Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 17th, 2016
Quote to carry in your heart for the week.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep and my own know me.” John 10:14
April 17th is Fourth Sunday of Easter and World Day of Prayer for Vocations
“Prepare for the Word – Use these questions to prepare yourself to hear the readings before attend Mass.
Look back on the week that has just passed. In what ways has your faith directed your life? For what are you thankful as you prepare to celebrate the liturgy today?
Reflect on the Word – Who helps you hear the voice of the Lord? In what ways are you called to help others hear Christ’s voice?
Act on the Word – Alleluia! This week, think about your future. Ask three people you trust to share their impressions or insights about you, your skills and talents, the things you do well. You may tell these people that you are working on a special project, to alleviate any discomfort in inviting their reflections. If you include good friends your age in your group of three, you could also share with them the skills, abilities and talents you see in them. Keep notes about what your group of three shares about you; pray with their insights. Add what they share to your own reflections about your future. Keep a small slip of paper or note card in your Bible with any ideas about your future vocation, to religious life or priesthood, single or married life, and/or to any field of study or career you are considering.
Wrapping it Up Hearing the Voice of the Shepherd ~ Discernment: For this activity, invite a priest, deacon, consecrated religious, married, and committed single person to join your class if possible. Invite them to share their experience of discernment of vocation, including the role of others in helping them hear and respond to the call of Christ. Remind the participants that discernment is a process of individual reflection supported and/or challenged by the community of faith. One may sense a call to religious life, for example, and the religious order also has a role in the discernment of the individual. This is true in the discernment of career as well: not only do friends and family support and affirm one’s choice of career, the university, college, or training program will also affirm or challenge the appropriateness of the choice. The process of discernment requires healthy self-awareness and the ability to see one’s talents, gifts, abilities, and skills, as well as areas in which the individual may not have the ability or talent for a particular field or vocation. As the teens participate in the discussion to follow, encourage them to be honest in their self-appraisal, and to be open to hearing the affirmation or questions of others. Invite the youth to ask questions or offer their own experiences with the visitors. Then, ask the visitors to join the teens in small group conversations. Ask each teen to share his or her thoughts about vocational calls in relationship to state of life (priesthood, religious life, married or single) and career and/or field of study. What do they sense through prayer and attentiveness to their experience? What do others offer in support, affirmation, or challenge to the vocational calls they consider?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 185, 188
Let us pray every day this week for the people in Attawapiskat and their youth. May this crisis of suicide that they are experiencing be addressed by mental health professionals. May our prayers bring them consolation and peace.
April 17 is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. “The Fourth Sunday of Easter is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, because the readings and prayers speak of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Since 1964, this day has also been designated the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Paul VI instituted this day of prayer to Christ, the great shepherd of souls, that Christ might inspire many young men and women to dedicate their lives to service in the Church. Our need today is greater than ever. We need priests to build up the Body of Christ by celebrating the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. We need dedicated, religious women and men to pray, to teach, and to serve in the name of Christ. Today, let us pray in obedience to Christ, who told his disciples to “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38)…” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 21
April 22nd is Earth Day. “Perhaps the most important thing the astronauts on the first trip to the moon did was bring back photos of Earth. Until that time, most people probably thought of their planet as a larger version of a globe, with every country a different colour edged by visible borders. In the historic 1969 photos we earthlings saw a very different picture. The earth was mostly a vast blue ocean misted with clouds. No borders between nations could be seen on the land masses. Citizens of Earth were reminded that we all share the same home. Just at the time the photographs appeared in magazines, scientists found out that almost every creature in Lake Erie had been killed by pollution. This discovery made many people aware of the dangers we humans cause ourselves and the creatures who share our planet, by the ways we treat out air, farmland, and water. The first Earth day was held in 1970, and people came together all over the United States to show their concern. Since then new laws and new [government ministries] have been created in [Canada with the mandate to protect our earthly home.] Lake Erie has been cleaned. Some dangerous pesticides have been banned from use for growing fruits and vegetables. Air pollution from lead, a serious problem not long ago, has all but disappeared. That’s the good news. But we’ve found new reasons for concern, too. Around the world, millions of square kilometres of tropical rain forest are being burned. Pollution from factories and automobiles is killing northern forests. Pollution also may be causing holes to open up in the protective ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere. The problem is global. Air pollution created in [Canada] doesn’t stop at the borders. It drifts into [United States]. It travels to Europe. Eventually it circles the world. We need to act as united citizens of the planet to protect the environment. [The 2015 Paris Climate Conference brought together world leaders to sign an agreement to limit global warming to 2º. Developed countries were invited to make contributions to a Fund so that developing countries could be supported in their efforts to participate.] During Easter Time, we Christians celebrate a reverence of all life. In the First Reading of the Easter Vigil, we hear how God created the earth and called it good. Today we pray that our children’s children will still be able to describe it that way.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 63
Holy Year of Mercy
“And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead….Let us not forget the words of St. John of the Cross: “as we prepare to leave this life, we will be judged on the basis of love.” Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy, page 128-129
Opening Doors of Mercy ~ Mercy that Forgives – a quote for the week
One forgives to the degree that one loves.” Francois de La Rochefoucauld
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…
Survivor and the child of Survivors Vitaline Elsie Jenner said, “I’m quite happy to be able to share my story…. I want the people of Canada to hear, to listen, for it is the truth…. I also want my grandchildren to learn, to learn from me that, yes, it did happen.”
