Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 26, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!”

April 26, 2015 is the Fourth Sunday of Easter.

Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions: This Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is also sometimes called Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel readings speak of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. What do you already know about shepherds? Take some time before Mass to do some Internet research on the lives and duties of shepherds. There are many artistic representations of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Perhaps your parish church has a statue or piece of artwork depicting Jesus as a shepherd. Look on the Internet to see what other artistic representations you can find of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. How do these images and statues help you to come to a deeper understanding of this Sunday’s Gospel?

Reflecting on God’s Word: How well do you listen to and obey the voices of the good shepherds in your life, like teachers, coaches, and parents? How well are you doing at being a good shepherd to younger people who look up to you?

Act on the Word: Reflect this week on experiences you have had of being a leader or role model to younger children. In those experiences, did you ever have to choose between being a good role model and coming across as cool or likeable to the younger people? Maybe the kids you babysit for wanted to eat junk food for dinner, for example, but you knew they were supposed to eat something healthier. Or maybe your younger cousins wanted you to let them watch an R-rated movie, but you knew the content wasn’t appropriate for their age. Did you wind up doing the right thing, or the cool thing? What aspects of being a good shepherd do you find especially challenging?

Wrapping It Up: Who in our world today is like a good shepherd? Whose voices should we be listening to? How might a good shepherd act? What kinds of things would he or she say or avoid saying? What kinds of things would he or she do or avoid doing?” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 193, 196

Prayer of the Faithful for Fourth Sunday of Easter

“That pastors and ministers guide their flocks with tender care, let us pray to the Lord:

That governments carefully guard the safety and quality of food and water, let us pray to the Lord:

That young people preparing for confirmation and graduation be strengthened for a life of loving service through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord:

That the members of this assembly share God’s abundant feast with those who cannot be here, especially the sick and homebound, let us pray to the Lord:” Prayer of the Faithful 2015, Resource for Sundays, Feasts, Holidays, Weekdays, and Church Events, Year B November 30, 2014-November 28, 2015, OCP page 45

Our Lady of Good Counsel from a fresco in Genazzano, Italy "OurLadyGenazzano02" by Anonymous - from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:AndreasPraefcke using CommonsHelper. Original uploader was History2007 at en.wikipedia.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
Our Lady of Good Counsel from a fresco in Genazzano, Italy
“OurLadyGenazzano02” by Anonymous – from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:AndreasPraefcke using CommonsHelper. Original uploader was History2007 at en.wikipedia.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

April 26th is the memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel. “Today in Canada the Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured under the title Our Lady of Good Counsel. IN this well-loved image, Mary embraces the child Jesus, who has his arm around her neck. She seems to be leaning down to hear what the Child Jesus has to say – to listen to his words of “good counsel.” The original image is found in Genazzano, near Rome, but the devotion has spread all over the world. Many school, colleges, and parishes are dedicated to Our Lady under this title, and Pope Pius XII was devoted to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us, and for the people of Canada.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 65

Ask Our Lady to help you make a decision in the next week.

 April 28th is the memorial of St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr. “St. Peter Chanel (1803-1841) was born in France and ordained in 1827, when he was twenty-four years old. After reading letters of missionaries, the desire to evangelize grew, and in 1831 he entered the newly founded Society of Mary (Marists). After the new order was approved by Pope Gregory XVI, they were asked to send missionaries to the South Pacific region. Chanel left France in 1836, the superior of a group of Marists. They traveled to the Canary Islands and Tahiti, and Peter ended up at Futuna. The local king was threatened by the missionaries, and when his son requested Baptism, he arranged for Peter’s murder. Peter Chanel is the patron saint of Oceania, the area in the South West Pacific that encompasses Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 65

St. Peter inspire us to do the right thing, not the popular thing. Be aware when you have to make choices between doing what is right and what is cool. Choose the right!

Catherine_of_SienaApril 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. “St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was a Dominican tertiary (lay member) and mystic, the twenty-fourth of twenty-five children. In spite of family opposition, she dedicated herself to Christ at a very young age and at the age sixteen, she withdrew from her family to lead a life of intense prayer. When she emerged, she began to dedicate herself to care for the sick and poor. Her joyful spirit attracted a number of followers. After a series of mystical experiences, Catherine felt compelled to write letters to those in secular and Church authority, which she dictated to her friend, the Dominican Raymond of Capua. Her influence became so great that papal legates consulted her. At this time, the popes had moved their residence from Rome to Avignon, France. Catherine begged Gregory XI to return to Rome, which he did in 1377. St. Catherine died in 1380 at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind her writings, the Dialogue on Divine Providence, letters, and prayers. She is represented in art holding a lily and wearing the habit of a Dominican tertiary, and is the patron saint of Europe and Italy. In 1970, Pope Paul VI made her a Doctor of the Church, one of the first women, along with Teresa of Avila, to be so honoured.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 66

St.Catherine, help us to see those around us who need care and compassion. Wear a band-aid to remind you today to be on the lookout for those who need care or compassion.

