Catholic Culture Update October 9th


Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning October 9th, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Christ has no hands or feet on earth, but YOURS.” Teresa of Avila

October 9th is the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary time. “There are a lot of ‘peripheries’ in today’s gospel. Pope Francis often uses the word to translate the margins of society to which he urges us to take Christ’s compassion. Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee, whose populations of Samaritans and Jews were usually bitter enemies. Such frontiers were fraught with ethnic and religious tensions. Lepers were also people of the ‘periphery,’ living on the edges of communities, isolated for fear of contagion. Their disease had allied ancient enemies who knew one thing. The Master who approached did not fear those on the margins, and indiscriminately lavished God’s mercy and healing on them. The lepers asked for mercy. Jesus offered it, and then wondered at the gratitude expressed only by one – the hated Samaritan. To all, Jesus had given life: he had re-created, healed and restored them to family, friends, community. Jesus offers life restored to us too. Perhaps we imagine ourselves far from the margins, little in need of mercy. But in moments of utter honesty, we recognize that we too are marginalized. We need healing. Jesus invites us to trust his word of power, and to surrender ourselves to God to be transformed and restored by his Spirit in this [Sunday’s] Eucharist so that, brimming with gratitude and joy, we may return to the margins as bearers of God’s mercy.” Bernadette Gasslein, Sunday Missal 2015-2016, Living with Christ, page 560.

October 10th is Thanksgiving Day. “Few people know that the first formal Thanksgiving service in North America was celebrated in Newfoundland in 1578 by Sir John Frobisher and the European settlers after their safe landing. However, Thanksgiving Day didn’t become an annual event in Canada until much later. The tradition returned to the province of Nova Scotia with travelers who had celebrated Thanksgiving Day in New England. The tradition spread to the rest of the country, and in 1879 a day of thanksgiving for a good harvest and other blessings became an official holiday in Canada. Traditional Thanksgiving feasts include dinners of venison, waterfowl, and other wild fame, as well as other North American foods, such as wild rice, corn, cranberries, and potatoes.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 123-124 Loving God, thank you for how you give all good things to us. Call or tell someone you are grateful > someone you haven’t told in a long time.

October 10th is also World Mental Health Day. “Psychological first aid: When terrible things happen in our communities, we can reach out a helping hand to those who are affected. Perhaps you find yourself at the scene of an accident where people are hurt. Perhaps you are a health-care worker or teacher talking with someone from your community who has just witnessed the violent death of a loved one. Perhaps you are called upon as a staff member in a disaster or volunteer to help asylum seekers who have recently arrived in your community. Learning the basic principles of psychological first aid will help you to provide support to people who are very distressed, and, importantly, to know what not to say. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, covers “psychological first aid”. Efforts in support of the day will focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers. Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both psychological and social support. Just like general health care never consists of physical first aid alone, similarly no mental health care system should consist of psychological first aid alone. Indeed, the investment in psychological first aid is part of a longer-term effort to ensure that anyone in acute distress due to a crisis is able to receive basic support, and that those who need more than psychological first aid will receive additional advanced support from health, mental health and social services.” If you would like to learn more about this year’s theme go to >

Image result for st teresa of avilaOctober 15th is the memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. “St. Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582), more commonly known as St. Teresa of Avila, joined the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation at the age of 21. Disheartened by the laxness of its observance of the Carmelites Rule, in particular its opulent nature and overly social atmosphere, she began a reform movement laying the framework for the Discalced Carmelites. This new branch of Carmelites modeled themselves on the poor and crucified Christ, adopting the life of poverty and abstinence. In collaboration with St. John of the Cross, she helped bring this new way of life to the male Carmelite communities. Although their reforms were met with great resistance, they moved forward with faith and persistence. Among here many writings, she is well known for two classics: The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle. St. Teresa is one of the first women to be named Doctor of the Church.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 128-129 St. Teresa of Avila, share with us a bit of your sense of humour. Tell a joke, do some silly thing to make others laugh.