Another descendant of Survivors, Daniel Elliot, told the Commission, I think all Canadians need to stop and take a look and not look away. Yeah, it’s embarrassing, yeah, it’s an ugly part of our history. We don’t want to know about it. What I want to see from the Commission is to rewrite the history books so that other generations will understand and not go through the same thing that we’re going through now, like it never happened.
President of the Métis National Council Clement Chartier spoke to the Commission about the importance of truth to justice and reconciliation. At the Saskatchewan National Event, he said, The truth is important. So I’ll try to address the truth and a bit of reconciliation as well. The truth is that the Métis Nation, represented by the Métis National Council, is not a party to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement…. And the truth is that the exclusion of the Métis Nation or the Métis as a people is reflected throughout this whole period not only in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement but in the apology made by Canada as well….We are, however, the products … of the same assimilationist policy that the federal government foisted upon the Treaty Indian kids. So there ought to be some solution…. The Métis boarding schools, residential schools, are excluded. And we need to ensure that everyone was aware of that and hopefully some point down the road, you will help advocate and get, you know, the governments or whoever is responsible to accept responsibility and to move forward on a path to reconciliation, because reconciliation should be for all Aboriginal peoples and not only some Aboriginal peoples. http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Honouring_the_Truth_Reconciling_for_the_Future_July_23_2015.pdf
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 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 1.2: Describe how the Church strives to be “one” (i.e. common faith, worship-celebration, and teaching) and identify what the Church continues to do to promote this greater unity with other Christian Churches and Religions (ecumenical dialogue). [CCC nos. 811-822] I would start class by praying the Nicene Creed. Many of our students do not know we have two official Creeds in the Church. [Apostolic and Nicene – Apostolic is older one] Once we have prayed as the students what the following line means: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Catholic is purposefully spelled with a lower case c because in this case it means universal. “These four characteristics … indicate essential features of the Church and her mission.” CCC 811 The Church receives these characteristics from Christ through the Holy Spirit. If you go to any Roman Catholic Church for mass, the mass is always the same worship celebration. The language may be different but the mass is the same order, same ritual, and by this we are “one.” We all profess the same Creed – so we believe in the same faith. We all have the same teaching through the bishops. So the Church is ONE! Initially all Christians belonged to one church. Now we have different denominations of Christians but we all believe in Christ. We may not believe all the same teachings, or worship the same way, but we are ONE in our faith in Christ. The Christian Churches have inter-denominational conversations working to bring the churches together on certain matters of faith. This is to promote greater unity with other Christian Churches. The Church also promotes dialogue with other non-Christians to find common ground and purpose for the Common Good.
Grade Five LC 1.3: Connect the missionary and apostolic qualities of the Christian community i.e. mission and service of the Church, to the priestly, prophetic and royal roles and responsibilities of being a Christian in the life and mission of their school community (e.g. examine their own commitment to including/excluding others, advocate against injustice, service projects). [CCC nos. 783-786] From the CCC we read “Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bear the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them. One entering the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in this people’s unique, priestly vocation:…The Baptized, by regeneneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. The holy People of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office,…we are to become witnesses to the world. Finally, the people of God shares in the royal office of Christ. …Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all,” and so we too are called imitate his example by serving our brothers and sisters. [783-786]
I would invite your students to identify the ways that they bring life and witness to their faith in their school community. Are they responsible for helping others? Are they willing to speak up when they witness something that is not right or fair? Are they will to participate in projects identified by the school to make the community/city/world a better place? Do they include others in their work and play OR do they exclude certain classmates and schoolmates because they do not like them? We are invited by Jesus to be missionaries that is to act like he did. To live the Mission of Jesus. We are called to work like the apostles to spread the good news to everyone around us…by acting like Jesus did.