Exploring Paths of Joy ~ a quote for the week

“I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ.” Phm 1:6

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

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

  • Cherish the sacramental life of the Church as the gift of God’s presence in our lives to nourish, restore, guide and form us as children of God;
  • Participate freely in the Sacrament of Eucharist as the central sacrament of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Reconciliation to strengthen and renew their relationship with Jesus;
  • Find hope and faith in the story of salvation that unfolds through the celebration of the five seasons of the Church’s liturgical year.

Grade One CL1.2: Demonstrate an understanding of how God speaks to us through the ritual actions and symbols of the sacraments and link each of the ritual actions and symbols of Baptism to their spiritual/theological meaning (i.e. water/purification and sharing in Christ’s life; white garment/putting on Christ – new life in Christ: Paschal candle/receiving the Light of Christ; Oil of Catechumens/strengthen by the gifts of the Holy Spirit; Sacred Chrism Oil/we share in Christ’s priesthood by active participation in worshipping God through the sacraments, witnessing to God’s Word in word and deed, use the gifts of the Spirit to lead and serve). [CCC 1229-1245; 1262-1284]

Ritual Actions and symbols of Baptism Meaning
Oil of Catechumens On a day (Sunday) before the baptism, the parents present their child with the godparents to the Church community and ask for baptism for their child. They tell the community what name they have chosen for the child. The priest draws with his thumb the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead and asks the parents and godparents to do the same.   The priest anoints the child’s chest with the oil of catechumens to bless the child as God’s own.
Sign of the Cross (you can use a crucifix to show the Grade ones – Jesus who died on the cross because he loved us that much – hold out your arms wide, like Jesus’ arms on the cross.) Signs the person with Christ’s act of love on the cross for us
Proclamation of the Word God’s word is spoken to us to help us to grow to be holy.
Baptismal water is blessed The water in the font is blessed so the person will be blessed by water and the Holy Spirit (who blesses the water through the priest’s words)
Triple immersion in the baptismal water. Water is poured over the person’s head three times as the priest says, “Name of the person, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We are baptized into the total love of God. It is suggested that the parents select a Christian name, that is a saint’s name in order that the child has a particular patron saint to guide and bless him/her as he/she grows up.
Anointing with sacred chrism (perfumed oil) The newly baptized is anointed with oil (oil is rubbed on the forehead of the person) to show that through the baptism the child becomes a priest, prophet and king with Christ. Kings and queens are sealed with oil as part of their becoming ordained to their role.
White garment and candle The person is dressed in white to show that the person has “put on Christ” and has risen with Christ. The candle, is lit from the Easter/Christ candle, and is handed to the parents of the child so the child is a light of the world. The godparents usually light the candle and hand it to the parents because a baby can’t hold a candle safely.
Creed The parents and godparents pray the Creed together with the community. They do this to show that they will raise the child in the faith that the Creed states.

I would bring all the symbols of baptism into my class and explain them one at a time so the students understand why the symbols are used. I have tried to say the meaning of the symbols in simple words but you may adapt the words for your class. For the oil of catechumens I would bring in a small amount of olive oil. This oil has no distinct scent. I would bring the symbols one at a time but I would keep them in the prayer centre as you add to the symbols so the students can touch each symbol during exploration or inquiry time. The oil of chrism is actually olive oil with lavender perfume (in our diocese). Bring in some lavender scented hand cream and let the students smell the scent of chrism in their hands. Probably best not to have matches with the candle. You may want to light the Christ candle and light a baptismal candle from the Christ candle but DO NOT leave the matches in the centre for the children to use. You may want to post the creed in the question format instead of the full wording of the Apostles’ creed.

