Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning September 27th, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“The precepts of the Lord are right.”

September 27 is the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – What is the most challenging thing about being a Christian for you at this time? What helps you to live as you know you are called to live?

Reflect on the Word –Jesus is very direct in today’s Gospel passage. We must avoid whatever leads us to sin. What temptations do you face in your daily life? Who or what helps you to avoid these temptations?

Act on the Word –The disciples were concerned about people who were not among their group. They seem to be creating an “in” and “out” mentality – they were the group of insiders, and anyone who was not among them must be “out.”   Do you have an “in” group and others whom you consider to be “outside”? Be mindful of this in the coming week. Pay attention to the ways in which you or your friends exclude others. How might you reach out to someone who is excluded, offering a smile, a greeting, or an invitation to join you or your group in conversation? Encourage your friends to do the same.

Wrapping It Up – What would change in your life if you took this Gospel to heart today? What first step will you take in doing so?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 33,36

September 26th is the feast of Saints John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs, Secondary Patrons of Canada “ On this day the Church honours the saints who gave their lives to spread the Catholic faith in North America: two Jesuit priests, St. Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) and St. Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649), and their companions. St. Isaac was captured and tortured for his preaching of the Gospel. He escaped and returned to Europe, but only to seek permission to offer Mass with his scarred and mutilated hands. The pope granted his wish, and St. Isaac returned to the New World where he was put to death in 1646. Jean de Brébeuf dedicated himself to preaching the Gospel among the Huron peoples in what is now upstate New York and Canada. He translated the Catechism into the Huron language and wrote a series of “instructions for Missionaries” that mingled divine and practical counsels: Love the Hurons as brothers, he urged, and bear with their shortcomings. Never keep them waiting, and learn to get into a canoe without carrying sand or water with you. Eat first thing in the morning, because that’s what the Indians do. Work as they do, and serve them in whatever way you can. Jean de Brébeuf knew that only by understanding the Indians could missionaries hope to help them understand the Gospel. North American martyrs, pray for us.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 120 Pray for Pope Francis as he visits Cuba and the United States.

September 27th is the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest. “St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), a French priest, gradually became aware of the growing disparity between the rich and poor; therefore, he laid the framework for a confraternity of caring, called the Servants of the Poor, which provided for the physical needs of the poor. Recognizing the call to care for not only their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs, he established a society of priests, the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), dedicated to preaching to peasants, catechesis of the marginalized, and other charitable works. In collaboration with St. Louise Montfort de Marillac, he founded the Daughters of Charity, a new community of sisters not bound by traditional vows or enclosure, devoted to the sick, orphaned, and imprisoned. St. Vincent is the patron saint of charitable societies. Many day cares centres, hospitals, thrift stores, and soup kitchens are named in his honour.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 120 St. Vincent de Paul, help me to look with kindness on people who do not have all with which I am blessed. Look at the strategies that the political leaders have to address poverty in our country.

September 28th is the memorial of St. Wenceslaus, Martyr. “Most people are familiar with St. Wenceslaus (c. 907-929), due to the popular Christmas carol Good King Wenceslaus. Although this ancient carol is not based on historical events, it illustrates the fame King Wenceslaus received because of his heroic life. As a Christian king in Bohemia, a primarily pagan country, he worked fervently to Christianize his people. His attempt to evangelize the Bohemians was not received well by some, including his brother who eventually murdered him. As he was dying, he prayed that God would forgive his brother. Shortly following his death, people proclaimed him a martyr.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 120   St. Wenceslaus inspire me to pray for people who do not believe in God. Play the Christmas carol as students arrive today to celebrate the memorial with music.

September 29th is the feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels. “We celebrate the feast of three Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the great heralds of salvation and defenders against the power of evil. St. Michael is guardian and protector of the Church, from its roots in Israel to the Church of today and beyond. In Hebrew, his name means “who is like God?” Saint Gabriel, whose name means “hero of God,” announces that John the Baptist will be born to Elizabeth and Zechariah. He is entrusted with the most important task of revealing to Mary that she will bear the Son of God. Then, there is St. Raphael, whose name is Hebrew for “God has healed.” He is named in Tobit 12 as the one standing in the presence of God and in 1 Enoch (early Jewish writing) as the healer of the earth.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 121 Archangels guard all the police, ambulance attendants and fire fighters today and protect them from harm. Give each child a feather and ask them to carry it around today to remind them of the archangels.