Grade Six LC 1.2: Identify and explain the nature of ministry within the Church (e.g., its hierarchical structure, the role of teaching, sanctifying and governing offices and how they are exercised). [CCC nos. 871-896] The Church is the people of God and we belong to God’s people through our baptism. Through our baptism we become sharers in Christ’s priestly, prophetic and royal office and we are called to exercise the mission which God has offered us according to the talents and gifts God has given us. We, as the people of God, are invited to spread the Good News of Christ to everyone by our words and our actions. We are referred to as the LAITY in the Church. The deacons, priests and bishops also have a role in the Church to teach, sanctify (bless) and govern in Christ’s name and by Christ’s power. They have their own role to fulfill. They are called the CLERGY. Both groups must work together to serve the Body of Christ, the Church, in unity and in mission. I would ask your class what is the Church. Many students will offer the explanation that the building they attend mass in is the Church. You can remind them that they are Church, they are the people of God. All of us are Church together. There are two main groups in the Church, ask your students if they know what these two main groups are called. LAITY and CLERGY. Invite your students to identify the whole school community who go to Church to pray together > the group called the Laity. Ask them the name of the priest that is the celebrant. Father _______. Do they know the name of the Bishop for their Diocese? Ask the class what is our mission as the laity? What is the mission of the clergy? We both have roles and we must work together to serve the Church and the world.
Twenty-first Century Education
- http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YDYP67NX&utm_source > We Are Uniquely Made – Inspirational Video – 1.45 min Clever use of origami to show the message of how we are created uniquely by a God who loves every detail of us.
- http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1J1EJCNU&utm_source > Chris Tomlin sings Indescribable (Live) 4.59 min A gentle anthem about the indescribable nature of God.
- http://wccm.org/ > World Community for Christian Meditation > This is a site for Christian Meditation for teachers and students alike.
- TheReligionTeacher.com > 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.
- http://grievingstudents.scholastic.com > Great website resources to use if you have a student who has lost a loved one.
- CARFLEO.org > 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
Clare of Assisi–This saint scared off a whole army! So how do you think she did it? Clare was born in the little town of Assisi – the same town where St. Francis was born. She became a nun and founded the Poor Clares. She and all the Sisters wanted to live like the poor, so theirs was a very simple, frugal life. When Clare’s father died and left her a fortune, she gave it all away to the poor. One day, an enemy army invaded the valley where her convent was located and began devastating the countryside. The soldiers put a ladder against the wall of the convent intending to come in through the window! But Clare got a monstrance (a receptacle in which the consecrated host is exposed for adoration) and held it up to the window while she and the other Sisters prayed. When the soldiers saw the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament, they were suddenly filled with fear and ran away in terror. The convent was saved. St. Clare didn’t use a gun or a knife to fight the enemy. She used faith and prayer. Today, too many people think they have to own dangerous weapons and USE them. They have forgotten the words of the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Will YOU ever forget those words.” pp. 46-47
Who says teaching religion can’t be fun? What’s Your Catholic IQ?
The Dignity of Life by David O’Brien
- Which sacrament gives a person the Holy Spirit so he/she can live the way God wants him to? A. holy orders B.anointing of the sick C. baptism D. confession
- The Holy Spirit help us pray. T or F
- The virtue of ____________________ means showing self-restraint, living simply, and refusing to indulge in selfish and excessive behaviour. A. prudence B. courage C. temperance D. justice
- People continue to build up God’s creation through their ____________________. A. work B.sin C. laughter D. silence
- The ________________________ of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2-3) help us to live as followers of Jesus and continue building the kingdom of God. A. songs B.gifts C. paintings D. symbols
Taking Jesus to the Movies – a movie blog for believers by Pat Carter, csj
Trumbo – This movie is available on DVD and maybe on PPV. This movie shows the House of Unamerican activities committee’s work during the Cold War. It stars Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo, an American who joined the Communist Party in the 50s.. He was a screenwriter who spent time in jail and was blacklist by this committee for his political beliefs. Diane Lane plays Mrs. Trumbo and Helen Mirren plays Hedda Hopper who was a gossip columnist with a vengeful spirit. This movie shows how ingenious Trumbo was to work under pseudonyms. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥/5.
Trivia for Those Who Read to the end…Just like the credits at the movies.
The elephant is the only animal with 4 knees.” http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bingbin/