Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning October 18, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Let your love be upon us, Lord.” Psalm 33

October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the development of the post-2015 development agenda. The 2015 occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a special one, as it comes on the heels of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda, which succeeds the Millennium Development Goals, contains 17 new and ambitious goals – forefront among them, to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere. “On this day we recommit to think, decide and act together against extreme poverty — and plan for a world where no-one is left behind. Our aim must be prosperity for all, not just a few.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty http://www.un.org/en/events/povertyday/

October 18th is the Twenty-Nineth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – As you participate in Mass this Sunday, pay particular attention to the words of the prayers, particularly the Eucharistic Prayer. How do the prayers speak of the suffering and sacrifice of Christ? How have you experienced suffering in your life?

Reflect on the Word – What is the cup to which Jesus refers? Was Jesus’ response what James and John wanted to hear? Why or why not?

Act on the Word –This week, talk with family and friends whom you know have met with trial, suffering, or who have had to sacrifice for something in their lives. What has been the result of that suffering for them? Do they speak of offering those sufferings up in communion with Christ? What does this mean to you? Are there common threads in their experiences? From where (or from whom) did they find the strength to endure in the midst of the suffering? What about you? How have you ffaced trials and difficulties in your life? From where, or from whom, do you find the strength to face the challenges of life? Write a brief reflection about this. Place it in your Bible in the place where this Sunday’s Gospel is found.

Wrapping It Up – What is the cup of sacrifice or suffering that you are called to drink? Since each person is given particular gifts, talents, and charisms, each person’s way of serving will be particular as well. What is your particular way of serving?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 45, 47

October 18th is World Mission Sunday. The Holy See released on May 24, 2015, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Message of the Holy Father for the 2015 World Mission Sunday on October 18. In his Message, the Holy Father writes that “the Church’s mission is faced by the challenge of meeting the needs of all people to return to their roots and to protect the values of their respective cultures. This means knowing and respecting other traditions and philosophical systems, and realizing that all peoples and cultures have the right to be helped from within their own traditions to enter into the mystery of God’s wisdom and to accept the Gospel of Jesus, who is light and transforming strength for all cultures.” To see the whole of Pope Francis’ message for this day go to the following site: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_giornata-missionaria2015.html

October 18th is the feast of St. Luke, Evangelist. “St. Luke the Evangelist (first century) is traditionally known as the author of the Gospel that bears his name as well as the Acts of the Apostles. He is also identified with the “beloved physician” referred to by St. Paul (Colossians 4:14). Luke was a Gentile from Antioch in Syria, and his roots show both in his writing style and in his sympathetic treatment of Gentiles in the Gospel that bears his name. According to Acts of the Apostles, he accompanied St. Paul on some of his evangelizing journeys, and he stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome. Some sources claim he was martyred, but it is thought that he died an old man of natural causes. A tradition states that he was the first icon painter, and the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is attributed to him. His symbol is an ox or bull because the Lucan Gospel begins with Zachary, the father of John the Baptist, offering a sacrifice in the Temple. St. Luke is patron saint of artists and physicians.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 130 St. Luke, inspire us to read and live the Gospel with our lives. Wear a bandaid on your finger today to remind you it is St. Luke’s feast day.

October 22nd is the feast of St. John Paul the Great, Pope. “To tell of St. John Paul II’s 26 years of Petrine ministry is to provide a litany of encyclicals, travels, and historic events. Not only was John Paul II (1920-2005) the first pope to enter a synagogue since St. Peter, but he appealed to both Jews and Christians to be “a blessing to one another,” and offered repentance in the name of the Church for the Shoah. From the moment Karol Wojtyla was elected pope in October 1978, the man who had entered a clandestine seminary while living under Nazi occupation mesmerized the world. In the early years, Catholics and non-Catholics alike were attracted to the athletic man who snuck out of his villa to ski and reached out to the young at World Youth Days. People of many faiths prayed for him when he was shot in St. Peter’s Square and were awed with the mercy he granted his assailant. And none escaped the poignancy of a feeble John Paul II praying at the Western Wall in Israel, leaving a prayer inside the wall. …The pope credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life when he was shot on May 13, 1981, the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima. He believed that Mary guided the bullet away from his vital organs. A year after the shooting, he placed the bullet that was taken from him among the diamonds in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. “I wish once more to thank Our Lady of Fatima for the gift of my life being spared,” he said. With the Church, many surely are thanking the man who espoused the Rosary for modeling a life of faith.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 131-132 St. John Paul the Great, help us have the courage we need to follow Jesus everyday. Go for a walk in recognition of the Polish pope who loved to hike.

