Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning June 14, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“God will provide the growth.”

June 14, 2015 is the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

parable_of_the_mustard_seedPrepare for Hearing the Gospel with these questions: In today’s Gospel we hear about a tiny mustard seed that grows into a huge plant. What other small things can you think of that grow into big things, or things with lots of potential?

If you had to rate the size of your faith on a scale from one to ten, with one being the smallest and ten being the biggest, what rating would you give it?

Reflecting on God’s Word: Pay attention this week to signs of God’s kingdom growing in the world. What do you notice? How can you bring the kingdom of God to others?

Act on the Word: One way in which we grow in faith is by reading Scripture. This week, open your Bible and identify one book of the Bible that you would like to read again, or that you do not recall having read before. Read it from start to finish this week. What new things did you learn? What did the words cause you to think about? How does reading Scripture help to increase your faith?” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 227.

icon-St.-Romuald-253x300June 19th is the memorial of St. Romuald, Abbot. “St. Romuald (c.950-1027) was born in Ravenna and led a self-indulgent life as a young man, but when he saw his father kill an opponent in a duel, he fled to a monastery. Romuald yearned for a stricter life than he found there, and so he withdrew to become a hermit. Eventually, he founded the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictine family, integrating community life with the solitary life. His monks live and work in individual hermitages but come together to celebrate Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 83.

St. Romuald, help us to appreciate the moments of silence in our lives, those moments that can bring us peace.

When a moment of quiet comes to you today, sit and breathe.

Exploring Paths of Joy ~ Recognizing Jesus in the Breaking of the Bread ~ a quote for the week

One must see God in everyone.” St. Catherine Laboure

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

By the end of grade 6, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Cherish and participate in 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;
  • Honour and respect the sacred bread and wine of the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ;
  • Seek to understand the multi-fold meaning of the biblical narratives, symbols and ritual actions associated with the five seasons of the Liturgical year.

Grade Four CL1.2: Identify in the Rite of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation – who can receive and celebrate the sacrament, the rituals, blessings and prayers, signs and symbols, that signify and convey the grace and identification with Christ who forgives through the Church; and the effects of the sacrament. [CCC 1440-1498]

To begin class, ask students the questions above – who can receive the sacrament, who can celebrate the sacrament?

Students are generally prepared to receive the sacrament the first time. In our diocese, children are in grade 2 or 3 to receive this sacrament. Who can receive: anyone who understands that Christ’s grace will bring forgiveness of sins through the ministry of the Church’s confessor. A child needs to be old enough to understand the concept of “sin” and the concept of contrition (feeling sorry for sin). Bishops and priests can celebrate the sacrament with the sorrowful.

Sacraments Rituals (actions) Symbols and signs Prayers and Blessings
Penance & Reconciliation Confession of sins (at least once a year for serious sin)

Proclamation of forgiveness

Performance of a penance by the penitent.


Stole of priest

Sign of the Cross as blessing

The penitent says: O God, I am sorry with my whole heart for all my sins because you are Goodness itself and sin is an offense against you.   Therefore I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, not to sin again and to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen+

The confessor says:

God, the Father of mercies, through the death and the resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen+

Grade Five CL1.2: Identify in the Rite of the Anointing of the Sick – who can receive and celebrate the sacrament; the rituals, blessings and prayers, signs and symbols that signify and convey grace and identification with Christ who suffers and who heals. [CCC 1514-1523] Ask your class the first two questions to see if anyone has any knowledge of this sacrament. This sacrament can be received by anyone who is gravely sick or prior to a serious operation. The elderly who may be frail can receive the sacrament as well. Only priests and bishops are ministers of the Anointing of the Sick. This sacrament can be administered individually at hospital or at home or in a group service. It is very fitting to celebrate this sacrament within the Eucharist. This sacrament signifies and conveys grace and identifies the sick person with Christ who suffers and who heals.

Sacraments of Healing Rituals (actions) Symbols and Signs Prayers and Blessings
Anointing of the Sick Praying over each sick person individually

Anointing of the sick person’s forehead and hands

Laying on of hands (touch)

Oil of the sick

Sign of the cross

Prayers ask for:

The uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his/her own good and that of the whole Church.

Strengthening, peace and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness and old age.

The forgiveness of sins.

