Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 17, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“The Lord delights in you” Isaiah 62.4e

January 17th is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – Are you attentive to the ways in which Christ is made known through the actions of others?

Are you attentive to the ways others may know Christ through your actions?

Reflect on the Word – Mary instructed the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” How do you perceive God inviting you to action, to faithfulness, or to charity? What helps you to believe in Jesus?

Act on the Word – Did you notice the liturgical colours returned to the green of Ordinary Time? Remember that Ordinary Time is not ordinary at all, but rather is counted time. Every Sunday is a little Easter; every day is an invitation to grow in faith, in faithfulness, in fulfilling God’s will in your life. What do you perceive God’s will to be for you in your life at this time? Do you sense how at times we find ourselves in spiritual transition, or in a time of transition in our personal lives, in relationships, in what we do and what we find important? Think about this in the coming week, and prayerfully invite God to continue to communicate with you as you commit yourself ever more deeply as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Wrapping it Up – Mary’s quiet conversation with her son brought about a sign of his compassion for the wedding couple, and of his human and divine nature. What situation might you bring to Jesus at this time, in which Christ’s mercy and compassion are needed? Mary instructed, “Do whatever he tells you,” and the servants did that. What does Christ tell you at this time in your life? How are you doing what he tells you? ” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 113, 117

The season of Ordinary Time during Winter – “The brief period of Ordinary Time during winter seems a liturgical breather between the seasons of Christmas and Lent. It is much more than this, however. While short in duration, only a month this year, this season bridges the Incarnation with the ministry, teaching, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord. Through key Gospel narratives, we hear the stories of Jesus’ first miracles and teaching and we learn that not everyone is open to his message. These are important lessons for us, particularly teens, as we consider the call of discipleship and its consequences in our lives. For many, the months of January and February are colder outside; the days are shorter, and the pace of life is perhaps a bit slower. It is appropriate, then, to take this winter time as a gift in which to reflect on our own encounter with Jesus, through reflection on the Sunday readings and prayerful consideration of our openness to the message of Christ.” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 115

 January 18-25 is the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “Each year, Christians from many denominations observe a special week of prayer for Christian Unity. Coming together in a variety of ways, through joint prayer and meetings, we remember how much we share, and we look honestly at the issues that still keep us apart. It is a time to reflect on Christ’s prayer the night before he died: “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23)). The week of prayer was begun in 1908 by an American Episcopalian priest, Paul Wattson, and since that time it has spread worldwide. Each year, a joint commission of leaders from the full spectrum of the Christian family gathers to prepare prayer resources for this week of prayer and reflection. For Catholics, the unity of all Christian believers is more than just one more dreams; it is central to the Church’s mission.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 37

Holy Spirit give us the words we need as we pray for the unity of the Church. “Bring us together as one” could be a simple mantra for this week.

January 21st is the memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr. “St. Agnes (c. 292-305) is one of the women whose name is mentioned in Eucharistic Prayer I. She is thought to have been a member of Roman nobility, and was martyred at the age of twelve under Diocletian on January 21, 304, for refusing to marry a prefect’s son. She is the patron saint of Christian virtue and is often represented with a martyr’s palm and a lamb (a translation of her name in Latin). This gave rise to the tradition of blessing lambs at the Roman Basilica of St. Agnes on this day. The wool from these lambs is then used to weave the pallium worn by archbishops and others of metropolitan rank.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 38

St. Agnes inspire us to live the virtues as you did. Wear something today made of yarn.

January 22nd is the memorial of St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr. “St. Vincent was from Saragossa in third-century Spain. He is also known as Vincent the Deacon and served under St. Valerius, bishop of Saragossa. He was martyred in 304 in the persecution of the emperor Diocletian. Just before he was killed on a gridiron or grill, he was offered his freedom if he would throw a copy of the Scriptures on the fire that was prepared for him, but he refused. After witnessing Vincent’s faith and heroism, his executioner converted to Christianity.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 39

St. Vincent the Deacon, may we have the same purity of spirit that you did. When we experience some trouble today let us offer it up in St. Vincent the Deacon’s name.

Holy Year of Mercy ~ A Time of Grace and Conversion

God is merciful and just – In 2012, just a year before the election of Pope Francis, Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany published Mercy – The Essence of the Gospel and the Key of Christian Life about what he calls “a crucially relevant, but forgotten topic.” He is critical of the failure of theologians to reflect upon and develop the Church’s message of mercy. This neglect, he says, has allowed mercy to become pseudomercy, in some manner divorced from “a trace of trembling before God, who is holy, and trembling before his justice and his judgment…the gospel teaches the justification of the sinner, but not the justification of the sin.” Pope Francis struck a similar note at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October 2014 when he cautioned against two mindsets: (1) “hostile inflexibility” in which a person closes him/herself from change and the surprises of God and (2) “a destructive tendency to goodness” in which a person, in the name of a deceptive mercy, binds wounds without treating them, the temptation of “do-gooders.” At question here is the relationship between God’s mercy and God’s justice. God’s mercy isn’t the freedom to sin. God’s justice isn’t the unbending imposition of condemnation and punishment. Somewhere between lies the truth where divine justice and mercy cooperate to achieve what’s truly loving for sinful humanity.” Catholic Update, December 2015, page 2-3

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

“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” Romans 12:13

 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.

Underlying these arguments was the belief that the colonizers were bringing civilization to savage people who could never civilize themselves. The ‘civilizing mission’ rested on a belief of racial and cultural superiority. European writers and politicians often arranged racial groups in a hierarchy, each with their own set of mental and physical capabilities. The ‘special gifts’ of the Europeans meant it was inevitable that they would conquer the lesser peoples. Beneath the Europeans, in descending order, were Asians, Africans, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia.