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

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. Karl Barth

A prayer for Courage :

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr

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.

“The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources. If every Aboriginal person had been “absorbed into the body politic,” there would be no reserves, no Treaties, and no Aboriginal rights.

Residential schooling quickly became a central element in the federal government’s Aboriginal policy. When Canada was created as a country in 1867, Canadian churches were already operating a small number of boarding schools for Aboriginal people. As settlement moved westward in the 1870s, Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries established missions and small boarding schools across the Prairies, in the North, and in British Columbia. Most of these schools received small, per-student grants from the federal government. In 1883, the federal government moved to establish three, large, residential schools for First Nation children in western Canada. In the following years, the system grew dramatically. According to the Indian Affairs annual report for 1930, there were eighty residential schools in operation across the country.

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement provided compensation to students who attended 139 residential schools and residences. The federal government has estimated that at least 150,000 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students passed through the system.” Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches were the major denominations involved in the administration of the residential school system. The government’s partnership with the churches remained in place until 1969, and, although most of the schools had closed by the 1980s, the last federally supported residential schools remained in operation until the late 1990s. 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 LS 1.3: Identify and communicate using specific examples from the lives of the students what it means to be sent forth from the Mass with the exhortation (i.e. encouragement) to …”go in peace , glorifying the Lord by your life.” [CCC nos. 1391-1401]   How do we glorify the Lord by our lives? We live as God would want us to live. When you do well, you honour your parents. When you do well, you honour God by your actions. Giving some explanation about what “Glorifying the Lord by your life” means, ask the students to give examples of how they can live this out in their lives. Invite your students to listen at the very end of the next Mass for the priest to say these words or some that are similar. The priest might also say, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” Or “Go in peace.” So when we leave mass we are missioned to bring God into the world, by how we live and by what we say.

Grade Three LS1.3: Through an examination of particular scripture passages (e.g. 1 Cor. 12 – one body, many parts, John 15:1-17 – vine and branches), identify the nature of the Church’s unity and how the Holy Spirit promotes unity in the Church, i.e. the Body of Christ, and describes through example, ways we can use the gifts the Spirit has given us to serve others (to promote the Common Good). [CCC 1905-1912]

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 St. Paul describes the Church as one body with many parts. Each part represents a member of the Church. Just as the body needs different parts to perform different functions, so it is with the Church, we need different members to perform different types of service. In John 15:1-17 St. John uses a similar theme to describe that Jesus is the true vine and we are the branches that come off the main vine. The vine needs the branches. The branches need the vine to keep them together and to nourish them. The Church is unified, as one, even though it is found all over the world. The Holy Spirit, Jesus’ gift to the Church when he ascends to heaven, promotes unity in the Church throughout the world. It is important that the Holy Spirit inspire us to use our gifts to serve others. In this way we promote the Common Good, everyone gets what they need to live and be whole. Explain what a metaphor is > a way to use one image to describe another image. Read the 1 Cor 12: 12-31 reading. Ask your students to explain how the body represents the Church, the Body of Christ. Ask them to identify ways that they can use their gifts in the Church to help others. Read John 15:1-17 reading. Ask your students to explain how the vine represents the Church, the Body of Christ and our connection to Christ. Ask your students to identify ways that they can use their gifts as branches connected to the vine to serve others.

