Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning October 25, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“We are filled with joy.” Psalm 126

October 25th is the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – As you enter church for Mass this Sunday, be aware of the people around you. Does anyone seem upset, lonely, fearful, or distracted? If an opportunity arises to offer your help or support, do so. Hold these people in your prayers today at Mass.

Reflect on the Word – To whom are you called to open your eyes? At Jesus’ request, the disciples called Bartimaeus to him. Whom are you to call to Christ?

Act on the Word – Often, we know in our hearts who we are called to serve. We sometimes keep our eyes closed to this person or group, however, in an attempt to ignore the call. This week, spend some time in honest reflection and soul searching. To whom are you called to open your eyes? Is this an individual whom you know, someone of whom you are aware, or more generally a group, such as the poor in your local area, the elderly, disabled, or those who are terminally ill? With your eyes open, discern what action you are called to do with or for this person or group.

Wrapping It Up – What spiritual sight do you need? To whom are you called to open your eyes?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 49, 52

October 28th is the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles. “Today we honour two Apostles (first century) about whom we know very little. Tradition maintains that St. Simon the Zealot preached missions throughout Persia and Egypt. St. Jude, not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, is the patron saint of hopeless causes and is called Thaddeus in the Gospel according to Matthew and the Gospel according to Mark. It is believed that he engaged in missionary work in Mesopotamia and Persia. Both Sts. Simon and Jude were supposedly martyred in Persia, and their relics were transferred to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome sometime during the seventh and eighth centuries.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 133 Sts. Simon and Jude help us to live our faith out loud. Say grace before you eat your lunch today to honour these two saints.


October 31st is All Hallow’s Eve. “By the end of October, in most of North America and Europe, days have become short and cold. The Church keeps two great festivals at this dark time of year – All Saints and All Souls, the first and second days of November. And, like every other Christian festival, the holiday begins at sunset on the day before. An old name for All Saints’ Day was All Hallowmas. (“Hallow” is another word for saint.) The eve of All Saints was called All Hallow’s Eve, which got shortened to Halloween (From Hallowe’en, i.e., Hallows’ evening). This festival has an interesting history. Many of the peoples of northern Europe divided the year into four seasons based on the length of days, but these were a bit different from the seasons as we know them. “Winter” was the period of shortest days. It began on November 1 and ended on February 1. On this night, huge bonfires were lighted on hilltops to welcome the dead who would return home for a bit of comfort by the warm hearthside. Food was set out. Any stranger was welcomed into the home. Who knew? Maybe the stranger was really a dead relative. But the annual return of the dead brought trouble, too. Not all of them were friendly. So everyone stayed together all night for protection, and they told stories of the dead and of narrow escapes from cranky ghosts. People dressed up like the dead to make any ghostly visitors feel more welcome and also to confuse the angry ones. In the earliest days of Christianity, the remembrance of the dead and the celebration of the saints was kept at Easter Time, because we Christians look forward to the day of resurrection of all who have died. But in the tenth century in western Europe, the Church began to keep the remembrance of the dead in November, in autumn, when it seems as if the earth itself is dying. In most of Europe, Halloween is strictly a religious event. Sometimes in North America the church’s traditions are lost or confused. Still, All Hallow’s Eve has been kept as the holy eve of All Saints’ Day. Halloween customs reflect the Gospel. Trick-or-treat is just good, old-fashioned hospitality. In the name of Christ, we welcome all who knock on our doors. Walking in the streets in masks and costumes reminds of our journey to heaven. Once our journey is done, we will take our maskes off and see ourselves as we truly are – the beloved children of God, the saints in glory.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 134 Holy Saints, guard and protect me today as I collect my tricks or treats. Be aware of the sunset today for this feast day.

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

Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person. 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.

“For children, life in these schools was lonely and alien. Buildings were poorly located, poorly built, and poorly maintained. The staff was limited in numbers, often poorly trained, and not adequately supervised. Many schools were poorly heated and poorly ventilated, and the diet was meagre and of poor quality. Discipline was harsh, and daily life was highly regimented. Aboriginal languages and cultures were denigrated and suppressed. The educational goals of the schools were limited and confused, and usually reflected a low regard for the intellectual capabilities of Aboriginal people. For the students, education and technical training too often gave way to the drudgery of doing the chores necessary to make the schools self-sustaining. Child neglect was institutionalized, and the lack of supervision created situations where students were prey to sexual and physical abusers.

In establishing residential schools, the Canadian government essentially declared Aboriginal people to be unfit parents. Aboriginal parents were labelled as being indifferent to the future of their children—a judgment contradicted by the fact that parents often kept their children out of schools because they saw those schools, quite accurately, as dangerous and harsh institutions that sought to raise their children in alien ways. Once in the schools, brothers and sisters were kept apart, and the government and churches even arranged marriages for students after they finished their education.

The residential school system was based on an assumption that European civilization and Christian religions were superior to Aboriginal culture, which was seen as being savage and brutal. Government officials also were insistent that children be discouraged—and often prohibited—from speaking their own languages. The missionaries who ran the schools played prominent roles in the church-led campaigns to ban Aboriginal spiritual practices such as the Potlatch and the Sun Dance (more properly called the “Thirst Dance”), and to end traditional Aboriginal marriage practices.

Although, in most of their official pronouncements, government and church officials took the position that Aboriginal people could be civilized, it is clear that many believed that Aboriginal culture was inherently inferior.”

Remember we are all treaty people!

