Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning October 2nd, 2016
Quote to carry in your heart this week
Preach always, if necessary use words. St. Francis of Assisi
October 2nd is the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary time. “Today is filled with voices challenging God. The verse from Habbakkuk, for example, opens with “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?” Habakkuk wants to know why bad things happen to good people. And in the gospel, the apostles – even though they have witnessed Jesus actively at work – demand, “Increase our faith!” The apostles ask for their faith to be increased because they want proof that Jesus is who he says he is – they want to see a miracle. It’s telling that Jesus doesn’t reply “Okay” and light the nearest bush on fire; nor does he say, “Get lost.” Instead, he informs them, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Faith, like love, isn’t something that is; it’s something that you do every day. As the reading from Timothy reminds us, the gift of God is within us; with self-discipline and love we can see our belief grow as we engage in the work God asks of us. A miracle doesn’t have to be inexplicable. Sometimes a miracle is as small as a homeless person getting a free meal, or an unexpected compliment to brighten someone’s day. Miracles can occur when we choose to do more than simply what we ought to do.” Gillian Robinson, Sunday Missal 2015-2016, Living with Christ, page 545.
Respect Life Sunday – The Church’s teaching about life encompasses the whole spectrum of human life, “from womb to tomb.” The Second Vatican Council proclaimed that “whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where [people] are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonour to the Creator” (Gaudium et Spes, 27). This Sunday, let us open our eyes to the many ways in which human life is at risk in our world and find constructive ways to preach the Gospel of Life.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 123
Month of October – “October means “eighth month” in Latin. Why is that? In the old Roman calendar, the year began in spring, not in winter. September was rich with feast days. November also will have several important days. But October was cut from rather a plain cloth. There are valleys between mountains and ordinary days between extraordinary ones.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 122
October 4th is the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. “The son of a wealthy merchant, St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) seemed destined for grand castles, exquisite clothing, and fine food. After a conversion experience, he relinquished the trappings of this world to minister to the leper and preach to the spiritually hungry. His home became the earth; his clothing, humility; and his identity, an impoverished beggar seeking God. Many young men joined St. Francis in this new way of life, leading to the foundation of the frati minori (“lesser brothers”), which eventually became known as the Friars Minor. He is perhaps one of the most popular saints in Church history due to his love of creation as exemplified in his famous “Canticle of the Sun.” Pope Pius XI described St. Francis as an alter Christus, meaning “another Christ.” Given Francis’ concern for creation, many parishes offer a blessing of animals on this day. The blessing is found in the Book of Blessings.” Respect Life Sunday – The Church’s teaching about life encompasses the whole spectrum of human life, “from womb to tomb.” The Second Vatican Council proclaimed that “whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where [people] are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonour to the Creator” (Gaudium et Spes, 27). This Sunday, let us open our eyes to the many ways in which human life is at risk in our world and find constructive ways to preach the Gospel of Life.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 125 Francis, our friend, give us the peace we need to see things as they really are! Bless all the animals you meet today by tracing a cross on their heads – except if you see a bear in the school yard ~ bless it from a distance!
October 7th is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. “The Rosary, which is perhaps the most-loved devotion in the Catholic Church, dates to the Middle Ages, when a practice developed of praying 150 Hail Marys on a set of beads, echoing the monastic prayer that was based on the 150 Psalms. The Dominicans are credited with popularizing the Rosary across Europe. By the sixteenth century, the Rosary had taken its present form, with fifteen mysteries – joyful, sorrowful, and glorious. In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the “Mysteries of Light,” or Luminous Mysteries: Christ’s baptism in the Jordan, the wedding feast in Cana, the proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 126 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you! Pray a decade of the rosary today.
Month of the Most Holy Rosary – “On October 7, we celebrate a well-loved memorial in honour of the Rosary, and according to a long standing tradition, the entire month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. In the Rosary, with its sequence of prayers and mysteries, we contemplate the Gospel in company with the Blessed Virgin Mary. As St. John Paul II wrote in 2002, “the Rosary….is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness….With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 1).” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 122-123
Holy Year of Mercy ~ until November 20th, 2016
“How beautiful is this gaze of Jesus, how much tenderness is in there! Brothers and sisters let us never lose trust and patience in the mercy of God.” A Year with Pope Francis, Daily Reflections from his writings, edited by Alberto Rossa, CMF, page 216
Walking Forward Together in Hope ~ a quote for the week
“Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone.” Oscar Hammerstein II
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.
