Catholic Culture Update December 11

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning December 11th, 2016

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Rejoice in the Lord always.” Philippians 4.4

December 11th is the Third Sunday of Advent. “Tis the season for runaway anticipation. Expending seemingly unlimited time and energy on preparing for the big day, it’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about. Then, when it’s come and gone, we are left to wonder what all the bustling, buying and baking were for. What a letdown! That empty, disquieting feeling must have plagued John the Baptist as he languished in Herod’s prison awaiting his execution. The Baptist sent word by the disciples to Jesus, asking him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” John the Baptist had been sent to prepare the way for Jesus, the Saviour. John anticipated the coming of a messiah and he was confident that Jesus was that messiah. So why the lingering doubts? Jesus didn’t really fit with John’s preconceived notion of a messiah who would come breathing fire and brimstone and take the unsuspecting and unrepentant world by storm. Jesus sent a return message: “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.” Certainly not fire and brimstone – rather a genuine Christmas story of love and salvation. It’s time that we too shifted our focus from unrealistic expectation to embrace the promise of Jesus as the true meaning of Christmas.” Frank Campbell, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 86.

Gaudete Sunday – “The Third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday, from the first words of the Entrance Antiphon for the Mass: Gaudete in Domino semper, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice./ Indeed, the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5). Like the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), it is day for rejoicing in the midst of a penitential liturgical time. The organ returns, flowers again grace the altar, and the liturgical colour may shift from violet to rose. Why do we rejoice? Because, as St. Paul says, “the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). Even as we continue to await the Lord’s coming, we know that he is already with us: in his word and in his sacraments, and in the Church, which is his body. In a special way, he is with us in his beloved poor. A new Gaudete Sunday custom has developed in Rome in recent years. Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent, the children of Rome bring the Bambinello (the figure of the Christ Child) from this home manger scenes to St. Peter’s Square for a special blessing by the Holy Father. In just a few years, this has become a well-loved tradition, so much so that some Romans call the Third Sunday of Advent Bambinelli Sunday!” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 4

Image result for our lady of guadeloupeDecember 12th is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. “Today the Church throughout America (North, Central, and South) celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of America. Today is a feast in Canada, but in many Hispanic countries, such as Mexico, it is raised to a solemnity. The story of the origins of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is well known. Juan Diego was a quiet, humble man, a poor peasant. When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and asked him to tell the local bishop to build a church in her honour, Juan Diego became a very reluctant messenger. The bishop would not believe him. So Mary filled Juan Diego’s tilma, or cloak, with roses in December, and when he emptied out these beautiful flowers at the bishop’s feet, there, imprinted on his tilma, was a wonderful image of the Virgin, dressed like a young Aztec woman. Our Lady of Guadalupe, or La Morenita, as she is sometimes called – “the little dark one” – said to Juan Diego: “Now and understand that I am the ever virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom all things live…. Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care?” (Benedictine Daily Prayer, The Liturgical Press, p. 1698)”Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 150 Our Lady, inspire us to do what we can to have reconciliation in our relationships with our First Nations, Métis and Innu peoples. Attend a special Mass at St. Jerome’s Church at 4:00 p.m. today in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

December 13th is the memorial of St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr. “St. Lucy (c. +304), Related imageeven from a young age, had a burning desire to serve God and an infinite love for the poor. Living in Syracuse, a city in Sicily, she fell prey to the Diocletian persecutions, which eventually resulted in her martyrdom. She resisted a man, believed to be a Roman soldier, who tried to rape her. He, in turn, denounced her as a Christian and had her tortured and killed. Numerous legends revolve around her death, but one that has gained popularity is that she tore out her eyes in an act to resist her attacker. Her name comes from the Latin lux / Lucia, meaning light; therefore, many northern countries honour her at this time of year when darkness is pervasive. Sweden celebrates the virginity and martyrdom of St. Lucy during the festival of light with a sacred process of young girls clothed in white dresses with red sashes, and crowned with lit candles. She is the patron saint of those with eye troubles and those needing awareness.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 150-151 St. Lucy we pray for your intercession for all who cannot see and for those who will not see. Sit in a room without the lights on for a few minutes and pray for those who have trouble seeing.

