Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning September 6th, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul.”

Month of September – September is the ninth month, but the word September actually means “seventh month.” Before the time of Julius Caesar the Roman year had ten months. The first month was March, which made September the seventh month. There was no January or February on the calendar. Calendars were used mainly by farmer, who weren’t interested in keeping track of time during of time during winter, when there was little to do. So during winter people lost track of days until their leaders announced the start of a new year each spring. Julius Caesar reformed the calendar. Winter months were added. Now the year began on the first of January, not March. But the old names for the months continued to be used. Many ancient calendars have the year beginning in spring. For instance, the Jewish people mark the first month of their religious year in early springtime, near the vernal equinox. (The Jewish New Year [Rosh Hashanah}, however, begins on the first day of the seventh month.) In the Byzantine Christian calendar, September is the first month of the liturgical year.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, pages 111-112

September 7th is Labour Day. “Traditionally, Labour Day was an occasion to campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights during parades and picnics organized by trade unions. These still play a role in Labour Day for some Canadians, but many people see the first Monday in September as an opportunity to take a late summer trip, perhaps to their country cottage, or enjoy the company of family or friends at picnics, fairs, festivals and fireworks displays. For teenagers and other students, the Labour Day weekend is the last chance to celebrate with a party or to go on a trip before school re-opens for the new academic year.”  St. Joseph the Worker, inspire us to put our best effort forward this year and may all we do give God glory! Have an ice cream cone in honour of the end of summer holidays.

September 8th is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Exactly nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8th), we come to an observance in honour of Mary’s birth. This is one of only three birthdays in the Church’s calendar, the other two being the birthdays of Jesus and of John the Baptist. This solemnity, like all Marian days “is less about Mary than it is about the wondrous work of God in Mary. As Saint Andrew of Crete said in a homily long ago, “The present festival, the birth of the Mother of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the foreordained union of the Word with flesh….Justly then do we celebrate this mystery since it signifies for us a double grace….Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for him who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator” (Office of Readings, Volume IV, p. 1371). Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, pages 114-115. Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among all women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen+ Have a blueberry muffin in honour of Mary’s birthday.

September 9th is the memorial of St. Peter Claver, priest (1580-1654). “St. Peter Claver, a Spanish Jesuit priest, spent his life tending to the needs of African slaves in Columbia, South America. While serving as a missionary, he ministered to the slaves by providing them with food and medicine, washing their wounds, preparing them for Baptism, and witnessing their Marriages. He actively recruited lawyers to plead the cases of imprisoned slaves and prepared criminals for death. Not only did he care for the slaves, but he also preached missions to plantation owners and sailors. The “saint of the slaves,” as St. Peter is often called, died after contracting the plague.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 114   St. Peter Claver help us to be aware when we move toward slavery to things around us, like video games, gambling, alcohol and drugs or slothfulness. Stand up for justice today!

September 12 is the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary. “Three days after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church observes an optional memorial honouring the Most Holy Name of Mary. In Hebrew, the name Mary is “Miryam,” or “Miriam,” which means “bitter sea.” The name is an important one of the Jewish people: Miriam, the sister of Moses, sang in thanksgiving to God after the crossing of the Red Sea, and it was a common name for Jewish women (in the Gospel account of the Resurrection of Jesus, three women visit the tomb in the rock, and all of them are named Mary!). In the Middle Ages, the name Mary was often translated as “star of the sea,” a title with which Mary continues to be honoured today.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 115

Hail Mary, full of grace! Say a decade of the rosary to honour Mary’s most holy name.

Opening Doors of Mercy ~ a quote for the week

“God’s mercy and grace are new every morning.” Lam. 3:23

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Solidarity ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

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

  • Appreciate all of creation as gift and actively fulfill their responsibility to be stewards of God’s creation;
  • Acknowledge all life as sacred.

Grade Two LS1.1: Retell the events of the Emmaus story Luke 24:13-35 and connect this encounter to our celebration of the Eucharist and the call to become a witness to the Risen Lord. [CCC nos. 1402-1491]

The scriptural focus for last Catholic Education Week was the Emmaus story. You may want to begin by asking your class what they remember of the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. You may want to mime out the story with the teacher reading the story and the students role playing the parts of the disciples and Jesus. Act it out more than once during the week and invite different students to play the roles. Ask the students to listen carefully to Luke 30-31. Then ask the students to listen carefully to the words that the priest says at Mass from Matthew 26: 26-29. Did you hear anything that is the same in the two readings? Did you hear anything that is different in the two readings? Discuss that the words of the Last supper (the second reading) had just happened two days before the disciples taken started to walk on the road to Emmaus. That is how the disciples knew it was Jesus who had been walking with him. The Risen Jesus must have looked different than the Jesus that they had known before his death. Ask the students what did the disciple do once they recognized that Jesus was risen [they ran to tell their friends.] We are called to do the same. We are called to tell our friends about Jesus and invite them to become friends with Jesus too.

