Catholic Culture Update May 15-22

Jean Sader

Quote to carry in your heart for the week.

Lord, send forth your spirit and renew the face of the earth. Ps. 104

May 15th is Solemnity of Pentecost

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

As you prepare for Mass today, ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to the grace of God. Reflecting back on the season of Easter Time, how have you known the joy of Christ’s life and love in the past fifty days?

Reflect on the Word – In what ways have you experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit? What does the Spirit inspire you to be or to do?

Act on the Word – Alleluia! This week, make a commitment to share God’s love with one person each day. Challenge yourself to reach out to someone whom you do not know or someone you find difficult to love. Say or do something kind; give your attention; offer some sort of service; exhibit patience; offer peace. At the end of each day, write a brief reflection on your sharing and the impact on you and the receiver, or talk about this with someone with whom you are close. Say a prayer of gratitude to the Holy Spirit who will inspire and strengthen you in your sharing.

Wrapping it Up ~ Recall the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, wonder and awe (fear) of the Lord. In what ways do these gifts express what Jesus promised in sending the Holy Spirit? Upon which gift of the Holy Spirit do you most rely at this time in your life? Why? 2015-2016 The Living Word – Sunday Gospel Reflections and Activities for Teens, LTP, page 205, 207

“May 15th is Solemnity of Pentecost – Easter Time comes to its glorious conclusion with the great Solemnity of Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish harvest feast, celebrated fifty days after Passover (hence the name “Pentecost,” which means fiftieth in Greek). At Pentecost, bread made from the newly-harvested grain would be offered to God. The feast also commemorated the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. It was while Jews from every nation were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate this feast that the Spirit came upon the disciples gathered in prayer, like wind and fire. They must have remembered the Exodus account of the giving of the law to Moses, when there was a sound like a trumpet blast, and fire and smoke (see Exodus 19:16-19). But the contrasts between the giving of the Law and the giving of the Spirit are even more striking than the similarities. At Sinai, Moses alone went up to receive the immutable word of God carved on tablets of stone. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit came down on the people and rested on each of them in a play of wind and fire. The Spirit cannot be contained, or written down. The special sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, “Come, Holy Spirit,” that is prayed during Mass today addresses the Spirit with many different titles and images – the Spirit is “Father of the poor,” “comforter,” “sweet refreshment,” “solace,” and “light.” The multitude of images suggests the free play of the Spirit. In the Middle Ages, this free play of the Spirit was expressed in many creative ways in the great cathedrals. In some parts of France, wind instruments would fill the church with sound, while roses and other flowers would be dropped on the assembly. In other places, live doves would be set free to fly through the church. These customs spoke to the people about the nature of the Holy Spirit: gentle, yet impossible to contain or control. Pentecost is sometimes called “the birthday of the Church,” because it was only after they were filled with the gifts of the Spirit that the Apostles set forth on the mission Christ gave them, to preach the Good News, and to baptize all nations. The Spirit transformed them, and transforms us.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 20

Come, Holy Spirit, transform the hearts of the faithful, enkindle it them the fire of your love.

Wear something red to celebrate the birthday of the Church.

May 20th is the memorial of St. Bernardine of Siena, Priest. St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) was an Italian Franciscan, a priest, and preacher. He was orphaned young and raised by a pious aunt. While still a student, he helped care for the sick during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, contracted the disease and almost died. Bernardine joined a strict branch of the Franciscans, called the Observants, around 1402. Known as the “apostle of Italy,” he preached devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, popularizing the use of the monogram, I.H.S. and encouraging his hearers to burn unnecessary luxuries in “bonfires of vanities.” Companion to the Calendar: A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year. page 75 St. Bernardine, help us to honour the Holy Name of Jesus. Put the initials I.H.S. at the top of your pages today. I.H.S. is a monogram that means Jesus, or is transliterated as ihsous from the Greek.

Holy Year of Mercy

“What is mercy? “A central theme of the Bible and key to the life of all Christians,” says Cardinal Walter Kasper in a recent book that greatly inspired Pope Francis. Mercy is “the expression of God’s very self, who is Love [and] who reaches out with kindness to humanity and the world.” The Jubilee Year of Mercy – Special Issue of Living with Christ, page 2

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

“Where there is hatred, let me sow love” St. Francis of Assisi

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.

Elder Reg Crowshoe told the Commission that Indigenous peoples’ world views, oral history traditions, and practices have much to teach us about how to establish respectful relationships among peoples and with the land and all living things.

Learning how to live together in a good way happens through sharing stories and practising reconciliation in our everyday lives.

Over the course of its work, the Commission created space for exploring the meanings and concepts of reconciliation. In public Sharing Circles at National Events and Community Hearings, we bore witness to powerful moments of truth sharing and humbling acts of reconciliation. Many Survivors had never been able to tell their own families the whole truth of what happened to them in the schools. At hearings in Regina, Saskatchewan, Elder Kirby Littletent said, “I never told, I just told my children, my grandchildren I went to boarding school, that’s all. I never shared my experiences.”

Many spoke to honour the memory of relatives who have passed on. Simone, an Inuk Survivor from Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, said, I’m here for my parents—‘Did you miss me when I went away?’ ‘Did you cry for me?’—and I’m here for my brother, who was a victim, and my niece at the age of five who suffered a head injury and never came home, and her parents never had closure. To this day, they have not found the grave in Winnipeg. And I’m here for them first, and that’s why I’m making a public statement.

Others talked about the importance of reconciling with family members, and cautioned that this process is just beginning. Patrick Etherington, a Survivor from St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany, Ontario, walked with his son and others from Cochrane, Ontario, to the National Event in Winnipeg. He said that the walk helped him to reconnect with his son, and that he “just wanted to be here because I feel this process that we are starting, we got a long ways to go.”

