Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning June 21, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“God’s steadfast love lasts forever.”

June 21, 2015 is the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Prepare for Hearing the Gospel with these questions: What are some of the things that scare you the most? Does remembering Jesus’ presence help you when you feel afraid?

Reflecting on God’s Word: When things in your life are not going well, do you ever accuse Jesus of not caring about you? Do you blame others for causing the difficulties in your life? Which do you tend to be more concerned about: your physical well-being or your spiritual well-being? What do you need to change in order to truly put your trust in Jesus?

Act on the Word: Violent storms and natural disasters can be terrifying, and often cause lasting damage to people and their communities. Take time this week to research an area that has recently endured a storm. You might also research areas that endured disasters years ago but that are still recovering, such as the areas in the southern USA damaged by Hurricane Katrina, or Haiti, which is still recovering from an earthquake in 2010. What can you do to give your time, money, or prayers to those in need?” 2014-2015 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, page 231.

Prayer of the Faithful for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

That the work of the Church touch all humanity with healing and nourishment, let us pray to the Lord:

That nations compete with one another to bring peace instead of war, let us pray to the Lord:

That those whose lives have been disrupted by natural disaster find the strength and assistance they need to rebuild, let us pray to the Lord:

That fathers cherish their wives, protect their children, and act as a source of strength in their neighbourhoods and communities, let us pray to the Lord:

That members of this holy community renounce all prejudice in the spirit of justice, 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, p.56.

June 21st is the celebration of Father’s Day. “Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane thought that her father, William Smart, had done a remarkable thing. A veteran of the Civil War, he had raised his six children alone on the family farm in Washington after his wife died in childbirth. When Mrs. Dodd suggested a day for fathers in 1909, she meant it to be a Church service. Mother’s Day, which had just come into wide practice, was originally a Church service too. Public interest in establishing Father’s Day was strong at once in both the United States and Canada. Father’s Day became an official national day in 1966. Father’s Day is celebrated around the world – the date of celebration will vary.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 80. Hug your father today.

St. Joseph, patron of fathers, bless our fathers with what they need to have peace. 

It is also the Summer Solstice. “On this day the sun is at its highest in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the official beginning of summer and an ancient day of celebration. In places north of the Arctic Circle, called “the land of the midnight sun,” the sun never sets during the days near the summer solstice. In most of northern Europe, these are called “the days that never end” because dawn begins before the evening twilight has faded. The sky is never completely dark. Many ancient peoples made today one of their great feasts. People lit huge bonfires during these shortest nights of the year to announce the official change of seasons. Some sort of protection at this time of year seemed especially important because spirits were thought to wander about during festival times. As European nations became Christian, the solstice traditions became associated with the birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24), called Midsummer Day because it is midway between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 84

It is also National Aboriginal Day. [a popular day this year!] NAD is an annual special day to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada. To learn more about this day, and many other topics related to FNMI peoples, visit

Veneto_0036June 24th is the solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. “Today we commemorate the birth of St. John the Baptist, the only person besides Jesus and Mary whose birthday is celebrated on the Church calendar. John is the forerunner of Jesus, as we hear in the Benedictus, the prophetic canticle that John’s father, Zachary, proclaimed: “and you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins…” (Luke 1:76-77). This is an ancient solemnity, reaching back to the fourth century, though the date of the celebration varied in East and West. In the East, the birth of the forerunner was celebrated on the day after the Epiphany, January 7th, because of the association with the baptism of the Lord. In the West, it was celebrated on June 24, in keeping with Luke 1:36, which notes that Elizabeth was six months pregnant at the time of the Annunciation of the Lord. It is not by coincidence that the birth of John the Baptist falls shortly after the summer solstice (June 21), while that of Christ is after the winter solstice (December 22). In the northern hemisphere, June 21 is the longest day of the year; after that, the days will get shorter and shorter. After the winter solstice, the days will gradually increase in length. St. Augustine drew a connection between this cosmic pattern and the saint we honour, who said “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 84-85.

St. John the Baptist, bless us with the faith in Jesus that you had.

Exploring Paths of Joy ~ Proclaiming the Good News ~ a quote for the week

As far as God shall grant you strength, continue to preach the word of salvation, so that the Christian faith may increase and multiply in the name of the Lord.” Pope St. Gregory III

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 CL1.3: Examine the Scripture of the Old Testament and New Testament that reveal the covenantal nature of marriage (Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:7-12; Eph. 5:22-32; 1Thess. 4:4; Mal. 2:14-16; Matt. 5:32-33; Matt. 19:4-6, 9; Mark 10: 11-12; Lk. 16:18; Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:10-11) and compare this image to the covenantal relationship between Christ and the Church. [CCC 1601-1620] An understanding of covenant is very important for this expectation. Covenant is a formal agreement made between God and God’s people. A covenant brings with it a commitment by both parties. God calls Abraham and Sarah into covenant. God will be Abraham and Sarah’s God and will give them all they need. Abraham and Sarah promises to love and honour God throughout their life. God promises Abraham and Sarah descendants as numerous as the stars in the night sky. This relationship calls for a commitment by God and Abraham and Sarah. Invite your students (in pairs) to read one of the passages above and to say what the passage says about marriage and about marriage as a covenant (a committed relationship). Then compare this understanding of covenantal marriage to the image of Christ’s relationship to the Church. Christ promises to always be with the Church through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Christ is present to us through the very breath we breathe. This is the closeness that the Church has to Christ. This is the closeness that a husband ought to have with his wife and she to him.

