Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 31, 2016


Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Love is patient.” 1 Corinthians 13

January 31st is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prepare for the Word – Use these questions to prepare yourself to hear the readings before attend Mass.

Have you ever been ridiculed for what you believe? Is your faith strong enough to withstand such action on the part of others?

Reflect on the Word – What did Jesus say that so infuriated the people of Nazareth? What emboldened Jesus to say what he did?

Act on the Word – This week, reflect on this week’s Gospel and the passage that precedes it (which we heard last Sunday). To what does the Holy Spirit call you? In what ways must you rely on the Holy Spirit to give you strength, wisdom, and courage in order to fulfill this call you perceive? How have you experienced the strength of the Holy Spirit in the past? In what ways do these previous experiences give you assurance for the future? Prayerfully spend time with this Gospel passage each day, and discuss this with a parent, friend, or mentor when you are able.

Wrapping it Up – Have you ever been ridiculed because of your faith, participation in church activities, or because of faith-based decisions you have made? How do you respond? What was the result? What is the most challenging decision you have made on account of your faith? What happened?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 123, 126

Month of February – The second month of the year takes its name from the Latin word for purification. The ancient Roman calendar had ten months, March through December. (December means “tenth month.”) There was no January and no February. These months were left off the calendar. Strange as it seems, people didn’t feel the need to keep track of the days during the winter. For the Romans, this late winter period before March became a “season” of purification and renewal almost like Lent. When the Romans began using the 12-month calendar, the old names for the months continued to be used. The month before March was named for the time of purification.

February 1st is the memorial of St. Brigid, Virgin. “St. Brigid of Kildare (c. 451- c.524) is, along with St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. May legends grew surrounding her life, but she was probably the daughter of a slave in the court of her father, King Dubhthach of Leinster. Tradition says that she made monastic vows and founded twin monasteries at Kildare (Cill-Dara or “the church of the oak”), one for men and one for women, and as was not uncommon at the time, was abbess over both. Brigid is remembered for her great joy.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 43 St. Brigid inspire within us great joy. Every time you smile today, think of St. Brigid.

February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. “Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Feast of the presentation of the Lord, which recalls the event described in the Gospel according to Luke: “When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’)” (Luke 2:22). Joseph and Mary bring Jesus to the Temple, and while they are there, they meet two extraordinary people. First they meet Simeon, who, taking Jesus in his arms, recognizes him as the long-awaited Messiah. Not only that, Simeon knows that this Messiah has come not only to the Jewish people, but to all. He is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32). There is a note of sorrow in this joyful encounter: Simeon prophesies over the child, telling Mary that Jesus will encounter great opposition, while her own heart is pierced by a sword. They also meet Anna, a widow, 84 years old, who prays and fasts in the Temple night and day, and who also recognizes who Jesus is, and begins to proclaim him: “At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). Jesus is the light to the nations, and from the moment of his birth, people are drawn to his light. That is why on this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we carry lit candles, and the priest blesses the candles to be used in the celebration of the liturgy during the coming year. Because of this, today’s Mass is often called Candlemass.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 44 Lord Jesus enlighten us to see your presence in everyone we meet today. Every time you bring light to a room today think of ‘Jesus the light of the nations.’

February 2nd is the World Day for Consecrated Life. “On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we also observe the World Day of Consecrated Life. The Gospel today tells the story of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple “to present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22). Simeon and Anna recognize in this little child the Saviour whom they have awaited with eager expectation. It’s the perfect feast to take some time to give thanks to God for the gift of consecrated life – for all the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the Lord and to service in his Church. Men and women to consider whether God might be calling them to this mode of life. “What would become of the world if there were no religious?” St. Teresa of Avila once asked. “This is a question which brings us to give unceasing thanks to the Lord, who by this singular gift of the Spirit continues to enliven and sustain the Church in its demanding journey through this world” (Pope John Paul II, Message for the First World Day for Consecrated Life, 1997).” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 44 Jesus, inspire many young men and women to find their joy in the consecrated life. Pray for Sisters Stephanie, Mary Jo and Pat today.

February 3rd is the memorial of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr. “St. Blaise was a physician, bishop of Sebaste (Turkey), and martyr who was born sometime in the third century and died around the year 316. The earliest written reference to him doesn’t appear until the fifth or sixth century, where he is reputed to have healed a boy who was choking on a fish bone. For this reason, his intercession is invoked for illnesses of the throat, and it is customary for throats to be blessed on his memorial, using crossed candles. The instruments of his martyrdom were steel combs that would normally have been used to comb wool, and for this reason he is the patron saint of the wool trade. He was very popular in the 11th and 12th centuries, and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers whose story is retold in the Golden Legend. The Fourteen Holy Helpers are a group of saints who are invoked against diseases.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the saints, seasons, and holidays of the year, page 45 St. Blaise, guard and protect our throats. When you wrap your scarf around your throat, thank God for St. Blaise.