Grade Three LS1.1: Retell the New Testament account of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-42) to demonstrate an understanding of the unity the Holy Spirit brought about among those gathered by the Spirit and baptized by fire, and those to whom they witnessed. [CCC nos. 731-747]  

Read over the story of Pentecost several times so you can tell the story to your students. The key points I would highlight would be: 1. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told the disciples he would send the Holy Spirit to them.

  1. The disciples were still hiding in the Upper Room waiting for the Holy Spirit.
  2. When the Holy Spirit came there was a big wind and tongues of fire appeared on top of them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit because they could speak other languages.
  3. All the people in Jerusalem, many who were from outside of Jerusalem and from other countries, heard the sound of the wind and they gathered together to see what was happening.
  4. When the disciples started to speak all the people were able to understand them because they were speaking their languages. The people were surprised because they recognized them as the disciples of Jesus from Galilee (simple fishers who would not know so many languages).
  5. All the people were amazed but others said that the disciples were drunk.
  6. Peter raised his voice to speak to the crowd and told the doubters that the disciples were not drunk but that the Holy Spirit had been given to them from Jesus. Peter told the story about how Jesus was taken, crucified, died but God raised Jesus from the dead. Now Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit and will give the Holy Spirit to all the people who want to be baptized. So many people were baptized in the name of Jesus and began to live as followers of the Way.

After you have retold the story of Pentecost, ask the students – How did the Holy Spirit affect the disciples? [they were hiding in fear, now they were going out in public speaking] How did the Holy Spirit bring unity? How did the Holy Spirit bring unity through the disciples? Read the story (Acts 2:1-42) and ask the students to identify what surprises them.

Twenty-first Century Education > A Teacher Flash Mob – very funny! > God Wants to Talk to YOU, a great reminder for all of us. This inspiration video will move students’ hearts and minds. 1.30 minute. > Skit Guys about GRACE – inspirational video. 3.49 min A conversation between Jesus and Peter about grace. > 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

“Trees With Antifreeze? You probably know that cars need gas and water in them to run and people need blood in them to keep their hearts pumping so THEY can run. But did you know that trees have liquid in them too and it’s called tree sap? This liquid feeds the trees and helps them grow. But, since it’s a liquid, the sap could freeze if the winter was VERY cold – and that might kill a tree. So what’s a tree to do? To keep warm, people can wear lots of heavy clothes and eat hot soup and drink hot drinks. And cars have owners who can take them to a service station and fill them with antifreeze so their liquids won’t freeze. But what about a tree? Well, God took care of that! When God made trees, he put a reminder in their memory bank so that every year when the weather starts getting cold, that’s a signal for the trees to stop growing and then shed all their leaves. Since the trees don’t have to feed the leaves anymore, the tree sap changes and turns into a “magic” fluid that acts just like a car’s antifreeze! Isn’t it great the way God thought of everything when he made the world? He made SOME bushes and trees – like Christmas trees – so they could stay green all year. But when he made shade trees that lose their leaves, God provided antifreeze.” Page 141


Who says teaching religion can’t be fun? What’s Your Catholic IQ? Test Your Faith Knowledge by David O’Brien

  1. “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be _____.” (Lk. 18:14)    A. happy            B. sad               C. exalted              D. smart

2. For Catholics, God’s grace is _____.  A. earned through good works    B. unnecessary    C. only for saints       D. a free gift

  1. How often should Catholics go to Mass?     A. only on Holy Days       B. twice daily    C. weekly            D. once before dying

4. Which Hebrew Scriptures book has the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt?     A. Exodus      B. Deuteronomy      C. Revelation        D. Matthew

  1. Song: “Amazing ______ how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”       B.sacraments         C. Lord        D. grace

Taking Jesus to the Movies – a movie blog for believers by Pat Carter csj

Inside Out – Disney movie – A little girl, whose name is Riley, is forced to move to San Francisco with her parents experiences conflict about the changes she faces. Her emotions, Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness take turns expressing how Riley is dealing with the changes. This is a great movie. It shows how God created us with these ways to experience the world and express ourselves. The movie is not religious, but we know that God walks beside us as we face challenges.   I give this movie a five heart rating. ♥♥♥♥♥

Trivia for Those Who Read to the end…Just like the credits at the movies.

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV. Huh!

One comment

  1. Thank you again and again and again for such special emails, take care and have a great Labour Day Long Weekend!

    Peace, Joy 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.” “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.” – Sally Ride ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response*** ________________________________

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