Catholic Culture Update October 16th

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“We are made for happiness.” St. John Paul the Great

October 16th is the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary time. “At first glance, the meaning of Jesus’ parables is not clear to us. This Sunday’s gospel, however, doesn’t require us to peel back layers of metaphors to get at its meaning. The opening sentence is quite clear – Jesus reminds us of our need to pray always and not to lose heart. The challenge for us is figuring out how to pray when we do lose heart, when we do give up or are tempted to give up because we don’t get what we have been praying for. The golden nugget of the parable is revealed to us at the end, when Jesus asks whether he will find faith on earth when justice has been granted to us. We are being reminded that prayer cannot exist without our faith: a faith that is deeply rooted in our loving relationship with our Father. Our faith in God’s love for us gives us the strength and the courage to be persistent with our prayers. We trust in God’s protection because we know that our help is “from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Let us not lose heart in our prayer life, but draw on St. Paul’s “utmost patience,” so that through our faith we will be open to the Holy Spirit working through our prayers, always knowing that “the Lord is our keeper.” Julie Cachio, Sunday Missal 2015-2016, Living with Christ, page 566.

October 16th is also World Food Day. “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too: 2016, a year for action.” At the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger in the next 15 years. With unprecedented speed, the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change is set to enter into force, just in time for the next climate change conference, COP22, from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. The global goal for achieving Zero Hunger is 2030 – an ambitious goal and one that cannot be reached without addressing climate change.  Our collective task is now to turn commitments into action on the ground.

October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. 2016 Theme: Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors that affect the lives of people living in poverty. This means we must go beyond seeing poverty merely as the lack of income or what is necessary for material well-being — such as food, housing, land, and other assets – in order to fully understand poverty in its multi-dimensions. The theme this year – selected in consultation with activists, civil society and non-governmental organizations – highlights how important it is to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty.

October 18 is the feast of St. Luke, Evangelist. “St. Luke the Evangelist (first century) is traditionally known as the author of the Gospel that bears his name as well as of the Acts of the Apostles. He is also identified with the “beloved physician” referred to by St. Paul (Col. 4:14). Luke was a Gentile from Antioch in Syria, and his roots show both in his writing style and in his sympathetic treatment of Gentiles in [his] Gospel. According to the Acts of the Apostles, he accompanied St. Paul on some of his evangelizing journeys, and he stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome. Some sources claim he was martyred, by it is thought that he died an old man of natural causes. A tradition states that he was the first icon painter, and the Black Madonna of Czestochowa is attributed to him. His symbol is an ox or bull because the Lucan Gospel begins with Zachary, the father of John the Baptist, offering a sacrifice in the Temple. St. Luke is patron saint of artists and physicians.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 130 St. Luke help us to be healers of those around us who need healing. Doodle a picture today!

October 22nd is the memorial of St. John Paul II. “To tell of St. John Paul II’s 26 years of Petrine ministry is to provide a litany of encyclicals, travels, and historic events. Not only was St. John Paul II (1920-2005) the first pope to enter a synagogue since St. Peter, but he appealed to both Jews and Christians to be “a blessing to one another,” and offered repentance in the name of the Church for the Shoah. From the moment Karol Wojtyla was elected pope in October 1978, the man who had entered the clandestine seminary while living under Nazi occupation mesmerized the world. In the early years, Catholics and non-Catholics alike were attracted to the athletic man who snuck out of his villa to ski and reached out to the young at World Youth Days. People of many faiths prayed for him when he was shot in St. Peter’s Square and were awed with the mercy he granted his assailant. And none escaped the poignancy of a feeble John Paul II praying at the Western Wall in Israel, leaving a prayer inside the wall. Even a scant follower of the pope knew that the man who forgave his assailant, traveled the world to evangelize, and sought healing in relations with the Jewish people looked to the Blessed Virgin as a model of faith. A week after taking on the Chair of St. Peter, he brought reporters to the Marian Shrine of Mentorella outside of Rome. “I wanted to come here, among these mountains,” he told them “to sing the Magnificat in Mary’s footsteps.” On that date, too, he told of his love for the Rosary, a remark that he recalled 24 years later in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (RVM, 2): The Rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and depth.” In that letter, he explained the Christocentric nature of the prayer. “With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty of his love.” In RVM, he notes Mary’s conformity to Christ: “Mary lives only in Christ and for Christ!” His motto was Totus Tuus (all thine). …” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 131-132 St. John Paul the Great, inspire our youth to be all they can be. Pray the Hail Mary today in honour of St. John Paul the Great.