Twenty-first Century Education

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WP6PKGNX&utm_source > Waterfall by Chris Tomlin – 3.32 min A beautiful song with inspiring words.   God’s love is like a waterfall.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YLK7Y7NX&utm_source > I’m Here – Sermon video – 2.04 Imagine God connecting with you by text. Perfect with intermediate and senior students, and staff.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1BF991NU&utm_source > Transformed – Ministry video – 3.12 min How can we allow to let Jesus transform us from within?

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

“Alphonsus Liguori You might call this saint a “legal eagle”! It was reported that in eight years of practicing law, he NEVER lost a case! During those years, Alphonsus enjoyed “society life” and “fashionable amusements” and began to neglect his religion. But one year during Lent, he made a retreat and gave some serious thought to what direction his life should take. Alphonsus decided he would NOT MARRY ( although his father kept trying to “arrange” a marriage for him), and he would continue practicing law until something happened to show him God wanted him NOT to be a lawyer. Just a few months later, something DID happen! During a court case, Alphonsus made a long, impassioned speech and was sure he had impressed everyone enough so that his client was sure to win. But then the opposing attorney handed Alphonsus a document with a marked passage and said, “You just wasted your breath! You disregarded the evidence on which the whole case depends.” Alphonsus had read the document before but had MISSED the important part. He couldn’t believe he could have done something so stupid! Because of his mistake, this important case was lost. Alphonsus left the court and never went back. He felt this was a sign that God wanted him to leave the law and do something new. And he did. Alphonsus not only became a priest, he also became famous for his many writings on religious subjects, and then he founded a whole NEW Order of priests – the Redemptorists. Today, Redemptorists all over the world write, preach, and do missionary work – following the example of this “legal eagle” who God sent flying in a new direction. Would you like to be a lawyer some day? Or would you rather be an eagle? Well, you probably won’t sprout wings but you COULD be a pilot or work for an airline or just take a trip on an airplane! Then you could look out the window of the plane and marvel at how God made the clouds and skies and birds – and YOU! You know, YOU are the most amazing example of God’s creation! Of all the creatures God made, only people have the ability to think and choose and help and love and laugh! Use your brain right now to think of some OTHER things God made. Let’s see. Aardvarks and arctic snow, dinosaurs and dandelions, tomatoes and tomcats, potatoes and planets, zebras and zircon, and zillions of other things! Why don’t you see how LONG a list you can make, listing things God made! And don’t forget to put YOUR NAME at the top of the list!” pages 17-18

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

Learn About Mary and the Saints by David O’Brien CATECHIST, October 2015, page 21

  1. All saints were killed for their faith. True or False
  1. Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to _____, where Mary gave birth to Jesus. (Luke 2:1-7)      Bethlehem
  1. Only prayers said at Church are heard by God. True or False
  1. _____ is not how many saints followed Jesus. D. Playing video games
  1. According to the Bible, prayer comes from the _____. B. heart

Learn About Mary and the Saints by David O’Brien CATECHIST, October 2015, page 21

  1. Our Lady of Guadalupe is also known as the Patroness of the  A. Hearts      B. Americas                            C. Europe                   D. Peace
  1. To be a missionary, you have to travel to a foreign country. True or False
  1. The Jewish prayer book that Jesus used was the book of _____.    A. Rabbis                 B. Yom Kippur                C. psalms                    D. prayers
  1. All of Jesus’ 12 Apostles became saints except _____.   A. Judas           B. Peter                 C. John             D. Matthew
  1. The Blessed Virgin Mary was one of the few people who stood by Jesus all the way to his death on the cross.   True or False.

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

Ricki and the Flash – This movie was released in this summer. It stars Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield and Kevin Klein. It is the story of a mother who leaves her family to follow her dream of being in a rock-and-roll band. She is invited to return to her family when her daughter begins to struggle with mental illness. I expected the story to be laugh-out-loud funny given the trailers that advertised the story. It was not so given the serious nature of the daughter’s condition. There is unexpected happy ending. ♥♥♥/5

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

“The largest number of children born to one woman is recorded at 69. From 1725-1765, a Russian peasant woman gave birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets. Huh! http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bingbin/

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