Catholic Culture Update January 29

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning January 29, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Ps. 146

January 29th is the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time. “We seek glory because it is our human nature to do so. Self-seeking glory is all around us. God challenges us to recognize that God-in-us will lead to great things. God in our small, weak selves leads to holiness, a different glory. And though our culture shapes us, we shape our culture; the culture changes only when God shapes us.  When Jesus taught The Beatitudes, he was challenging the culture, too. Each one of Jesus’ exhortations – Blessed are… — is a profound witness of faith and trust in someone greater than ourselves. Suffering the cost of living The Beatitudes shows the world a new way to live, one rooted in Christ. Can we be surprised that it will be exceedingly difficult to live this way? How shall we? Here is how. God’s love for us compels him to share his divine nature with us through Christ. Does he need us to accomplish his plan? Not really. Does he invite us? Every day. Let us say yes. Rejoice then, that Jesus can use us to teach the strong and, at times, humble them. Even in this, no one can boast, because we all share the same self-glorifying human nature. We are only our best selves when God’s divine nature is at work in us. There is no glory for us when living The Beatitudes. All glory belongs to God.” Johanne Brownrigg, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 142.

Image result for St. John BoscoJanuary 31st is the memorial of St. John Bosco, Priest. “God gifted St. John Bosco (1815-1888) with the ability to read and interpret the signs of the times. Living during rapid industrialization and growing anti-clericalism, he became very concerned about the emotional and spiritual livelihood of people, especially the plight of the young. He worked to provide positive and affirming environments, including orphanages and oratories, where the young could learn and recognize their infinite potential. In the spirit of his favourite hero, St. Francis de Sales, he founded the Salesians, a religious congregration devoted to works of charity, with an emphasis on empowering young people to become strong pillars of faith in a culture of instability. His work among young men living in the slums proved to be a worthy endeavor. Whether he was presiding at Mass or playing games with children or carrying the sick to hospitals, it was obvious he lived until his “last breath …day and night, morning and evening” for the neglected and abandoned (as quoted in Butler’s Lives of the Saints [New Full Edition – January], p. 229).  Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 41 Help us John Bosco to help our students to recognize their infinite potential. Be aware today of someone around you that can use an encouraging word.

The Month of February – “The second month of the year takes its name for the Latin word for purification. The ancient Roman calendar had ten months, March through December. There was no January and no February. These months were left off the calendar. Strange as it seems, people didn’t feel the need to keep track of the days during the winter. For the Romans, this late winter period before March became a “season” of purification and renewal, almost like Lent. When the Romans began using the 12-month calendar, the old names for the months continued to be used. The month before March was named for the time of purification.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 42

Image result for St. brigidFebruary 1st is the memorial of St. Brigid, Virgin. “St. Brigid of Kildare (c. 451-524) is, along with St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. Many legends grew surrounding her life, but she was probably the daughter of a slave in the court of her father, King Dubhthach of Leinster. Tradition says that she made monastic vows and founded twin monasteries at Kildare (Cill Dara or “the church of the oak”), one for men and one for women, and as was not uncommon at the time, was abbess over both. Brigid is remembered for her great joy.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 43 Brigid inspire us to be people of great joy! Look for the littlest reason to smile and giggle today.

Image result for Presentation of the LordFebruary 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. “Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which recalls the event described in the Gospel according to Luke: “When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’)” (Luke 2:22). Joseph and Mary bring Jesus to the Temple, and while they are there, they meet two extraordinary people. First they meet Simeon, who, taking Jesus in his arms, recognizes him as the long-awaited Messiah. Not only that, Simeon knows that this Messiah has come not only to the Jewish people, but to all. He is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32). There is a note of sorrow in this joyful encounter: Simeon prophesies over the child, telling Mary that Jesus will encounter great opposition, while her own heart is pierced by a sword. They also meet Anna, a widow, 84 years old, who prays and fasts in the Temple night and day, and who also recognizes who Jesus is, and begins to proclaim him: “At the moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). Jesus is the light to the nations, and from the moment of his birth, people are drawn to his light. That is why on this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we carry lit candles, and the priest blesses the candles to be used in the celebration of the liturgy during the coming year. Because of this, today’s Mass is often called Candlemas.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 44   Jesus remind us to put our sacred light up on a stand for all to see. Light a candle in celebration of Candlemas (don’t forget to blow it out!)

February 2nd is also the World Day for Consecrated Life. “On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we also observe the World Day for Consecrated Life. The Gospel today tells the story of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple “to present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22). Simeon and Anna recognize in this little child the Saviour whom then have awaited with eager expectation. It’s the perfect feast to take some time to give thanks to God for the gift of consecrated life – for all the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the lord and to service in his Church. Men and women religious throughout the world renew their commitment to the consecrated life this day. It’s also a time to encourage young men and women to consider whether God might be calling them to this mode of life. “What would become of the world if there were no religious?” St. Teresa of Avila once asked. “This is a question which bring us to give unceasing thanks to the Lord, who by this singular gift of the Spirit continues to enliven and sustain the Church in its demanding journey through the world” (St. John Paul II, Message for the First World Day for Consecrated Life, 1997).” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 44 Thank you God for the gift of consecrated life to the Church, and thank you for all those women and men religious upon whose shoulders we stand as a Catholic learning community in Canada. Wish a Sister or Brother you know, a happy day!

