Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning September 13th, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you.”

September 13 is the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – Use these questions to prepare yourself to hear the readings before attending Mass: As you enter church for Mass this Sunday, notice people’s behaviour and posture. Do people seem to sense the sacredness of the space and what is about to take place there? Prepare your mind and heart for Mass by recalling your week. Thank God for your blessings and acknowledge the times you have failed.

Reflect on the Word – Use these questions to reflect on the readings after attending Mass: Who do you say that Jesus is? What difference does this make in your life?

Act on the Word – Use these ideas to act on the readings during the week: Make a list of ten people you trust and with whom you can talk about faith. Ask each, in person or through email, who Jesus is in their lives. Record their responses. In your list, write the person’s response next to their name. Ask each person to give an example of how knowing Jesus in this way has called him or her to act in a particular situation. How is their response similar to or different from situations in your own life? What do you learn from them?

Wrapping It Up – What does it mean to deny yourself? What cross do you need to take up? What is the essence of the call to follow Christ?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 25,28

September 13 is the memorial of the St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. “After a short stint as a monk, St. John Chrysostom (c. 350-407), whose surname means “golden mouth,” returned to Antioch, where he was ordained a priest and became a noted preacher. During his free time he wrote commentaries on the Pauline letters as well as the Gospel according to Matthew and according to John. Due to his reputation for preaching and writing, he was appointed bishop of Constantinople. As bishop he initiated a program of reform that challenged clerical abuses and the extravagant lifestyle of the upper class. His reforms were not always received well, especially on the part of Empress Eudoxia; therefore, he was exiled from the city for a period of time. St. John Chrysostom bears two distinctive titles in the Church: Father of the Church and Doctor of the Church.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 115   St. John inspire us to speak words of mercy today. Share gold covered candies with your students to celebrate St. John’s name.

September 14th is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross †. “Today’s Feast began as a commemoration of a unique event: the miraculous finding of the True Cross by St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine. Helena journeyed to the Holy Land to see the place of the Lord’s Crucifixion. She found the spot and tore down a temple honouring the Greek goddess Aphrodite, which she found there, and began to lay the foundations, the remains of three crosses were discovered, but they did not know which was the true Cross. When a dying woman was healed after touching one of the crosses, they knew that the Cross of Christ had been revealed. The basilica was completed, and the Church in both East and West observes this feast in honour of the Cross on the anniversary of dedication….” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 116 Jesus, thank you for dying on the Cross so that we might have life everlasting. Invite the class to make a slow and prayerful sign of the Cross today.

September 15th is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. In the Gospel according to Luke, as Simeon holds the infant Christ in his arms, he tells Mary that her life will be full of suffering. Her son will be “opposed,” and “a sword will pierce [Mary’s] soul, too” (Lk. 2:34-35). That prophecy is fulfilled when Jesus is crucified and Mary stands at the foot of his Cross. The image of the Mater Dolorosa, the Sorrowful Mother, is the subject of one of the most famous works of art, Michelangelo’s Pietà, which shows Mary with the dead Christ in her arms, her face revealing peace and acceptance, and yet profound grief. Today we ask the intercession of this sorrowful Mother for all mothers who suffer for their children, and especially those who have lost a child.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 116

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Opening Doors of Mercy ~ a quote for the week

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Mt. 5:7

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

This year we will look at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. This truth has been long in seeing the light of day. We need to work to build reconciliation with our First Nations, Métis and Inuit people because of the wrong directed toward them. It will take a deliberate effort. We are all treaty people. Let us live up to our side of the agreements.

Without some context, a context that many Canadians do not know or understand, the Calls to Action may not make sense. So the first excerpts will be taken from the introduction of the report.

“Canada’s residential school system for Aboriginal children was an education system in name only for much of its existence. These residential schools were created for the purpose of separating Aboriginal children from their families, in order to minimize and weaken family ties and cultural linkages, and to indoctrinate children into a new culture—the culture of the legally dominant Euro-Christian Canadian society, led by Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. The schools were in existence for well over 100 years, and many successive generations of children from the same communities and families endured the experience of them.That experience was hidden for most of Canada’s history, until Survivors of the system were finally able to find the strength, courage, and support to bring their experiences to light in several thousand court cases that ultimately led to the largest class-action lawsuit in Canada’s history.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was a commission like no other in Canada. Constituted and created by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which settled the class actions, the Commission spent six years travelling

to all parts of Canada to hear from the Aboriginal people who had been taken from their families as children, forcibly if necessary, and placed for much of their childhoods in residential schools. …