Holy Year of Mercy ~ until November 20th, 2016

“Let ourselves be embraced by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, letting ourselves be loved by him. We will feel his tenderness and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience and forgiveness.” A Year with Pope Francis, Daily Reflections from his writings, edited by Alberto Rossa, CMF, page 217

Walking Forward Together with God ~ a quote for the week

“Be the one who walks with the Lord.” Shellie Palmer, Beyond the Silence of Love and Faith

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.


  1. We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.”

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Praying ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

By the end of grade 8, 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 and other forms of prayer into their prayer life;
  • Turn to Christ’s gift of the Our Father as a model for prayer and the saints as a model for a life of prayer;
  • Reflect on the whole of the Liturgical year of the Church as an unfolding of the story of our salvation, made known through symbol, Word, ritual action and prayer.

Grade Seven – PR 1.2: Identify the four-fold structure of the Sermon on the Mount (first, teaching on the Kingdom and the characteristics of discipleship – Beatitudes/Salt and Light; second, the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law; third, illustrations of a truly spiritual person/the Our Father/how to pray, give alms, fast; fourth, dangerous tendencies/earthly wealth vs. heavenly goals/worry and fear) and show how the Sermon links the petitions in the Our Father to the Beatitudes and the moral teachings of the other three sections. (The first and second parts summarize Christ’s moral teaching – what we are to “be”. The third which contains the Our Father, teaches us how to “have” a spiritual life filled with God’s grace, and the fourth points to the purpose of life – The Reign of God. This proximity links prayer, spirituality and moral actions in our lives – the need to seek and ask for the guidance and assistance of God the Father, in order to live the Christian life as reflected in moral teaching and prayer.)

The Sermon on the Mount is also known as The Beatitudes. Read Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount to your class. (Chapters 5, 6 and 7) Ask them if they know what the passage is called. Using the four-fold structure of the Sermon given above in the expectation, teach your students the structure. “The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw us to the One who alone can fulfill it.” [CCC 1718] There is a huge amount of teaching in this one expectation…it may take a couple of weeks. I would be happy to assist you, just call. Create a chart and invite the students to put the parts of the passage in the chart where they think these belong. Some of column 1 and 3 can be put in either column. You may have to review the 10 commandments so the students get column 2. And I think column 4 is self-explanatory for Grade 7 students.

Teaching on the Kingdom and characteristics of discipleship Letter of the Law vs the spirit of the law – in each teaching Jesus is quoting the 10 commandment dealing with each law. Illustrations of truly spiritual person / Our Father/ how to pray, give alms, fast Dangerous tendencies/earthly wealth vs heavenly goals/ worry and fear
The Beatitudes reveal how things will be when God’s kingdom will be established – poor in spirit, mourners, meek, hungering, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and the persecuted: will receive their reward The Law will not be abolished by Jesus’ teaching but fulfilled. But the key is keeping the spirit of the law as well. Love comes first, love supercedes the Letter of the Law. So do the loving thing. Concerning almsgiving – a truly spiritual person gives quietly and without a big show. Storing up treasures
Disciples are salt and light for the earth/world. Concerning anger – make a loving movement toward reconciliation and forgiveness Concerning prayer – a truly spiritual person prays quietly and without a big show. Judging others
Love your enemies as well as your neighbour. Concerning adultery – make choices of piety, respect and care. Our Father is a prayer of petition that helps us keep our relationship with God and others in balance. Serving two masters – one gets short changed and it is usually money that gets all the attention.
Ask, search and knock – you will receive what you need. Concerning divorce – be sure you have the real grounds for it. Concerning fasting – a truly spiritual person fasts quietly and without a big show. Worry does you no good.
Golden rule Concerning oaths – do not swear oaths. Judging others – again, must be a real problem, right?
Narrow gate – not a physical place of passage, but a way to live a good life for God. Concerning retaliation – turn the other cheek, give coat and cloak as well, go two miles, give to those who beg. Concerning self-deception – Jesus knows our hearts, remember that! Profaning the holy – swearing using God’s name, not going to Church, treating sacredness as ordinary and unworthy.
The wise disciple listens and hears God’s word and lives by them. Beware of false prophets – who pretend to speak for God but who have their own interests in mind.

You may want to summarize the whole of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount by sharing this paragraph with your class.

