Catholic Culture Update December 18

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning December 18th, 2016

Image result for fourth sunday advent

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” Romans 1:7

December 18th is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. “By far, the best way to celebrate Christmas is to be with children. And we are so close to Christmas now that our children can barely contain their excitement! Yet, before his marriage, poor Joseph could not have been very excited to hear that Mary was with child. Sure, most fathers, when they learn their wife is expecting, can get a little bewildered, too. But Joseph felt that this was not the expected way to bring children into the world, and so he planned to dismiss Mary quietly from his life. And then the unexpected happened to this bewildered man who was just looking to do the right thing. Divine intervention arrived in the form of a dream – complete with talking angels. This convinced Joseph that his plans had to change. Will the unexpected presence of God awaken us this Advent, and really change our lives as a result? Advent is all about deeply living this exciting time of expectation, a precious time to prepare to change ourselves, our homes, and our hearts for sharing. We have to remember that it was the Divine who initiated this sharing in that first Feast of the Incarnation, sending his Son to be the Saviour that our lives yearn for most. Emmanuel – “God with us!” Can we open our hearts to see the signs that “God is with us” today?” Joe Gunn, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 92.

Advent Traditions ~ The “O” Antiphons – December 17-23

Image result for O antiphonsAn antiphon is a short passage or verse, usually from Scripture, which is prayed before and after the Psalms and canticles in the Liturgy of the Hours. In the last days of Advent, from December 17 through December 23, the antiphons for the Magnificat at Evening Prayer call upon Christ under the many names used by the prophets in the Old Testament, and ask him to hasten his return. Each of these antiphons begins with “O” (hence their name). The first “O” Antiphon begins, O Sapientia (O Wisdom). Then comes Adonai (Sacred Lord), Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), Clavis David (Key of David). Oriens (Dawn), Rex gentium (King of peoples), and finally Emmanuel (God-is-with-us). The favourite Advent carol, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, is actually John M. Neale’s translation of these ancient antiphons. Medieval poets loved intricacies of language and the first letters of the titles by which Christ is addressed in the “O” antiphons – Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, and so on – form a verse acrostic, spelling the Latin words that mean “I will be there tomorrow.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 4

Image result for st peter canisiusDecember 21 is the memorial of St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church. “St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597) was the first Dutchman to join the Jesuits. He is known as the second apostle of Germany for his work restoring Catholicism after the Reformation, writing a “German catechism,” which defined basic Catholic beliefs in German. Peter felt that it was more effective to clarify the teachings of Catholicism rather than engage in polemics with the reformers. His last 20 years were spent in Switzerland, where he founded the Jesuit College that is the core of the University of Fribourg. He is credited with adding “Holy Mary, pray for us sinners” to the Hail Mary. This appeared for the first time in his catechism of 1555.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 151 St. Peter help us to restore the relationships in our lives that are broken. Take a first step to reconcile a relationship that needs healing.

December 21/22 is the Winter Solstice. “Today marks a turning point in the year. For people of the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night. From now on days will lengthen. For ancient peoples of Europe, the winter solstice was one of the greatest feasts of the year. Once the harvest was in, there was little farm work to do, and so there was plenty of time to relax and celebrate. Sometimes the festivities lasted for two months! Many northern Europeans called these days “Yule,” from the word wheel. They thought that the year was like a wheel. When the days started to get longer, it was as if someone had given the year a fresh turn.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 152

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

“Equal consideration needs to be given to the growing danger represented by an extreme individualism which weakens family bonds and ends up considering each member of the family as an isolated unit, leading in some cases to the idea that one’s personality is shaped by his or her desires, which are considered absolute.” Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, On Love in the Family, page 28

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. The preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of Aboriginal languages and cultures are best managed by Aboriginal people and communities.