The Commission heard from more than 6,000 witnesses, most of whom survived the experience of living in the schools as students. The stories of that experience are sometimes difficult to accept as something that could have happened in a country such as Canada, which has long prided itself on being a bastion of democracy, peace, and kindness throughout the world. Children were abused, physically and sexually, and they died in the schools in numbers that would not have been tolerated in any school system anywhere in the country, or in the world. http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Honouring_the_Truth_Reconciling_for_the_Future_July_23_2015.pdf

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Solidarity ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

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

  • Actively seek to identify the purposes of their lives and the vocation to which God is calling them;
  • Develop attitudes and values founded on Catholic social teaching and act to promote social responsibility, human solidarity and the common good;
  • Strive to integrate faith with all arenas of their life: personal, social, academic, etc.;

Respect the faith traditions, world religions and the life journeys of all people of good will.

Grade Four LS1.1: Identify and summarize the message contained in the passages of scripture which involve Jesus explaining his authority in relationship to God his Father (e.g. Mk. 10 – places of honour in the kingdom). the respect of his authority (e.g. Mt. 8 – cure of the centurion’s servant) and the challenge of his authority (eg. Mt. 15 – interpretation of the Law by the Pharisees). [CCC nos. 1897-1904] It would be important to discuss with the students what authority means. “Every human community needs an authority to govern it. The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.” [CCC 1898] It is important for us to respect authority and to be grateful for people who use their authority in good ways for the good of everyone. God gave Jesus authority.

Mark 10: 35-45 – Jesus explaining his authority in relationship to God his Father – have the students read the passage and ask them – Does Jesus have the authority to give James and John the seats in heaven that they are asking for? Who do you think has made that decision? [No, God the Father, so even Jesus must show respect to his Father for the decisions He has made]

Matthew 8: 5-13 – the Centurion respects Jesus’ authority. Have the students read the passage and ask them – Why does the Centurion say I am not worthy have you come under my roof? How are the Centurion and Jesus alike? [the Centurion understands that Jesus is a man under the authority of God and he respects Jesus’ authority, both the Centurion and Jesus are men of authority]

Matthew 15: 1-9 – Interpretation of the Law by the Pharisees. Have the students read the passage and ask them – What problem are the Pharisees and scribes talking to Jesus about? What is Jesus’ response? Are the Pharisees and scribes challenging Jesus’ authority? [The Pharisees and scribes are asking Jesus why his disciples not wash their hands before eating. Jesus questions how the Pharisees and scribes live the commandment about honouring father and mother. Jesus tells the Pharisees and scribes that they are hypocrites. They are trying to cause trouble and they are questioning Jesus’ authority.]

Jesus is in relationship with God, his Father and he knows what his Father wants. Some people question Jesus’ authority, and Jesus asserts his authority. Some people honour and respect Jesus’ authority because they can see by how He acts that He has a deep relationship with God.

Grade Five LS1.1: Identify through the Letters of St. Paul (i.e. the analogy of the body 1 Cor. 12:12-31; Romans 12:3-8) the key characteristics of what it means to be Church and explain the importance of recognizing, developing, and willingly sharing our gifts and talents in order to give witness to Christ. [CCC nos. 1897-1904]

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives an analogy of the Church as a body. The body has many parts and each part has a particular function. It is important that the parts perform their function so the whole body is able to function. So there are different members in the Church with different functions, and each one needs to perform their function for the Church to operate well. The smaller parts may appear weaker but they are indispensable, same with younger members or weaker members (elders or the infirmed), their role is indispensable and we need them in the Church. If one part of the body is suffering, the whole body suffers; just as if one member of the Church is suffering, then the whole Church suffers. Ask your students to listen carefully to the passage. Explain what an analogy is (a very large and detailed metaphor). Ask your students to listen to the different ways the parts of the body work together. Ask your students to identify the ways that the Church is like a body. What are the key characteristics of the Church as outlined in the analogy? Then explain the importance of recognizing, developing, and willingly sharing our gifts and talents in order to give witness to Christ. You may have to scaffold this part for some students – recognize gifts/talents; how does one develop one’s gifts/talents; how do we willingly share our gifts/talents in order to give witness to Christ. How does one give witness to Christ? We were born with the raw stuff of our gifts and talents to give God glory. We did not get the gifts/talents ourselves, they were gifts from God. That is why often athletes lift their eyes to heaven and cross themselves when they do well, because they recognize that the talent was a gift.

