Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning September 20th, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“The Lord upholds my life.”

September 20 is the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – What makes a person great? What are the characteristics or qualities of a truly great person? Do you aspire to greatness?

Reflect on the Word – How does your earlier reflection on greatness stand up to Jesus’ description of one who is last and the servant of all? What would being the “servant of all” look like in a typical day at school or home?

Act on the Word – Without telling anyone at home or your friends what you are doing, be mindful this week of the times when you experience someone acting as “last of all and the servant of all.” Their actions might not be noticed if you weren’t paying particular attention to them. Make a list of the ways these actions touch other people, or you. What is the cumulative effect of people who act as “last of all and the servant of all?” At the end of the week, thank each person you witnessed acting in this way. Your thank-you need not be flashy, or even verbal. A simple note or quiet word of thanks will suffice. Notice the person’s reaction as you express your gratitude.”

Wrapping It Up – To whom do you look as a model of greatness? Why? Who are your heroes? Do your heroes stand up to Jesus’ standard of the last being the first and the servant of all?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 29, 32

September 21th is the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. “St. Matthew (first century), referred to as the “tax collector,” is one of the Twelve Apostles and the Evangelist who authored the first of the four accounts of the Gospel. His account has a two-fold purpose: one, to announce that Jesus is the eternal king of all creation; and two, to encourage faith in the face of doubt, especially regarding persecution. We have very little information about him, other than he invited Jesus to his home to dine with societal outcasts (Mt. 9:9-13), and that he preached the Good News after the Resurrection. Tradition says he began preaching in Judea, then moved on to Ethiopia, Persia, Syria, Macedonia, and possibly Ireland. He is venerated as a martyr, even though history does not tell us how or where he died.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 118   St. Matthew, help us to remember to welcome everyone into our circle of friends, especially those who are not always included. Pray for the refugees from Syria and northern Africa.

September 23rd is the Autumnal Equinox. This celestial event marks the official change of seasons. After today, nights will be longer than days in the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn is beginning. (Of course, in the Southern Hemisphere the opposite is true and the season of spring begins.) The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is known as “harvest moon.” In the old days, the light of the full moon helped the farmers harvest crops during the night. The next full moon, about a month later, is called “hunter’s moon.” It is a second harvest moon.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 118

September 23rd is the memorial of St. Padre Pio, Priest. “Early in life St. “Padre” Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968), a Capuchin priest from Italy, demonstrated an unquenchable thirst for God. While praying one day before a crucifix, he received the visible wounds of Crucifixion that Christ bore in his Passion and Death, known as the stigmata. After an examination by a doctor, it was determined that there was no natural explanation for the wounds. Along with the stigmata, he experienced other mystical phenomena, including bi-location, the ability to be in two places at the same time, and “reading of hearts” of those who sought counsel and forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation. These two miraculous gifts enabled him to lead both the sinner and the devout closer to God. Upon his death the stigmata were no longer visible.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 118 Padre Pio, teach us to love God with our whole heart. Put your hand on your heart and pray the Glory Be.

Opening Doors of Mercy ~ Mercy that Welcomes – a quote for the week

When you listen generously to people they hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.” Rachel Naomi Remen

 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.

“But, shaming and pointing out wrongdoing were not the purpose of the Commission’s mandate. Ultimately, the Commission’s focus on truth determination was intended to lay the foundation for the important question of reconciliation. Now that we know about residential schools and their legacy, what do we do about it? Getting to the truth was hard, but getting to reconciliation will be harder. It requires that the paternalistic and racist foundations of the residential school system be rejected as the basis for an ongoing relationship. Reconciliation requires that a new vision, based on a commitment to mutual respect, be developed. It also requires an understanding that the most harmful impacts of residential schools have been the loss of pride and self-respect of Aboriginal people, and the lack of respect that non-Aboriginal people have been raised to have for their Aboriginal neighbours. Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem; it is a Canadian one. Virtually all aspect of Canadian society may need to be reconsidered. This summary is intended to be the initial reference point in that important discussion. Reconciliation will take some time.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Solidarity ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

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

  • Understand that one’s purpose or call in life comes from God and strive to discern and prepare to live out this call throughout life’s journey; (CGE: 1g)
  • Develop attitudes and values founded on Catholic social teaching and act to promote social responsibility, human solidarity and the common good;
  • Respect the faith traditions, world religions and the life journeys of all people of good will.

