Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 19, 2015

“I have loved you with an everlasting love, you are mine!”  


April 19, 2015 is the Third Sunday of Easter.

Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions:  In today’s Gospel, Jesus says “Peace be with you” to his disciples.  What do you think Jesus was hoping to help them feel when he said this to them?  How do you think it felt for them to hear these words from him?  We echo Jesus’ words in the Sign of Peace at Mass.  How does the example that Jesus sets for us in today’s Gospel colour or change your experience of the Sign of Peace?

Reflecting on God’s Word: Are your actions consistent with what Jesus asks of his followers in the Gospel?  Do you take time to read, reflect, and listen to Jesus through the Scriptures?

Act on the Word:  Through Easter Time, we learn much about the early church from the Scriptures.  This week, use your Bible, reviewing Acts 1-9 to make a timeline and mural of the events that occur from the time of Jesus’ Resurrection through St. Paul’s conversion.  Each day, read another chapter.  After reading a section, record the dates and events in a short paragraph, then invite family members and friends to help add another scene to your mural.  You may want to create a large mural on brown paper with coloured chalk, or a digital mural that you can share with friends as a way of following Jesus’ command to go and tell others about his Church.

Wrapping It Up:  What specific actions of Jesus’ can you name that show how he was a peacemaker?  How can people today be peacemakers?  What situations in our world or our lives are in special need of peace?”  2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 189, 192

St. Anselm

 April 21st is the memorial of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.  “St. Anselm was born about the year 1033 in Aosta, then part of the Kingdom of Burgundy, today part of the Piedmont in the Italian Alps.  Hearing of the reputation of his countryman, Lanfranc, who was prior of the Benedictine abbey of Bec in Normandy, Anselm entered the monastery there at the age of twenty-seven.  When Lanfranc was named abbot of Caen, Anselm succeeded him as prior of Bec, and fifteen years later in 1079, he became abbot.  In 1070, Anselm’s mentor Lanfranc was made archbishop of Canterbury in England, and when he died in 1109, William II of England seized the lands and revenues of the archdiocese and left the office of archbishop empty (at this time, bishops were appointed by kings.)  Finally in 1093, public pressure forced William to appoint Anselm archbishop of Canterbury.  Anselm’s term as archbishop was not easy.  He was forced into exile twice because of his support of the Gregorian Reform, which tried to do away with lay investiture, the power of secular authority to appoint bishops.  Anselm is a Doctor of the Church and is called the Father of Scholasticism for his works of theology, especially the Proslogionan argument for the existence of God based on reason and his treatise, Why God Became Man, on the saving action of the Incarnation.  He is also celebrated in the Anglican and Lutheran Church.”  Companion to the Calendar:  A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 63 St. Anselm help us to work toward the re-unification of our Christian Churches.  


April 22nd is Earth Day. 

 “Perhaps the most important thing the astronauts on the first trip to the moon did was bring back photos of Earth.  Until that time, most people probably thought of their planet as a larger version of a globe, with every country a different colour edged by visible borders.  In the historic 1969 photos we earthlings saw a very different picture.  The earth was mostly a vast blue ocean misted with clouds.  No borders between nations could be seen on the land masses.  Citizens of Earth were reminded that we all share the same home.  Just at the time the photographs appeared in magazines, scientists found out that almost every creature in Lake Erie had been killed by pollution.  The discovery made many people aware of the dangers we humans cause ourselves and the creatures who share our planet, by the ways we treat our air, farmland, and water.  The first Earth Day was held in 1970. …[Since then] we’ve found new reasons for concern, too.  Around the world, millions of square miles of tropical rain forest are being burned.  Pollution from factories and automobiles is killing northern forests.  Pollution also may be causing holes to open up in the protective ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere.  The problem is global.  Air pollution created in the United States doesn’t stop at the borders.  It drifts into Canada.  It travels to Europe.  Eventually it circles the world.  We need to act as united citizens of the planet to protect the environment.  In 1992, 178 world leaders met in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to discuss environment concerns.  This meeting was called the Earth Summit.  This was the largest gathering of leaders ever held.  It reflected growing hope that people everywhere might begin to work together.  During Easter Time, we Christians celebrate a reverence for all life.  In the First Reading of the Easter Vigil, we hear how God created the earth and called it good.  Today we pray that our children’s children will still be able to describe it that way.” Companion to the Calendar:  A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 63  


April 25th is the feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist. “St. Mark (first century) is the traditional author of the Gospel account that bears his name.  Although he has been identified with John Mark and Mark; the cousin of Barnabas, the earliest tradition sees him as a distinct individual, one of the seventy disciples sent by Jesus to preach before the Crucifixion.  According to Hippolytus, a writer of the second to third century, he had such difficulty with Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist that he left but was later brought back by St. Peter.  Subsequently, he traveled with Peter and worked as his interpreter, wrote the Gospel based on Peter’s preaching, and became bishop of Alexandria in Egypt.  The Coptic Church claims him as their first bishop and parts of their liturgy are attributed to him.  Their tradition says that he was martyred at Alexandria in 68 CE.”  Companion to the Calendar:  A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 64-45



