Catholic Culture Update: September 4

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning September 4th, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa

September 4th is the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary time. “Today the words of the gospel call us to look beyond our treasured possessions, obsessions and addictions for the sake of following Jesus without distractions. “Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple,” cautions Jesus. Again, he warns, “So therefore, whoever of you does not give up all their possessions cannot become my disciple.” Jesus is calling us to a deeper commitment, to look beyond people and possessions to a relationship with God. Jesus is calling us to understand the true meaning of “Come, follow me.” To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is an all-consuming vocation; it is never-ending. There is no other priority that takes precedence over a decision to follow and to imitate the life of Christ. Ironically, if we can find the courage to commit to a life of discipleship, God takes on the care of our most precious and personal needs. We are not forsaking or abandoning them – we are giving them over to the love and care of our heavenly Father. Only by letting go of our pursuit of earthly things can we find perfect joy in the love of God. Today, let us reflect on what we might let go of, in order to better follow Jesus.” Fr. Matthew Durham, CSB, Sunday Missal 2015-2016, Living with Christ, page 522.

September 4th is also the day that Pope Francis will canonize Mother Teresa of Kolkata. “Mother Teresa was widely known as a living saint as she ministered to the sick and the dying in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the world. Although some people criticized her for not also challenging the injustices that kept so many people so poor and abandoned, her simple service touched the hearts of millions of people of all faiths. Born to an ethnic Albanian family in Skopje, in what is now part of Macedonia, she went to India in 1929 as a Sister of Loreto and became an Indian citizen in 1947. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. Shortly after she died in 1997, St. John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting period and allowed the opening of the process to declare her sainthood. She was beatified in 2003. …The date chosen for her canonization is the eve of the 19th anniversary of her death.”

St. Teresa of Kolkata, guide us to live lives of service to the poor among us. Do a simple kind deed in honour of Mother Teresa.

September 5th is Labour Day. Traditionally, Labour Day was an occasion to campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights during parades and picnics organized by trade unions. These still play a role in Labour Day for some Canadians, but many people see the first Monday in September as an opportunity to take a late summer trip, perhaps to their country cottage, or enjoy the company of family or friends at picnics, fairs, festivals and fireworks displays. For teenagers and other students, the Labour Day weekend is the last chance to celebrate with a party or to go on a trip before school re-opens for the new academic year.”

St. Joseph the Worker, inspire us to put our best effort forward this year and may all we do give God glory! Have an ice cream cone to celebrate the end of summer holidays.

September 8th is the birthday of Mary, Mother of Jesus. “Exactly nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8), we come to an observance in honour of Mary’s birth. This is one of only three birthdays in the Church’s calendar, the other two being the birthdays of Jesus and of John the Baptist. This solemnity, like all Marian days “is less about Mary than it is about the wondrous work of God in Mary. …” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 114.

Happy Birthday Mary, full of grace! Enjoy some blueberry cupcakes.

September 9th is the memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest. “St. Peter Claver (1580-1654), a Spanish Jesuit priest, spent his life tending to the needs of African slaves in Columbia, South America. While serving as a missionary, he ministered to the slaves by providing them with food and medicine, washing their wounds, preparing them for Baptism, and witnessing their Marriages. He actively recruited lawyers to plead the cases of imprisoned slaves and prepared criminals for death. Not only did he care for the slaves, but he also preached missions to plantation owners and sailors. The “saint of the slaves,” as St. Peter is often called, died after contracting the plague.”   Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 114.

St. Peter help us walk gently with others who may feel imprisoned. Pray for those imprisoned by grief or addictions.

Month of September – September is the ninth month, but the word September actually means “seventh month.” Before the time of Julius Caesar the Roman year had ten months. The first month was March, which made September the seventh month. There was no January or February on the calendar. Calendars were used mainly by farmers, who weren’t interested in keeping track of time during the winter, when there was little to do. So during winter people lost track of days until their leaders announced the start of a new year each spring. Julius Caesar reformed the calendar. Winter months were added. Now the year began on the first of January, not March. But the old names for the months continued to be used. Many ancient calendars have the year beginning in the spring. For instance, the Jewish people mark the first month of their religious year in early springtime, near the vernal equinox. (The Jewish New Year [Rosh Hashanah], however, begins on the first day of the seventh month.) In the Byzantine Christian calendar, September is the first month of the liturgical year. Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 111-112.

Holy Year of Mercy ~ until November 20th, 2016

This is the way our Church wants us to be today: men and women free of compromises, unprejudiced, free of ambitions, and free from ideologies, in other words, men and women of the gospel and only the gospel. A Year with Pope Francis, Daily Reflections from his writings, edited by Alberto Rossa, CMF, page 114

Walking Forward Together with God ~ a quote for the week

“whoever walks with integrity, walks securely” Pr. 10.9

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 2012 Calls to Action

In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action.

LEGACY: Child welfare

1) We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care by:

  1. Monitoring and assessing neglect investigations.
  2. Providing adequate resources to enable Aboriginal communities and child-welfare organizations to keep Aboriginal families together where it is safe to do so, and to keep children in culturally appropriate environments, regardless of where they reside.
  3. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the history and impacts of residential schools.
  4. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing.
  5. Requiring that all child-welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers.”

