Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning March 22nd, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“With the Lord there is steadfast love.” Psalm 130

March 22nd, 2015 is the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

“Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions: This Sunday’s Gospel uses a seed as a metaphor. What experiences have you had growing seeds? What do you need in order to make a seed grow? What areas of stress, sin, or sadness do you bring to Mass with you this week?

Reflecting on God’s Word: In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear about how a seed falls to the ground and dies, and grows into a plant that produces much fruit. What fruit came from Jesus’s Death? How can you “die” to the areas of stress, sin, or sadness in your life in order to rise to new life with Christ at Easter?

Act on the Word: Bake homemade bread or muffins this week. Find a simple recipe online if you have never done it before. Reflect on all of the elements that go into creating our food. Consider this week’s Gospel about the grain of wheat, and how it grew into the plant that ultimately becomes food for us. How are we like the grain of wheat? What has to happen to us in order for us to bear fruit or become bread, which can be shared?” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 155

March 25th is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. “Exactly nine months before Christmas, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when the angel brought to Mary the amazing news that she would be the Mother of God’s Son. On this day, as in Christmas Time, we contemplate the wonder of the Incarnation: in Jesus, God took on our flesh, becoming like us in all things but sin. This solemnity almost always falls during Lent, and this seems appropriate because it was the Incarnation that made the Passion possible. In becoming one of us, Christ became capable of suffering as we suffer; he made himself vulnerable as we are vulnerable. “Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp,” wrote St. Leo the Great. “Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.” (Office of Readings, Volume II, p. 1746). The Annunciation is a Solemnity of the Lord, but it is also a day to give thanks to and for Mary. The Gospel account of the Annunciation in Luke reveals a great wonder: God sought the free consent of a young girl to carry out his plan for us. God asked for help! No wonder so many artists throughout the ages have chosen to depict this moment of decision that changed the world forever.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 57

Exploring Paths of Joy ~ a quote for the week

“Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.” St. Pio of Pietrelcina

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 3.1: Through an examination of a selection of scripture passages, provide examples of how God’s mercy is shown to sinners and how the sinners respond (i.e. parables – the Prodigal Son, miracles, paschal mystery – Christ offered for our sins; the new covenant). [CCC 1846-1848] Read the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35). Explain that the king represents God and how merciful God is to us. The unforgiving servant is an example of someone who is a sinner who does not respond with mercy to a person who is in debt to him. This is one way sinners respond to God’s mercy. The story of Jesus and Zacchaeus is another example of how a person responds to Jesus’ mercy. Zacchaeus responds mercifully and with much gratitude. He changes his evil ways of cheating taxpayers. [Luke 19: 1-10] The story of the Woman Caught in Adultery (the woman caught being unfaithful to her partner) is about to be stoned to death by the people of her town because of her sin. The townspeople bring her to Jesus to get his permission to stone her. Jesus forgives the woman’s sin. She is very grateful and the townspeople are angry because they had judged the woman. [John 8:1-11] The parable of the Prodigal and His Brother is a classic story. [Luke 15:11-32] The Father in the parable represents God and again shows the merciful and loving nature of God. The two sons represent us. Some of us make big mistakes and come back sorry. Some of us make good choices but can be spiteful when another person who makes mistakes comes back and receives forgiveness. Read the parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard [Matt. 20:1-16]. The landowner represents God. The labourers represent us, sinners, in need of God’s help. Ask the students what they think of God, who hires the labourers for one hour and pays them the same as the ones who started to work in the morning. They may say, “that’s not fair.” God’s love is not earned, God loves us all equally or as we need. Most of the time sinners are very grateful when they experience God’s loving mercy. Sometimes sinners are caught up in comparisons. God’s mercy is abundant and not measured. We are called to live and be like God, lovingly merciful.

Grade Five – ML 3.1: Identify and examine a selection of biblical passages to unfold what God revealed about the responsibility of individuals and social institutions to care for the poor and the sick, to be just in what they do.

Passages Verse What God revealed about our responsibility to care for the poor and sick
Deuteronomy 15:11 Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land.” God directs us to take care of the poor from the time of Moses.
Deutero. 24:12-14 If the person is poor, you shall not sleep in the garment given as the pledge. You shall give the pledge back by sunset, so that your neighbour may sleep in the cloak and bless you; and it will be to your credit before the Lord your God.