6. We call upon the Government of Canada to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada. http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
Do you know what Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada is about? http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/researchpublications/prb0510-e.htm Read about it.
New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education
Praying ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes
By the end of grade 6, 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;
- Appreciate the gift of the common prayers of the Church and how they teach us to pray;
- Incorporate Sacred Scripture into their prayer life as a reflective form of prayer that reveals the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Grade Four – PR 1.2: Examine John’s Gospel (i.e. Jn. 17) and identify the meaning of the unique aspects of Jesus’ prayer when “his hour” came to go to the Father (ie. once and for all, unity, a priestly prayer, fulfills the petition of the Our Father) and where these themes are expressed in the Eucharistic prayer. [CCC nos. 2746-2751] Read to your students Chapter 17 of John’s gospel. Explain that John wrote a gospel that would show a different side of Jesus from the other three gospels. Jesus as the Son of God is highlighted in John’s gospel. Jesus has a very special close relationship with God the Father in John’s gospel. It is very evident in the 17th chapter of the gospel. We hear Jesus speaking to his father in an intimate way. Stop every few lines and ask the students what they think Jesus is saying to his father in his prayer. John’s gospel is challenging because of the language John uses, John was a scholar and so the language is more sophisticated. Jesus is praying for his friends, the disciples. Ask “Do you ever pray for your friends?” This chapter is called the “Prayer of the Hour of Jesus.” This is the longest prayer of Jesus recorded in the Gospels. “The prayer of the Hour of Jesus always remains his own, just as his Passover “once for all” remains ever present in the liturgy of his Church.” [CCC 2746] “Christian Tradition rightly calls this prayer the ‘priestly’ prayer of Jesus. It is the prayer of our high priest, inseparable from his sacrifice, from his passing over (Passover) to the Father to whom he is wholly ‘consecrated.’” [CCC 2747] It is a prayer of unity – bringing together God and the world, the Word of God and the incarnation (flesh of God), eternal life and the present time, the love that hands itself over and the sin that betrays love, the disciples present in the garden and those who will believe in him by their word (US) and humiliation and glory. Jesus completes the work of the Father until the end of time; “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If Jesus can do it, we can too, with his help. Ask your students do they hear similar words during the Mass. Invite them to listen to the Eucharistic prayer carefully next Mass. See if they can hear the similarity.
Grade Five – PR 1.2: Describe the variety of ways that Catholics express prayer during the communal celebration of the Mass (i.e. song, petitions, prayers, posture, kneeling, fold our hands, bowing our heads, cultural expressions and in silence) and suggest how and why all these ways deepen our experience of prayer. Try to teach this expectation close to a celebration of the Mass so the students can connect the lesson to the real prayer expressions. A JK/SK student made the following observation at their first Mass with the school “I stood, I sat, I got down on my knees, I sat and I stood again. Jesus is exhausting.” Ask your class what are the different postures of prayer during the communal celebration of the Mass. You ought to get standing, sitting, kneeling, folding our hands, blessing ourselves with the sign of the cross, bowing our heads and genuflecting (if they know what that is, not usually done when classes are streaming into pews.) Ask the students why we have so many physical ways to pray. How does changing our posture change or deepen our experience of prayer? When I am listening, it is good to sit so I can focus. When I want to be respectful and humble, I kneel. When I stand, I am often at attention. When I put my hands together to receive the Body of Christ, it is to provide a stable supported place for the host to rest before I consume it. We also sing our prayers. St. Augustine said, “The one who sings, prays twice.” Singing seems to evoke more emotion than words alone. Petitions give us an opportunity to ask for God’s help. Silence gives God an opportunity to respond to us. It also helps us to listen interiorly to the Word of God as it is prayed through the readings. Try to evoke as many answers from the students as possible. Invite them to be more attentive during their next celebration of the Eucharist.
Grade Six – PR 1.2: Identify real life situations of injustice (poverty and starvation, oppression, prejudice, environmental harm, etc.) and develop intercessory prayers on behalf of those in need. [CCC nos. 2634-2636] Bring newspapers to class. Ask the class to look at the news of the world and to search for situations of injustice (as examples given above.) Then have the students develop intercessory prayers on behalf of the people involved in the situations. Begin the intercessions by framing them as:
Let us pray for the people involved in……. We ask God to …. We pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer. At the end of the class, or the next day, pray for the intercessions created by the class. Later ~ Invite the students to make up intercessory prayers for the needs of the school community for the next Mass. Give them the opportunity to use their prayers in real time.
