Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning November 1st, 2015

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

Come to me, all you that are weary.” Matthew 11:28

November 1st is the Solemnity of All Saints.

Prepare for the Word – Who inspires you to live a holy life? Who are you called to inspire?

Reflect on the Word – Think again about the people who came to mind who inspire you. How do they (or did they) live the Beatitudes? What might you do to grow in your willingness to embrace the Beatitudes as a way of life?

Act on the Word – The Solemnity of All Saints is a good time to reflect on holiness. The canonized saints lived as holy people in their daily lives. So have many who have not been recognized formally by the Church, and yet lived day to day as a good person striving to reflect God’s love with their lives. You may know people like that now; you might count family or friends among them. This week, take a few moments each morning to make a stronger commitment to living holiness yourself; reflect at the end of the day on your progress, knowing that holiness is lived from the inside out – from the heart to attitudes and actions that reflect who we are and who we hope to be.

Wrapping It Up – What Beatitude describes a quality you value in another? Who comes to mind when you think of that statement? Which Beatitude is something toward which you feel you should aspire?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 53, 56

Month of November – “The name for the eleventh month really means “the ninth month.” In the ancient Roman calendar November was the ninth month because the year began in March. In Church tradition, November is a month to remember the dead and to pray for them. The month begins with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Either in the last days of November or the first days of December, Advent begins. In folklore, November had a strange name. It was called Gossamer, which means “goose summer.” That meant something like “Indian Summer,” which is a time of warm weather after the first frost. St. Martin’s Day, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, was a time to feast on roast goose. Perhaps that’s where “goose summer” comes from.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 135

Month of the Holy Souls – “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins,” observes the writer of Maccabees in the Old Testament (2 Maccabees 12:45-46; quoted in Catechism of Catholic Church, 958). Intercession on behalf of thse who died is a cherished tenet of our Catholic faith, springing from our belief in the resurrection of the body and the communion of saints. “Though separated from the living, the dead are still at one with the community of believers on earth and benefit from their prayer and intercession” (Order of Christian Funerals, 6). Trusting in God’s mercy, we continue to pray for them, knowing that this spiritual bond with our brothers and sisters who have died can never be broken. In the month of November, when we celebrate All Souls, we pray in a special way for those who have died — those who are known to us, and those who are unknown.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 136

November 1st is the Solemnity of All Saints. “On this day, the Church honours all the saints, those who have finished the race and now rejoice in God’s presence. We honour the towering figures like Sts. Peter, Paul, Augustine, Francis, and Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and we honour the humble saints as well, those whose names are known to few or to none: the grandparents and ancestors, the friends and teachers who lived their faith to the full and inspired faith in others. This is a day to celebrate them all. An observance in honour of all the saints has been celebrated on November 1 since at least the seventh century, and it originated even earlier, with a feast in honour of all martyrs in the year 359. “Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints?” asked St. Bernard of Clairvaux in a homily on all Saints’ Day. “Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed with a tremendous yearning. Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company….We long to share in the citizenship of heaven to dwell with the spirits of the blessed….In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints” (Office of Readings, Volume IV, p. 1526). All holy men and women, saints of God, pray for us.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 137 Think about the holiest person you have known and say “thank you” to God for their life.

November 2nd The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day). “Why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them,” said St. John Chrysostom (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 1032). On the day after All Saints comes All Souls, the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, in which the Church prays for all who have died. As Catholics, we believe in Purgatory, that cleansing fire through which must pass “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” (CCC, 1030). Today, we pray for them, trusting that God will hear and answer our prayers that they know eternal light, happiness and peace. As we remember and pray for our loved ones who have died, the reality that we ourselves must one day die is also brought home to us as a gentle, insistent reminder. In Mexico, the Dia de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead is a way of praying for our ancestors, remembering and celebrating them, and making friends with death. As St. Ambrose wrote, “Death is then no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of [our] salvation . Death is not something to be avoided, for the Son of God did not think it beneath his dignity, nor did he seek to escape it” (Office of Readings, Volume IV, p. 1539). May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 138. Attend an All Souls vigil at a parish today to pray for all the faithful departed in your family.

