Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 24, 2016

Our weekly newsletter courtesy of Sr. Pat Carter csj of the Huron Superior CDSB and CARFLEO Treasurer.

The Feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas is January 28th.  Carlo Crivelli (c1435-c1495) National gallery, London. St. Thomas employed both faith (the Church) and reason (the book) in his theology. Source: Wkimedia

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Lord, your words are spirit and life.” Psalm 19

January 24th is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – Use these questions to prepare yourself to hear the readings before attending Mass. When have you been anointed? What does this mean for you in your life?

Reflect on the Word – As one who has been baptized into Christ’s life and love, how are you called to fulfill the Gospel passage you heard today? Recall words or phrases from the homily, prayers, or songs you just heard. What in those words strikes you? How may you be called to respond to what you heard today?

Act on the Word – As you reflect on today’s Gospel passage, think about the ways you may be called to go out of yourself for others, in order to fulfill the promptings of the Holy Spirit in your life. How might you bring glad tidings, proclaim liberty, recovery of sight, or freedom to the oppressed? Resist the temptation to only read this Gospel passage literally. There are many who are poor; many who are captives, blind or oppressed. Who comes to mind for you? How might you bring Christ’s presence to them? Are you in any way poor, captive, blind, or oppressed? How may Christ intervene through your reflection or the actions of another?

Wrapping it Up – What specific experience comes to mind in which you knew the power of the Holy Spirit upon you? What happened? What was the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence with you? How might you be mindful of and trust the Holy Spirit to a greater degree with your life?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 119, 121

January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. “Saul of Tarsus (c. 4-64) had a history of persecuting Christians. He was present at the martyrdom of St. Stephen and held the cloaks of those who stoned him. While on the road to Damascus, where Saul was headed to suppress the Christian community, he was blinded by a bright light and heard the voice of Christ saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). He took the name Paul and became the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” traveling the known world with the message of the Gospel. St. Paul’s conversion is a witness to the mercy of God and the possibility of conversion.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 40 St. Paul, help us take care not to hurt anyone with our words or actions. When we are aware of bright light today, invoke St. Paul’s name.

January 26th is the memorial of St. Timothy and Titus, Bishops. “Sts. Timothy and Titus, first century bishops and martyrs, are celebrated together because of their joint association with St. Paul. Timothy is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles 16:1-2, when Paul visits Lystra, in what is now Turkey. Timothy’s mother was Jewish, Paul circumcised him so he would be accepted by the Jewish Christians. Timothy accompanied Paul on some of his journeys, and he is the one addressed in the Letters to Timothy in the New Testament. Tradition says that Paul made him bishop of Ephesus in 65. He was martyred by stoning in either the year 65 or 80 for preaching against the worship of idols. St. Titus was also a disciple and companion of St. Paul. He was probably a Gentile, and Paul refused to have him circumcised because the Gospel freed Gentiles from the Law of Moses. Although he is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, he is mentioned several times in Paul’s letters and was probably commissioned to preach to the Gentiles. According to Paul, Titus was with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus and was sent to Macedonia to collect alms for the Christians in Jerusalem. He also spent time in Macedonia, Crete, and Dalmatia in modern-day Croatia. Tradition says that he was bishop in Crete and died in the year 107.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 40 St. Timothy remind us today to use the gifts God has given to us. When you spend time with your friends today, thank God for them.

January 28th is the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church. “St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), called the “Angelic Doctor” for his writings, was born near Naples. Against his family’s wishes, he joined the newly established Dominicans and went to study under Albert the Great in Paris. Thomas’ theological writings, especially the Summa Theologia, remain preeminent texts to this day. For all his brilliance, Thomas was also a man of deep prayer who realized that the mysteries of God cannot fully be expressed by words. He contributed the liturgical texts for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, including the Tantum Ergo, which is still sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 41

St. Thomas Aquinas, inspire me to make my thoughts and actions holy. Pass sometime today writing a journal entry about how much you love God.

