Catholic Culture Update, May 1st

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St. Joseph, the Carpenter (oil on canvas) by Tour, Georges de la (1593-1652); Musee des Beaux-Arts et d’Archeologie, Besancon, France; Giraudon; French, out of copyright

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 1st, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

“Let all the people praise you O God.” Psalm 67

May 1st is the Sixth Sunday of Easter

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

When have you experienced discord or disagreement in the past week? What happened? When have you experienced peace in the last week? What happened?

Reflect on the Word – What word, phrase, or idea will you carry with you from your participation in Mass today? How are the love of Christ and peace connected to one another?

Act on the Word – Alleluia! This week, begin each day with a brief prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to inspire your living. Think about what it will mean for you to keep Christ’s Word throughout the day. If you have particular situations that challenge your commitment to Christian life and discipleship, be especially conscious of these circumstances as you pray and ponder your choices of words, actions, or attitudes. At the end of the day, reflect upon the ways in which you did or did not act as Christ teaches. How was the Holy Spirit an Advocate for you by providing what you need to learn and to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Wrapping it Up ~ Look at the passage again. What does Jesus tell us about what is important to him as he prepares his disciples for what is to come? We have all heard the expression “practice what you preach.” How is Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection a way of practicing what he has said in this passage?” 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 193, 196

Month of May – The fifth month is named after the goddess Maia. She is the oldest of the Pleiades, the seven sisters. According to legend, the Pleiades were placed in the sky to shine as a beautiful cluster of tiny stars. The word mai is a northern European word that means fresh green growth. In England, hawthorn blossoms are called “may.” Originally, maypoles were small trees that had the lower branches chopped off. They were hung with ribbons and gifts and given to newlyweds as a wish for a life filled with blessings. In some places they were set up in the centre of towns to celebrate Easter or May Day or Midsummer Day, June 24. Many central European towns continue to keep this custom.”    Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 67

Month of Our Lady – May is Mary’s Month. Gerard Manley Hopkins wondered about this in a lovely poem called “The May Magnificat.” “May is Mary’s month, and I / Muse at that and wonder why….the Lady Month, May, / Why fasten that upon her, / With a feasting in her honour?” he asked. Hopkins speculates that it is the springtime explosion of new life, in birds and flowers, that make May the right month for Mary. “This ecstasy all through mothering earth /Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth.” Whatever the reason, May is a special time of prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is also Easter Time, so we join with Mary in rejoicing in Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. We can honour Mary in this month by praying the Rosary or another Marian devotion and by participating in Mass on the Feast of the Visitation, which concludes the month of May 31. It’s also a good time for quiet reflection on the seven joys of Mary, the traditional counterpart to her seven sorrows. The joys of Mary are the Annunciation, the birth of Jesus, the adoration of the Magi, the Resurrection, the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and Mary’s coronation as Queen of Heaven.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 68

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Learn a new Marian prayer this month.

May 1st is Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. [This feast] of St. Joseph the Worker is a relatively new addition to the calendar. It was introduced by Pope Pius XII in 1955, as an alternative to secular May Day celebrations of the worker, which originated in Communist countries and which did ore to promote Communist propaganda than to promote the worker. Pope Pius XII urged workers to look to St. Joseph the carpenter and to see the dignity inherent in human labour, which could become a source of holiness. The prayers for today from The Roman Missal call Joseph our “wise and faithful servant” who is our patron as we “complete the works [God] set us to do.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 69 St. Joseph the Worker, help me to use my time well so I get my work done.

Dedicate a specific piece of work to Joseph today.

May 1-6 is Catholic Education Week. Catholic Education Week 2016 combines both the theme of mercy and the act of opening doors of reconciliation, mercy and forgiveness to all around us. Let us celebrate well!
May 2nd – the theme of the day is Mercy that Welcomes.

May 2nd is the memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. “St. Athanasius (295-373), bishop of Alexandria and Doctor of the Church, contributed immensely to the development of doctrine and spirituality. He defended the teaching of the First Council of Nicaea (325 CE) that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. The Arians, who taught that Jesus was not divine, unleashed a series of attacks upon Athanasius, resulting in exile not just once, but five times in his life, amounting to 17 years out of the 45 he was bishop. During one of these exiles, he wrote the influential biography of the renowned hermit and monk St. Anthony of Egypt. This spiritual classic, entitled Life of Antony, has been and continues to be read by people longing to remove worldly distractions that keep them from mystical union with God. He is also noted for two other works: On the Incarnation and Discourses against the Arians. Many titles have been bestowed upon him, including defender of faith, champion of orthodoxy, mystical theologian, and spiritual master. Athanasius is venerated by the Eastern Orthodox as well as Western Christians, and is especially revered by the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 70 St. Athanasius inspire my writing today. Imagine what it would be like to be exiled.

