Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 10th, 2016

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys – Portrait by Antoine Plamandon probably painted in 1840s (Wikimedia)

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“O bless the Lord, my soul.”

January 10th is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Prepare for the Word –As you enter church today, be mindful to sign yourself with the cross with the holy water. Notice others who also bless themselves as they enter; take note of parents who show their children how to make the Sign of the Cross. What significance does this have for you?

Reflect on the Word –As you leave church, be mindful to prayerfully approach the fount, blessing yourself with the Sign of the Cross. Notice that when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Trinity was made manifest; what is the significance of making the Sign of the Cross with baptismal water?

Act on the Word – This week, ask your friends and family members to share with you in a word or phrase what difference Baptism makes in their lives. Notice the similarities and differences in their responses. Do some responses seem more heartfelt than others? Do some people seem uncomfortable with this question? Were you surprised by anyone’s reply? What difference does Baptism make in your life? Did any of the responses of family or friends inspire you or challenge you? How might your actions be influenced by these conversations?

Wrapping it Up – What are the signs of one who faithfully fulfils his or her baptismal promises? What does it look like to be a person in whom God is well pleased?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 109, 112

January 12th is the memorial of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, Virgin. “The first Canadian woman to be canonized, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, was born in France on April 17, 1620. When she was nineteen, her mother died, and Marguerite took on the responsibility of caring for her brothers and sisters. A year later, during a procession in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, she felt inspired to consecrate herself to the service of God. She tried joining the Carmelites and the Poor Clares, but both communities refused her entrance. Once Marguerite learned about the French settlement at Ville Marie in Canada – later known as Montreal – she realized that her vocation was to missionary work. The founder and governor of the settlement, Paul Chomody de Maisonneuve, persuaded her to dedicate herself to the education of French and Indian children. She started a school but soon realized she would need help and returned to France to recruit other young women. These became the founders of the Congregation de Notre-Dame. Originally, Marguerite intended her community be uncloistered and take simple vows, an innovation at the time that enabled the sisters to pursue an active apostolate rather than remain in a cloister. Soon French Canadian and First Nations women joined the group. The Congregation of Notre Dame received approval from the Vatican in 1698, and by the late 19th century, the sisters had spread through Canada and into the United States. Marguerite Bourgeoys is considered the co-foundress of Montreal where she died on January 12, 1700 after offering her life for the cure of a younger sister. She was canonized by St. John Paul II in 1982.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 35

January 16th is the world Day for Refugees and Migrants. “Refugees are people who have fled their homes and crossed an international border to escape persecution or conflict. Migrants are those who travel to another nation in order to find work. Pope Pius X instituted this World Day of Refugees and Migrants in 1914 to bring greater awareness to the challenges they face.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 36

“The phenomenon of migration today is a providential opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2012.) Ordo Liturgical Calendar 2015-2016.

Holy Year of Mercy ~ A Time of Grace and Conversion

As we receive, so must we give – continued. To be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful (see Luke 6:36) is a solemn goal not just for the Jubilee Year but for our lifelong journey. “In this Holy Year,” Pope Francis wrote, “we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society…. May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism!” (MV 15). His remarks echo Vatican II’s most challenging social constitution, The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).” Catholic Update, December 2015, p. 2

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

“Let your faithful rejoice in your goodness” 2 Chr. 6:41b

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.

 In the fifteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church, building on the traditions of the Roman Empire, conceived of itself as the guardian of a universal world order.56 The adoption of Christianity within the Roman Empire (which defined itself as ‘civilized’) reinforced the view that to be civilized was to be Christian. The Catholic papacy was already playing a role in directing and legitimizing colonialism prior to Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the Americas in the 1490s, largely by granting Catholic kingdoms the right to colonize lands they ‘discovered.’57 In 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the first of four orders, referred to as “papal bulls” (a term that takes its name from the Latin word for the mould used to seal the document), that granted most of North and South America to Spain, the kingdom that had sponsored Columbus’s voyage of the preceding year. These orders helped shape the political and legal arguments that have come to be referred to as the “Doctrine of Discovery,” which was used to justify the colonization of the Americas in the sixteenth century. In return, the Spanish were expected to convert the Indigenous peoples of the Americas to Christianity.

