Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning March 27th, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“This is the day the Lord has made.” Ps. 118

March 27th is Easter Sunday: Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord

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

How has your participation in Holy Week prepared you to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection? As you prepare for the celebration of Easter, what is in your mind and heart?

Reflect on the Word – What is the meaning of Easter for you? How does Christ’s Resurrection change everything?

Act on the Word – Alleluia! We have concluded the season of Lent; prayed through the Sacred Paschal Triduum; and now, we enter Easter Time. Like Lent, Easter Time is a season, one that lasts fifty days. Often, we make resolutions for Lent and seem to breathe a sigh of relief when Easter Time arrives. This week, think about how you will live Easter Time for the coming fifty days. How will you shape your life in ways that reflect the Resurrection and life of Christ with and for us? Make a list of Resurrection actions that you will resolve to do in the coming season. How will those around you know that for you, this too is sacred time?

Wrapping it Up – What is your response to the Resurrection story? What is the meaning of the Resurrection for Christians? For you as a person of faith?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 170, 176


Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord – “Easter Sunday crowns the Triduum celebrations and begins a new period of time within the liturgical year. Easter Sunday is the pattern and purpose for all other Sunday celebrations of the year. Having fasted from the Gloria and Alleluias during Lent, both return with joyous song on this day. Like all other Sundays, two readings and a Psalm precede the Gospel. The First Reading now comes from the Acts of the Apostles. Easter Sunday begins a time of reflecting upon how the followers of Jesus came to receive and understand Christ’s Resurrection of the dead. On Easter Sunday, a special Sequence is sung before the Gospel account. In beautiful poetry, it speaks of the joy of the disciples at the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection. [In Canada,] the priest renews the baptismal promises of the faithful and sprinkles them with the fresh waters of Baptism blessed at the Vigil. The Liturgy of the Eucharist follows as normal. Like the Vigil, Easter Sunday concludes with a dismissal to go in peace, which is followed by a double Alleluia. This punctuates the day with a final exclamation mark signifying the extraordinary works God has done for those who place their faith and trust in his saving works. Alleluia! Alleluia!” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 16-17

Octave of Easter – “Easter Time, like Christmas Time, is too big for just one day: it overflows into an entire period of liturgical time, lasting fifty days. The first eight days, the Octave of Easter, is a time of special celebration, lasting until the Second Sunday of Easter. In the early Church, the neophytes – those who had been baptized at the Easter Vigil – wore their white garments throughout the week. In fact, the Second Sunday of Easter was called Dominica in albis, “Sunday in white” because of this! Today, our liturgy marks these special days with the singing of the Gloria and the Alleluia, and with the Easter Sequence, Victimae Paschali laudes, “Christians, to the Paschal Victim,” which recalls the meeting of Mary Magdalene with the risen Christ. “Speak, Mary, declaring / What thou sawest, wayfaring. / ‘The tomb of Christ, who is living; / The glory of Jesus’ resurrection; / Bright angels attesting; / The shroud and napkin resting.’” During the Masses of this week, we hear the Gospel accounts of the appearances of the risen Christ to his disciples, and we begin reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which we will hear throughout Easter Time. The Resurrection changes everything: it made fearful disciples fearless, and doubters believers. It can do the same for us.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 18-19

Month of April – “The word April means “to open.” This is the time of year that leaf and flower buds open. In most northern countries, this is a month of transformation. The day is now longer than the night. Even if the nights are still chilly, the daytime sun is strong and growing stronger. The earth itself seems to take part in the Passover of the Lord.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 58

Month of the Holy Eucharist – “During the month of April, we give special honour to the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist, the Second Vatican Council taught us, is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, 11). What does that mean? It means that our participation in the Eucharist is the source from which we draw our strength to live as Jesus taught and to serve in his name. It is also the summit, the high point of our communal life. We use the word Eucharist to describe our celebration of the Mass. We use the same word when we speak of the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. In this month of the Holy Eucharist, let us participate more fully and actively in the Church’s liturgy, our celebration of the Eucharist. And let us take time, too, for quiet adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and become more aware of the wondrous way Christ comes to us in the Eucharist.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 58-59

April Fools’ Day – The first of April probably became All Fools’ Day in 1564. That was the year the French began to use the new Gregorian calendar. A few centuries before that, Christians had moved the start of the year from January 1 to March 1, Annunciation Day. Everyone celebrated the New Year for eight days. On April 1, the festival ended with parties where gifts were exchanged. In 1564, the first of January once again became the first day of the year, but some people loved the old custom. They didn’t give up their New Year’s parties on April 1. They were called “April fools.” Nowadays in France an April fool is called a poisson d’avril, an “April fish.” Young fish that appear in streams around this time of year are more easily caught than older, cagier fish. French shops sell chocolates shaped like fish for the occasion. People try to pin paper fish on each other’s backs as a joke. In some places in England, an April fool is called a “noddy.” In Scotland on this day, don’t let anyone send you out searching for hen’s teeth or pigeon milk, or you’ll be called a “gowk” – a cuckoo!” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 59

Holy Year of Mercy

“The Lord is merciful and gracious.” Psalm 103

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

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.” Phil. 4:4

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.