Grade Six LS1.1: Identify and compare the call stories in Scripture which reflect conversion and fidelity to God as the foundation of our vocation and which can transform the lives of others (e.g. Moses Exodus 3:1-12; Jeremiah 1:1-10; John 1:35-42; Mary – Lk 1:26-38). [CCC nos. 1262-1284]

Have your students work in groups. Each group assigned a call story. Invite the groups to identify the two components of the call stories.

Call Stories Conversion and Fidelity to God Transform the lives of others
Moses Exodus 3:1-12 God calls Moses and asks him to lead His people to a land of milk and honey The people will be taken out of slavery and brought to a better life
Jeremiah 1:4 -10 Jeremiah is called to be a prophet to the people (speak the words that God gives him) God has a message for His people.
John 1: 35-42 Two disciples see Jesus and ask him where he is staying. Jesus invites them to “Come and See” and they become followers of Jesus.
Mary Luke 1:26-38 God asks Mary to be Jesus’ mother. Mary says “Yes” and becomes Jesus’ mother.
Each student’s personal call story You are being called to be a follower of Jesus, to be faithful to Jesus. This way of life will give you peace and deep happiness.

Compare the call stories. Discuss the fact that each one of us is being called to fidelity to God and the life God is calling us to. God wants to be the centre of our lives and as such will love and care for us. Watch the Godtube video below. http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1B9BB1NU&utm_source

Twenty-first Century Education

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1B9BB1NU&utm_source> Prepare the Way – 1.23 min A great question for the new school year.

www.AmazingCatechist.com > founded by Lisa Mladinich, this site is a treasury of articles and resources by real-life catechists.

www.CatholicCatechist.org >sometimes, the best way to learn about lesson planning is by using other people’s ideas and resources for a while. This site has membership options, a community forum, and many free files as well.

www.CatechistJourney.LoyolaPress.com > Joe Paprocki has authored many books and given countless workshops and seminars about being a catechist. On his website, he offers free webinars, articles to enrich your faith and teaching, and much more.

http://grievingstudents.scholastic.com > Great website resources to use if you have a student who has lost a loved one.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM > in the Religious Education curriculum document there are references to the CCC – Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is a link to that document.

www.4catholiceducators.com > a Canadian based website for Catholic teachers of Religious Education (my new fav)

www.CARFLEO.org > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grade

 

130 Fun Facts from God’s Wonder-Filled WORLD! By Bernadette McCarver Snyder

“Could You Be a Witworm? If you look in your dictionary, you might not find this word because it’s a very old word that meant “someone who enjoys wit.” And what is wit? It can mean humour, comedy, anything that makes you laugh or the power to make someone else laugh. You’ve probably heard the word “bookworm” and know that means somebody who really like to look at and collect and read books. So, since you are reading this passage, maybe you are a bookworm – and since this passage is supposed to be full of fun or wit, maybe you ARE a witworm! Of course, a wit can also mean someone who God gave a sense of humour, imagination, and intelligence. Oh, yes, you must definitely be a witworm! Hee Hee.” P. 142

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)  exalted
  1. For Catholics, God’s grace is D. a free gift
  1. How often should Catholics go to Mass? weekly
  1. Which Hebrew Scriptures book has the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt?   Exodus
  1. Song: “Amazing ______ how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” grace

Test Your Faith Knowledge by David O’Brien

  1. When we celebrate Mass here on earth, we are joining in the heavenly Mass where Jesus is the priest. True or False
  1. In order for the sacraments to change us for the better, we must:  a. read the whole Bible     b. have faith    c. be raised by parents who are saints     d. never sin
  1. Jesus is a good shepherd because he takes care of his sheep. True or False
  1. The Old Testament contains history, poems, prophecies, wise teachings, and _____. a. stories about Jesus         b.letter           c. gospels           d. songs
  1. In order to keep in touch with the churches he started, St. Paul wrote them _____.: a. religious dictionaries       b. letters        c. Christmas carols         d. rap songs

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

Whiplash – This movie is about a young man who loves to drum. He wants to be the best drummer there is. He meets a music teacher who has very different ways of pushing his students. This is a movie about perseverance and dedication. It is not a movie for children. It is tough to watch this movie to the end.

When does pushing someone to their best performance become abusive. I give this movie ♥♥♥

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

“A lion’s roar can be heard from five miles away.” Huh! http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bingbin/

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