Holy Year of Mercy ~ A Time of Grace and Conversion

God is merciful and just – While some fear our focus on God’s mercy will undermine the Church’s understanding of God’s justice, theologians respond that God’s justice shouldn’t be thought of as divine eagerness to punish sinners. Even Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741) held out hope for the sinners’ conversion. Mercy should be seen as the initial and prevailing opportunity God offers the fallen. God’s judgment cannot be ignored or erased from biblical faith. Cardinal Kasper explains that the message of God’s mercy isn’t a message of cheap grace: “God expects us to do what is right and just…. For this reason, mercy does not stand in opposition to the message of justice. In his mercy, God rather holds back his justified wrath…. Divine mercy grants sinners a period of grace and desires their conversion. Mercy is ultimately grace for conversion.” Catholic Update, December 2015, page 3-4

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

Love your neighbour as yourself Mt 19:19

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.

These ideas shaped global policies towards Indigenous peoples. In 1883, Britain’s Lord Rosebery, a future British prime minister, told an Australian audience, “It is on the British race, whether in Great Britain, or the United States, or the Colonies, or wherever it may be, that rest the highest hopes of those who try to penetrate the dark future, or who seek to raise and better the patient masses of mankind.” Residential schools were established in the shadow of these ideas. In the year that Rosebery gave this speech, the Canadian government opened its first industrial residential school for Aboriginal people at Battleford on the Canadian Prairies.

The Christian churches not only provided the moral justification for the colonizationof other peoples’ lands, but they also dispatched missionaries to the colonized nations in order to convert ‘the heathen.’ From the fifteenth century on, the Indigenous peoples of the world were the objects of a strategy of spiritual and cultural conquest that had its origins in Europe. While they often worked in isolation and under difficult conditions, missionaries were representatives of worldwide organizations that enjoyed the backing of influential individuals in some of the most powerful nations of the world, and which came to amass considerable experience in transforming different cultures. Residential schools figured prominently in missionary work, not only in Canada, but also around the world.

Christian missionaries played a complex but central role in the European colonial project. Their presence helped justify the extension of empires, since they were visibly spreading the word of God to the heathen. If their efforts were unsuccessful, the missionaries might conclude that those who refused to accept the Christian message could not expect the protection of the church or the law, thus clearing the way for their destruction.68 Although missionaries often attempted to soften the impact of imperialism, they were also committed to making the greatest changes in the culture and psychology of the colonized. They might, for example, seek to have traders give fair prices and to have government officials provide relief in times of need, but they also worked to undermine relationships to the land, language, religion, family relations, educational practices, morality, and social custom.

Remember we are all treaty people!

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Communion ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

By the end of grade 3, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Recognize Jesus as a companion and friend who travels with them on the journey of their lives;
  • Reflect on the example of the Saints as models for their own lives;
  • Appreciate the communal nature of human persons and the communal nature of the Church: communion with God and all of God’s creation.

Grade Two LC 1.1: Identify in the story of the Last Supper how Jesus’ actions united the disciples for mission (Jesus washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love; he instituted the Eucharist as a memorial and commanded them to celebrate it until he returned) and communicate how Christ’s actions continue today in the Church (through the Eucharist and through our actions of love and service). [CCC nos. 1337-1344]

In the story of the Last Supper Jesus brought the disciples together for the Passover meal. Normally family groups would gather for the Passover meal. Jesus gathers his friends and shares this ritual meal with them. Jesus washes his disciples’ feet as an example of how to serve as a servant. [John 13:4-17] If Jesus who is the master of the disciples washes their feet, then the disciples ought to be willing to wash the feet for those they serve. After the washing of the feet, Jesus gives the disciples a new commandment. [John 13:34-35] Jesus tells the disciples, “I give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Showing love for one another is a way that others will know that they are followers of Jesus. During this meal, Jesus institutes the Eucharist as a memorial meal that the disciples will celebrate repeatedly until Jesus returns. [Matthew 26:26-29] This memorial meal becomes the sacrament of the Eucharist that we continue to celebrate to remember Jesus and his presence among us. These actions of Jesus taught the disciples how to love and serve. These actions have continued to hold the grace of God’s presence among us to this day. We are nourished at the table of the Lord each Sunday (or each day) and we are able to love and serve others by following Jesus’ example.