I must apologize…when the final report came out there were large edits. So I am going to put here a section that was not selected before…

Over the past five years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada urged Canadians not to wait until our final report was issued before contributing to the reconciliation process. We have been encouraged to see that across the country, many people have been answering that call.

The youth of this country are taking up the challenge of reconciliation. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth who attended the National Events made powerful statements about why reconciliation matters to them. At the Alberta National Event

in Edmonton in March 2014, an Indigenous youth spoke on behalf of a national Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration known as the “4Rs Youth Movement.” Jessica Bolduc said,

We have re-examined our thoughts and beliefs around colonialism, and have made a commitment to unpack our own baggage, and to enter into a new relationship with each other, using this momentum, to move our country forward, in light of the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in 2017.

At this point in time, we ask ourselves, “What does that anniversary mean for us,as Indigenous youth and non-Indigenous youth, and how do we arrive at that day with something we can celebrate together?” … Our hope is that, one day, we will live together, as recognized nations, within a country we can all be proud of.

In 2013, at the British Columbia National Event in Vancouver, where over 5,000 elementary and secondary school students attended Education Day, several non-Aboriginal youth talked about what they had learned. Matthew Meneses said, “I’ll never forget this day. This is the first day they ever told us about residential schools. If I were to see someone who’s Aboriginal, I’d ask them if they can speak their language because I think speaking their language is a pretty cool thing.” Antonio Jordao said, “It makes me sad for those kids. They took them away from their homes—it was torture, it’s not fair. They took them away from their homes. I don’t agree with that. It’s really wrong. That’s one of the worst things that Canada did.” Cassidy Morris said, “It’s good that we’re finally learning about what happened.” Jacqulyn Byers told us, “I hope that events like this are able to bring closure to the horrible things that happened, and that a whole lot of people now recognize that the crime happened and that we need to make amends for it.”

Remember we are all treaty people!

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Communion ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

  • Recognize Jesus as a companion and friend who travels with them on the journey of their lives;
  • Appreciate what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ and accept the responsibility of this gift;
  • Participate as an active member in the prayer life of the Communion of Saints to help those saints among us and those who have gone before us and who are in need of our prayers;
  • Recognize and believe in Mary as the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church.

Grade Four LC 1.1: Identify through selected scripture passages (Jewish and Christian scriptures) the names, images and symbols of the Church which describe its origin, foundation and mission in the plan of God’s salvation. [CCC nos. 748-769]

Scripture Passage What it says
1 Cor. 3:9 For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Rom. 11:16 If part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.
Isaiah 51:7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people who have my teaching in your hearts; do not fear the reproach of others, and do not be dismayed when they revile you.
John 15: 1-5 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine and you are the branches.
Acts 4:11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.
1 Cor. 3: 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.
Eph. 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Rev. 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.
Rev. 21:2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
John 10:2-5 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.   The gatekeeper opens the gate from him and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.
Isaiah 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Ezekiel 34:11-12 For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

In these passages from the Scriptures there are some names, images and symbols of the Church. Some of the images started in the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) and continued into the Christian idea of Church.

Some of the images/symbols of the Church identified are: God’s building/household/home; God’s Vine and branches; God’s city; and God’s sheepfold. Explain what an image or symbol is – “one thing represents another thing”. For example the idea of Church can be symbolized by a building with a cross on it OR it can be symbolized by a group of believers/people. Ask the students to work with a partner with one of the passages above. Ask them if they can see an image or symbol of the Church. Ask the class the following questions: 1. Who do you think started the Church? 2. How did they start the Church? 3. Why did they start the Church? Have a conversation about why Jesus wanted the apostles to form a Church.

Grade Five LC 1.2: Identify how members of the Church witness to God’s universal love, to the nature of the Church being “catholic” and to the promotion of relationships with non-Christians (i.e. Muslims) and other paths of missionary witness. [CCC nos. 830-856] Ask your students what does the word catholic mean? No doubt the students will try to explain that it is a particular form of Christian church. However, “the word “catholic” means “universal” in the sense of “according to the totality” or “in keeping with the whole.”” CCC 830. The Church is catholic in a double sense: 1. the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. Christ’s presence makes the Church whole; 2. The church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of humanity to share the Good News of salvation. CCC 830. In order for the church to really be Church we must witness to God’s universal love for everyone. Ask your students – Did Jesus only love some people? No, Jesus loved everyone, even his enemies. It is important to live a life of love as a member of the Catholic church otherwise we are not being true witnesses. When we live a life of love we can show others how to live this way. Not just other Catholics, or other Christians, but all people of all faiths, all ethnic backgrounds, all racial groups…we are called to love everyone. All people were created by God so they deserve to be treated as children of God. As Catholic Christians we are called to make disciples of all the nations. And sometimes people feel a vocation, a calling to be missionaries. To go to other countries to share their faith with other people. Perhaps you may experience a call to become a missionary to the people of Africa or Asia. How would you live in order to teach others about how God loves everyone?