November 3rd is the memorial of St. Martin de Porres, Religious. “St. Martin de Porres (1579 -1639) had a special love for the marginalized in society; he knew what it was like to feel unaccepted. As the son of an unwed couple, a Spanish knight and a freed slave trom Panama, he hardly fit the norm. His father essentially disowned him because he inherited his mother’s features, primarily her skin colour. Instead of wallowing in his own pain, he chose to become a Dominican brother, focusing on ministry to the “forgotten” in society. St. Martin, called the “father of charity”, cared for sick people in the monastery, fed the needy with food from the monastery, and began a home for abandoned children. He had a close friendship with St. Rose of Lima and is considered the patron saint of racial justice.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 138. St. Martin help us to work on reconciliation with our First Nations, Métis and Inuit brothers and sisters for all the injustice they have experienced because of their race. Read below the excerpt from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.

November 4th is the memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop. “St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), a doctor of civil and canon law, was a great champion of the Church redefining itself in light of the Protestant Reformation. As archbishop of Milan, he promulgated the reforms of the Council of Trent, giving special attention to liturgical and clerical renewal. Other significant contributions he made to the Church include the establishment of new seminaries for the education of the clergy, defining a code of moral conduct for the clergy, and founding the Oblates of St. Ambrose, a society of diocesan priests to enforce the reforms of Trent. St. Charles adopted a simple life in which he responded to the needs of the poor and sick by providing monetary and spiritual support.” Companion to the Calendar: A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and the Holidays of the Year, page 135 St. Charles guide us to appreciate our clergy who serve us faithfully. Say a prayer for Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe and for the Bishop who will follow him.

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

“When you plant seeds of love, it is you that blossoms.” Ma Jaya Sati

Catholic Character Education and the Virtues

During the month of November we strive to grow in the virtue of Wisdom. Wisdom is one of the four cardinal virtues, that means the other moral virtues hinge on wisdom. “[Wisdom] is the ability to figure out what is right in a practical situation and to act on it.” Growing in Christian Morality page 44

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.

“This hostility to Aboriginal cultural and spiritual practice continued well into the twentieth century. In 1942, John House, the principal of the Anglican school in Gleichen, Alberta, became involved in a campaign to have two Blackfoot chiefs deposed, in part because of their support for traditional dance ceremonies. In 1947, Roman Catholic official J. O. Plourde told a federal parliamentary committee that since Canada was a Christian nation that was committed to having “all its citizens belonging to one or other of the Christian churches,” he could see no reason why the residential schools “should foster aboriginal beliefs.” United Church official George Dorey told the same committee that he questioned whether there was such a thing as “native religion.”

Into the 1950s and 1960s, the prime mission of residential schools was the cultural transformation of Aboriginal children. In 1953, J. E. Andrews, the principal of the Presbyterian school in Kenora, Ontario, wrote that “we must face realistically the fact that the only hope for the Canadian Indian is eventual assimilation into the white race.”17 In 1957, the principal of the Gordon’s Reserve school in Saskatchewan, Albert Southard, wrote that he believed that the goal of residential schooling was to “change the philosophy of the Indian child. In other words since they must work and live with ‘whites’ then they must begin to think as ‘whites.’” Southard said that the Gordon’s school could never have a student council, since “in so far as the Indian understands the department’s policy, he is against it.” In a 1958 article on residential schools, senior Oblate Andre Renaud echoed the words of John A. Macdonald, arguing that when students at day schools went back to their “homes at the end of the school day and for the weekend, the pupils are re-exposed to their native culture, however diluted, from which the school is trying to separate them.” A residential school, on the other hand, could “surround its pupils almost twenty-four hours a day with non-Indian Canadian culture through radio, television, public address system, movies, books, newspapers, group activities, etc.”

Remember we are all treaty people!

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 LS 1.3: Explain what the sacraments of service (Holy Orders and Matrimony) teach us about the social nature of the human person and reflect on how approaching our life as vocation benefits others. [CCC nos. 1533-1600; 1601-1666] “[The sacraments of] Holy Orders and Matrimony are directed towards the salvation of others, if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.” [CCC 1533] “Through these sacraments those already consecrated by Baptism and Confirmation for the common priesthood of all the faithful can receive particular consecrations. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ’s name “to feed the Church by the word and grace of God.” On their part, “Christian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament.” [CCC 1535]   I would review the word Vocation with the students. Vocation comes from the latin word ‘Vocare’ – meaning “to call.” This word is usually used to refer to how God calls each of us to a particular life style in order for us to use our unique gifts in the service to others.   Humans are social animals who need intimacy to live. Intimacy here meaning that our lives intersect through service to each other. Ask your students to explain how the service of men who are called to Holy Orders (bishop, priest, deacon) benefits others. Ask your students to explain how the service of a married couple benefits others.    