Holy Year of Mercy ~ until November 20th, 2016

“This is important: let us have the courage to trust in Jesus’ mercy, to trust in his patience and to seek refuge always in the wounds of his love.” A Year with Pope Francis, Daily Reflections from his writings, edited by Alberto Rossa, CMF, page 218


Walking Forward Together with our Families ~ a quote for the week

“My mother is a walking miracle.” Leonardo DiCaprio


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 eliminate the discrepancy in federal education funding for First Nations children being educated on reserves and those First Nations children being educated off reserves.

Let’s be sure that the First Nations children coming to our schools are receiving the very best education we can offer them.

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 1.3: Reflect on a selection of Old Testament passages which reveal prayer as a response to God’s covenantal promise and link these forms of prayer to the forms of prayer promoted by the Church. (Gen. 12:1-4, 15:2 – Abraham prays through his obedience and in word; Numbers 14 – Moses’ great intercessory prayer; Book of Psalms – David’s hymns of praise; 1 Kings 19:9-14 – God speaks to Elijah. [CCC nos. 2566-2598]   God calls us to a promise to be in relationship with him and each other. God makes a covenant with Abraham, the father of our faith. When God calls Abraham, Abraham listens to God wholeheartedly and he obeys God. Prayer is about listening to God. Read Genesis 12: 1-4. Ask your students what did Abram do when God told him what God told him? [Abram listened and obeyed God.] Ask your students if they know what a covenant it. A covenant is a sacred promise that two people make to each other. Both people promise something to the other.  Read Gen. 17: 1-16 to your students. At the beginning of the story, Abraham does not have any children. Having descendants is very important to the people of Israel. In Abraham’s situation, God promises to protect and guide and give the Promised Land to Abraham’s descendants. God also promises to give Abraham a son, even though both Abraham and his wife Sarah, are very old. Nothing is impossible for God. Abraham promises to God to listen, to believe and to show a sign of belonging to the covenant. The males of Abraham’s people will be circumcised to show they are in relationship with God through the covenant. [Explain circumcision if you wish.] This covenant sets up the relationship with God and humans. This covenant is constantly tested by the humans. We can be sinful and want to call the shots in life. Thank goodness for people like Abraham and Moses, who pray and listen to God and who help us to see the error of our ways. The form of prayer shown next is intercessory prayer. Explain to your students that intercessory prayer is a prayer when someone prays for others. Read Numbers 14: 11-25. Ask who is praying intercessory prayer in this passage. For what is Moses asking? How does God respond? [God relents from what He wanted to do, but the people will not enter the Promised Land.]   We are called to intercede for others. We can pray for others as we see they have need. When we pray for ourselves, we call that type of prayer, prayer of petition. The Book of Psalms is authored by David, at least tradition gives David the honour of being the author. King David loved God and loved to praise God. The psalms are songs that would have been sung and instruments would have accompanied the songs. Read Ps. 8. Ask the students what the psalm says [God created all things, God is amazing.] This is a psalm of praise – one type of prayer. Read Ps. 16:1-2. Ask the students what the psalm says [Help me God.] This is a psalm of petition – another type of prayer, asking for help for oneself.   Ps. 21 is a thanksgiving prayer. Read Ps. 21:1-2 to give the students a bit of it.