Exploring Paths of Joy a quote for the week

A heart filled with joy is more easily made perfect than one that is sad.  St. Philip Neri

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 3.2:  Describe a Catholic understanding of how the Eucharistic celebration promotes forgiveness and reconciliation in the communal Christian life of the Church and the school. [CCC 1391-1401]  

We have a saying in popular culture, “You are what you eat.”  There are several Gathering and Communion hymns that say these very words in reference to Jesus.  “Here we become what we eat.” Verses of Gather the People.  “Here we become what we receive.”  Verse 2 of Our God is Here.  Take a hymnal and look at the words of songs used for the Gathering and Communion time.  There will be many songs that speak of how Eucharist promotes forgiveness and reconciliation.  Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins.  We remember his last supper with his apostles and disciples when we celebrate the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is a communal meal, a celebration that includes everyone in the community.  There is a reading (Matthew 5:23) that reminds us that if we remember that someone has something against us as we approach the altar, leave your gift and go to be reconciled with that person, then return to the altar to offer your gift.  When teaching forgiveness and reconciliation it is important to practice it with your students.  If you lose your cool, once you have regained your cool, ask your students for forgiveness.  The reason may be legitimate but you may want to apologize for the reaction you showed.  If students are involved in a conflict with one another.  Encourage them to ask for forgiveness.  And remind the person receiving the apology to say “thank you” or “I forgive you.”  If someone offers an apology, it is not beneficial to say, “Oh, it was no big deal.”  We need to teach students how to make an apology.  We need to teach students how to receive an apology.


Grade Five ML 3.2:  List the precepts of the Church and explain how they strengthen our moral life, the spirit of prayer, and growth in the love of God and neighbour. [CCC 2041-2043]

Precepts of the Church

How these strengthen our moral life, etc.

How to teach these concepts

You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

Attending Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation (in Canada -New Year’s Day and Christmas Day) strengthen our ability to make good decisions because we are part of a community.  We grow in a spirit of prayer by attending Mass and learning the prayers of the Mass.  We grow in our ability to love God and our neighbour.

Once the school year begins and classes are formed, the class becomes a community.  When someone is away because he/she is sick, he/she is missed.  When a person goes to Church every Sunday, they become part of the community.  When they are away, they are missed by the people that they sit near.  When we learn the prayers for the Mass, no matter what Church we go to, or even if Mass is in a different language, the prayers do not change.  The Our Father is always said the same way.  Usually people who attend Mass regularly live a good life.  It is good to be with people who are trying to live a good life.  This supports us when we are struggling.

You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

Although it is difficult to go to confession, it is such a healthy action.  We can dump the garbage of what has gone wrong in our lives.  It helps us to be accountable for the decisions we make.  Hopefully we are not making the same mistakes over and over.  The penance we are given guides our prayer and helps us to grow in our relationship with God and everyone else in our lives.

It is important to say “I am sorry” when we hurt someone.  It is important to hear “I am sorry” by someone who has hurt us.  Sins can weigh us down.  I would make some rocks out of paper, and put sins on the paper rocks.  Put the rocks into a bag and carry it as if it is very heavy.  If we don’t empty the bag at least once a year, the bag just gets heavier and heavier.  The Church wants us to live lives of joy and peace, not despair and hurt.  That is why we are invited to go to confession once a year at a minimum.

You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.

If you have received Holy Communion for the first time, it is important to try to receive at least once during the Easter season, which is fifty days long.  Easter is a time of renewal.  It is a time when we can experience God’s goodness and forgiveness.  We are blessed because most of our schools go to Mass once a month so you ought to be able to fulfil this precept.

Easter is the season that follows the remembrance of the last Supper and Jesus’ death on the cross.  These are the most important days in a Catholic’s year.  We are asked to receive Holy Communion at least during this season so we can be renewed.  We can experience the joy of Easter and become closer to Jesus.  All the important symbols are displayed in the Church to remind us of the significance of these days.  Take your class to the Church, look at the decoration, look at the Christ candle, the holy water newly blessed, the light in the sanctuary lamp lit with the new fire.  If the Church had baptisms by immersion, there may be a pool present.  White cloths have replaced the solemn purple of Lent.  There will probably be lots of flowers, esp. Easter Lilies.  

You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.

In Canada, we have two holy days of obligation:  Christmas eve/day and New Year’s eve/day.  Many people make the Mass part of their Christmas celebration because it is Jesus’ birthday.  The New Year’s Mass is a celebration of Mary the Mother of God.  We also celebrate the World day of Peace.  It is a good way to begin a new year to pray with family and friends.  Many people do not know that January 1st is a holy day of obligation.

A holy day of obligation helps us to know which are the very special days that we ought to go to celebrate Mass with the community.  Many families go to mass on Christmas eve/day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  It is a traditional activity for many Catholic families.  In our culture we make New Year’s resolutions to try to improve our lives in some way.  Our Church invites us to attend Mass on New Year’s eve/day to begin the new year in a holy way.  Instead of making resolutions that are often forgotten quickly, we can begin our New Year surrounded by the love of God and the community of our parish.