You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy labourers…

God has a special care for the poor. God wants good things for those who are poor. God directs us to do the just thing.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. We are responsible to do justice. We are responsible to be kind. We are responsible to walk humbly. We are responsible to care for everyone, especially the poor and sick
Matthew 4:


Jesus ministered to poor and sick himself. Wherever we see Jesus with people who are poor or sick, he cares for them in a compassionate manner. He invites us to follow his example.
Luke 14:13 “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Jesus is giving a teaching. It does not mean that we can never have a special meal with our loved ones. But we need to remember the poor and sick when we are being generous.


Grade Six – ML 3.1: Locate and examine gospel passages to identify how Jesus called individuals to holiness and guided them in the moral life (e.g. Matt. 19:16-26 – the rich young man, Jn. 4:1-26 – the Samaritan woman, Mk. 10: 35-45 – the disciples request for positions of honour, etc.) [CCC 2012-2016]

Divide your class into groups. Give each group one of the passages above. Invite the group to identify how Jesus called these individuals to a life of holiness. Holiness is much more than never doing something wrong. It is an attitude that of humility, goodness, faithfulness, peace, joy and love. The holy person shows their holiness through witnessing to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Holiness guides us in our moral life, that is, our ability to choose what is right and good. To forgo what is wrong and evil.

Twenty-first Century Education > Farmer Derek Helps Cows Combat Winter Blues with Hilarious Serenade – Comedy Video 3.24 min > Development & Peace’s Share Lent campaign – Games for children Lenten resources for Religious Education > Great website resources to use if you have a student who has lost a loved one. > in the Religious Education curriculum document there are references to the CCC – Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is a link to that document. > 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

“Sassafras and Sarsaparilla – Did you ever have a sarsaparilla with your peanut-butter sandwich? This was once a favourite carbonated drink that was sometimes pronounced “sassparilla,” maybe because it’s made with sassfras flavouring. And you may have had something very similar to drink because sassparilla tastes a lot like root beer! And that because root beer is made from roots, herbs, and sarsaparilla! Both the sarsaparilla and the sassafras are plants whose root bark has been used for many years to flavour beverages – or to make medicine or perfume. The sassafras is an “understory” tree – which means it is one of the trees and shrubs that grow taller than the ground cover in a forest but not as tall as the large trees that form the “canopy” of the forest. And the sassafras has four different kinds of leaves! One is egg-shaped, one has a three-finger shape, one is shaped like a left mitten, and one is shaped like a right mitten! What a tree! Hmmm…seems like this would be a good time for you to imagine you’re in a forest, sitting under an understory tree, wearing your mittens and drinking a root-beer float…when along comes God and sits down beside you and says…(Guess you’ll have to finish this dream yourself!)” p. 122


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 three traditional practices during Lent are _____________________, fasting and almsgiving. D. prayer
  1. Holy Thursday’s liturgy commemorates the ____________________.   Last Supper
  2. Only children give up something during Lent. True or False
  1. Catholics are encouraged to receive the sacrament of _____________________ during Lent to prepare spiritually for Easter. C. confession
  1. Lent ends with the beginning of ____________________. D. the Easter Triduum

What’s Your Catholic IQ?

  1. How many days are there between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday?    A.  40        B.44     C. 50     D. I haven’t got any idea
  1. To what international Catholic charitable organization does Development & Peace belong?      A. Oxfam     B. Red Cross               C. Me to We                D. Caritas International
  1. What is the theme of Share Lent this year?    A. Show Much Love         B. Sow Much Love     C. Sow seeds of Love  D. Sow seeds of change
  1. How long has Development & Peace been established?     A.   28 years       B. 38 years        C. 48 years          D. 58 years
  1. How many countries does Development & Peace operate in?    A.   40         B. 50        C. 60         D. 70

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Foxcatcher –This movie is available on PPV and probably at the video store. This movie is about a love of wrestling that becomes obsessive. It is about two USA golden medalists and a very rich sponsor. I did not recognize Steve Carell as John duPont… well done Steve! It is an amazing character study that will distract you from the wrestling focus. I enjoyed this movie because it is based on a true story of which I was totally unaware (I am a Phys. Ed. Teacher lol)!

Weird Facts

“The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache. Huh!

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