Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 10, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
“Let us love one another.”  Jn 4.7


May 10, 2015 is the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

Prepare for hearing the Word of God with these questions:  Who was the first to love Jesus, before he was even born?

Who loved you before you were born?

Reflecting on God’s Word: What experiences have you had of God’s love?  What experiences have you had of the love of others?  How do you share God’s love with others?

Act on the WordSpend time with people who love you this week.  Make sure that you tell them you love them in both your words and your actions.  Strive to act in a way that sets you apart from the world by your love for your friends and family, as well as for all of God’s creation.  Give thanks to God, the source of all love.

    “I Love You” around the World:  Ask the teens if any of them know how to say, “I love you” in a different language.  Have each take a turn sharing these versions of “I love you.” You might want to divide the teens into teams and see which team can think of the most ways to say, “I love you.”” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 201, 204


Prayer of the Faithful for Sixth Sunday of Easter

That those searching for faith in a chaotic world encounter Christ in every member of the Church, let us pray to the Lord:

That nations cooperate to develop compassionate immigration policies, let us pray to the Lord:

That mothers everywhere recognize the gift of their children and nurture them with joy, let us pray to the Lord:

That all who have lost a child and all whose longing for children has gone unfulfilled find consolation through Mark’s intercession, let us pray to the Lord:

That all who gather here see the face of Jesus in one another, 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 47


May 10th is Mother’s DayIn the Middle Ages, many people had to travel far from home to earn a living.  They became servants where work was available or they learned a trade from someone who was willing to teach them.  These people were given a special holiday every year.  It came on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, on Laetare (“Rejoice”) Sunday.  In the liturgy on this day, the city of Jerusalem is called our mother.  We rejoice because when Easter arrives, we will be reunited with our mother Jerusalem.  And so, Laetare Sunday came to be called Mothering Sunday.  On this day people would go home to see their mothers.  Many family reunions were held.  People were even excused from the Lenten fast on that day.  The Mother’s Day we have in May was started in the early twentieth century by an American woman named Anna Jarvis.  After her mother died, she suggested that a memorial service be held in church to honour all mothers.  The first such service was held in a Philadelphia church in 1908.  Those who attended were asked to wear white carnations in memory of their mothers.  People were so taken with the observance of such a day that in 1914 [the US] Congress proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.  Other countries adopted the idea.  In England, the old custom of Mothering Sunday in Lent was restored.  Mother’s Day is observed in many other countries, but not always on the same day.  A mother provides life and nourishment.  On this day we remember all who are examples of a mother’s love.  This holiday has been adopted by other countries including Canada.” Companion to the Calendar:  A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 68  Let us all let our mothers know how much we appreciate what they have done and continue to do for us.


May 13th is the memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. “Today the Church honours Mary as Our Lady of Fatima.  In 1917, in a tiny, rural town of Portugal, the Blessed Virgin May appeared to three shepherd children on the thirteenth day of six consecutive months, beginning on May 13.  During these apparitions, the lady urged the children to pray for sinners and above all to pray the Rosary.  On October 13th, the last of the apparitions, the children were joined by a crowd of around 70,000 people, who witnessed what came to be called “The Miracle of the Sun.”  Today pilgrimage to the site of the apparitions continues all year round.  The largest crowds gather on May 13th and October 13th, when up to a million of the faithful come to pray and participate in processions, both during the day and at night, by the light of tens of thousands of candles. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. .” Companion to the Calendar:  A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 74 Pray one decade of the Rosary today to OLOF.



St. Matthias

May 14th is the feast of St. Matthias, Apostle.  “Before the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the eleven remaining Apostles had the task of replacing Judas Iscariot, who had completed suicide after his betrayal of Jesus.  They cast lots, and Matthias (first century) was chosen from among the 120 disciples (Acts 1:18-26).  He was selected as a candidate by the Apostles because he met the following two qualifications: (1) a disciple of Jesus from Jesus’ baptism to his Ascension and (2) a witness to Jesus’ Resurrection.  Tradition has him preaching in Judea and then in Georgia in the Causasus, where he was crucified.  The apocryphal Acts of Andrew and Matthias speak of a mission to evangelize cannibals.  Other traditions put him in Ethiopia and in Jerusalem, where he is supposed to have been stoned and beheaded.  His symbol in art is an axe, from the legend of his beheading.” Companion to the Calendar:  A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 75  St. Matthias, please inspire us to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings for our lives.  When you brush your hair today think about Matthias.


Exploring Paths of Joy a quote for the week
Who is worthy to open the scroll” Rev 5:2


New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

By the end of grade 8, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

❖ Participate with joy and gratitude in the Sacramental life of the Church and celebrate the Eucharist as the central sacrament of the Catholic Church;
❖ Recognize the presence of Christ in the Liturgy of the Word, under the sign of the bread and wine of the Eucharist, in the celebrant priest, and in the assembled Body of Christ;
❖ Appreciate the importance of participating in the celebration of holy days, feast days and days dedicated to the saints;
❖ Continue to deepen their understanding of the multi-fold meaning of symbols, scripture narratives, ritual actions and practices associated with the liturgical celebration of the saints and the salvation stories of our faith, i.e. the Paschal Mystery.

Grade Seven CL 1.1:  Identify the features that constitute a Christian understanding of marital love (unity, indissolubility, fidelity, and openness to procreation); and the benefits (i.e. effects) of the sacrament (an increase of sanctifying grace – the special help of God for husband and wife to love each other faithfully, to bear with each other’s faults, and to bring up their children properly) and identify ways the Church and society can both strengthen and benefit from Catholic families and their members. [CCC nos. 1643-1666]  Being married in the Church is different than being married legally in the province.  When a couple falls in love and wishes to be married, they are asking to be married before God in a sacrament.  When a couple wishes to be married in front of a Justice of the Peace, it is a legal contract that they are entering into and God is not involved.  We understand that Christian marital love has the following features:  unity for the couple, and then their family; indissolubility (once you are married, you are married for life); fidelity (being faithful to each other); and an openness to having a family.  When a couple is married legally, they sign a contract which exists until one or both of the partners is dissatisfied with the agreement and then they are separated and or divorced.  