The restoration of health and preparation for passing over to eternal life.

Grade Six CL 1.1: Connect the special graces received by the Holy Spirit in the one being ordained to Holy Orders, in the spiritual character, in the orientation to the ministries of Christ (i.e. Priest, Teacher, and Pastor) and outline how these continue to serve the life of the Church and world. [CCC 1581-1600]

Ask your students if anyone has been to an ordination to Priesthood. These celebrations do not happen as often as once upon a time. Ask your students what special graces does a priest require from the Holy Spirit in order to do the work of a priest. “This sacrament configures (joins) the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet and king” [CCC 1581] as the faithful are baptized and confirmed in this triple office. The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained minister exercises his service for the People of God by teaching, leading divine worship, and involvement in pastoral ministry. Once a person is ordained, he is ordained with an indelible spiritual character which cannot be removed. Ask your students how they think these services of the priest serve the life of the Church and the world.

Twenty-first Century 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

“Have You Ever Heart of Sisu? This is a word you MAY never hear because it’s a word used in Finland and it means different things to different people. It can mean having the courage to work hard at something you believe in even when other discourage you – or it can describe a great work of art that is simple yet wonderful. And there’s an example of “sisu” that is one of the great wonders of the United States. It’s the St. Louis Gateway Arch – a simple but amazing steel arch that stands at the edge of the great Mississippi River and soars high into the sky. Tourists come from all over the world to see it. This “sisu” piece of architecture was designed by a man from Finland named Eero Saarinen and, like the sisu word, it is different at different times – brilliant when the sun flames off its sides, shadowy in the moonlight, and sometimes almost disappearing in the morning mists. The Arch is a reminder that St. Louis was the Gateway to the West way back when people came to this city in covered wagons or steamships, courageously setting out to explore America’s western world of cowboys and Indians and buffalos and prairies. Some people thought those pioneers were crazy to head out into an unknown territory. Some people thought Saarinen’s design of this towering arch was so unusual it could never be built. And so today, this “wonder” is a monument to the pioneers and to the architect – a symbol that with imagination, courage and hard work, anything and everything is possible. Do you know anyone who has sisu – someone who may not be a movie star or a sports hero but IS a good person who lives simply and works quietly and has the courage to be true to what he or she believes? Would you like to be that kind of person? If you ever get a chance to see the Gateway Arch and ride to the top in the little train that is INSIDE the tall arch, look out at the Mississippi River and think about the pioneers and the architect and sisu.” page 138-139

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?


What’s Your Catholic Trivia Knowledge?

1. This is a sacramental action

A) Making the Sign of the Cross  B) Bowing   C) Genuflecting  D)All of these

2. This is a sacramental object  A) rosary B) incense C) candle  D) all of these

  1. Catholics have a way of telling time differently than others by using   liturgical calendars
  1. This prayer can be prayed at noon to recall the words the angel spoke to Mary at the Annunciation                     the Angelus
  1. Who said “those who sing pray twice”? St. Augustine


What’s Your Catholic Trivia Knowledge?

  1. When we speak of Revelation in terms of God we are referring to: A) the second last book of the Christian scriptures    B) God’s self-disclosure to us in order to be in relationship with us  C) A and B   D) none of the above
  1. For Catholics, the source of authority is Scripture and Tradition. Tradition is: A) the living transmission of the message of the Gospel in the Church  B) all the old archived pieces of history in the Vatican  C) what Tevye from A Fiddler on the Roof speaks about   D) none of the above
  1. The oldest writings in the Christian scriptures are:  A) Books of the prophets   B) Letters of Paul  C) Acts of the Apostles   D)The Gospel of Mark
  1. The name Jesus means  A) Creator   B) God with us  C. God saves  D. Do not fear
  1. The Church’s most distinguished characteristics are:  A) One, holy, apostolic   B) One, holy, Catholic   C) one, holy, catholic, apostolic    D) one, holy, Catholic, apostolic

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

McFarland – This movie, available on PPV, is based on a true story. This story tells of the success of a running coach (Kevin Costner) and his hard working, dogged Cross country runners who achieve amazing feats of endurance and strength. It is a story that children ought to watch to see how others live and how those of different cultures live their family lives. It is a five star story. This is a story about walking a mile in another’s shoes.

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

Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old. Huh!

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