Grade Three LC 1.1: From a selection of biblical passages, identify how the Holy Spirit came upon the Church (Pentecost) and what it means to say the Church is the ‘Temple of the Holy Spirit’ (e.g. the Spirit dwells in each of us – 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Christ has gathered the Church as one body in which He dwells by the Spirit – Ephesians 2:19-22; [CCC no. 809]; “The Spirit is the soul…of the Mystical Body, the source of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the riches of its gifts and charisms.”). [CCC nos. 731-747] Before Jesus ascended into heaven he promised the disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit as an advocate. The Holy Spirit came upon the Church at Pentecost. “[The disciples] were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” [Acts 2:1b-4] So the Holy Spirit was manifested in different ways: violent wind, tongues of fire and the capacity to speak different language. The Church is a Temple of the Holy Spirit. In the tradition of the Jewish people the Temple was the ‘Holy of holies.’ We do not worship in a temple. This phrase means that the Church – the building is one of the places where we worship God and where the Holy Spirit resides. The Church is also the people of God – where the Holy Spirit also resides. As it is stated in 1 Cor. 6:19-20 – the Spirit dwells in each of us; we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. By our baptism, the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts. In the letter to the Ephesians 2:19-22, it states, “Christ has gathered the Church as one body in which He dwells by the Spirit.” The Christian community is the mystical body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the source of our life, the source of our unity in our diversity, and provides the riches of our gifts and charisms.

Twenty-first Century Education >News Anchor’s Blooper Had Me Saying “Amen.” Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses us in unexpected ways. > Joy to the Lord > Rend Collective> Music video 4.26 min > 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 Joseph Labre If you had seen this saint on the street, you might have NOT wanted to associate with him! He was a wanderer who sometimes wore ragged clothes and looked like a tramp. This Benedict was the oldest son in a family of EIGHTEEN children! His uncle, who was a parish priest, taught Benedict his school lessons. But when Benedict was old enough, he began to wander. After traveling from monastery to monastery, he decided to become a pilgrim, going from one shrine to the next. Finally, Benedict came to Rome, and for a while he even slept in the Colosseum and became known as the “Beggar of Rome.” To many, Benedict must have seemed like a failure, but he was seeking God. He was so focused on God that he didn’t think it was important to bother about nice clothes or a fancy place to stay. He impressed all who knew him with his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and with his deep spirituality. He was an example of how little the opinion of the world matters when you are seeking to please God alone. Everyone “wanders” sometime – restless, searching, wondering what to do next, where to go, what book to read, what movie to see, what friend to call, what clothes to wear. But these are worldly wanderings. Do you ever “wander” to church to make a little secret visit or wander to a quiet place to pray the rosary or wander outside to take a walk and talk to God? Maybe you should try it sometime – like maybe today?”  p. 32

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

All Things Bishop by Pat Carter csj

  1. The particular church/area of responsibility for a bishop is called A. diocese
  1. The first bishop of Rome was D. St. Peter
  2. The present bishop of Rome is Francis



  1. The staff that a bishop carries with him on official visits, which helps us to remember his role as shepherd, is a:   crozier


  1. The tall head covering, that represents the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures, is called  a:  mitre


All Things Bishop by Pat Carter csj

  1. When a priest is installed as a bishop he must have this created…    A. a diocese      B. coat of arms                       C. stole                       D. a new name


  1. Bishop Marcel Damphousse was born in this province:   A. British Columbia             B. Manitoba                C. Ontario                   D. Quebec


  1. Bishop Marcel Damphousse first served as bishop in the diocese of      A. Alexandria-Cornwall        B. Toronto                  C. Quebec                  D. St. Catharine


  1. Bishop Marcel Damphousse will be the diocese of Sault Ste. Marie’s      A. fourth bishop          B. fifth bishop              C. sixth bishop                        D. seventh bishop


  1. Bishop Marcel Damphousse was born on which saint’s feast day       A. Thomas          B. St. Paul                  C. St. Nicholas                        D. St. Joseph


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

The Big Short > This movie is playing in theatres now. I saw it in Toronto. This movie tells the story of the housing crisis in the States. It has many famous actors that play their roles very well. It is informative and very entertaining in the way the story is told. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5


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

The Baby Ruth candy bar was actually named after Grover Cleveland’s baby daughter, Ruth..

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