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 1.3: Describe ways in which the First and Second Commandments promote in the Church the virtues of faith, hope and charity, the practice of religion, and the freedom of religious expression. [CCC nos. 2084-2167] Write on the Board the First and Second Commandments (Exodus 20:2-5 or Deuteronomy 5:6-9)

Remind your students that the virtues of faith, hope and love are theological virtues = that means that God gives them to us freely. It is our choice to receive these gifts and to use them. So the First and Second Commandment help us to acknowledge the greatness of God . These are key gifts God gives us. Once we receive these gifts our response is to use the gifts and to be grateful for the gifts. The practice of religion is based on spending time with the people of God in prayer, worship and service of the Creator. The First and Second Commandments encourage us to worship God and to serve God. Freedom of religious expression is an extension of what happens when we are grateful to God for life, for all the good things God provides, for being in relationship with God. With freedom or religious expression comes the responsibility to use religious language and expression with respect and reverence.

Living in Solidarity ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

By the end of Grade 8, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Understand that one’s purpose or call in life comes from God and strive to discern and prepare to live out this call throughout life’s journey; (CGE: 1g)
  • Develop attitudes and values founded on Catholic social teaching and act to promote social responsibility, human solidarity and the common good;
  • Respect the faith traditions, world religions and the life journeys of all people of good will.

Grade Eight LS 3.3: Identify and describe some of the efforts the Church has made to continue Christ’s mission to spread the Good News to all people of the world (e.g. working with people from other religions on issues of social justice as a means to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ; witnessing to Christ through our work with those in need; participating in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue). [CCC nos. 830-856] All Christian Churches have the mandate to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. This mandate has drawn individuals from various Christian denominations to work collaboratively on issues of social justice. In serving the poor at St. Vincent Place many Christian Churches (Baptist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, United) have a team who prepare meals for distribution on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. It is the same at the Soup Kitchen. There is a local group of women called Womyn 4 Social Justice. These women are from some of the Christian Churches in SSM and they work together to address issues of concern to women and children. On a global scale often Christians, Muslims and Jewish people work together when a disaster affects an area where people are in need of assistance. There are very many people of good will in the world. Our relationship with our God inspires us to do good when there are issues that require a response. Ecumenical dialogue brings Christian partners together to find “common ground” and to bridge the divisions that have been formed in history. Sometimes these dialogues are formal when the heads of religious traditions gather in a place to discuss matters. Often these conversations are made public through the media. Sometimes a dialogue is organized between leaders of different faith traditions (Muslims and Jewish people) and the issues that are discussed focussed around peace agreements, etc. Have your students google ecumenical dialogue and interfaith dialogue. It would be great if they could understand the distinction between who is at the table at each type of dialogue.

Twenty-first Century Education

  • > 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

Cyril and Methodius – Do you celebrate St. Valentine Day on February 14? Well, you really SHOULD also be celebrating Saints Cyril and Methodius Day – because February 14th is THEIR feast day, a special day set aside by the Church to honour them! These two saints were brothers and worked together to spread the teachings of the Church to the Slavic people. As a young man, Cyril studied at the university in Constantinople with a teacher known as Leo the Grammarian. Cyril was such a good student that he later earned his own nickname, Cyril the Philosopher. His brother, Methodius, was also a learned man and at one time was the governor of a Slavic colony. In 862 an ambassador of the prince of Moravia came to Constantinople asking for missionaries who could come and teach his people in their own language. Because of their knowledge of the language and their personal holiness, Cyril and Methodius were chosen to go. Legend says that Cyril and his followers probably were the ones who “invented” the Cyrillic characters – adapted from Greek letters – that have since been used to write the Russian, Serbian, and Bulgarian language. This is one reason these brothers are also known as the fathers of Slavonic literary culture. The next time you send someone a valentine, maybe you should address it in Cyrillic letters! Well, that would be VERY hard to do if you don’t know that language. Instead maybe you could just say a little prayer of thanksgiving for the many wise Church leaders in history – like the brothers Cyril and Methodius.” page 50-51

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

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

  1. God told the Chosen People to take a break from work every seven days. T or F
  1. The patron saint of TV is Saint ________________________.    A. Sirius   B.Sally           C. Clare          D. Michael
  1. John Paul II liked skiing, hiking and canoeing when he was on vacation. T or F
  1. Based on St. Paul’s efforts to spread the Gospel, the ________________________ priests, brothers, and sisters use the media to evangelize.   A. Carmelite  B. Benedictine    C. Franciscan             D. Pauline
  1. The virtue of __________________________ protects one’s eyes from media images that depict people as objects to be bought and sold rather than beautiful creations of God.  A. Justice    B.Chastity  C. Courage  D. Fortitude

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

  1. The media has been used to ______________________ at different times in history.   A. hurt and confuse    B. teach and entertain    C. tell people about God D. all of the above
  1. The news media is not responsible for reporting the truth as long as it is entertaining. T or F
  1. Mass on TV s meant for the _________________________.   A. lazy  B. sleepy   C. sick and shut-in D. elderly
  1. The ________________________ is the day of rest dedicated to God.   A. Sabbath B. vacation   C. Passover   D. Hanukkah
  1. The Catholic Church teaches that social media is evil. T or F

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

Creed ~ available at Family Video and PPV. This movie continues the Rocky Balboa saga. It is good to see Rocky in the role of coach and “unc” to Apollo Creed’s son. Rocky has aged since his first movie and so have I. The story is well told. I really missed Adrian and Paulie. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥/5.

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

Chuck Norris’ first name is actually Carlos.

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