Some people held that Europeans had reached the pinnacle of civilization through a long and arduous process. In this view, the other peoples of the world had been held back by such factors as climate, geography, and migration. Through a civilizing process, Europeans could, however, raise the people of the world up to their level. This view was replaced in the nineteenth century by a racism that chose to cloak itself in the language of science, and held that the peoples of the world had differing abilities. Some argued that, for genetic reasons, there were limits on the ability of the less-developed peoples to improve. In some cases, it was thought, contact with superior races could lead to only one outcome: the extinction of the inferior peoples.

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 2.3: Describe the ways that the “principle of solidarity” is manifested by the distribution of goods (i.e. food, clean water, shelter, and basic necessities) and the remuneration for work (i.e. just wage, working conditions, etc.) in the local and global communities. [CCC nos. 356-384; 1928-1933; 1391-1401] It is best to use the principle of solidarity when goods are distributed and people are remunerated for work that they do. That way equity is ensured. I would begin teaching this expectation by discussing what the ‘principle of solidarity’ means. The principle of solidarity reminds us that we are brothers and sisters to everyone else on the planet, no matter where they live. “Loving our neighbour has global dimensions in our interdependent world.” Catholic Social Teaching: Learning and Living Justice, page 17 Because of each person’s dignity as a child of God, we are responsible to see that every person has food, clean water, shelter, and all of their basic needs taken care of… When someone does work he/she ought to be paid a just wage. The conditions in which the work is carried out ought to be safe and secure. It used to be that men were paid more than women even if they were doing the exact same work. Now laws try to protect everyone so every person who does the same work gets paid the same wage. Ask your class to imagine how we can improve the conditions of First Nations peoples in the far north of Ontario…get them to do research about the conditions of schools, the cost of living there, the types of housing people live in. Ask them how they would apply the principle of solidarity to these communities. Maybe the class would like to write a letter to their Member of Parliament to address the situation.

Grade Eight LS 2.2: Summarize the key principles of Catholic social justice and link them to the primary Christian values of love, promotion of life, reconciliation, inclusion, compassion, fidelity, liberation, community and hope. [CCC nos. 1928-1948] The key principles of Catholic social justice are: 1. Respect for the Human Person [CCC – 1929-1933]; 2. Equality and Differences Among Men and Women [CCC – 1934-1938]; 3. Human Solidarity [CCC – 1939-1942]. I would ask my students to go online to summarize these three principles in the catechism using the bracketed passages to help them. Then once they have summarized the principles they can discuss in groups which Christian values would fit with each principle of Catholic social justice. (i.e. Love is part of each of these three principles. To respect a person we must love them in a way that respects him/her as a child of God. This same love would work to express equality toward everyone no matter what the differences. Human Solidarity requires that we love every person so we ensure that they have all that they need, and we work until everyone has all that they need. This is a love that is about justice not romance. Have the groups go through each Christian value to see if they connect to the key principles of social justice.

Twenty-first Century Education > Learn about the Top 50 sites and apps for 2015 for teaching religious education. > 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

“Benedict  Do you have a sister? Or a best friend or relative you love and ALSO like a lot? Well, what if you could see that person only ONE DAY each year? That’s the way it was with Benedict and his sister Scholastica! Benedict founded the Benedictine Order of monks way back in the fifth century, and he made an important difference to the world of the Middle Ages. Thousands of men entered monasteries to follow Benedict’s motto for life: “Pray and work.” Benedictines brought Christianity to many countries that had never heard of Jesus, AND they worked to RENEW an interest in religion, education, and culture in countries where the Faith had been dying. They also helped build many of the great cathedrals in Europe. You can see that Benedict was a very great man – and his sister was a great lady. Although Scholastica lived only a few miles from Benedict, they would only allow themselves to meet once a year! They would have lunch together and spend the whole day talking – and do you know what they talked about? Well, they probably shared news of what each had been doing that year, BUT since they were both very religious, they spent a good part of their day talking about God and his Church and religion and such things as the joys of heaven! If you could spend only one day a year visiting your sister or your favourite person, what would YOU talk about? Would you spend ANY of that time talking about God? Well, maybe you should! Maybe you should spend SOME time EVERY day talking about God! What could be a more mysterious and intriguing subject!” p. 30-31

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

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
  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       C. Bishop
  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          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.


All Things Bishop by Pat Carter csj

  1. The particular church/area of responsibility for a bishop is called    A. diocese B. province         C. state                       D. seed
  1. The first bishop of Rome was      A. St. Paul      B. St. Andrew        C. Jesus               D. St. Peter
  1. The present bishop of Rome is   A. John Paul II     B. Benedict XVI     C. Francis      D. Jean Louis
  1. The staff that a bishop carries with him on official visits, which helps us to remember his role as shepherd, is:  A.mitre       B. crozier       C. skull cap      D. ring
  1. The tall head covering, that represents the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures, is called    A. mitre       B.crozier        C. yamulke                  D. stole



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

No Escape > This movie is available on Shaw PPV. This is a movie that causes your heart to beat faster. Owen Wilson plays a father who has taken a job in an unnamed country bordering Vietnam. Just before the family arrives there is an assassination of some officials and bedlam ensues. Imagine what would happen if this were you and your family. Would you have the courage to persevere in deadly conditions in a foreign land? I give this movie ♥♥♥/5


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

“Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

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