Catholic Culture Update January 22

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 22, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Reconciliation, the love of Christ compels us.” Theme for Christian Unity Week

January 22nd is the third Sunday in Ordinary Time. “Does it not strike you as amazing that Jesus calls on ordinary people to become his first disciples? Jesus wants them to join him in a new kind of community and to experience intimately a loving and faithful relationship with him and with each other. It is a call to proclaim “the good news of the kingdom” to all people they will encounter and minister to. What would so profoundly influence their decision to become Jesus’ first disciples? I believe it was their faith in and desire for the love of God that inspired them to bring love and hope to a dark world. They were being given the opportunity through God’s gift of grace to change their ways and participate as a community in God’s plan of love and salvation. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let this gospel serve as a reminder that Jesus summons all of us to be in real relationship with him and with those around us. As Christians in community, let us listen to Paul who reminds us we are “united in the same mind and for the same purpose,” to serve and care for those around us especially for the poor. It is in communion with Jesus that our hope and promise of God’s abundant grace are to be found – a pure gift for all of us.” Julie Cachia, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 135.

christian-unityJanuary 18-25, 2017 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “Each year, Christians from many denominations observe a special week of prayer for Christian Unity. Coming together in a variety of ways, through joint prayer and meetings, we remember how much we share, and we look honestly at the issues that still keep us apart. It is a time to reflect on Christ’s prayer the night before he died: “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23). The week of prayer was begun in 1908 by an American Episcopalian priest, Paul Wattson, and since that time it has spread worldwide. Each year, a joint commission of leaders from the full spectrum of the Christian family gathers to prepare prayer resources for this week of prayer and reflection. For Catholics, the unity of all Christian believers is more than just one more dream; it is central to the Church’s mission.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 37 Let us pray for unity among Christians.

Pray the Glory Be each day this week for the intention of Christian Unity.

Image result for st francis de salesJanuary 24th is the memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. “St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), bishop of Geneva, contributed immensely to the development of spirituality through the publication of his book An Introduction to the Devout Life. Living during a time when most manuals on spirituality were written primarily for clerics and members of religious orders, St. Francis’ book provided a practical path to holiness for people from all states of life. He challenged the prevailing belief that only a select few could attain sanctity. Along with his accomplishments in the area of an “everyday” or “lay” spirituality, he cofounded with St. Jane Frances de Chantal the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary – a religious community of nuns that move beyond traditional enclosure to a blend of prayer and service to the poor. Together, St. Francis and Jane, with their close friends Sts. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, transformed the face of the Church in France. St. Francis has been named a Doctor of the Church.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 39-40 Loving God help us to believe in your fidelity the way St. Francis de Sales did! One of St. Francis’ quotes was “Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.” To honour St. Francis de Sales, be patient with yourself.

Image result for Conversion of St. Paul the ApostleJanuary 25th is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. “Saul of Tarsus (c. 4 – c. 64) had a history of persecuting Christians. He was present at the martyrdom of St. Stephen and held the cloaks of those who stoned him. While on the road to Damascus, where Saul was headed to suppress the Christian community, he was blinded by a bright light and heard the voice of Christ saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). He took the name Paul and became the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” travelling the known world with the message of the Gospel. St. Paul’s conversion is a witness to the mercy of God and the possibility of conversion.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 40 St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, pray for us. It’s Bell’s Let’s Talk Day. In Paul’s name, have a conversation about mental health and witness to the mercy of God!

Image result for Sts. Timothy and Titus, Bishops.January 26th is the memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, Bishops. “Sts. Timothy and Titus, first century bishops and martyrs, are celebrated together because of their joint association with St. Paul. Timothy is first mentioned in Acts 16:1-2, when Paul visits Lystra, in what is now Turkey. Timothy’s mother was Jewish, Paul circumcised him so he would be accompanied Paul on some of his journeys, and he is the one addressed in the Letters to Timothy in the [Christian Scriptures.] Tradition says that Paul made him bishop of Ephesus in 65. He was martyred by stoning in either the year 65 or 80 for preaching against the worship of idols. St. Titus was also a disciple and companion of St. Paul. He was probably a Gentile, and Paul refused to have him circumcised because the Gospel freed Gentiles from the Law of Moses. Although he is not mentioned in Acts, he is mentioned several times in Paul’s letters and was probably commissioned to preach to the Gentiles. According to Paul, Titus was with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus and was sent to Macedonia to collect alms for the Christians in Jerusalem. He also spent time in Macedonia, Crete, and Dalmatia in modern day Croatia. Tradition says that he was a bishop in Crete and died in the year 107.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 40 Sts. Timothy and Titus, inspire us to live our faith in good times and in the challenging times.

Fan into a flame the spirit of God that lives in you!