In Ontario, 3% of the child population under age 15 is Aboriginal, and 21% of the children in care are Aboriginal children living off-reserve.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Praying ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

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

  • Seek intimacy with God and celebrate communion with God, others and creation through prayer and worship.

Grade Three PR 1.1: Through an examination of a selection of gospel passages, identify the unique prayer life of the Virgin Mary (i.e. Fiat, Magnificat, her intercession at Cana), connect each of her prayers to one of the forms of prayer promoted within the Church (blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise) and explain what each prayer form reveals about prayer in God’s plan of salvation. [CCC nos. 2617-2619; 2622; 2673-2679]

Gospel Passages Forms of Prayer Promoted within the Church
Fiat – Luke 1:26-38; the Fiat is “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (verse 38) Blessing – Because God has blessed Mary, Mary blesses God with her willingness to allows God’s plan to be expressed.
Magnificat – Luke 46-56; “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…” Praise and thanksgiving – to God in thanksgiving for the honour of choosing her as the Mother of Jesus
The wedding at Cana – John 2:1-12 “Do whatever he tells you.” Intercession – on behalf of the married couple

“Blessing – expresses the basic movement of Christian prayer: it is an encounter between God and humanity. In blessing, God’s gift and our acceptance of it are united in dialogue with each other. The prayer of blessing is our response to God’s gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing.[CCC 2626] Blessing God because God first blessed us.

“Adoration – is the first attitude of humanity acknowledging that we are creatures before our Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Saviour who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,” respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God.” [CCC 2628] The essence of adoration is found in the song, I Can Only Imagine.

“Petition – [ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even “struggle in prayer.” Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him. …The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness.” [CCC 2629, 2632] Usually praying for ourselves.

“Intercession – is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of us all, especially sinners. He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” The Holy Spirit “intercedes for us…and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” [CCC 2634)

Thanksgiving – characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory.” [CCC 2637] Thanking God for everything we have, because God gives it to us.

Praise – is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because God is. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God, testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the “one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.” [CCC 2639] Telling God how great God is!

I would teach each form of prayer and then ask the students to compose a prayer for each form so you know they understand the difference. I might take one form and use it as morning prayer in class, so the students experience for five days. Then get them to compose their own blessing…etc. Use the student composed prayers throughout the day. It is good to review these forms of prayer with Junior and Intermediate students as well especially through the early weeks of the school year.

Twenty-first Century Learning

115 Saintly FUN Facts ~ Smiles and Surprises for Kids of All Ages by Bernadette McCarver Snyder

Evodius – This saint lived in the same century that Jesus did and is said to be the FIRST one to use the word Christian to describe someone who believes in the divinity and the teachings of Jesus Christ! Evodius was also said to be one of the seventy disciples ordained by the apostles. He became the Bishop of Antioch and was PROBABLY consecrated by Saint Peter. Evodius was privileged to know the people who KNEW Jesus. Would YOU have liked to have known Jesus when he was on earth? What would you have said to him? What would you have asked him? Would YOU have been one of the first “Christians”? Would you have believed in and followed all the teachings of Jesus and told other people how to BE “Christian”? Do you do that NOW?” page 58

WHO says teaching RELIGION can’t be FUN? What’s Your Catholic IQ?

1. What step can lead to a better school year?

  1. Get to know your students more
  2. Learn more about your faith
  3. Pray more
  4. Do more service
  5. Have more fun
  6. All of these

2. How can you keep from feeling overwhelmed?

  1. Stay centred on the present moment
  2. Ask good pray-ers to pray for you
  3. Take a few minutes each day to journal about what you are grateful for
  4. All of these

3.How can I teach my students to imitate the generosity of Jesus?

  1. Invite them to share
  2. Show them love and forgiveness
  3. Share stories about Jesus and his actions
  4. All of these

4.What is the secret to effective lesson planning?

  1. Know what your long range plans tell you
  2. Pray – ask the Holy Spirit to help you
  3. Be sure you are teaching the curriculum, not the next lesson in the textbook
  4. All of these

5.How do I create a prayer centre in the classroom?

  1. Find the prayer kit in the classroom [if you can’t find it, email Sister Pat]
  2. Use the green cloth because it is ordinary time
  3. Keep a CD player nearby
  4. Keep a small box and slips of prayer at the space so that students can write prayers and intentions
  5. Invite students of a table group each week to bring holy objects from home to decorate the centre
  6. All of these

Taking Jesus to the Movies …A blog by Pat Carter

True Story – Jonah Hill plays Mike Finkle, a reporter for New York Times and James Franco as Christian Longoria who killed his whole family (three children and his wife) then took on Mike Finkle’s name and reputation. This is about an identity thief. The plot hooks you because you don’t know what to believe. It is based on a true story. I was constantly looking for a redemptive quality in Christian Longoria…see it yourself.

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

“In what year was the first Harry Potter movie released? 2001 “

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