Image result for st john of the crossDecember 14th is the memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church. “John of the Cross (1542-1591) grew up near Avila in poverty. His father died when he was young, and his widowed mother struggled to support the family. Shortly after his ordination in 1567, he met Teresa of Avila and was drawn into her reform of the Carmelites. The reform set Carmelite brothers against brother, and John was even imprisoned but used the time to write the Spiritual Canticle. For this, and for his other great work, Dark Night of the Soul, he is considered one of the greatest poets to write in Spanish.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 151 St. John when we are feeling misunderstood, give us the courage to stand by our convictions. Write a verse of poetry to celebrate St. John’s day.

Walking Forward Together with God ~ a quote for the week

“Those who walk with God always reach their destination.” Henry Ford


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.


iii. The federal government has a responsibility to provide sufficient funds for Aboriginal-language revitalization and preservation.


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 2.1: Examine the Scripture to identify the importance of giving praise to God at all times. Psalms 119:164; Ps. 1:2; Ex. 29:38-46; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thes. 5:17; Acts 2:15, 3:1; Acts 10:3,9,13,19; Acts 16:25. [CCC nos. 1174-1178]

Invite your students to work in groups to look at a particular passage from the list above and to identify why it is important to praise God at all time.

Passages What the passage says Why it is important to praise God at all times
Psalm 119:164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances. God gifts us at all times, it is important to remember a different points in the day to say thank you.
Psalm 1:2 But their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. God’s law guides our days and our way. When we spend time with God’s law we stay on the right path.
Exodus 29:38-46 This passage describes the daily offerings that ought to be offered by the priests of Israel. It is not expected that priests today will offer these kinds of offerings but that they make the offering of the Eucharist daily. The Eucharist is the greatest offering that can be made to God.
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. Praying in the Spirit means that you are inviting the Holy Spirit to assist you in your prayer. Asking for what the Spirit suggests, not just what you want.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. That we pray so often that even when we are not consciously praying our spirit is open to the Holy Spirit. In this way we are always open to hearing what God wants to say to us.
Acts 2:15 Indeed, these [the apostles] are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. The apostles have been inspired by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and in the early part of the day they are giving praise to God.
Acts 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. In the middle of the day Peter and John were going to the Temple to pray. Another example of how every hour of the day is a good time to pray. It can be helpful to go to a prayer space to be able to praise God, with fewer distractions.
Acts 10:3 One afternoon at about three o’clock [Cornelius] had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius.” When we praise God at all times, we can and may experience God’s voice speaking directly to us.
Acts 10:9 About noon the next day, as [Cornelius’ two slaves] were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. Another example of Peter praying at noon. He will have a special experience of God speaking to him and guiding him.
Acts 10:13 Then [Peter] heard a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” In his prayer time the Spirit of God is instructing Peter to do something that Peter would not normally do. He thought it was wrong, but God is teaching him a lesson that it is not wrong.
Acts 10: 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look, three men are searching for you.” The Holy Spirit sent Cornelius and his men to Peter. In his prayer time, Peter is being taught a lesson and the slaves will bring Peter to Cornelius so that Cornelius can show Peter that the Gentiles can believe in Jesus too.
Acts 16:25 At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. In the middle of the night these apostles were praying and praising God in song. Their songs also brought comfort to the other prisoners. Then the prisoners find they are free. Nothing is impossible for God.