May 3rd – the theme of the day is Mercy that Loves
May 3rd is the Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles. “St. Philip (first century) was a native of Bethsaida, and was among John the Baptist’s followers who saw John point out Jesus as the Lamb of God. He is most prominent in the Gospel according to John. It was Philip who asked Jesus to “show us the Father, and we will be satisfied,” to which Jesus replied, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9). Legends of Philip have him preaching in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria along with Bartholomew. Philip enraged the proconsul by converting his wife to Christianity and was crucified upside-down in 54 C.E. A gnostic gospel found at Nag Hammadi is attributed to him, but there is not evidence it was actually written by him. Philip is shown in art with two loaves or a basket filled with bread, because of his role in the story of the feeding of the five thousand (see John 6:5-7).

The St. James (first century) who is celebrated today is “James the Less,” described in the Gospel as the brother of the Lord,” which at that time could also mean “cousin,” and in Acts of the Apostles 15 as the leader of the Church at Jerusalem. He is usually thought to be the same person as James the son of Alpheus and James the Just. He was called to be a disciple along with his brother, Jude. James appears in the lists of the Apostles, but he becomes most prominent after the Ascension, when he was made the first bishop of Jerusalem. He, along with Peter and John, authorized Paul’s mission to the Gentiles. The Church historian, Eusebius, recorded that James was martyred by being stoned and then thrown from the highest point of the Temple in Jerusalem. Saints Philip and James are celebrated on the same day in honour of the anniversary of the dedication of the church dedicated to them in Rome (now called the Church of the Twelve Apostles.) Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 70-71 Sts. Philip and James, may I testify to the truth in my words and actions today as you did so many years ago. Let me follow in the footsteps of holiness today.

May 4th – the theme of the day is Mercy that Forgives – Our Annual Walk for Justice takes place today!
May 5th – the theme of the day is Mercy that Lives the Gospel
May 6th – the theme of the day is Mercy that Rejoices

Holy Year of Mercy

“So Jesus commanded us then as now to love our enemies. He understood that otherwise we will become like the enemies we struggle against. His great hope and great promise was that we could become like what we love. That if we love God we will become more like God. If we love Jesus we will become more like him. That if we desire the reign of God we will begin to change our relationships, not because we have to but because we want to.” p. 92, The Other Face of God, Mary Jo Leddy

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

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” Karl Barth

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.

Nisley’s reflections highlight one of the difficulties the Commission faced in trying to create a space for respectful dialogue between former residential school students and staff. While, in most cases, this was possible, in other instances, Survivors and their family members found it very difficult to listen to former staff, particularly if they perceived the speaker to be an apologist for the schools.

At the TRC Victoria Regional Event, Brother Tom Cavanaugh, the district superior of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate for British Columbia and the Yukon, spoke about his time as a supervisor at the Christie residential school. “What I experienced over the six years I was at Christie residential school was a staff, Native and non-Native alike, working together to provide as much as possible, a safe loving environment for the children attending Christie school. Was it a perfect situation? No, it wasn’t a perfect situation … but again, there didn’t seem to be, at that time, any other viable alternative in providing a good education for so many children who lived in relatively small and isolated communities.”

Survivors and family members who were present in the audience spoke out, saying, “Truth, tell the truth.” Brother Cavanaugh replied, “If you give me a chance, I will tell you the truth.” When TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair intervened to ask the audience to allow Brother Cavanaugh to finish his statement, he was able to do so without further interruption. Visibly shaken, Cavanaugh then went on to acknowledge that children had also been abused in the schools, and he condemned such actions, expressing his sorrow and regret for this breach of trust. I can honestly say that our men are hurting too because of the abuse scandal and the rift that this has created between First Nations and church representatives. Many of our men who are still working with First Nations have attended various truth and reconciliation sessions as well as Returning to Spirit sessions, hoping to bring about healing for all concerned. The Oblates desire healing for the abused and for all touched by the past breach of trust. It is our hope that together we can continue to build a better society.

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 Primary Classes

By the end of grade 3, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Recognize Jesus as a companion and friend who travels with them on the journey of their lives;
  • Reflect on the example of the Saints as models for their own lives;
  • Appreciate the communal nature of human persons and the communal nature of the Church: communion with God and all of God’s creation.

Grade Two LC 2.2: Give examples of how the Church remembers its Christian ancestors throughout the year (e.g., feast days, images, prayers, etc.) and at the celebration of the Eucharist (e.g. Eucharistic prayer – include saints, martyrs, apostles and especially Mary the mother of God). [CCC 1172-1173] Ask your students what holy days they know. Of what Saint Days are they aware? It has been a tradition in the Church to remember the Christian saints and martyrs as examples for us to follow. Every Catholic Culture Update has feast days and memorial days of different saints. The class ought to be able to come up with Christmas – Jesus’ birthday; Easter – Jesus’ resurrection; the feast day of their school patron. If you have statues or pictures of saints in your school, I would take the students on a walk through the school to check these out. All Saints and All Souls days are two especially important feast days to keep before us the lives of those who have followed as Jesus’ disciples.