Grade Seven LS1.1: Identify scriptural passages that provide the basis for the Church’s teaching on the sacraments of service (Marriage and Holy Orders) and explain how each is a source of grace for the transformation and renewal in the Church and society (e.g. Ephesians 4:11-15; John 16: 12-1: Matthew 3:11-15; Matthew 28:18-20; John 1:32-33; Acts 2:38-39; John 6:47-59; Jn. 3:3-6; Rom 8:14-17). [CCC nos. 1553-1600; 1601-1666] Invite your class to do an inquiry using this expectation. Group your students and invite them to look up the passages above. Ask them to identify what the passage says about service and if the group thinks the passage is speaking about the sacrament of Marriage or the sacrament of Holy Orders (priests, permanent deacons, bishops).

The world needs people to commit their lives to Marriage and to Holy Orders. Marriage partners contribute to the world in many ways but the most important is the creation of loving families who know right and wrong. Marriage partners usually have valuable ways of contributing to the transformation and renewal of the Church and of the society (culture) in which they live. Those who live a commitment in the sacrament of Holy Orders also serve the Church and the society by serving people in many ways associated with occasions in people’s life journey from the beginning to the end (baptism to funerals and many points in between.) Very soon the Pope will travel to the USA to participate with all the bishops in a meeting about the family. Both Marriage and Holy Orders will discuss how they are a source of grace for the transformation and renewal of the Church and the world. It will be covered by the news, listen to hear what is being said by those in attendance.

Grade Eight LS1.1: Connect the principle of the ‘Common Good’ to its biblical source (Isaiah 10:1-2; Ephesians 4:1-7, 12; Mt. 25:35-40; Acts 2:44-45; Gal. 5:22-25; 1Jn 4:7-10; Jn 10:11-18; Deut 30:19; Nehemiah 2:17-18) and relate the message of the scripture to Catholic social teachings found in several ecclesial sources (e.g. excerpts from Papal Encyclicals, Apostolic Letters and exhortations, Bishops’ pastoral letters or documents on social justice).

The principle of the ‘Common Good’ “includes the social conditions that permit people to reach their full potential and to realize their human dignity. Three essential elements of the common good are respect for the person, the social well-being and development of the group, and peace and security. In our interdependent world, there is also a universal common good that requires international structures that can promote universal human development.” Catholic Social Teaching – Learning and Living Justice by Michael Pennock, page 14 Invite your students to research the biblical passages given above and see if these passages speak about respect for persons, social well-being and development of the group, and peace and security. Ask your students if they have seen anything in the news that would speak to this idea of “Common Good.” [response to Syrian refugees crisis, wildfires in California] Bishop Plouffe wrote a letter about the refugee crisis and what we can do as a Church. [If you would like a copy of the letter, let me know.] “Social justice is thus the virtue of the common good, of the good citizen as citizen (individual or corporate), disposing and prompting to serve the common good, as a demand of justice, owed in view of the benefits derived from membership in a well-ordered society. As looking to the common good, perhaps a great good of a large number, the obligations (perceptive or prohibitive) of social justice are binding in conscience and can be seriously so. Love of God and of neighbour is the first and greatest commandment (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Mk 12:30f) and absolutely basic to Christian ethics. In a very beautiful and cogent way, the Second Vatican Council, in The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, argues from the data of revelation, from the natural law and the essentially social nature of human kind to the obligation of promoting the common good.” Love Kindness! The Social Teaching of the Canadian Catholic Bishops, page 16   Have your students do a google search of Papal Encyclicals, Apostolic Letters and exhortations on the Vatican website on the concept of Common Good.   It is the reason we have food drives, and Pennies from Heaven collections, the Walk for Justice. This is a Catholic Social Teaching! It has always be a part of the tradition of the Church to care for the common good.