Image result for International Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the HolocaustJanuary 27th is the International Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. “Today we stop and take time to reflect on the Holocaust. We join many other school boards in Ontario in this commemoration. The Holocaust was a human catastrophe born of hatred and intolerance. We must continue to draw on the lessons learned from the Holocaust and make sure all people understand the consequences of hatred and apathy. As Canadians, we also have a responsibility to honour the sacrifices made by our ancestors by learning about the extreme forms of persecution from which they sought refuge by immigrating to Canada. By formally recognizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day every January 27th, your community will be aligning itself with the Canadian democratic values we collectively cherish and hope to preserve for future generations. January 27th was selected by the UN as it marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, a place where more than one million people, predominantly Jewish men, women and children, were murdered.” Adapted from a letter received from the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) Pray for the families who lost so many loved ones in the Holocaust.

Walking Forward Together with Hope ~ a quote for the week

“…there are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths.” Mark Nepo

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 post-secondary institutions to create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

By the end of grade 3, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Cherish the sacramental life of the Church as the gift of God’s presence in our lives to nourish, restore, guide and form us as children of God;
  • Participate freely in the Sacrament of Eucharist as the central sacrament of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Reconciliation to strengthen and renew their relationship with Jesus;
  • Find hope and faith in the story of salvation that unfolds through the celebrations of the five seasons of the Church’s liturgical year.

Grade Three – CL 1.2: Through an examination of the actions, symbols, and prayers of the Seven Sacraments of the Church, identify and explain how the sacraments celebrate the initiation and belonging to the community of the Church (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation), healing sickness and forgiveness of sin (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick), renewal and conversion (Baptism, Reconciliation), service (Matrimony, Holy Orders) and how they are all linked to and expressed in the Eucharist. [CCC nos. 1322-1344]

Part 1 of this expectation:

Actions of the 7 Sacraments Symbols of the 7 Sacraments Prayers of the 7 Sacraments
Baptism – pouring of water, anointing with oil, sharing of light, dressing in white, given a name

Priest, parents and godparents – make the sign of the Cross on the babies forehead and chest

Water, oil, light (fire) on candles, white clothing, name Answers to three questions by parents and godparents – Renunciation of Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. “I do.”

Priest says “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

“I claim you for Christ our Lord.” – with anointing

Reconciliation – make an examination of conscience

Acknowledgement of sins before priest

Recitation of act of Contrition and perform penance.

touch I forgive you of all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Oh God, I am very sorry for having sinned.

Eucharist – praising and thanking God

Receiving communion

Bread and wine The Body of Christ. Amen.

The Blood of Christ. Amen.

Confirmation – laying on of hands of bishop and sponsor

Anointing with chrism

Oil, touch through laying on of hands My name is _____ and I ask to be confirmed.

Bishop says as he anoints forehead of the confirmand

Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Anointing of the Sick Oil, touch through laying on of hands Anointing the forehead

Through this holy anointing
may the Lord in his love and mercy
help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

Anointing the hands

May the Lord who frees you from sin
save you and raise you up.
R. Amen

Marriage/Matrimony – exchange of promises and rings/embrace/ sexual consummation Ring, blessed water, candle, vows Do you take, this man, this woman, until death? I do.
Ordination – lying prostrate on the ground before the bishop, bishop anoints the hands of the priest, lays hands on the head of the priest Oil, laying on of hands Calling on the Holy Spirit to give priestly office.

Part 2 of this expectation: Explain how the sacraments celebrate the initiation and belonging to the community of the Church (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation)

Baptism begins the process of initiation for a child. The parents bring the baby/child and ask for this sacrament so the child can grow up learning about and knowing Jesus Christ and the community of the Church – his body on Earth.

After the child is baptized the child attends mass regularly with the parents and family and eventually comes to an age where the child understands right and wrong and so is prepared for the sacrament of reconciliation. Then usually in the same year, the child prepares to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. This brings the child into communion with the whole community. S/he feels apart of the congregation and can attend mass and participate fully with all others present. Once the child has reached the age for Confirmation, this sacrament is confirmed upon the child. This is the last sacrament of initiation and it is hoped that the child will take an active role in one of the ministries in the church. In this way the child is a contributing member of the community.

Part 3 of this expectation: Explain how healing sickness and forgiveness of sin (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick) renewal and conversion (Baptism, Reconciliation) are all related.

We all make mistakes, it is going to happen. Sometimes the mistakes are big and sometimes they are small. Depending upon how well our conscience has been formed, we may feel the effects of sin (mistakes). Forgiveness of sin removes the effects of sin and helps us become the person we are ultimately called to be. The more we acknowledge our sinfulness and experience this renewal of our Spirit we will have conversion. We will grow in holiness and wholeness. Sometimes the healing we need is for physical or mental sickness. Being anointed is a way to experience the healing mercy of God. As children of God, it is God’s desire for us to be whole and well. Through the laying on of hands and the anointing with blessed oil, the sick person can experience the healing touch of God.