Grade Six LC 1.1: With reference to Church Tradition, outline some of the many forms of consecrated religious life within the Church (priestly, monastic, cloistered religious life i.e. Carmelite nuns and monks; orders and congregations i.e. Franciscan and Dominican order) and describe how and why they live out the evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience). [CCC 914-933] I would love to come into Grade 6 classes to teach students about this expectation. I can speak from a lived experience and it would be fun to do. I would begin to teach this expectation by explaining that within the Church’s Tradition there are four main vocations (ways to live our lives of faith.) The four main ways are single life, married life, priestly life and religious life. Religious life is not more religious than the other three but it has been called this for a long time. Within religious life there are many ways to live a consecrated (vowed) life. It is like there is a continuum from strictly cloistered to freely apostolic (with many differences in between.) Cloistered means that the people living this way are called to a silent life called apart from others. Generally speaking they do not leave their monastery very often and spend a great deal of time in silence and prayer. Apostolic means that the people living this way are called to service in the world and they live in community (with others.) All of these people are called to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. Poverty means that they share everything they have with others; chastity means that they love everyone without special types of exclusive relationships (like marriages) and obedience means to listen to God every day in prayer. Following God’s will not necessarily their own will. Some men in religious life live as priests as well as religious. Some men in religious life are not priests too. Video resources are available on Youtube: Christian Vocation: It All Begins with a Call 2.24 min; Eight Common Myths about Religious Life 4.22 min

I would recommend any of the VISION Vocation Guide videos on Youtube. They come from credible sources. There are 39 such videos.


Twenty-first Century Education > An Easter Story as told by children – 3.39 min   “An Easter Story” is a short, fun, documentary style telling of the Easter story featuring kids playing the parts of those who were there. It has it’s quirky, fun moments and serious heart string tugging moments all in three and a half minutes. A great way to celebrate that He is risen! > The Journey to Easter – 3.27 min – a mini movie showing some of the scenes of Jesus’ life, passion, death and resurrection. No words, just images and instrumental music. Could be used for a reflection during Easter Week. > Jesus Calling – An Inspirational video – 1.29 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. > 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

Brigid (Bride)– Did you know there was a saint named Bride? Well, that was her nickname, but her real name was Brigid. She was a very famous lady in Ireland and founded a monastery that became a centre of learning and spirituality. She also founded a school of art where they made illustrated “illuminated” manuscripts that became famous. It is said that this “Bride” was patient, prayerful, firm, faithful, forgiving, and helpful to anyone in trouble. In spite of her many achievements, it is also said that she BLUSHED every time she spoke. Did you ever blush or know someone who blushed – turned red in the face at the most embarrassing times? Today would be a good time to fix yourself a Strawberry Blush. Just mix some milk with mashed-up fresh or frozen strawberries and add some sugar if you like. As you sip your Blush, remember Saint “Bride” and think what you could do to become patient, prayerful, firm, faithful, forgiving, and helpful to anyone in trouble. And if you think you could never be ALL those things, at least you could try to be SOME of them!” pp. 42-43

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

Triduum by Pat Carter csj

  1. Triduum is an ecclesiastical term which draws its meaning from its Latin roots, tres (three) and  dies (trees).        T or F
  1. It is only used to signify the three-day period of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. T or F
  1. Maundy Thursday is another name for the Thursday of Holy Week. T or F
  1. Good Friday is the only day of the year on which Mass is not said. T or F
  1. The vestments are purple on Good Friday to signify the last day of Lent. T or F

The Dignity of Life by David O’Brien

  1. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy __________________.
  1. The Holy Spirit is God. T or F
  1. The 5th commandment says: “Thou shall not _________________________.    A.commit adultery                 B. lie                            C. steal                                                D. kill
  1. It is never okay to do scientific experiments on _________________________ without their permission.   A. people     B. pigs      C. frogs       D. mice
  1. “After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and …he saw the Spirit of God descending like a _____________________[and] coming upon him.” (Matthew 3:16)     A. pterodactyl          B. pigeon        C. dove         D. gust of wind

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

Brooklyn – This movie is available on PPV and at video rental places. It is a love story about a young Irish girl and her new life in America. It shows the struggle of new immigrants who are living in a new culture and away from all that is familiar to them. It is a great story. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5.

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

The bagpipe was originally made from the whole skin of a dead sheep.”

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