Twenty-first Century Learning
- http://Sophiainstituteforteachers.com > videos about sacraments > free resources good
- http://ascensionpresents.com > Father Mike Schmidt presents church teaching
- http://cruxnow.com > John L. Allen Jr. – a website of Catholic thought and insight
- http://wccm.org/ > World Community for Christian Meditation > This is a site for Christian Meditation for teachers and students alike.
- CARFLEO.com > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grad
115 Saintly FUN Facts ~ Smiles and Surprises for Kids of All Ages by Bernadette McCarver Snyder
“Francis of Assisi – This is the saint who got the idea to put a Christmas crib scene in church every year! And today most Catholic churches – AND homes – copy Francis’ idea each Christmas. BUT when Francis was a young man, he only had ONE idea. He just wanted to have a good time! Francis was the son of a rich man, and he LIKED leading the life of a rich man’s son! But when he decided to CHANGE his life, he changed it dramatically! Instead of wearing expensive clothes, he wore a simple brown robe and sometimes even gave away his shoes and went barefoot. He became a monk, prayed a lot, and was a friend to everyone – even the animals. And then one Christmas he got the idea that he should try to help people FEEL like they were THERE when Jesus was born in a stable. So he got busy, building and arranging, and when people came in church that night for Midnight Mass, they saw a Christmas crib scene – with Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. BUT Francis’ crib was a little different from those of today because he even brought some of his REAL animal friends into church to stand by the crib! Francis, the rich man’s son, learned to love God and ALL his creatures. AND, just like when he was young, he spent his life having a GOOD time – just a different KIND of good time! Everybody likes to have a good time! But SOME people have the idea that means wild parties and doing things that are NOT good! What is YOUR idea of having a GOOD time?” page 63-64
WHO says teaching RELIGION can’t be FUN? What’s Your Catholic IQ? by Pat Carter csj
- An act of reverence made either singly, by touching the right knew to the ground, or doubly, by kneeling on both knees and bowing the head slightly is A. Gilds B. Girdle C. Genuflection D. Glosses
- The consecrated species of bread as used in the Mass is A. Benediction B. Host C. Altar Breads D. none of these
- The book that contains, in sequence throughout the year, brief directions for the Mass and the Divine Office to be said every day of the properly approved calendar of the Church is A. Sacramentary B. Roman Missal C. Lectionary D. Ordo
- Being a basis of confusion over the morality of actions, these arise when a troubled conscience, prompted by imaginary reasons, causes one to constantly dread sin where no sin exists, or to hold a venially sinful action mortally sinful is A. Scruples B. Scrutiny C. Sedition D. none of these
- The members of this small force are specially chosen young Catholic men from Switzerland to serve as personal guardian of the pope are A. Swiss guards B. Swiss mafia C. Swiss underground police D. none of these
WHO says teaching RELIGION can’t be FUN? What’s Your Catholic IQ? by Pat Carter csj
- The symbol of office carried by the ordinary (bishop) of a diocese is A. pastoral staff B. crozier C. shepherd’s crook D. all of these
- A technique of painting frequently used in church decoration whereby colours are put directly on the freshly applied, wet surface of plaster is A. catacomb B. watercolour C. fresco D. oil painting
- Writings not only on the lives and works, but also on the sanctity of saints, thus being more than biography is A. hagiography B. autobiography C. autography D. none of these
- The invocation of the Trinity said in the Mass before the Gloria is A. Greeting B. Kyrie eleison C. Doxology D. Sanctus
- Contract between baptized persons which was raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament is A. Reconciliation B. Anointing of the Sick C. Marriage D. Ordination
Taking Jesus to the Movies …A blog by Pat Carter
Free State of Jones – This movie starts Matthew McConnaughey who plays Newton Knight. It is based on true stories from the American Civil War. There are very graphic scenes of war violence so I would not watch this movie with young children. There are several scenes where black people are lynched. The movie moves back and forth in time to tell Newt’s story and his son’s story and how they deal with bigotry in the southern States. There are several scenes showing the beautiful flora and fauna of the southern States. It would be great to watch on a big screen. I give this movie 3.5/5 hearts
Trivia for Those Who Read to the end…Just like the credits at the movies.
“In the year 2000, India proclaimed the birth of its billionth citizen.” WOW! http://old.randomtriviagenerator.com/