Grade Eight LS 1.3: Recognize signs of the growing human interdependence of the global community and identify ways it is challenging Catholic organizations and individuals in their mission of promoting social justice principles. Review with your class the meaning of the words: dependence, independence, and interdependence.

We have dependence upon our parents and family when we are babies and children. We grow more independent as we become teens, we can do far more for ourselves than we used to when we were younger. As mature individuals, we move toward being interdependent. When we need the help of others, we ask for it. When others need help from us, we give it. So when we are able to move between dependence and independence then we are interdependent.

Ask your students for signs that they are aware of of the growing human interdependence of the global community. [Through the media we are aware of the Syrian refugee crisis. There are some countries who have opened their boarders to these Syrian refugees, i.e. Germany.] Who is dependent in this situation? Who is acting independently? Does this example show interdependence in the global community? With social justice principles we ask why the refugee crisis is happening. The war in Syria is displacing all these people. What is the cause of the war? To get to the bottom of this situation it is a challenge for Catholic organizations and individuals. The United Nations try to work to get to the bottom of this civil conflict but it is a complex problem. Ask your students to do research about what is causing the Syrian conflict. See if they can get to the bottom of this civil war. Ask them to identify ways that it is challenging to understand this situation. Catholic Social Teachings offer us a set of principles for social justice. Which CSTs are being ignored in Syria?

Twenty-first Century Education > The Skit Guys – The Prodigal – 7.26 min  Very inspiring skit. > Dentist Says God Doesn’t Exist. Just wait for the response! 54 sec Inspirational > World Community for Christian Meditation > This is a site for Christian Meditation for teachers and students alike. > 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

Ansgar – If you could ask God for ONE favour, what would it be – lots of money, a fancy car, a new house? Ansgar asked for something very different. This saint once said that if he could ask God for one miracle, he would ask that God make him a good man! Evidently, God DID do that without Ansgar having to ask for the miracle. When he was just a teenager, Ansgar began to teach young children in an abbey school in Germany. Later, he was sent to Sweden as a missionary and on the way, his ship was attacked by pirates, who seized everything. His life was a series of triumphs and failures. He became an archbishop in Germany and organized missions in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. But a great invasion of Vikings destroyed his city in Germany, and his missionaries were run out of Sweden. After each disaster, Ansgar worked again to bring God’s teachings to the people. He was very kind to the poor, and even washed their feet and waited on tables to serve them food. No matter how difficult things became, Ansgar did not get discouraged or give up. He continued to be a “good man.” YOU probably will never have to worry about attacks by pirates or invasions of Vikings, but if you ever get discouraged OR if you ever get a chance to make ONE magical wish, think about Ansgar’s wish. Would YOU ever wish for that?” p. 20-21

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. The traditional prayer said by Catholics to express sorrow for sins at the end of confession is called the   …. Act of Contrition
  1. The _____ is the Catholic spiritual community that includes both the living and the dead disciples of Christ.    … communion of saints
  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
  1. “Amen” means _____ A. yes, I believe
  1. Robert Bellarmine is the patron saint of _____. B. catechists

Show Mercy and Forgiveness by David O’Brien CATECHIST, November/December 2015. Page 25        

  1. The Lord is kind and _____. (Psalm 103:8)   A. unpredictable         B. invisible                   C. merciful                  D. punctual
  1. The sacrament of ____ offers God’s forgiveness for sins.   A. matrimony               B. holy orders              C. confirmation                       D. reconciliation
  1. Who is the patron saint of Divine Mercy?       A.   St. Peter          B. St. Faustina Kowalska                      C. St. Bernard of Clairvaux                 D. St. Callistus
  1. Peter asked, “’Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said: ‘No, _____ times 7.’” (Matthew 18:21-22)   A.70           B. 7                             C. 700                          D. 7000
  1. In the Old Testament, King _____ famously sinned but then repented and begged for God’s mercy.      A. Tut                    B. Henry VIII               C. David                      D. Richard the Lionhearted

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

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 – I begin by telling you that I loved Paul Blart Mall Cop the first time I saw the movie. I have seen the movie more than once and laugh each time I see it. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 – the sequel was funny in parts but as with many sequels it did not have enough newness to make me laugh as much as the first movie. It is harmless fun. The main character played by Kevin James is great. Don’t we all secretly think we are more important than we are. ♥♥♥/5

Trivia for Those Who Read to the end…Just like the credits at the movies.“In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose.. Huh!

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