The benefits of the sacrament, as with all sacraments, is that God offers special help to the husband and wife in the form of grace.  God supports the love that each partner will have for the other.  God helps the partners to bear with each other’s faults.  God helps the couple to raise their children in love.  The Church desires to be a community that supports and strengthens the couple as they live their married life.  In a Church there are many loving couples who give witness to other couples and if needed, may be willing to offer counsel in times of stress.  It is hoped that society will also provide support and strength for couples and their families.  In our present culture there is much confusion about marriage and the sacrament.  Young couples do not always understand the significant differences between sacrament and contract when it comes to marriage.  It is so important to begin to teach these differences while students are still young so that they will mature with a great understanding than is present in our society today.  Ask your class what is the difference between getting married in the Church and at City Hall.  Who presides at each celebration? [remember a priest or a deacon can preside at a Church wedding]  Where do these celebrations take place?  Then I would explain the features, benefits and ways that the Church marriage is different from a civil union.  Remember not all Church celebrations need to include Eucharist.  A couple can be married without a mass.  


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 Eight ML3.3Identify the ways in which the grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us in our Christian life (to change us from sinfulness to righteousness through grace.) [CCC nos. 1987-1995]

What is justification?  This language sounds foreign to our ears.  “Justification – the grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” and through Baptism.” [CCC 1987]

1. The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is to help us to be converted, that is to be moved toward God and away from sin. 

2. God initiates an offer of forgiveness as part of the grace.  This offer reconciles us with God, frees us from the enslavement of sin and heals us from its effects.

3.  With justification, faith, hope and love are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted to us.

4.  Justification is offered in Baptism, the sacrament of faith.  It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy.

5.  Justification establishes cooperation between God’s grace and our freedom.

6.  Justification is the most excellent work of God’s love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit.

How do we teach the concept of justification to our students in Grade 8?  I would begin with the definition above, thenbreak it down into simplier terms.  The Holy Spirit helps us by cleansing us from our sins.  God wants to be in relationship with us.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  When we were baptized, we were given new life through Jesus’ death.  We still need to ask for forgiveness when we do something wrong, but when we do, forgiveness can be expected from the action of the Holy Spirit.  As we grow in relationship with God, hopefully we sin less frequently and grow in grace and freedom.  It would be good to look at the prayer under the Virtue of the month heading above.  Pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit with that prayer.


Twenty-first Century Education > Sanctuary – Creating a place for Grace in your Life – interview with an author who has written a book about Sanctuary.  It is a wonder view into what sanctuary we may need in our lives.

4.43 min – well spent time> Sanctuary meditation – 5.38 min > 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

A Birdbrain!  If you call somebody a birdbrain, you’re insulting them, saying you think they are stupid!  But wait!  A birdbrain must be pretty smart since a bird can fly by itself, but a person needs an airplane to fly!  And some birds can sing soooo much better than some people.  Have you ever seen one of those cute little yellow canaries?  They are great singers.  When they are baby birds and just start to make little noises, they are a lot like little babies just starting to make goo-goo, gurgling sounds.  BUT by the time a canary is eight months old, it can sing like an adult.  And a baby can’t sing or even talk by that age.  And did you know that canaries sing a lot in the spring but then, in the summer, when they shed their feathers, they seem to shed their songs too!  By the next spring, they’ve learned to sing NEW songs too!  That’s pretty smart for a teeny little yellow bird.  So maybe when you call somebody a birdbrain, you’re giving them a compliment!  But they probably won’t know that so you better NOT call anyone a birdbrain.  Instead, try to think of some people you don’t like very much and give them a nice compliment.  Tell them you think they are smart or neat or a good ball player or a good singer.  It will make them feel good – and it might make you feel good too.”  p. 131


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 April/May2015

1. Easter is the longest liturgical season during the Church’s year.True or False


2. The ____________________mysteries of the Rosary begun with meditating on the resurrection.

D.  glorious


3. Adult who wish to become Catholic learn about the faith in RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.)   True or False


4. Saint ____________________ is known for her “little way.” C.  Thérèse of Liseaux


5. The sign of the cross reminds us of the _____________________.  D.  Trinity


What’s Your Catholic IQ?  A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment by David O’Brien – CATECHIST April/May2015

1. Before Christ ascended into heaven, he promised to send ____________________.

A.  moneyB.  the Holy SpiritC.  inspirationD.  angels


2. We believe in Jesus Christ…who was crucified, died and was buried, on the ____________________day, he rose from the dead.

A.  thirdB.  secondC.  firstD.  sunny


3. The Easter ____________________ is a symbol of the tomb from which Christ rose from the dead.
A. basketB.  jelly beanC.  bunnyD.  egg 


4. The Church celebrates ______________________ liturgical seasons.
A. twoB.  fourC.  sixD.  eight 


5. Priests wear ____________________ to signify their role of leadership in the Mass.
A. vestmentsB.  black shirtsC.  collarsD.  crosses 




Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Boychoir – I saw this movie through the Algoma Film Society.  It is a great fictional story of a national Boys Choir in the USA.  Dustin Hoffman plays one of the directors of this choir for young boys.  It is the story of a boy who is the underdog and who works hard to achieve success as part of the boy’s chorus.  It is a great show to watch with children because there are many good points that you could discuss about bullying and how to strive to achieve while others are doing the same beside you.  






Leave a Reply