Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 3rd, 2016

DSC_4939Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Give thanks to the Lord for God is good.” Psalm 118

April 3rd is Divine Mercy Sunday – Second Sunday of Easter

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

As you come into church today, be conscious of those around you. Does anyone seem anxious? Be mindful to reach out to this person during the sign of peace. What helps you to find peace in the midst of anxiety?

Reflect on the Word – Thomas believed because he saw. What is the reason for your belief in Jesus Christ? Do you experience times of doubt? What helps you to move from doubt to faith?

Act on the Word – Alleluia! This week, resolve to be a peacemaker. In situations of conflict, take active steps to bring compromise, resolution, and/or peace. When anxious, turn to Jesus in prayer, mindful or his promise of peace. Ask your family to include a sign of peace before or after meals, or at bedtime. Notice the difference this action makes in your interactions at home. At school, consider ways you may be a presence of peace rather than of discord. Be conscious of national or international situations of violence, war, injustice, or hatred. When possible, act to take a stand for peace through communication with lawmakers and action with or donation to Catholic organizations that are committed to being just and peaceful resolutions to such situations. At the end of the week, take stock of the differences this commitment to peace made for you and for others, and identify ways you will continue to be a person who shares Christ’s peace.”

Wrapping it Up – What often contributes to your moments of doubt or disbelief? What most often contributes to growth in faith and belief in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God? 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 177, 180

Sunday of Divine Mercy – On April 30, 2000, St. John Paul II the Great canonized St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun and visionary to whom Christ had appeared with red and white rays streaming from his heart, an image that has since become famous as the “Divine Mercy.” St. Faustina realized that God sees the world through the wounds of his Son, and that God’s gaze is full of mercy and love. We need not fear, therefore, but only trust in Jesus. The Divine Mercy chaplet is a special prayer using Rosary beads, but with a different sequence of prayers, emphasizing the saving Passion of Christ. One of the prayers of the chaplet summarizes the devotion, which focuses on Christ’s Passion and God’s mercy: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Another prayer associated with the Divine Mercy devotion is a novena of prayer concluding on the Sunday of Divine Mercy (thus beginning on Good Friday). On each day of the novena, a different group is prayed for, encompassing, by Divine Mercy Sunday, the whole world. It is a prayer of trust in the love of Christ.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 19

Holy Year of Mercy

Merciful like the Father, therefore, is the “motto” of this Holy Year. In mercy, we find proof of how God loves us. He gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return. He comes to our aid whenever we call upon him. What a beautiful thing that the Church begins her daily prayer with the words, “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me” (Ps. 70:2)! The assistance we ask for is already the first step of God’s mercy toward us. He comes to assist us in our weakness. And his help consists in helping us accept his presence and closeness to us. Day after day, touched by his compassion, we also can become compassionate towards others.” Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy, page 126

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

“There is no hospitality like understanding.” Vanna Bonta, Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel


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…

At the same National Event, TRC Honorary Witness Patsy George paid tribute to the strength of Aboriginal women and their contributions to the reconciliation process despite the oppression and violence they have experienced. She said, Women have always been a beacon of hope for me. Mothers and grandmothers in the lives of our children, and in the survival of our communities, must be recognized and supported. The justified rage we all feel and share today must be turned into instruments of transformation of our hearts and our souls, clearing the ground for respect, love, honesty, humility, wisdom and truth. We owe it to all those who suffered, and we owe it to the children of today and tomorrow. May this day and the days ahead bring us peace and justice.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians from all walks of life spoke to us about the importance of reaching out to one another in ways that create hope for a better future. Whether one is First Nations, Inuit, Métis, a descendant of European settlers, a member of a minority group that suffered historical discrimination in Canada, or a new Canadian, we all inherit both the benefits and obligations of Canada. We are all Treaty people who share responsibility for taking action on reconciliation.