Other European rulers rejected the Pope’s ability to give away sovereignty over half the world.59 But they did not necessarily reject the Doctrine of Discovery—they simply modified it. The English argued that a claim to ‘discovered lands’ was valid if the ‘discoverer’ was able to take possession of them.60 Harman Verelst, who promoted the colonization in the eighteenth century of what is now the southern coast of the United States, wrote that “this Right arising from the first discovery is the first and fundamental Right of all European Nations, as to their Claim of Lands in America.”61 This Doctrine of Discovery was linked to a second idea: the lands being claimed were terra nullius—no man’s land—and therefore open to claim. On the basis of this concept, the British government claimed ownership of the entire Australian continent. (There, the doctrine of terra nullius remained the law until it was successfully challenged in court in 1992.)62 Under this doctrine, imperialists could argue that the presence of Indigenous people did not void a claim of terra nullius, since the Indigenous people simply occupied, rather than owned, the land. True ownership, they claimed, could come only with European-style agriculture.63

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 2.3: Identify and describe ways we are called as human beings to be responsible stewards who protect the environment and promote creation (i.e. natural ecological world in which we live) that has its origins in the creative will and purpose of God. [CCC nos. 2415-2418] “The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Our dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbour, including generations to come, it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.” [CCC 2415] I would begin a conversation with my students by asking them: “Why did God create the earth and all it holds?” You will get a starting point from which to discuss the above quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. God intended that creation would be respected by those created in God’s image namely, humans. We don’t own creation but it has been put into our care (stewardship). Ask your class to identify ways that we can be responsible stewards who protect the environment. The Canadian government has recently signed on to the Paris agreement. You can point to this new vision of the government to try to protect the environment. As humans we know too much to not do what we can to keep the earth from further diminishment. The storms that are flooding the southern States and the Northern part of England are signs that we are not doing the best job. It would be good to talk about individual acts of respect (not littering, walking and not using fossil fuel, recycling, composing etc.) and also group acts: writing letters to the different levels of government, having a bottled water ban for your school, etc.

Grade Five LS 2.3: Apply the principle of solidarity to global and/or local issues of injustice and describe ways that students can become involved in projects of “social charity”. [CCC nos. 1928-1948] “Solidarity is manifested in the first place by the distribution of goods and remuneration for work. It also presupposes the effort for a more just social order where tensions are better able to be reduced and conflicts more readily settled by negotiation. Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples.” [CCC 1941-1942] I would explain that the principle of solidarity is a Catholic social teaching. We are called by the gospel to share goods and services with those who need them. Bring in the newspaper. Have groups of students look at the newspaper for examples of injustice that are happening around the world and in their locale. Ask the students: how can they participate in solidarity in addressing these injustices. How can they pool their voices to address a global injustice? “Become the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi said this. Is there some injustice in the school that needs to be addressed? This video shows what a group of good people can do when they get together.

Grade Six LS 2.3: Identify situations of injustice in society, our country and the world which oppose the virtue of human dignity and fundamental human rights (e.g. the right to life, liberty, religious freedom, food, shelter, health care, education, and employment) and use examples to describe social justice which reflect the principle that “everyone should look upon his neighbour (without any exception) as ‘another self’”. [CCC nos. 1928-1948] Every human being has dignity because he/she is made in the image and likeness of God. This is true even if the person does not believe in God. Human dignity has fundamental human rights attached to it. Solidarity which is a Catholic Social Teaching demands that we see “everyone as a neighbour, as ‘another self.’” Discuss these ideas as a foundation for the expectation. We cannot teach human dignity enough…as it is so seldom witnessed in the world. Usually students are aware of their human rights but if they want something and they hurt someone else to get it, they don’t seem to see the disconnection. The news is a good starting point. There are so many examples of situations of injustice in the news daily. Ask your students to watch the news for homework and come to class with examples in their locale, in our country and in the world which oppose human dignity and fundamental human rights. Bring in some newspapers or go online to watch a segment of the news. Explain the fundamental human rights as listed in the expectation. How can these human right abuses be addressed if “everyone sees everyone else as a neighbour, as another self”? We trample on other’s human rights when we put them down, “killing their spirit.” Be sure to emphasize that we can be found guilty for infringing upon others human rights almost every day. This video shows what a person can inspire others to do on behalf of someone who has human dignity.