You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.

There are two days of prescribed fasting and abstinence:  Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Some Catholics follow the traditional practice of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent; and some don’t eat meat on all Fridays of the year.  

Fasting and abstinence helps us to feel what some people feel every day, hungry.  It also helps us to be freed from foods that may not always be good for us.  These two practices help us to make a space in our lives that only prayer can satisfy.  

In our world there are many people who feel hunger regularly.  When we fast and abstain (go without meat) we can join with them.  Usually the money that would have been spent on the food we have fasted from would be given to the poor who are hungry.  When we fast and abstain we can feel an emptiness, that only God can completely fill.  Sometimes we fast from food that is not as good for us.  This helps our bodies to grow strong and well.

Fasting can also be a practice that promotes good choices, like fasting from using bad words.  It helps us to grow in our relationships with God and others.


Grade Six ML 3.2:  With reference to Catholic moral teaching, identify the characteristics of holiness and what is necessary if individuals are to “be holy” as Jesus is holy. I would start by reviewing the Fruit of the Holy Spirit as characteristics of holiness.  Read Galatians 5:22-23.  If a person is living a moral life by making good moral choices, we ought to be able to see the Fruit of the Spirit as evidence.  These fruit are:  faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, peace, self-control, joy, love and patience.   We will never be as holy as Jesus is holy, but our striving is all that is expected.  When we strive to live good and holy lives, people around us are inspired to do the same.  There is a popular saying, “A good example is never lost.” Ask your students, “What is necessary if individuals are to “be holy” as Jesus is holy?”  They do what Jesus would do.  Jesus includes everyone, the popular people and the unpopular people.  Jesus focuses on people when he spends time with them, he is not distracted.  Jesus heals people.  Jesus teaches others how to be loving.  Jesus tells the truth always.  Invite your students to read the gospel of Mark (group work so all the chapters are covered – it is the shortest gospel) and ask them to list all the actions that Jesus does when he is with people.  Then compare those actions with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 


Twenty-first Century Education> Return Of the King – Ministry Video – 4.15 min

A summary of the Easter Story.  Long live the King!> Easter:  For Those Who Don’t Have a Clue – 3.12 min Comedy > 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 WORLDBy Bernadette McCarver Snyder

What Is a High Wheel Ordinary?  It certainly doesn’t LOOK ordinary but it WAS way back in the 1800s.  The High Wheel Ordinary is a bicycle but not any kind you would see today – except maybe in a museum.  This bicycle had one small wheel in the back and a tall, tall five-foot high wheel in the front.  It must have not been TOO hard to ride because it was an “ordinary” kind of transportation for people at that time.  Things that were ordinary in the past seem funny to you today.  But what do you think people of the future will think about today?  Will they think 10-speed bikes are boring because they’ve invented rocket bikes?  Will they think televisions and computers and cellular phones belong in a museum because they are so “old-fashioned?”  It’s good to know that ONE thing will never change.  God will still be there with you…to help you, to listen to you, to love you…today, tomorrow, and always!”  p. 126


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 – CATECHIST March 2015

1. The Bible is broken into two major sections, the Old and New Testaments.True or False


2. “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy ____________________”.  C.  Spirit


3. According to St. Paul, Jesus is the second Adam.True or False


4. ____________________ started the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. B.  Martin Luther


5. The bishops around the world are the modern day ____________________ of Jesus who are called to lead the Church.  C.  apostles


What’s Your Catholic IQ?  A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment by David O’Brien – CATECHIST March 2015

1. “Hail Holy _____________________, Mother of Mercy, our Life, our sweetness and our hope.”
A. QueenB.  SpiritC.  communionD.  Church


2. _______________________ was the cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the mother of John the Baptist.
A. MarthaB.  PhoebeC.  SusannaD.  Elizabeth


3. The three great religions that believe in the same one God are Christianity, Judaism, and ___________________.
A. AtheismB.  IslamC.  BuddhismD.  Confucianism


4. Jesus said:  “Blessed are they who are ______________________ for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 
A. quietB.  persecutedC.  happyD.  nice 



5. When Catholics enter a church, they bless themselves with holy ____________________, making the sign of the cross.
A. oilB.  ashesC.  waterD.  prayers 

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Annie  A remake of the original movie is enjoyable and easy to watch.  The music is fun to sing and the dance scenes are entertaining.  Miss Hannigan, played by Cameron Diaz, is nasty but not scary.  I think children of all ages would enjoy seeing this movie.

One comment

  1. As you can see special emails like this have a long shelf life.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Peace and Hope,
    Steve De Quintal
    Teacher, St. Mary’s CSS, 66 Dufferin Park Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6H-1J6. 416-393-5528 ext. 84293
    “that they may have life and have it the full.”
    “Good things are coming down the road. Just don’t stop walking.” – Robert Warren Painter JR
    ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response***

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