Grade Two CL1.2: Define the meaning of “Grace” and compare the need for God’s grace to effect salvation to our need of other “super-natural” aids to sustain a happy, healthy life (e.g. infants depend on our parents to feed us, to keep us safe, and to teach us how to walk, speak, etc.) Grace is favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive children, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. [CCC 1996] Grace is a participation in the life of God. [CCC 1997] We need God’s presence in our lives to help us to grow in faith, hope and love. God gives us these gifts and helps us to unwrap them as we live our lives. We celebrate God’s goodness to us every Sunday when we gather as a community at Eucharist. We also need other people in our lives to help us to learn lessons for living. Our parents do everything for us when we are a baby. They teach us eventually how to care for ourselves and how to care for others. So with God’s grace and our caregivers we have all we need to have a happy, healthy life. We celebrate the gift that our parents give us throughout our lives many times in a week or year but most especially on Mother’s and Father’s days.

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 Three ML3.4: Describe what the Church teaches about God’s mercy and what we must do to rebuild our relationship with God and those we have offended. [CCC 1846-1848] Ask your students if they have ever had the experience of doing something wrong and thinking that their parents were going to be very angry and disappointed. Maybe the students have had an experience of being lost and when they were found instead of the parents being angry, the parents were relieved and rejoicing that their child was okay. Mercy is an experience of being loved and blessed even when it is not deserved. It is such a relief to be greeted by mercy instead of anger or disappointment. Once I was in a car accident with someone else’s car and I was so worried that the person was going to be so angry with me but the first thing that was spoken to me by the person was “Are you all right?” When I said, “I thought you were going to be angry.” The person said to me, “It is only a car and it can be replaced, you can’t be replaced.” I felt mercy. When we do something wrong, we need to admit that we have done wrong before God and before the person we’ve wronged. We need to clear our conscience of our wrong doing. We need to ask for forgiveness. God’s mercy is endless. We need to admit the wrong doing and ask for forgiveness. When we go to reconciliation, we are usually given a penance, something to do to make up for our wrong doing. We need to ask for forgiveness of the person we have hurt as well. We may need to do something to show the person that we are truly sorry. It is especially important not to commit the same offense again.

Twenty-first Century Education > We Believe> Music video by the Newsboys – 3.41 min   The message of Easter is sung here. > 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

“Can or CanNOT? Did you know you canNOT lick your elbow? So if you accidently dip it in chocolate sauce, you’ll have to let your dog lick it off since you canNOT…but wait…chocolate is not good for dogs…so you might have to wash that elbow! A crocodile canNOT stick out his tongue…so guess he canNOT lick his elbow either. Pigs canNOT look up at the sky…so if you hear of a pig who saw a UFO, don’t believe it. An elephant canNOT jump…so he canNOT enter a jump rope contest. A kangaroo CAN jump but he canNOT jump if his tail is lifted. He needs his tail to push off! Well, these are just a few notes about NOTS. What about YOU? What are the things that you canNOT do? And what are some of the things that you CAN do? If you make a list, you may be surprised to learn that there are LESS things you CANNOT do than the things you CAN!” p. 129

 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. Eternal separation from God is called being in ____________________. D. hell
  1. The faithful in _______________________ will eventually be in full communion with God in heaven.  A. purgatory
  1. The Bible says “Thou shall not kill” but lying is ok. (Exodus 20) True or False
  1. The special book of Bible readings that is used during Mass is called a _______________________.C. lectionary
  2. The golden box where the consecrated Eucharistic hosts are reserved for prayer and adoration is called a _______________________. D. tabernacle

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

  1. Paul, who met the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, later wrote: “If Christ has not been ____________________(from the dead), then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith (1Corinthians 15:14).  A. taken B. raised C. eliminated   D. stolen
  1. The _______________________ refers to how the Church strongly urges all Catholics to receive Communion during the Easter Season.   A. Easter rule    B. Easter Communion    C. Easter duty             D. Lenten requirement
  1. The sacraments of initiation that adult converts receive during the Easter Vigil are:  A. baptism, confirmation, holy Communion    B. holy orders, holy matrimony    C. anointing of the sick, penance    D. Reconciliation, last rites
  1. Easter comes at the end of the season of _______________________.  A. Christmas B. Pentecost  C. Advent   D. Lent
  1. Paul says that we should “pray without _______________________” 1Thessalonians 5:17.     A.doubts     B. ceasing   C. words   D. the TV on

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Ida – Anna is a novice in a Polish community who needs to make up her mind about taking vows. She discovers a dark family secret that she needs to come to grips with before she can move forward. This movie won the Oscar for Foreign film. It was filmed in black and white which I was not even fully aware of until the movie ended. It seemed appropriate for the film to be in black and white. I would give this movie five stars.

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

Diet Coke was only invented in 1982.Huh!

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