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 LS 1.3: Identify those individuals in society who exercise legitimate authority, who work and care for the good of all people and explain why their role is important for the proper functioning of the human community. [CCC nos. 1897-1904] Ask your class to identify individuals that they think work and care for the good of all people. Ask the class do these individuals exercise legitimate authority? Some people I would identify would be: police, doctors, dentists, garbage collectors, postal workers, fire fighters, ambulance attendants, airline attendants, pilots, priests, ministers, First Nations chiefs and councillors, teachers, EAs, ECEs, caretakers, secretaries, bankers, etc. It would be good to find out what the students think the role of the individuals are for the proper functioning of the human community.

Grade Five LS 1.3: List ways the Church exercises its authority both locally and globally through loving service which witnesses to Christ, i.e. promoting the common good (sharing of the gifts given of Holy Spirit through personal acts of charity and through participation in charitable organizations e.g. St. Vincent de Paul, Development and Peace, Catholic Charities, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Women’s League). [CCC 1897-1904]

Read Matthew 25: 31-45. This is a parable to help us to know how we are expected to give witness to Christ. We are called by God to take care of each other locally (close by) and globally (far away.)

In these days it is challenging to know if our students have a sense of how the Church exercises its authority both locally and globally. If a child does not regularly attend any church, this may have to be taught. The Church is charged to do corporal works of mercy…identify what these are – feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting those who are imprisoned or who are sick, and burying the dead. As members of the Church, these corporal works of mercy are our responsibilities. Sometimes people do them alone…someone comes up to them to ask for some food, the person finds a way to give the person food. Sometimes people do these actions locally, through groups like St. Vincent de Paul (St. Vincent’s Place); Knights of Columbus, and the CWL. Usually the global action is handled by Catholic groups like Development & Peace and Caritas International.

Grade Six LS 1.3: Identify the areas of “personal responsibility” that students assume in their lives and connect this to the vocation to participate in family, school and parish. [CCC nos. 1913-1917] Ask your students to identify the areas of personal responsibility that they assume in their lives. They may have chores at home or at school. Maybe they have responsibilities at their dance studio or on the team they play on. All of the ways we are called to have responsibilities are ways that we participate in the vocation to participate in family, school and parish. Recently adults in the area participated in their vocation to select government for the good of all. Voting is a way that we participate in community. This is one of the Catholic Social Teachings: The Principle of the Call to Family, Community and Participation. In Grade 6 the call is centred on Family, School and Church. Gradually over time our responsibilities include community too.

Twenty-first Century Education . Kari Jobe singing Breathe on Us – Live 4.11 min A beautiful song about the Holy Spirit breathing on us the gifts of the Spirit. – Michael W. Smith singing Friends – Live 2.23 min A great song about friends. > This Was True in 1960, is true now and will be true in 20 years. 3.00 min Some of you may remember the TV show Dragnet. This clip aired in 1967, and the speech that Joe Friday gave some dissatisfied teenagers was true then, and it’s even more true now! Wow I can’t get over how timeless this is. > 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

“Anne and Joachim These two people might be called Saints Grandma and Grandpa! Why? Because they were Jesus’ grandparents! Anne and Joachim were married for a long time but had NO children. They were good and holy people and wanted very much to have a baby of their own, so they prayed every day that God would send them a child. Finally, their prayers were answered, and they had a beautiful baby girl and named her Mary. When Mary grew up, she became the mother of Jesus – and that made Anne and Joachim his grandma and grandpa! There were no newspapers, books, or TV programs when they lived, so the only way “news” was spread was by word of mouth – somebody telling somebody who in turn told somebody else! Since nothing was written down, we don’t know much about their lives – whether they lived near Mary and helped take care of Jesus or whether he visited with them and “slept over.” We don’t know if Anne baked cookies for him or if Joachim took him fishing. We DO know they were GOOD people, so they must have also been GOOD grandparents!

Grandpas and grandmas can be a lot of FUN! Too bad that today a lot of them live in different towns and seldom get to see their grandchildren. If YOU have grandparents far away, why don’t you surprise them by writing a letter or sending them a card today! If you have grandparents nearby, call and suggest you DO something together soon. OR maybe you could just say a prayer today for ALL grandparents, asking God to bless them and make them happy!” pages 19-20

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. Our Lady of Guadalupe is also known as the Patroness of the  B. Americas
  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 _____. psalms
  1. All of Jesus’ 12 Apostles became saints except _____. A. Judas
  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.

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

  1. The traditional prayer said by Catholics to express sorrow for sins at the end of confession is called the: A. Nicene Creed     B. Magnificat     C. Memorare               D. Act of Contrition
  1. The _____ is the Catholic spiritual community that includes both the living and the dead disciples of Christ.     A. trinity        B. hierarchy        C. communion of saints      D. college of bishops
  1. Mary’s prayer called the _____, begins: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in  God my saviour” (Luke 1:46-55)      A. Magnificat        B. Nicene Creed         C. Memorare               D. Act of Contrition
  1. “Amen” means _____   A. yes, I believe        B. thank you                C. praise the Lord       D. the end
  1. Robert Bellarmine is the patron saint of _____.    A. chefs        B. catechists               C. television                D. cancer

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

Spy – This movie was released this summer. It is directed by same director as Bridemaids and The Heat.  A top CIA analyst (Melissa McCarthy) goes undercover to stop a bomb plot. Also starring is Jude Law and Jason Statham who are the male spies with which Melissa works. Melissa is at the top of her game. She made me laugh out loud. It is a good movie for everyone. ♥♥♥♥/5

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

“Beatrix Potter created the first of her legendary “Peter Rabbit” children’s stories in 1902. Huh!

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