Twenty-first Century Education > A Great Lesson by Francis Chan about the Life After > 4.19 minutes> Bellarive – Why We Sing! 5.27 min An explanation about how the Letter to the Ephesians inspired this music Group – Bellarive…It is a beautiful witness/testimony about praise. > Jeanne Robertson Says Men Think about Women Every 5.3 seconds > Comedy – a laugh for us adults only > Jared Dees has put together a set of resources and training helps that are nothing short of awesome. He has a free eBook, lesson plans, strategies, activities, and many resources. > 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


115 Saintly FUN Facts ~ Smiles and Surprises for Kids of All Ages By Bernadette McCarver Snyder

“Adelaide This saint lived a “good news-bad news” life! Good news! When she was sixteen years old, Adelaide married King Lothair of Italy and became a queen. Bad news! Only three years later, Lothair died – and it was rumoured that he had been POISONED by a man named Berengarius. Berengarius took over the kingdom and threw Adelaide into prison! Good news! Within a year, the German King Otto invaded and won the kingdom, freed Adelaide from prison, and married her! They had three sons and were married for over twenty years. Adelaide was very intelligent and took an active part in handling the affairs of state with her husband. When Otto died, their son, Otto II, became king. Bad news! Otto II’s wife, Theophano, was jealous of Adelaide and was NOT nice to her. Then Otto II died, and his infant son, Otto III, became king and Theophano became “regent” (the one who would rule until the infant king grew up). Once in charge, Theophano had Adelaide thrown out of the court! BUT in a few years, Theophano also died. And Adelaide returned to the court as regent for her grandson – and again was a prudent and understanding ruler of the kingdom. In the midst of this topsy-turvy life, Adelaide was always a holy, prayerful woman, who helped the poor and built many churches and monasteries. She turned the bad news into good news and became a saint! A lot of people seem to lead “good news-bad news” lives. Some of them concentrate ONLY on the BAD news! They look and act miserable and are always complaining and making excuses for themselves. Others focus on the GOOD news, smile, make the BEST of each day, “turn lemons into lemon meringue pie,” and have a happy life. Which kind of person will YOU be?” pages 13-14


Who says teaching religion can’t be fun? What’s Your Catholic IQ? CATECHIST, September 2015, page 19

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
  1. In order for the sacraments to change us for the better, we must C. have faith
  1. Jesus is a good shepherd because he takes care of his sheep. True
  1. The Old Testament contains history, poems, prophecies, wise teachings, and _____. songs called psalms
  1. In order to keep in touch with the churches he started, St. Paul wrote them B. letters

Test Your Faith Knowledge by David O’Brien

  1. The ability to choose between good and evil is called?  A. Facebook          B. magic                      C. texting                    D. free will
  1. The first part of the Mass is called the Liturgy of the _____. A. priests           B. Eucharist                C. homily                    D. Word
  1. The second part of the Mass is called the Liturgy of the _____.  A. adults          B. saints                      C. Eucharist                D. Word
  1. _____ wrote most of the Psalms in the Old Testament.   A. King David       B. King Solomon        C. King Tut                 D. Jesus
  1. The Lord is the source of everything good in this world, even in the lives of people who don’t believe in God.    True or False

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

Billy Madison – This classic comedy about a lazy rich kid, played by Adam Sandler, is funny. It is also silly. I can see this movie being a hit with young people because of the slapstick humour.   It speaks to how motivating some young people is a challenge, until they have something that truly grabs their attention. It was entertaining. I give this movie ♥♥♥/5

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

“The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; “7” was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. “UP” indicated the direction of the bubbles.” Huh!

One comment

  1. Hi there. New statement by the Canadian Bishops on assisted suicide. It would be a good classroom discussion piece, especially for grade 10 and 12 Rel Ed, but really, any year at secondary level, especially with an election looming. It might also be something Civics teachers would be able to use.

    Please pass along.

    Tony Cosentino
    Renfrew County CDSB

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