The first and second parts summarize Christ’s moral teaching – what we are to “be”. The third which contains the Our Father, teaches us how to “have” a spiritual life filled with God’s grace, and the fourth points to the purpose of life – The Reign of God. This proximity links prayer, spirituality and moral actions in our lives – the need to seek and ask for the guidance and assistance of God the Father, in order to live the Christian life as reflected in moral teaching and prayer.

Grade Eight – PR 1.2: Examine the “Seven Petitions” of the Our Father and explain how they express different aspects of our faith in God and how they might influence our daily encounter with God and others. [CCC nos. 2803-2854] Petitions are when we are asking God for something. Give your class that definition and ask them to identify the seven petitions of the Our Father.

The first series of petitions carries us toward God: We ask hallowed be thy name. We ask thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We want to honour, respect and glorify God for who God is! Creator and redeemer!

The second series of petitions asks for God’s mercy and care: Give us…forgive us…lead us not… deliver us from…

Only with God’s help will we be fed all we need to grow in faith, in love and in hope. “By the three first petitions, we are strengthened in faith, filled with hope and set aflame by love.” [CCC 2806] Ask your students how these petitions might influence our daily encounter with God and others. These petitions assist us in humility. We are asking God for help that only God can truly free give us. These petitions identify our basic needs – food, forgiveness, and safety. If we broaden daily bread to mean – everything that will sustain our life (it would include shelter, care, all foods, security of possessions, resources, job/schooling). Our need for forgiveness keeps our relationship with God and all others in right order. Safety from what is evil or not from God is something that could get more attention > meaning…safety from the temptation of risky behaviours, drugs, alcohol, serious illness, power tripping, anything that is going to put our relationships at risk. Discuss this last point with your students. Sometimes there is a temptation to think that adolescents are immune from serious harm. It is good to have a compassionate frank conversation with them. I am happy to come in and help you with this point. There is much more detail about the Seven Petitions in the CCC [2803-2854].

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

“Gall – Do you like to go fishing? Then you should make friends with this saint because he spent a lot of time fishing! He also spent a lot of time preaching and converting people to Christianity, but whenever he had any spare time, he spent it knotting fishing nets and sitting on the bank of a river or lake enjoying the sport of fishing. Gall was born in Ireland. He was a friend of St. Columban and travelled around with him preaching and teaching. In his later life, he became a hermit and spent his days in prayer – but it is noted that one place where he lived was very near a river that was known to be a good fishing spot! It’s easy to think that saints did nothing but pray, but many of them also liked to fish, sing songs, play ball, and all the ordinary things that YOU might like to do too. The big difference is that many people today spend ALL their time doing things like fishing, singing songs, playing ball, and watching TV and NEVER save even a little bit of time each day to pray. YOU would never do that, would you?” page 64

WHO says teaching RELIGION can’t be FUN? What’s Your Catholic IQ? by Pat Carter csj

  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. The invocation of the Trinity said in the Mass before the Gloria is   A. Greeting B. Kyrie eleison       C. Doxology    D. Sanctus
  1. 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

What’s Your Catholic IQ? A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment by David O’Brien

  1. The sacrament that begins the Christian life is   A.First Communion B. Baptism C. Confirmation   D. Anointing of the Sick
  1. Learning about the Catholic faith is only for children. T or F
  1. God gave Moses this number of commandments on Mount Sinai.    A.Eight B. Seven C. Five      D. Ten
  1. Who wrote the most books in the Christian Scriptures?    A. Paul B. Peter C. Jesus        D. Pope Francis
  1. Jesus became famous because of his teaching and his    A. beautiful clothes B. sports ability C. miracles   D. cooking

Taking Jesus to the Movies …A blog by Pat Carter

Race – This movie stars William Hurt and Jeremy Irons but the part of Jesse Owens is played by Stephan James. This is the story of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. It shows the insidious nature of prejudice of the Aryan race under Hitler’s control.  I would watch this movie with children to teach them the wrongs that occurred to people during the war. I really appreciated the covenantal love illustrated by Jesse and his girlfriend/wife. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5 hearts

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

“The earth’s top layer is called the crust.”  Very interesting!



Leave a Reply