New ojibwe word for this week. Please > Daga

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 2.3: Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the Holy Spirit in guiding us as we learn how to pray as Jesus taught us. [CCC nos. 2623-2625; 2670-2672] “The Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls for her everything that Jesus said was also to form her in the life of prayer.” [CCC 2623] Just as it says in the Mission Statement “Guided by the Spirit on our journey” we are guided by the Holy Spirit as we learn how to pray. The Holy Spirit helps us to pray especially when we do not know what to say. When we meditate, we allow the Holy Spirit to put into words the desires we have and the Spirit can make our needs known to God. Ask your class what prayer Jesus taught us. [Our Father] It is also a great prayer as it praises God and invites God to assist us as we live. Sometimes singing our prayers is helpful because the music and words come from within us. We do not have to have perfect words to speak to God. We can speak as freely as we would to a good friend. And just as with a good friend, it is important that we take time to listen too. Jesus wants to speak to us!

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

“Ignatius of Loyola –This saint was barely five feet tall – but at that height, he was still taller than Napoleon or Julius Caesar! And all three “little” men made a big mark in history! Ignatius was born in a castle in Spain in 1491, one year before the queen and king of Spain sent Columbus sailing off to discover America! Since Ignatius was a member of a noble family, he became a courtier (an attendant at a royal court) and a soldier. When he was fighting to defend the castle at Pamplona, his leg was shattered by a cannonball – and his life changed. While recuperating from the wound, Ignatius read a lot of religious books and decided to become a missionary. He left his sword at a shrine of the Blessed Mother and exchanged his fine clothes for those of a beggar. He lived in a CAVE for a year, praying and writing. He went back to school for a while and then left Spain to go to Paris, where he and a few friends formed a group known as the Society of Jesus. Ignatius did not plan to found a new religious order but a group of “commandos” who could respond quickly and go out on “missions” to preach and work wherever or whenever they were needed. The pope approved this new idea, and Ignatius’ band of “apostolic adventurers” grew from ten to one thousand in a few short years and eventually spread to many countries. The Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits) became one of the Church’s greatest religious organizations – all because of a cannonball! You’ve probably thought about being an adventurer some time, but did you ever think about being an “apostolic adventurer”? Did you ever think about someday going whenever and wherever you are needed to help, to preach, and to educate others about God and the Catholic Church? Many young people today still do the kind of work Ignatius and his friends did – they become priests, Sisters, and yes, missionaries and apostolic adventurer! Would YOU like to do that some day?” page 75-76

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

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

  1. What is a manger?   A. a scene depicting Jesus’ birth   B. a barn for animals    C. a feed box for animals   D. none of these
  1. What did the multitude of angels sing at Jesus’ birth?    A. Go Tell It On the Mountain B. Glory to God in the highest and peace to God’s people on earth   C. Happy Birthday to You    D. We wish You a Merry Christmas


  1. Who were the first to visit the baby Jesus?    A. The shepherds    B. The three wise men C. The innkeeper and his wife  D. The animals


  1. What is a Christmas crèche?    A. A representation of Christ’s nativity usually with statues or figurines    B. Barn animals    C. A stable      D. All of the above


  1. When does the Christmas season end?    A. on boxing day    B. when the tree dries up     C. celebration of Baptism of the Lord      D. Epiphany


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

Papa: Ernest Hemingway in Cuba – This movie is about Ernest’s life in Cuba at the beginning of the Revolution and a young man who idolized him. Ernest mentors the young man. It is based in fact and shows Ernest’s fragile mental health. It is a character study so it does not move quickly. I learned how frustrating it might be to have writer’s block and maybe that condition comes from the extreme pressure that an award winning author might place on him/herself. I give this movie ♥♥♥/5 hearts .


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

“India gave us the words shampoo and pajamas.” Huh

One comment

  1. ​As always, thank you.

    Happy Advent!

    Peace, Joy and Hope,
    Steve De Quintal
    Teacher, St. Mary Catholic Academy, 66 Dufferin Park Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6H-1J6. 416-393-5528 ext. 84293
    “that they may have life and have it the full.”
    “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
    ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response***

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