September 30th is the memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church. “St. Jerome (c.345-420) is the patron saint of scholars and librarians. With a great love of learning and books, as a monk and priest he developed a passion for the interpretation of Sacred Scripture. With a comprehensive knowledge of classical languages, St. Jerome produced a Latin text of the entire Bible which came to be known as the Vulgate. He wrote numerous commentaries on several books of the Bible. Along with writing, he provided spiritual guidance to wealthy widows and mentored young monks in monastic discipline. St. Jerome joins three other saints (Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great) as the four great Latin Doctors of the Church.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 121 St. Jerome inspire in us a love of the Scriptures. Read a verse from the Bible and try to commit it to memory.

“Month of October – October means “eighth month” in Latin. Why is that? In the old Roman calendar, the year began in spring, not in winter. September was rich with feast days. November also will have several important days. But October was cut from rather plain cloth. There are valleys between mountains and ordinary days between extraordinary ones.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 122

October 1st is the memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), also known as the “Little Flower,” was the youngest of Blessed Zélie and Blessed Louis Martin’s five daughters. Zélie died of breast cancer when Thérèse was only four years old, a blow from which Thérèse took years to recover. The family moved to Lisieux, to be closer to Zélie’s brother and his family. After their mother’s death, Thérèse became very close to her sister Pauline, but five years later, Pauline entered the Carmel of Lisieux. Eventually, all five sisters would become nuns, four of them at the Lisieux Carmel. When she was only fifteen, Thérèse, having received permission from the diocesan bishop because of her youth, joined the Carmel. As a Carmelite nun, she overcame the narrow, negative spirituality prevalent in nineteenth-century France, and focussed on love – her love of God and God’s love for her. She called her path of holiness the “Little Way, “ referring to her belief that every act, no matter how great or small, brings us as close to God as do heroic acts performed by spiritual giants such as Ignatius of Loyola or Teresa of Avila.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 124-125 St. Thérèse teach us your little way of doing small acts with great love. Do an act of kindness today, try to do it anonymously.

October 2nd is the memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. “While not a defined teaching of the Church, the belief that each person has a guardian angel has roots deep in antiquity, among Christians and non-Christians. The ancient Babylonians and Assyrians believed in angels, and they are mentioned in the [Jewish Scriptures] as well, beginning in the Book of Genesis, where they deliver God’s punishment on the cities of the pain and rescue Lot and his family from the destruction (see Genesis 28-29)/ Perhaps one of the best and most touching examples of the activity of angels in found in the Book of Tobit, where the archangel Raphael leads and advises Tobiah on his journey (see Tobit 6-12). In the [Christian Scriptures], Jesus himself seems to indicate that each of us is assigned a guardian angel, when he says,”Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). The memorial of the guardian angels developed as a local celebration in Spain, but in 1608, Pope Pius V added it to the general calendar, and Leo XIII made it obligatory in 1883.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 125 Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.   Give your guardian angel a name, if you haven’t already!

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

The important thing is not to think much, but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love. St. Thérèse of Lisieux

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.

“For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.” Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next. In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things. http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Honouring_the_Truth_Reconciling_for_the_Future_July_23_2015.pdf

Remember we are all treaty people!

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 LS1.2: Name the four parts of the Eucharistic Mass and describe the various ways each part deepens our friendship in Jesus and give examples of how we share God’s friendship with others in our family, school, and Church. [CCC nos. 1345-1355] The four parts of the Eucharistic Mass are: Introductory Rites; Liturgy of the Word; Liturgy of the Eucharist; and the Concluding Rites. Invite your students to give their understanding of how each part deepens their friendship with Jesus once you’ve explained what happens in each part [given below in the chart.]

Part of the Mass What happens in it How does this deepen their relationship with Jesus?
Introductory Rite The community gathers together;

We hear words of welcome from the priest;

We pray the Penitential Act – asking for forgiveness of our sins – usually through the sequence of Lord Have Mercy;

We pray to give Glory to God using the Gloria.

Liturgy of the Word We hear the Readings about God and Jesus’ life with us;

We pray the Creed which says what we believe as a community

We pray the Prayer of the Faithful when we ask God’s help for all the situations and people who need God’s help.

Liturgy of the Eucharist We bring gifts up to the altar, especially the bread and wine which will be used as they were in the Last Supper;

We pray the Eucharistic Prayer;

We pray the Our Father;

We offer each other a sign of peace;

We pray the Lamb of God;

We receive Jesus in the Body and Blood of Christ

Concluding Rite We are reminded to go and announce the Gospel of the Lord OR to glorify God by our lives.