Holy Year of Mercy ~ A Time of Grace and Conversion

Seek God’s Mercy – A Jubilee Year includes a number of customs, such as granting indulgences, making pilgrimages to holy shrines, ceremonial opening of the Holy Door (the northern entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is cemented shut except when a Jubilee Year is observed), and encouragement to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. The prophetic and gospel message of centuries ago still today echoes God’s special dispensation: “Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:13).

Works of Mercy – Pope Francis proposes an ambitious Holy Year agenda that stems from the very heart of mercy: “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy…. Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead” (MV 15).” Catholic Update, December 2015, page 4

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

But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love”      Neh 9:17

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.

Missionary zeal was also fuelled by the often violent division that had separated the Christian world into Catholic and Protestant churches. Both Catholics and Protestants invested heavily in the creation of missionary organizations that were intended to engage overseas missionary work. The most well-known Catholic orders were the Franciscans, the Jesuits, and the Oblates.   Oblates originally focused their attention on the poor and working classes of France, but from the 1830s onwards, they engaged in overseas missionary work. They established themselves in eastern Canada, the Pacific Northwest, Ceylon, Texas, and Africa. Oblates administered a majority of the Roman Catholic residential schools in Canada. They could not have done this work without the support of a number of female religious orders, most particularly the Sisters of Charity (the Grey Nuns), the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of St. Anne, and the Missionary Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and of Mary Immaculate.

The British-based Church Missionary Society was also a global enterprise. By the middle of the nineteenth century, this Anglican society had missions across the globe in such places as India, New Zealand, West and East Africa, China, and the Middle East. The society’s Highbury College in London provided missionaries with several years of training in arithmetic, grammar, history, geography, religion, education, and the administration of schools. By 1901, the Church Missionary Society had an annual income of over 300,000 pounds. It used this money to support 510 male missionaries, 326 unmarried females, and 365 ordained pastors around the world.

The Catholics and Anglicans were not the only European-based missionary societies to take up work in Canada. Presbyterians and Methodists, originally drawing support from the United Kingdom, undertook missionary work among Aboriginal people in the early nineteenth century. On the coast of Labrador, members of the Moravian Brotherhood, an order that had its origins in what is now the Czech Republic, carried out missionary work from the early eighteenth century onwards.Protestant missionary work also depended on the often underpaid and voluntary labour of missionary wives and single women who had been recruited by missionary societies.

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 3.1: Examine a selection of Scripture passages to identify and describe God’s plan for salvation and to find evidence that the Church’s mission is to spread the good news of Christ Jesus to all people. [CCC nos. 836-848; 1213-1284]

Scripture Passage Describe God’s Plan for Salvation Scripture Passage Find evidence that Church’s mission is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ
John 1:12 “To all who received [Jesus], who believed in his name, He gave power to come children of God.” Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
John 3:3-8; 16-18 “Jesus answered [Nicodemus], “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.   So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

…”For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.   Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Luke 4:16-40 When [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.   He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Jesus also cures the man with an unclean spirit and the people were “amazed and kept saying to one another, “what kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power [Jesus] commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.

Jesus then heals Simon’s mother-in-law of a high fever and word spread about the healings and sick with various kinds of diseases were brought to Jesus to be cured.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.   No one comes to the Father except through me.” Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
John 17:3 Jesus said [to his Father], “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Matthew 10:32-33 [Jesus said,] “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in haven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.”    
James 2:14-26 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”   Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren?…    
Romans 5:8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.    

Above you will find passages from scriptures about the twofold purpose of this expectation. It would be good to ask your students – Why did Jesus come to earth? to see what they think. What was God’s plan in sending Jesus to earth? This is God’s plan for salvation. God gives us the faith we need to believe. We need to live in such a way that we grow the faith that we are given. One way to grow the faith we are given is to spread the good news of Jesus with everyone. To live as Jesus lived is another way. As a community of faith, the Church has a mission to spread the good news of Jesus to all people.

