acknowledge sin, human weakness, conflict and forgiveness as part of life’s journey and seek forgiveness when they have offended another, both from the one they have offended and from God;
  • Appreciate God as one who forgives and heals those who sin and Christ’s death on the Cross as the source and sign of our redemption.

Grade One – ML 3.1: Retell a selection of Gospel narratives in which Jesus is teaching his disciples “to be holy, as your Heavenly Father is holy” and name ways that this was to be shown in our lives (i.e. fruits of charity – joy, peace, friendship and mercy). [CCC 1812-1829; 2012-2016] Following the Beatitudes in Matthew’s gospel chapter 5, Jesus is teaching his followers about how they are to live and move as God’s children. In the NRSV translation the phrase about reads as “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” In chapters 5 and 6, there are many examples of ways that this is shown in our lives. I would read a couple of lines, i.e., Mt. 5:13-16. Ask students how can you be salty? How can you be a light? See what they come up with. You may have to put the line in a context for these students. Why do people use salt with their food? [to give the food a taste] Why do we use light in a dark room? [to help us to see]   So, how can we be salt, how can we bring flavour to others? How can we bring light to others? In Mt. 5:43-48 it says that we must love our enemies? How do we do this? [we have to learn to forgive] In Mt. 5:33-37 it says that we have to live the promises we make. So when we are trying to live the gospel message of being holy like our Heavenly Father is holy, it is a very big goal. We have to keep trying. God will give us help when we ask for help. And all along the way to heaven is heaven…it is in the effort that we grow in holiness. We grow in the fruit of charity, that is joy, peace, friendship, mercy, gentleness, patience, self-control, and kindness. Have students draw a picture of how they can be salt, or light, or forgiving, loving or promise keeping.

Grade Two – ML 3.1: Identify the specific graces that come from God and that we receive in our lives when we celebrate the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist and explain how they help us to live the Christian life and how we should respond. [CCC 2006-2011] When we celebrate the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist we are offered grace from God. During the Sacrament of Penance we receive the gifts of humility, patience, self-acceptance and self-control. When we acknowledge our sinfulness (our limited nature) we grow in humility, we surrender the limitedness (what we are not able to do well) and we ask God for help to get better. We grow in patience. We grow in self-acceptance especially if we have to ask for forgiveness for the same thing many times. We grow in self-control as we try to make changes in how we respond to repeated situations. This sacrament of Penance is such a gift especially for people who strive to be perfect. It takes away the pressure and stress of perfectionism. During the Sacrament of Eucharist we receive the strength and nourishment to become more like Jesus. The more we receive the Eucharist, the more we become what we eat. Just like the good food that we eat, makes us physically healthy, the spiritual food that we eat makes us spiritually more healthy and strong. It is the desire of every Christian to act more like Jesus. We are enabled to do so by receiving the Eucharist. We become more faithful, gentle, good, kind, peaceful, joyful, loving and patience by receiving the Eucharist.

Grade Three – ML 2.4 – Outline the consequences of choosing between good and evil using a variety of strategies (drama, case studies and scenarios). [CCC 1730-1738] Ask students to identify the choices they face every day where they have to choose between doing good or doing something not good (evil). Having the students’ scenarios of choices, decide what strategies will work best for your class. Invite students to create dramas: state the choice – show the not so good result and then stop the drama/ and start at the beginning and move through the drama with the better choice. If there are students who are shy to act/dramatize, invite them to present orally a case study. Ask them to state the choice, explain the not so good way to respond to the choice and then start at the beginning and respond in the good way. If students are good at drawing, use this strategy – use the bitstrips website to create a visual presentation.

Twenty-first Century Education > Social Experiment shows how appearances changes how we are treated >Inspirational video – 4.02 min Very powerful message!!! > Jeanne Robertson brings the laughs with her feelings on Cursive Writing – 3.37 min Only for adults. > Twin Babies Hold Hands and Talk for the First Time > Great website resources to use if you have a student who has lost a loved one. a blog to help adults grow in faith – has a variety of resources for teachers of religious education – a blog for religion teachers > 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

“The Sherlock Holmes Seal The harbour seal is a kinda cute critter because it has the snout of a dog and the long whiskers of a cat – AND, like the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, it’s very good at tracking down things. Of course, the seal is not tracking down a criminal – through the murkey, dark waters where it lives, it’s tracking down its dinner!  Those seal whiskers are VERY sensitive and can detect very small movements in the water, like the wake (or track) left by a moving fish. When some scientists decided to try to prove how those whiskers worked, they put a blindfold and noise-blocking headphones on a seal! Then they put a miniature submarine in the water and sent it along to see if the seal could follow the submarine’s wake. Even with the blindfold and headphones, the seal could follow it at least 80 percent of the time. THEN they put a stocking over the seal’s snout, covering up the whiskers and guess what…the seal couldn’t track anymore! This proved that it was using its whiskers as a “motion detector” to search for dinner. Aren’t God’s animals-AND scientists – amazing! Imagine putting a blindfold or a stocking on a seal! Why don’t YOU put a blindfold on a friend and see if he can follow YOUR trail? Since he doesn’t have any cat whiskers, he will have to pay close attention just by listening. OR you can have a friend put the blindfold on you and see if you follow HIS trail. Just be careful where you leave your trail so neither of you will bump into anything. You might be surprised how much sharper your hearing gets when you REALLY pay attention.” Page 114.

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?


What’s Your Catholic IQ? A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment by David O’Brien

  1. The first time a person receives the real presence of Christ – body and blood, soul, and divinity – in the Eucharist at Mass is at their B. first holy Communion
  1. The sacrament of penance is also known as A. reconciliation
  1. Last rites are also known as the sacrament of the D. anointing of the sick
  1. In the Catholic Church, the successors to the apostles are the C. bishops
  1. True or False. The power to forgive sins is given to the Church.

What’s Your Catholic IQ? by David O’Brien

  1. “God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and ___________; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28) A. harvest              B.multiply                   C. farm                         D. eat
  1. Holy water found at the doors of the Church is considered a:   A.   sacramental        B.sacrament              C. relic                                    D. vestment
  1. ___________ completes Christian initiation through an anointing with oil and the laying on of hands.  A.  Holy matrimony     B.  Holy Orders     C.  Anointing of the sick     D.Confirmation
  1. True or False. Christ is only present in the Eucharist during Mass for the purpose of Holy Communion.
  1. The ___________ is the source and summit of the Christian life.    A. holy water       B. Eucharist    C. family                     D. confessional

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

The Imitation Game – This is a story about Alan Turing and his universal machine (prototype of the first computer). It is about trying to win the Second World War by intercepting codes German messages and decoding them. It also gives a glimpse into the moral code of W.W. II psyche. It is a must-see movie for those of you who are preparing for Oscar night.

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

“The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.” Huh!

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