Many children may be aware that May is the month of Mary. Mary has many feast days throughout the year: January 1st – Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Peace; February 11 – Our Lady of Lourdes; March 25th – The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary; April 26th – Our Lady of Good Counsel; May – the whole month is dedicated to Mary; May 13th is Our Lady of Fatima; May 31st is Visitation of Mary; June 4th is The Immaculate Heart of Mary; July 16th is Our Lady of Mount Carmel; the month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary; August 22nd is Queenship of Mary; September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows; September 8 is Mary’s birthday; September 12 is the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary; September 15 is the actual feast of Our Lady of Sorrows; October is the month of the most Holy Rosary; October 7th is Our Lady of the Rosary; November 21st is the Presentation of Mary as a baby in the Temple; December 8th is the Solemnity of Immaculate Conception of Mary; December 12th is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As well for any Catholics who observe First Saturdays throughout the year – these are dedicated to Mary. We have many prayers that are voiced to Mary for her intercession, the most popular one being the Hail Mary. [All of the Our Lady…of Fatima, of Lourdes, of Mt. Carmel are all Mary, Mother of God]

Check out Eucharist Prayer I. In a couple of places in that prayer, there is a list of saints and martyrs offered. This prayer is usually used during the Easter Vigil Mass. As well, we pray the litany of the Saints. Invite your students to live as saints so that one day the faithful will pray their names in the litany of the Saints.

Grade Three LC 2.2: Identify how the Holy Spirit keeps the presence of Jesus alive in the Church through those who work for unity, justice and peace (e.g. disciples, saints, missionaries, advocates for justice). [CCC nos. 820-822; 849-856] Jesus wanted his kingdom built on year and he invited his disciples and apostles to spread the Good News to the ends of the Earth. All those who continue to work for unity, justice and peace continue in that mission to bring the Kingdom of God. Jesus told the disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit. “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” (Jn. 15:26-27)   On Holy Thursday Jesus gave the disciples an example of service that he asked them to repeat and continue. We, the Baptized, are to keep Jesus’ presence alive by how we live, speak, work, and serve. It is up to us to be Jesus’ body in the world today. “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on the world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.” This prayer is dedicated to St. Teresa of Avila. It is a great reminder that it is our mission to keep working for unity, justice and peace.

Twenty-first Century Education

  • http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YLKK7WNX&utm_source > Great in the Small > Inspirational video 1.59 min  We are all inclined to see the great and amazing signs and wonders of God.  But God so often can be seen just as well in the small moments of life.
  • http://iceont.ca/ > Additional resources for Theme Three for the Fully Alive Program from Grades 1-8
  • 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

Colette – This saint was christened Nicolette, but called Colette. And she was a traveller. In her early twenties, Colette became a nun and was known for her deep spirituality. She planned to live a quiet life, but one day while praying, she changed her mind! She decided it was her “calling” to open new convents with stricter rules than some other convents had at that time. Colette began to travel and journeyed throughout France and Flanders. In spite of many obstacles, she was able to open seventeen new convents and reform numerous other convents under the rule of the Poor Clares. One branch of this group was even named the Colettines. This saint started out to keep her feet firmly planted in one spot, but then God gave her “travelin’ shoes”! Do YOU like to travel? Would you like to take a trip around the world? Well, how about a trip around your own city? Why don’t you start a collection of clippings and information about ALL the places to see and things to do in the town where you live? (And don’t forget to include some of the beautiful old churches and/or shrines!) THEN get your family to help you plan some family field trips! ” pp. 48-49

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

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
  1. Only saints and bishops receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. T or F
  1. At Mass, the colour ______________________ is worn by the clergy on feasts of the Holy Spirit.     A. purple      B. white    C. red   D. green
  1. Defending human life is so important because people are made in the image and ______________________  of God.   A. likeness  B. size C. style   D. invisibility
  1. A just and peaceful world where human life is respected from the mother’s womb to natural death  is impossible.   T or F

Evangelizing With Truth by David O’Brien CATECHIST April/May 2016

  1. John Paul II challenged the worldwide church to begin a “New _______________.”  A. Religion    B. Evangelization   C. Youth Group  D. Book Club
  1. All preachers on TV are fakes and liars. T or F
  1. The international Catholic TV station is called ______________________. A. Nickelodeon    B.MTV     C. ESPN  D. EWTN
  1. Catholics should watch TV only ______________________ each week.  A. A little bit        B. in their pajamas   C. with friends    D. with their grandparents
  1. “On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing” and so he _______________________.   A. Went to Church        B. ate lunch     C. rested         D. checked his email

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

Daddy’s Home – is a satirical exaggerated look at the struggle between a biological dad and a step dad to gain the love of their children. Will Ferrell is the step dad and Mark Wahlberg is the biological father. Linda Cardellini is the mother. It is funny and silly at times. I have known family’s where this struggle actually happens, just not to this degree. This movie is available on PPV or at Family Videos. I give this movie ♥♥♥/5.

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

When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.” http://www.thefactsite.com/2015/04/100-mind-blowing-facts.html

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