Grade Five LS 3.1: Identify signs of diversity within the Church (many gifts, cultures, nationalities, charisms expressed in diverse forms of prayer and celebration, e.g., devotions, saints, cultural signs attached to the sacraments, etc.). [CCC nos. 811-822] I would read the passage from 1 Corinthians 12:12-30. Invite the students to think about the truth of the passage: the body is made of many parts and each part is important because of the function it has for the whole body’s welfare. Just as the body has a diversity of parts, so does the Church. There are many people in the Church who possess many gifts: some read, some carry up gifts, some give donations, some serve the priest at mass, some sing, some decorate the Church, etc. There are many cultures in the Church. Our church exists in almost all the countries of the world. The Church celebrates the mass in the language of the people in attendance. There are many spirit gifts (charisms), some listed in the reading from 1 Cor.: prophecy, teaching, deeds of power, healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, and many more. There are many ways to pray and celebrate. Ask your class to research different ways to pray. Ask your class to research different devotions. Ask your class to research cultural signs attached to the sacraments. Sometimes we think that our experience is normative. There are many different signs of diversity within the Church and we may not know about it because it is not in our experience. I would be willing to do a lesson about this with you in your class.

Grade Six LS 3.1: Name several of the diverse religions that are present in their community and compare some of the ways they celebrate God’s presence at special moments of human life (i.e., birth, marriage, death, days of religious observance, feasts and festivals, images of God). [CCC nos. 811-822] It would be important to check the telephone book to see the diverse religions in your community. In Sault Ste. Marie, we have many Christian denominations, we have a Jewish synagogue, we have a new mosque and a Muslim prayer room, we have the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Croatian Catholic Church. We also have the Ba’hai community. We have traditional First Nations peoples. We have a small group of Buddhists. We have some Sikhs. It would be good for the students to research the groups that they have in their community to see how the groups different in the ways that they celebrate God’s presence at special moments of human life as listed above. It is important to know that Buddhism is a philosophy and not a religious tradition. Buddhists do not believe in a God but a way of living. I can be a resource person for you. I have taught World Religions and have resources that you may want to check out.

Twenty-first Century Education > Premature Twins Hold Hands on Daddy’s Chest > Inspirational Video, 1.16 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

Bénezet – This saint was a shepherd who built a bridge — and became known as Bénezet the Bridge Builder. One day Bénezet had a dream or vision in which he was told he should build a bridge at a certain spot over the Rhone River, because many travelers had lost their lives trying to cross there. Building a bridge was NOT exactly what a shepherd would actually do! But Bénezet must have believed strongly that this was what God WANTED him to do, so he went to the local bishop and told him about his dream and asked for help. Amazingly, the bishop gave his approval for this gigantic task. For the next seven years, Bénezet worked on this project, and with God’s help, was able to get all the materials necessary and solve all the engineering problems involved in building a stone bridge across a large river. Bénezet died before the bridge was completed; but during the time he worked on it, many miracles had been reported as a result of the prayers of this shepherd-bridge-builder. After Bénezet died, the people of the town honoured him as a saint and finished building his bridge! Can you imagine starting a project as big as building a bridge, with no money and no experience? Many of the saints were able to accomplish stupendous feats that SEEMED impossible –not because of their own ability but because they put their faith and trust in God and firmly believed he would be at their side to help them. If you ever have a job that seems IMPOSSIBLE, remember the shepherd who built a bridge; then ask God to help YOU too!”  p. 33

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

All Things Bishop by Pat Carter csj

  1. When a priest is installed as a bishop he must have this created…B. coat of arms
  2. Bishop Marcel Damphousse was born in this province B. Manitoba
  3. Bishop Marcel Damphousse first served as bishop in the diocese of A. Alexandria-Cornwall
  4. Bishop Marcel Damphousse will be the diocese of Sault Ste. Marie’s C. sixth bishop
  5. Bishop Marcel Damphousse was born on which saint’s feast day   D. St. Joseph (March 19th)


All Things Bishop by Pat Carter csj

  1. To become a bishop a man must have all these qualifications except       A. Ordained priest           B.praying person        C. married person       D. collaborator
  1. To be installed as a bishop there needs to be     A. Other bishops           B.priests                     C. deacons                 D. Knights of Columbus


  1. If a bishop is installed in one diocese, he is simply transferred to another diocese. T or F
  1. There are three sectors in the diocese of Sault Ste. Marie which include     A. English speaking people        B. French speaking people        C. Ojibwa speaking people        D. All of the above
  1. Every bishop has a church called a Cathedral.     T or F

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

The Revenant > This movie is playing in theatres now. This is a complex tale of times long past. It is about how the Americans and the First Nations peoples participated in the fur trade, sometimes as allies and sometimes as enemies. It is graphically violent and I would not recommend children of any age seeing it. I am going to see it a second time this evening because there is so much symbolism that I still have not completely understood the movie.

I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5

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

Minus 40 degrees Celsius is exactly the same as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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