Grade Eight CL1.2: Identify the Rite of Confirmation – requirements for the reception, the minister, the signs and rituals (laying on of hands, anointing with chrism) and what they symbolize and impart on the receiver, and explain how this sacrament reveals the Holy Spirit as one who gathers and forms the Church for service in the world. [CCC 1293-1301; 1306-1314]

The Rite of Confirmation – requirements for the reception: baptism, preparation, be in a state of grace (having celebrated the sacrament of Penance), a sponsor.

The minister of Confirmation is usually the bishop, but a bishop can ask a priest to step in if necessary.

The signs and rituals of Confirmation – laying on of hands – the bishop confers the sacrament by praying over the candidate using the ritual of laying on of hands – bishop’s hands on the head of the candidate.

Anointing with chrism – a perfumed oil – the bishop anoints the candidate on the forehead with the oil of chrism

In the laying on of hands – the candidate receives the fullness of the Spirit and that Spirit is sealed within them by the anointing so that they may have the gifts to serve the Lord faithfully.

Ask your students to do an inquiry into the Confirmation or answer the following questions:

  • What are the requirements for a person to be able to receive Confirmation?
  • Who confers Confirmation on the candidates?
  • What are the signs and rituals of Confirmation?
  • What do the signs and rituals symbolize and impart on the candidate?
  • How does the sacrament reveal the Holy Spirit as one who gathers and forms the Church for service in the world?

If the class has had members who were well prepared for Confirmation you may have the answers come directly from the students’ experience.

Twenty-first Century Education > Are We More in Love with the idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World > Andrew Cho – an interview with the author of a book – 2.48 min > Pray and Let God Worry – Ministry video – 1.07 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 WORLD! By Bernadette McCarver Snyder

“With and Without! Did you know there is a very big saltwater lake that is named the Dead Sea? Most lakes have lots of fish and underwater plants living in them, but this lake has water that is sooo salty, NOTHING can live in it – that’s why it got the name Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is a lake without life. A dead pan is a face without a smile or frown or ANY expression. A dead head is someone who got free tickets to the ball game without paying for them. And a dead letter is one without the right address so it can’t get delivered. All those “dead” things are without – except for the dead head who is happy WITH those baseball tickets! Do you ever have a day when you feel totally without? Without fun, without friends, without pizza, without zip-a- dee-do-dah? Well, everybody has a day like that once in awhile. But what about the WITH days? Do you have days with fun, with friends, with pizza, and maybe even with baseball tickets? Try to use those boring dead days, the withouts, to find a nice quiet spot and just sit and visit with God and think about all those ALIVE, with, zip-a-dee-do-dah days… and say thanks.” page 140

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun?


What’s Your Catholic Trivia Knowledge?

  1. When we speak of Revelation in terms of God we are referring to   B. God’s self-disclosure to us in order to be in relationship with us
  1. For Catholics, the source of authority is Scripture and Tradition. Tradition is the living transmission of the message of the Gospel in the Church
  1. The oldest writings in the Christian scriptures are C. Acts of the Apostles
  1. The name Jesus means C. God saves
  1. The Church’s most distinguished characteristics are C. one, holy, catholic, apostolic

What’s Your Catholic Trivia Knowledge?

  1. Gaudium et Spes is what type of Church document    A. Canon      B. Vatican II Document                      C. Encyclical              D. Catechism
  1. Formal letters sent by the pope to clergy and laity to address a particular issue are called  A. catechism      B. apostolic exhortations    C. pastoral Letters      D. encyclicals
  1. Communications from the pope that do not define doctrine but rather encourage Catholics to undertake a certain activity, such as Joy in the Gospel, are called   A. pastoral letters     B.apostolic exhortations    C. canons      D. documents
  1. This biblical tool helps someone to understand what a passage in the bible means  A. commentary        B. concordance           C. dictionary     D. atlas of the bible
  1. This biblical tool helps someone to find a particular passage of the bible using one or two words   A. commentary       B. concordance        C. dictionary    D. atlas of the bible

Movie Blog by Sister Pat

Taken 2 – This movie, available on PPV, continues the story of Taken 1. It is suspenseful and riveting but also very violent. I would not recommend this movie for children, it will give them nightmares and a fear of travelling abroad.

Liam Neesom is a great protagonist. Now I want to see Taken 3 because I think it resolves the trilogy.

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

Charlie Brown’s father was a barber. Huh!

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