Ask your students how they share God’s friendship with others in their families, in the school and in the Church? You may have to assist them with concrete examples. i.e. Every time we smile at someone, we offer them a share in God’s love.

Grade Three LS1.2: Link the concept of Christian community inspired by the Holy Spirit (communion with God and one another) with the need to be truthful, to act justly, and to be motivated by love in our relationships with others; and describe the characteristics of a school or family that modeled Christian communion (e.g. respect, promotion of human dignity, acceptance among members, food, drink, and safe home available for all, a way to participate in work, opportunity for education). [CCC nos. 1905-1912]

Ask your students the following questions: Why do we need to be truthful if we are a Christian community inspired by the Holy Spirit? Why do we need to act justly[fairly] if we are a Christian community inspired by the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit ever inspire people to do the wrong thing?[NO] Why do we need to be motivated by love in our relationships with others? What would Jesus do? Ask your students to describe the characteristics of a school or family that modeled Christian community? Some examples are listed above – see your list of corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Remind students of how the disciples and apostles acted after the Holy Spirit came to them at Pentecost. How does the Holy Spirit inspire you?

Twenty-first Century Education

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1BF0BFNU&utm_source > 3 – Year Old’s Passionate rendition of Les Miserables’ “Do You Hear the People Sing.” – It is amazing that he has all the words memorized. 2 mins

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WDZDYPNX&utm_source > The Skit Guys – Give Thanks >Inspirational Video – 1.50 minutes

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YLKKWLNX&utm_source > Connect with a Group Today > 1.24 minutes Inspirational video

www.TheReligionTeacher.com > 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.

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

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

“Albert the Great Some people thought this saint had “magical powers”! Actually, he was an expert SCIENTIST – but most people didn’t know about such things in his day, so they thought he must be MAGIC! He was an authority on physics, geography, astronomy, mineralogy, biology, AND philosophy – and he taught and wrote about ALL those subjects. But his most IMPORTANT work was APPLYING his knowledge on those subjects to teaching and writing about GOD! Albert was a bishop, a defender of the Faith, an adviser to a pope, a preacher, a teacher, a leader. He was NOT magic, but he WAS a GREAT and good man. Would YOU like to be a scientist? ALL of the subjects Albert studied and taught were fascinating in and of themselves, BUT Albert realized that God was – and is – in EACH of them. All the mysteries of the universe were created by God. All knowledge comes from him. So no matter WHICH subjects you choose to study, the MOST fascinating subject to study will always be God!” pages 14-15

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. The ability to choose between good and evil is called? D. free will
  2. The first part of the Mass is called the Liturgy of the _____. D. Word
  3. The second part of the Mass is called the Liturgy of the _____. C. Eucharist
  4. _____ wrote most of the Psalms in the Old Testament. A. King David
  5. 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

Test Your Faith Knowledge by David O’Brien

  1. Mary was Jesus’ mother. _____ was his earthly father. A. Hercules   B. Francis                   C. Matthew                 D. Joseph
  1. Besides the Mass, the other official prayer of the Church is the Liturgy of the _____. A. Animals     B. Hours                      C. Dead                      D. Bishops
  1. By forgiving our _____, God welcomes us back into God’s family just lie the father did in the story of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15: 11-32)       A. sins                        B.accidents               C. mistakes                  D. brothers and sisters

4.  “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have _____ and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)    A. life       B. happiness               C. comfort                   D. ice cream

  1. The Sign of _____ at Mass helps us follow Jesus who told us to reconcile with each other before we bring a gift to the altar. (Matthew 5:24) A. Communion         B. Peace                    C. Confession              D. Handicapped parking

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

Calvary – This art film happens in Ireland, in a small oceanside village. A parish priest receives a letter threatening his life in reparation for the sexual abuse scandal in the country. The priest is to meet the writer of the letter on the shore on a certain day. This is not a movie for children. It is about living in the moment. It is about taking an account of how you’ve lived. It is about the possibility of dying before you are ready. Although the subject matter is dark, I was moved deeply by the film; it may have been my Irish ancestral roots coming for a visit. ♥ ♥♥♥/5

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

“Canadian researchers have found that Einstein’s brain was 15% wider than normal.” Huh! http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bingbin/

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