Catholic Culture Update for April 24th


Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 24th, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“I will bless your name forever, my King and my God.” Psalm 145

April 24th is Fifth Sunday of Easter

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

Who most profoundly shows you love? How does the love you experience through the Eucharist shape your life?

Reflect on the Word – Jesus commands us to love one another. What does this mean to you? What is the blessing and challenge of God’s love?

Act on the Word – Alleluia! This week, be attentive to acts of love by those around you, and those you offer others. Be aware that love is expressed in many ways, some of which may seem “tough.” In other words, demonstrations of care for another may include speaking the truth when a person falls into self-destruction or selfish ways. Make a list of the ways in which you see or experience real love this week, in all its forms. In your list, note the impact of this love on the recipients and on those who give love. Are both changed? What vision of the world develops through this attentiveness to the impact of love on yourself and others? Determine one concrete action you will take this week as a result.

Wrapping it Up ~ What experience comes to mind in which you selflessly gave of yourself? What happened? Think about all of the ways in which selfless caring and sharing can make a difference in the world. What is one way you can grow more willing to give selflessly?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 189, 191

April 25 is the feast of St. Mark, Evangelist. St. Mark (first century) is the traditional author of the Gospel account that bears his name. Although he has been identified with John Mark and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, the earliest tradition sees him as a distinct individual, one of the seventy disciples sent by Jesus to preach before the Crucifixion. According to Hippolytus, a writer of the second to third century, he had such difficulty with Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist that he left but was later brought back by St. Peter. Subsequently, he traveled with Peter and worked as his interpreter, wrote the Gospel based on Peter’s preaching, and became bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. The Coptic Church claims him as their first bishop and parts of their liturgy are attributed to him. Their tradition says that he was martyred at Alexandria in 68 C.E.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 65 St. Mark, inspire us to use our words to spread the Good News. Summarize the creed into one sentence that you can hold today.

April 26th is the memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel. “Today in Canada the Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel. In this well-loved image, Mary embraces the child Jesus, who has his arm around her neck. She seems to be leaning down to hear what the Child Jesus has to say – to listen to his words of “good counsel.” The original image is found in Genazzano, near Rome, but the devotion has spread all over the world. Many schools, colleges, and parishes are dedicated to Our Lady under this title, and Pope Pius XII was devoted to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us, and for the people of Canada.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 65 Imagine what Jesus was saying to Mary when she leaned down to hear him.

April 28th is the memorial of St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr. “St. Peter Chanel (1803-1841) was born in France and ordained in 1827, when he was twenty-four years old. After reading letters of missionaries, the desire to evangelize grew, and in 1831 he entered the newly founded Society of Mary (Marists). After the new order was approved by Pope Gregory XVI, they were asked to send missionaries to the South Pacific region. Chanel left France in 1836, the superior of a group of Marists. They traveled to the Canary Islands and Tahiti, and Peter ended up in Futuna. The local king was threatened by the missionaries, and when his son requested Baptism, he arranged for Peter’s murder. Peter Chanel is the patron saint of Oceania, the area in South West Pacific that encompasses Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 65 St. Peter Chanel help us to carry our troubles courageously. Be a missionary where you are today! 

April 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. “St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was a Dominican tertiary (lay member) and mystic, the twenty-fourth of twenty-five children. In spite of family opposition, she dedicated herself to Christ at a very young age and at the age of sixteen, she withdrew from her family to lead a life of intense prayer. When she emerged, she began to dedicate herself to care of the sick and poor. Her joyful spirit attracted a number of followers. After a series of mystical experiences, Catherine felt compelled to write letters to those in secular and Church authority, which she dictated to her friend, the Dominican Raymond of Capua. Her influence became so great that papal legates consulted her. At this time, the popes had moved their residences from Rome to Avignon, France. Catherine begged Gregory XI to return to Rome, which he did in 1377. St. Catherine died in 1380 at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind her writings, the Dialogue on Divine Providence, letters, and prayers. She is represented in art holding a lily and wearing the habit of a Dominican tertiary, and is the patron saint of Europe and Italy. In 1970, Pope Paul VI made her a Doctor of the Church, one of the first women, along with Teresa of Avila, to be so honoured.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 66 Catherine, who are the mystics of today? Give them courage to share their visions. Are you a visionary for our world, do you see divine images?