Without truth, justice, and healing, there can be no genuine reconciliation. Reconciliation is not about “closing a sad chapter of Canada’s past,” but about opening new healing pathways of reconciliation that are forged in truth and justice. We are mindful that knowing the truth about what happened in residential schools in and of itself does not necessarily lead to reconciliation. Yet, the importance of truth telling in its own right should not be underestimated; it restores the human dignity of victims of violence and calls governments and citizens to account. Without truth, justice is not served, healing cannot happen, and there can be no genuine reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Speaking to us at the Traditional

Knowledge Keepers Forum in June of 2014, Elder Dave Courchene posed a critical question: “When you talk about truth, whose truth are you talking about?”

Remember we are all treaty people! Let us work for reconciliation in our lives and in our relationships.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Communion ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

  • Strive to integrate faith with all arenas of their life, personal, social, academic, etc. in order to show God’s love and promote God’s reign on earth;
  • Appreciate what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ and accept the responsibility of this gift;
  • Appreciate the role of the Holy Spirit in initiating believers into the communion of saints, forming them for a life of service and promoting in them a holy and virtuous life.

Grade Seven LC 1.1: Identify how the Church has promoted the Fourth Commandment (Honour your father and mother) by the witness of solidarity with society, promoting issues of social justice and its social teaching. [CCC nos. 2197-2257] After God the Ten Commandments tells us to honour our parents “to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the knowledge of God.” [CCC 2197] “The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honour, affection and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country and to those who administer or govern it.” [CCC 2199] “The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honour God and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society. The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs…” [CCC 2207-2208]   I would ask your class “How do you honour your father and mother?” “Do you also honour your grandparents, aunties, uncles… how do you honour them?” “Who taught you how to care and to take on responsibilities?” “Did your parents teach you to honour people outside of your family?” “How do you honour your teachers, your principal, the police, the bus driver?” “If something happened to the family who lives next door to you, would your family reach out to support that family?” It seems clear how parents are to be honoured by their children, and children are to be care for by their parents. The fourth commandment also “enjoins us to honour all who for our good have received authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those who benefit from it. Those who exercise authority should do so as a service.” [CCC 2234-2235] “Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person.” [CCC 2237] This is why the Serbian people are leaving their country because they do not trust their leader to respect their rights as humans. “It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity.” [CCC 2239] Do you know someone who exercises authority as a service? Do you know someone in political leadership who is serving out of love for their country? Would you consider serving your country because you value our rights and freedoms as Canadians? Can you see the connection between this service and the Fourth Commandment.

Grade Eight LS 3.1: Examine a selection of scripture passages to identify the nature of Jesus’s mission and the role of the Holy Spirit in the mission of Jesus and of the Church (Lk. 4:14-30; Jn. 20:21; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Tim 1:13-14; 2 Cor. 13:14; Matt. 28:19)

Scripture passage Nature of Jesus’ mission Role of the Holy Spirit
Luke 4:14-30 Jesus has come to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, to recover the sight of the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim that the Lord’s favour. The Holy Spirit inspires Jesus when he speaks. He speaks the words that God the Father wants him to share. By sharing these words and working to help those who need help, Jesus is building the kingdom of God on earth.   Some would say that the Holy Spirit is helping Jesus to build the Church – who will continue once Jesus ascends to heaven.
Jn. 20:21 Jesus shares God’s peace with his disciples and asks them to share God’s peace with others. The Holy Spirit inspires Jesus to share God’s peace. The Holy Spirit will remind the disciples of Jesus’ words and they will share God’s peace with others.
2 Peter 1:20-21 Peter is telling the disciples of Jesus that the prophecy in the scriptures comes as part of Jesus’ mission, it comes from God and not from the person speaking it or sharing it. The Holy Spirit moves the men and women who share the prophecy in the scriptures. These prophecies have power in the Church because the Holy Spirit inspires them for God’s work.
2 Tim 1:13-14 Paul is sharing with Timothy in this second letter that it is important to keep the standard of sound teaching from me.

This is the mission of Jesus, he tells him to guard the treasure of faith and love that are entrusted to you.