God wants to speak to us every day. We need to listen carefully so that we can hear God’s voice. God does not want to frighten us so God speaks to us gently and quietly, so we need to become quiet in order to hear. After explaining that God wants to speak to us, read 1 Kings 19:9-16. God speaks in the silence of our hearts. We can hear God’s voice and listen to the words that God speaks to us. It takes much practise because there is so much noise that distracts our attention. Prayer is about listening to and speaking to God in many ways.

Twenty-first Century Learning


  • > Students Surprise Their Favourite Police Officer With Flash  Mob > The students at this high school love their resource officer Officer Mich. Not only does he protect the students, but he really goes out of his way to make sure they are successful and encouraged. So the students decided to thank him in a big way. They all got together and planned this incredible flash mob with help of their principal to give Mich the ‘Thank You’ he deserves! > 5.56 min
  • > Baby Girl Can’t Stop Smiling After Getting New Glasses > 1.11 min Cute Video
  • > photos/images in creative commons – free for use in education enterprises
  • > many options for teacher use
  •    15 graphic organizers
  • Sign up for newsletter – recommends top ten apps for presentations etc.
  • > World Community for Christian Meditation > This is a site for Christian Meditation for teachers and students alike.
  • > 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

“Genesius the Comedian –Did you ever watch a comedian on TV or in the movies? They are sooo funny that they make you giggle and guffaw, chuckle and chortle. Well, legend says that is what Genesius did as a career. He appeared with a group of players and put on funny plays. One day Genesius and his group were asked to put on an “entertainment” for the emperor – a very important assignment. They got the bright idea to put on a play making fun of Christians! At that time Christians were considered foolish people, and they were also people in danger because the emperor had all Christians killed. So Genesius and his friends knew the Romans would laugh if they made fun of Christians! When the play began, Genesius would pretend that HE wanted to become a Christian and be baptized. He would make it look very funny. And then some other actors would come in and pretend to be priests and go through fancy rituals baptizing him. But an even funnier thing happened! In the middle of the play when Genesius said he wanted to be baptized, he was suddenly filled with a great love of God and truly DID want to become a Christian! When the play was over, he told everyone that God had touched him and he was sorry he had made fun of Christianity and he hoped everyone else would also believe in Jesus Christ. Genesius had tried to play a joke on God. Instead, God played a happy joke on Genesius! Did you ever play a joke on someone? Was it a funny joke or a MEAN joke? God gave you the wonderful gift of laughter, AND he filled the world with lots of things for you to laugh about – giraffes with long funny necks and turtles with short funny necks that fit inside a shell, puppy dogs and kitty cats that do such silly things, monkeys that make funny faces and people who make funny faces too! The next time you have a really good giggle, tell God thanks for comedians like Saint Genesius AND for the gift of laughter.” page 65-66



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


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

  1. The leader of each diocese around the world is called a bishop. T or F


  1. Jesus worked as this before his ministry with his disciples.     A. shepherd B. priest C. carpenter   D. math teacher


  1. Only Catholics will go to heaven. T or F


  1. God asked this person to build an ark.     A. Adam & Eve B. Mary C. Jesus   D. Noah


  1. The judge in the Old Testament famous for his strength and his long hair was    A. Samuel B. Samson C. Deborah     D. Elijah


Taking Jesus to the Movies …A blog by Pat Carter

Smoke Signals – This movie was released as an independent film in 1998. It was directed and co-produced by Chris Eyre and with a screenplay by Sherman Alexie (same author as the novel titled The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian).   This movie has pathos, comedy, some moments of historical reference. It is a story worth seeing and hearing. I saw the movie in Toronto in 1998 and I was laughing out loud. Several other patrons were giving me dirty looks because they thought I was being rude. They obviously did not get the humour. I recently purchased my own DVD because when I need a good belly laugh, I will watch this movie. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5 hearts


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

“Scrabble was first released in 1948.”  Very interesting!

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