April 30th is the memorial of St. Marie of the Incarnation, Religious. “St. Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672), was born in Tours, France. She married and bore a son, and when her husband died, she devoted herself to religion and entered the Ursulines in 1620, after arranging care for her son. Around 1638, Marie experienced visions in which she was instructed to go to Canada and found a convent, and in 1639, she set off with two other nuns, landing at Quebec in August and settling in the section of the city that is today called Lower Town. She studied with the Jesuits to learn the languages of the Native Americans, becoming so proficient that she wrote dictionaries in Algonquin and Iroquois, as well as a catechism in Iroquois. She spent the last thirty-three years of her life teaching and catechizing. Marie of the Incarnation died in Quebec in 1672 and was [canonized by Pope Francis on April 2, 2014]. Her numerous letters are an indispensable resource for Canadian colonial history.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 66 St. Marie of the Incarnation help us to know how we can be reconciled with our First Nation peoples. Learn one new word in a First Nation language!

Holy Year of Mercy

“As I have reflected on my twenty years at Romero House, I have come to understand that mercy is a dynamic response that begins when one’s heart and mind are touched by the need and suffering of another person. We are summoned by mercy. If one begins to act mercifully, as one’s compassion deepens and expands, then one is inevitably led to an awareness of the systemic causes of such suffering. At the reach of mercy, one is moved to act with justice. It is this reach of mercy that sustains the passion and commitment to justice. Without mercy, the work of justice becomes critical and calculating. Were it not for the reach of mercy, it would be easy to walk away from the issues and causes of justice.” p. 28-29, The Other Face of God, Mary Jo Leddy

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

“Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy; mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that thou mayst treat them as sharers in common with thee in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruit of the earth for use of all.” St. Ambrose

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 British Columbia National Event, the former lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Steven Point, said, And so many of you have said today, so many of the witnesses that came forward said, “I cannot forgive. I’m not ready to forgive.” And I wondered why. Reconciliation is about hearing the truth, that’s for sure. It’s also about acknowledging that truth. Acknowledging that what you’ve said is true. Accepting responsibility for your pain and putting those children back in the place they would have been, had they not been taken from their homes.…

What are the blockages to reconciliation? The continuing poverty in our communities and the failure of our government to recognize that “Yes, we own the land.” Stop the destruction of our territories and for God’s sake, stop the deaths of so many of our women on highways across this country.… I’m going to continue to talk about reconciliation, but just as important, I’m going to foster healing in our own people, so that our children can avoid this pain, can avoid this destruction and finally, take our rightful place in this “Our Canada.”

When former residential school staff attended public TRC events, some thought it was most important to hear directly from Survivors, even if their own perspectives and memories of the schools might differ from those of the Survivors. At a Community Hearing in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Merle Nisley, who worked at the Poplar Hill residential school in the early 1970s, said, I think it would be valuable for people who have been involved in the schools to hear stories personally. And I also think it would be valuable, when it’s appropriate … [for] former students who are on the healing path to … hear some of our stories, or to hear some of our perspectives. But I know that’s a very difficult thing to do…. Certainly this is not the time to try to ask all those former students to sit and listen to the rationale of the former staff because there’s just too much emotion there … and there’s too little trust … you can’t do things like that when there’s low levels of trust. So I think really a very important thing is for former staff to hear the stories and to be courageous enough just to hear them…. Where wrongs were done, where abuses happened, where punishment was over the top, and wherever sexual abuse happened, somehow we need to courageously sit and talk about that, and apologize. I don’t know how that will happen.

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 1.2: Identify ways the Church has tried to encourage its members to willingly follow the Third Commandment – keep holy the Lord’s day (established the precepts of the Catholic Church – Sunday established as a holy day of obligation and of rest and leisure for the cultivation of families, and cultural, social and religious beliefs; sacramental celebration of the Lord’s resurrection each Sunday; counseling against hindering another’s observance of the Lord’s day). [CCC nos. 2168-2195] 1. Before March 1991 in Ontario there was a law in place that forbid Sunday shopping. The Ontario Bishops, along with the Canadian Bishop’s Conference, worked to stop laws permitting Sunday shopping as it would force Catholics who worked in retail to work on Sundays. 2. There is mass on the eve of Sunday, on Saturday any time after 4:00 p.m. so Catholics can attend to their Sunday obligation of attending Sunday mass. 3. Some parishes hold special events i.e. Sunday morning pancake breakfasts, Sunday afternoon CWL tea and bazaar, Church picnic…etc. to assist families to celebrate family time together. There is a challenge because many of our students are not aware of the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday as a means of living the Third Commandment. They have only lived in a time when Sunday shopping has existed. It may be helpful to begin the lesson by asking the question: “Why would the Church invite us to keep the Lord’s day holy by attending mass on Sunday?” Then have the students identify ways that the Church tries to encourage its members to do so. This is very challenging since it is not supported by parents who did not have the practice of going to mass on Sunday. We may be two or three generations of Catholics away from regular Sunday attendance.  