Paul is reminding Timothy that his teaching is from the Holy Spirit. We believe as Christians that the Holy Spirit is the way we can keep the faith. The Holy Spirit keeps the faith a unchanging treasure that we ought to guard.
2 Cor. 13:14 Paul ends his second letter to the Christians in Corinth by praying that Jesus’ grace, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit will be with the whole community in Corinth. The Holy Spirit keeps the spirit of communion (unity in the community) alive and strong. In this way the Church on earth will be alive and well.
Matt. 28:19 Jesus sends his disciples on a mission, to continue his mission, to make disciples of all nations on earth by baptizing them in the name of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit has continued to inspire the Church to continue this mission to this day, more than 2000 days later.

Invite the students in your class to work in groups to complete a chart similar to this one. These passages are quite explicit. It is a perfect activity for Eastertide. Simply remove the writing from the chart and make the font size larger. Remember to keep a copy so you have the answer sheet already for taking up the students work.

This expectation is from the strand Living in Solidarity. Jesus’ mission and the role of the Holy Spirit are key to understanding Living in Solidarity.

Twenty-first Century Education > A Psalm of Renewal – a mini movie that is renewing of our spirits in faith. 1.22 min > Casting Crowns – ‘Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) – 4.48 min Music Video > He’s Still Risen – Inspirational video – a Mini movie showing how the resurrection could make us feel if we were open to it. 1.35 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

Cajetan – You might call this saint the “Loan arRanger”! Or maybe not. You might even call him the first one to run a pawn shop. Or at least the first one to start a credit union. Cajetan accomplished a great many things in his life. Of noble parentage, he received university degrees in both canon and civil law. He was a senator and was appointed to a lofty position by the pope. But he chose to leave all this to work with the poor and sick in Rome, going through the streets and into the shacks, seeking out those who needed help. His friends were shocked that he would do such “dirty” work, but Cajetan wanted to serve others. When he saw that moneylenders were taking advantage of poor people by charging them huge interest rates, Cajetan decided that he would put a stop to that. He began a business that would make loans to poor people and charge them fair interest rates. It could be compared to today’s credit unions, where employees can make low-cost loans, OR to pawn shops, where people can take something they own and get a loan on it until they can afford to “buy it back.” Since the poor often have times when they desperately need to make a loan to get by for a while, the people were very grateful to Cajetan for arranging it so they could make a loan without being cheated. And that’s why you COULD call Cajetan the Loan Arranger! Did you ever watch any old movies about the Lone Ranger – a man who wore a mask and rode a while horse and helped people in trouble? Well – except for the mask – he sounds a bit like St. Cajetan! The ones who SHOULD have worn the mask were the moneylenders, who were cheating the poor people! Do YOU ever feel so ashamed of something you have done that you feel like you should hide behind a mask? If that ever happens, make a confession right away. After you say you’re sorry and receive the sacrament of penance, you can promise to never do something so bad again – so you’ll never have to feel so bad again!” pp. 43-45

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

The Dignity of Life by David O’Brien

  1. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
  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

The Dignity of Life by David O’Brien

  1. People who kill themselves go straight to hell. T or F
  2. Jesus’ original ____________________ didn’t know what to do until the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost.             A. Sheep         B.altar servers        C. disciples      D. saints
  1. Every country should make sure that people have food, shelter, health care, education, and emergency help if they need it.       T or F
  1. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appears as tongues of _____________.   A. martyrs   B. doves        C. cows     D. fire
  1. The Holy Spirit descended upon ___________________________ and she became pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God.    A. The Trinity         B. Mary    C. the Church   D. Elizabeth

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

Zootopia – This movie may be at the theatres still. I don’t know if it is on PPV yet. It is a great movie. I enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed the lessons it taught. I enjoyed the music. Great movie for children and those young at heart. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥/5.

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

“The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear. Any cup-shaped object placed over the ear produces the same effect.”

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