Grade Eight – PR 2.2: Identify how the profession of faith which we make in the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed not only deepen our understanding of the central beliefs of the Church but are essential for a life of prayer. [CCC 2565, 2655]

Ask your students if they can tell you which Creed is older the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. [Apostles’ Creed – first Century; Nicene Creed not until the Council of Nicaea – 325] Ask them which Creed is shorter. [Apostles’ Creed is shorter because believers who knew Jesus as witnesses could speak directly from their experience of him. Nicene Creed evolved to give more teaching about the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ, so it is longer.] Have the two Creeds shown side by side. Ask your students how professing the Creeds deepens believers understanding of the central beliefs of the Church? Ask your students how praying with the Creeds would be essential for a believer’s life of prayer? Putting the questions to the students in terms of believers instead of them, gives them a reason to ponder why a believer might use the Creed. Sometimes in Grade 7-12 students struggle to say that they believe because they are trying to become autonomous about their lives and their beliefs. This gives them some distance if they need that to be engaged in the discussion.


Twenty-first Century Learning


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

“Homobonus –This saint was a good businessman – AND a good man. In fact, in Latin, homo bonus MEANS “good man”! The father of Homobonus was a merchant, and he taught his son all about his business so that when Homobonus was old enough, he could be his father’s partner. Homobonus learned his lessons well. His father taught him that to be a good businessman, he must be a good man – honest, fair, dutiful, just, and kind. Homobonus lived his whole business life that way, treating customers as he would like to be treated himself. And he lived his private life the same way. He married a lady who was prudent and faithful as he was, and they gave much of the money they made from their successful business to those who were less fortunate. Homobonus went to Mass every day. After many years – when he was a very old man – he suddenly collapsed during Mass. He died as he had lived – at prayer. A “good man” to the end. Would YOU like to be a GOOD businessperson some day? Maybe run a restaurant, shoe store, real estate office, or lawn-mowing service? SOME people today think the BEST way to be successful in business is to be dishonest and cheat the customers. Others know better. Think about business today and HOW MANY DIFFERENT KINDS of businesses SERVE your family – grocery stores, electric and gas companies, automobile service stations, clothing stores, movies, TV repair shops. This list goes on and on – and you want them ALL to TREAT YOU FAIRLY. So if you ever go into business, always treat OTHERS as YOU would like to be treated. Remember, HOMOBONUS! To be a good business person, FIRST be a good person!” page 73-74


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

  1. “I can do all things through _____ who strengthens me.”   A. money B. my friends C. my own efforts   D. Christ


  1. Yahweh is God’s name in Hebrew. T or F


  1. _____ was thrown into the lion’s den.   A. Tarzan B. Danie     C. Elijah D. Mowgli


  1. _____ books in the Bible are named after holy women.   A. Three B. No C. Ten    D. One thousand


  1. The prayer “Holy, Holy, Holy” that we say at Mass does not come from the Bible. T or F


What do YOU Know? A Catholic Identity Game for the Whole Community by Peggy O’Neill Fisher

  1. What special celebration do we prepare for during the Advent season?                    A. Immaculate Conception    B. Christmas    C. Feast of the Holy Family   D. Holy Innocents


  1. What does the word Advent mean?   A. Arrival or coming       B. Adventure      C. Springtime         D. Wintertime


  1. What does the name Emmanuel mean?   A. Saviour   B. Anointed One C. God with us    D. Messiah


  1. When does the Advent season end?   A. Sunrise on Christmas day B. Sundown on Christmas eve C. midnight on Christmas eve              D. at midnight Mass


  1. What are some ways in which we experience the mystery of Jesus present today?     A. the Eucharist shared B. the Word of God proclaimed C. the assembly gathered   D. all of these

Taking Jesus to the Movies …A blog by Pat Carter csj

Hacksaw Ridge – This movie is amazing in many ways. The fact that Mel Gibson is the director, one may expect war scenes to be violent and full of gore. The story is based in truth and at the end you actually get to meet the fellow who is the main character, Desmond Doss. The casting was done so well. Andrew Garfield plays Desmond’s part as a conscientious objector who enlists in the army during WWII. Desmond’s girlfriend played by Teresa Palmer was so beautiful. Vince Vaughan did a great job playing the sergeant who offers Desmond and his troop their basic training. The movie prompts you to question the uselessness of war. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5 hearts .


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

“It’s estimated that 1 in 500 people are transsexual. ” Huh! Transphobia deal with it and be a gender transcender, page 12

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