Grade Eight LC 3.2: Outline the basic principles that guide the Church’s participation in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue (seek unity, respect the gift of religious diversity in the search for the Truth and in the articulation of common beliefs, respect religious differences, be open and desire to seek communion). Before the second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church had no reason to participate in ecumenical and/or interfaith dialogue because the general belief was there was only salvation through the Catholic Church. However, the Holy Spirit revealed to the bishops present at that council that there was truth in all the paths to God. The basic principles that guide the Church’s participation in ecumenical and/or interfaith dialogue are: seek unity; respect the gift of religious diversity in the search for the Truth and in the articulation of common beliefs; respect religious differences and be open and desire to seek communion. Our students do not have a lived experience of the fear and the superiority of the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II unless they are in contact with older grandparents who had grown up in that time. It would be good to outline the basic principles with your class then ask a few thoughtful questions, like: Would the point of this type of dialogue to make everyone Catholic? Is it a competition to see which faith has more members? “No, but to follow the principles! Respect is key. It is good to find similarities but also to respect differences.” Ask students to look up Gandhi quote about Christianity: “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.” 

Twenty-first Century Education > What Exactly IS the Good News? > All In – Inspirational Video 3.27 min > Additional resources for Theme Three for the Fully Alive Program from Grades 1-8 > 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

“Cloud of Metz –Saint CLOUD? Rain Cloud, Fleecy Cloud, Cumulus Cloud, Thunder Cloud, yes – but SAINT Cloud? Yes! Also known as Cloudulf, this saint lived way back in the seventh century in a town that was part of the holy Roman Empire. He was a devout layman, then a model pastor, AND the Bishop of Metz for over forty years. Now today, hundred of years later, there is a place in the United States that has HIS NAME – Saint Cloud, Minnesota! Do you like cloudy days? Or do you like sunny ones better? Do you like cloudbursts, when the rain suddenly splish-splashes down in torrents, then just as suddenly stops? Or do you prefer nice, gentle, long-lasting showers? Whatever today is – rain or shine, splish-splash or pitter-pat – get out an atlas and an encyclopedia and look up Saint Cloud, Minnesota. See if you can find out WHY a city in twentieth-century United States has the same name as a saint from long, long ago.” pp. 47-48

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

The Dignity of Life by David O’Brien

1. 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 

 2. The Holy Spirit helps us pray.​​​​​​​​​T or F

3. 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

4. People continue to build up God’s creation through their ____________________.  A. work​​ B. sin​​​​ C. laughter​​ D. silence

 5. 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

The Dignity of Life by David O’Brien CATECHIST March 2016

1. From the traditional church song: “Come Holy ____________________, creator blest and in our hearts take up thy rest.”  A. Trinity​​ B. Family​​​  C. Communion​​  D. Ghost

 2. Only saints and bishops receive the gits of the Holy Spirit. ​​​​​T or F

3. At Mass, the colour _________________ is worn by the clergy on feasts of the Holy Spirit.  A. purple​​  B. white​​​C. red​​​D. green 

 4. Defending human life is so important because people are made in the image and ______________________

of God.  A. likeness​​B. size​​​​C. style​​D. invisibility 

5. A just and peaceful world where human life is respected from the mother’s womb to natural death is impossible.​​​​​​​​​​​T or F

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

Concussion – This movie is available on DVD and maybe on PPV. This movie is based on the true story of Doctor Bennett Omalu, a Nigerian doctor who discovered the link between multiple head traumas and severe personality changes especially in athletes in the NFL. Bennett Omalu is played by Will Smith. This movie was not nominated for Oscar consideration (makes me suspicious, was it NFL pressure on the Academy not to bring more attention to the issue?) I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5.  

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

“The reason the taste of artificial banana flavouring and artificial banana flavoured products doesn’t taste like bananas is because it is based on a type of banana that was wiped out in a plague in the 50s.”

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