Part 4 of this expectation: Explain how service (Matrimony, Holy Orders) is related to these sacraments.

We are called to service through our baptismal call to be priest, prophet and king as was our Saviour. As the baptized child grows up within their family, s/he sees parents serving the family and others. As the child attends Mass, the child sees the deacon and priest serving God’s people. The child soon learns that s/he is also called to service. There are many ways to serve in the world. The two sacraments of service are matrimony and holy orders.

Part 5 of this expectation: Explain how they are all linked to and expressed in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life. As we make our way into the church we meet a font of blessed water and we make the sign of the cross with the water to remind us of our baptism. We begin mass with a welcoming of those present beside us and behind us. We pray for the forgiveness of our sins and the mercy of God with the Confiteor. We have another moment during the Lamb of God to ask God for forgiveness before we receive communion. We listen to God’s word and we pray that it is fuel for the service we will tackle during the week ahead. Should you require the anointing of the sick, parishes can set that up during a week day Mass. Of course the Eucharistic prayer offers us much to reflect upon so we are ready and able to consume the body and blood of Jesus so that we become what we eat in the days ahead. Our total participation is a confirmation of our desire to be a Christian in the world.

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

“James the Greater – Here’s an apostle AND a saint who was the brother of an apostle and a saint AND was the first apostle to be martyred. So is that why he is called “the greater”? Nope. There were TWO apostles named James and this one was the older – so instead of being called James the Older, he was called James the Greater. But he was ALSO GREAT! In fact, Jesus must have really like James because he gave him a funny nickname! Jesus called James and his brother John “Sons of Thunder”! Do you guess that was because they had LOUD personalities or NOISY voices or STORMY tempers? Do you know anyone who might be called a son or daughter of thunder? A stormy temper can get you in A LOT of trouble! But maybe the apostles HAD to thunder to get people to listen to their important message about Jesus and his new religion. If YOU ever have trouble with your temper, you might ask St. James to help you remember to speak softly, act kindly, and save your thunder for when you have something REALLY important to say – like Help! Fire! Or Look Out!” page 78-79

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

  1. Who were the parents of John the Baptist?   A. Mary and Joseph B. Zechariah and Elizabeth C. Abraham and Sarah D. Jacob and Rachel
  1. With what words did the angel greet the frightened Zechariah?   A. Do not be afraid. B. Shalom. C. I will not hurt you.   D. Hi Buddy!
  1. On what date do we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist?     A. January 24     B. March 24 C. May 24   D. June 24
  1. In what river was John baptizing?     A. St. Mary’s River   B. Niagara River   C. Jordan River D. Amazon River
  1. What did John the Baptist eat?   A. locusts   B. wild honey C. steak and potatoes D. A and B

What’s your Catholic IQ? A self-assessment for your fun and enlightenment by David O’Brien from page 40

  1. ____________________ is the sacrament that welcomes people into the Catholic Church.   A. first Communion B. baptism   C. first reconciliation D. marriage
  1. The apostles never did what we do at Mass.     T or F
  1. How often can a person receive Holy Communion?     A. only on Sunday   B. Christmas and Easter   C. 10 times a day   D. once a day
  1. Sacraments are the supernatural way that we encounter _______________________.     A. Christ   B. the saints C. other Catholics     D. Pope Francis
  1. The sacrament of ______________________ is how Catholics receive mercy and forgiveness for their sins.   A. holy Communion  B. matrimony C. reconciliation D. ordination

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

Rogue One – This movie is part of the Star Wars franchise. It is intended to be a prologue explaining the context of the first Star Wars movie. I totally enjoyed it. It was a bit eerie seeing Carrie Fisher on the big screen the day after she died in real life. The humour, action, characters, sets were very well done.   I have seen all of the Star Wars movies and this one fits in just fine.                   I give this movie ♥♥♥.5/5 hearts .

A NEW YEAR addition to CCU – A Blog for Eclectic Readers – by Pat Carter csj

These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens, Northern Ontario, 1966. I selected this book this week because I spend days on retreat with Grade 11 students learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This book was written about a young girl’s experience in a Northern Ontario Indian Residential School. Her experience was not perfect but it was not horrific. Her caretakers actually took care of her (she had enough to eat, got glasses when it was discovered that she could not see the board). However, it helped me to get into the experience a bit deeper. I would recommend this book as a read aloud for Grades 5-6. It is not a huge book. But reading a day at a time, would give enough for students to reflect on what this experience would have been like. Who knows, might make some students grateful. I give this book ☺☺☺☺☺/5 smiles.

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

“The highest visible number on a dart board is 20.” Huh!!

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