Twenty-first Century Education > Our Mess, God’s Masterpiece > Inspirational video – 2.31 min This is a good New Year’s message. >Pizza Delivery Driver Gives Homeless Man Incredible Gift > Inspirational video > 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

Bede the Venerable – Here’s a man who had a special name! He was not just called Bede – but Venerable Bede! Now, how do you guess that happened? Well, not only was Bede the most learned man of his time, he was so wise in the ways of the Lord that people thought of him as venerable – one to be treated with reverence, respect, and admiration. And what a writer he was! Bede wrote about history, rhetoric, cosmography, orthography, astronomy, music, grammar, philosophy, poetry, exegesis, and hagiography. Do you think maybe he might also be called Venerable Jack-of-All-Trades? Most people of Bede’s day didn’t even know enough about ONE subject to write a book about it. And they probably didn’t even know WHAT some of Bede’s subjects were – like orthography, exegesis, or hagiography. Do YOU know what those things are? Why don’t you get out the dictionary and look up some of the things Bede wrote about? And then maybe YOU would like to write a book – or a report or a letter to someone – about one of those subjects!”   p. 29-30

Who says teaching religion can’t be fun? What’s Your Catholic IQ?

Christmas by Pat Carter, csj

  1. How was December 25th chosen as the date to celebrate Jesus’ birthday? B. It was selected to replace the pagan winter festival dedicated to the sun.
  1. Our current English term of Christmas can be traced back to C. 1123 C.E.
  1. The original name of the feast in one of the Old English spellings appears as Cristes maesse, which by 1568 clearly meant A. Mass of Christ
  1. By this century the annual feast of Christmas was almost universally celebrated on the twenty-fifth of December    D. Sixth
  1. The date of December 25th is marked for Christmas in the Philocalian Calendar, which represents Roman practice in the year D. 336 C.E.

All Things Bishop by Pat Carter csj

  1. From this Greek word which means overseer, the bishop is a successor of the Apostles, the Greek word is:         A.episkopos            B. epiphany                C. evangelist              D. epistle
  1. This is the highest order of the threefold ministry with the fullness of Christ’s priesthood, having the power and authority to administer all the sacraments, including ordination:          A. Deaconate                B. Priesthood              C. Bishop                    D. Pope
  1. In his Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Clement of Rome wrote that the Apostles “laid down a rule once for all to this effect: When these men die, other approved men shall succeed to their sacred ministry.” He wrote this letter in:    A. around 3 CE             B. around 30 CE         C. around 62 CE         D. around 96 CE
  1. The bishop is the:    A. authentic teacher of the Faith in his diocese        B. centre of unity          C. among “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1Cor 4:1) for the faithful in his care        D. all of these
  1. All the above statements are true except:      A. No bishop is a shepherd in isolation.        B. All bishops constitute one college.              C. The bishops have gathered together in councils to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in directing the Church.       D. Auxiliary bishops are suffragan bishops.

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

Walk in the Woods   I give this movie ♥♥♥♥/5 hearts.

This movie is available on PPV. This is Bill Bryson’s recollection of his time walking the Appalachian Trail on the east coast of the USA. He walks the trail with an old friend. Their hike has many moments that only good friends can weather together. It is a light movie and most enjoyable. Robert Redford plays Bill Bryson, Emma Thompson – Bill’s wife and Nick Nolte – Bill’s hiking buddy. There is some fun dialogue on route.

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

On average, there are 178 sesame seeds on each McDonalds Big Mac bun.”

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