February 2nd is Groundhog Day. “The Celtic people divided the year differently than we do now. For them, February 1st was the first day of spring. The first days of May, August, and November marked the beginnings of the other natural seasons. That way of dividing the year makes a lot of sense in northern Europe, where the change in the length of days is dramatic. St. Brigid’s feast day and the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day) are associated with folklore about the arrival of spring, or at least the arrival of lengthening days. German farmers say that on Candlemas the badger interrupts its winter nap to check the weather. If the day is sunny, the badger sees its shadow and gets scared, and then goes back to hibernate for six more weeks. The bright, cold days of winter aren’t over yet. But if the day is cloudy, the badger cannot see its shadow. That means that hibernation is over, the cloudy, warmer weather of spring is about to arrive. Good news for farmers! German farmers who immigrated to Pennsylvania did not find badgers. They decided that ground hogs would provide the spring forecast, instead. So on Candlemas Day we wonder if the groundhog will see its shadow or it spring is coming soon.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 44   What do you predict, is spring here or will we have more winter?

Image result for St. BlaiseFebruary 3rd is the memorial of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr. “St. Blaise was a physician, bishop of Sebaste (Turkey), and martyr who was born sometime in the third century and died around the year 316. The earliest written reference to him doesn’t appear until the fifth or sixth century, where he is reputed to have healed a boy who was choking on a fish bone. For this reason, his intercession is invoked for illnesses of the throat, and it is customary for throats to be blessed on his memorial, using crossed candles. The instruments of his martyrdom were steel combs that would normally have been used to comb wool, and for this reason he is the patron saint of the wool trade. He was very popular in the 11th and 12th centuries, and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers who story is retold in Golden Legend. The Fourteen Holy Helpers are a group of saints who are invoked against diseases.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 45 St. Blaise, heal all those who struggle with throat problems! Go to Mass and have your throat blessed.

Walking Forward Together with God ~ a quote for the week

Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, praising God until we ourselves are a constant act of praise. Fr. Richard Rohr OFM

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 all levels of government to enable residential school Survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years for the name-change process and the revision of official identity documents, such as birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, health cards, status cards, and social insurance numbers.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Communion ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

  • Recognize Jesus as a companion and friend who travels with them on the journey of their lives;
  • Appreciate what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ and accept the responsibility of this gift;
  • Participate as an active member in the prayer life of the Communion of Saints to help those saints among us and those who have gone before us and who are in need of our prayers;
  • Recognize and believe in Mary as the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church.

Grade Four LC 2.2: Identify how the Church, its practices, celebrations, service and teachings gather and form us for a life of holiness (e.g. action of the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments, the practice of virtue and charity – outreach, the message of hope and the examples of holiness presented in the readings of the Liturgy of the Word and the gift of Grace in the celebration of the Mass). [CCC nos. 152-62; 164-69; 178-88]

Ask your students what it means to live a holy life. It is good to take their lead and grow their ideas. [going to church, praying, making good decisions, being kind, giving to the poor…] These may be some of the answers the students give. You may want to have a doll to represent a young life (new life). Ask the students “how will the child learn how to live a life of holiness?” The parents may teach the child right from wrong and will probably be supported by the extended family. Grandparents may want their grandchild to be baptized. Becoming a member of a Church community is a way to learn to be holy. By practising the faith by going to church regularly, by learning how to pray, by learning how to make good decisions, by learning the teaching of the faith i.e., works of mercy, we learn to live a holy life. By preparing to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, a young person learns the importance of asking for forgiveness and for confession their sins. By preparing to receive the sacrament of Eucharist, a young person learns the importance of receiving the body and blood of Jesus so to become more like Jesus. By attending a Catholic school, a young person can learn about the virtues and how to grow in the virtues. Holiness is not about being perfect. Holiness is about being loving and forgiving.

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

By the end of grade 6, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Cherish and participate in 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;
  • Honour and respect the sacred bread and wine of the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ;
  • Seek to understand the multi-fold meaning of the biblical narratives, symbols and ritual actions associated with the five seasons of the Liturgical year.

Grade Five CL 2.1: Compare the various scripture passages found in the Gospels which unite Christ’s presence to the Eucharist and which also serve to strengthen our faith in this mystery (Mt. 26:26-30; Mk. 6:30-44; Jn. 2:1-12; Jn. 6:22-59; Jn. 13: 1-17; 1 Cor 11:23). [CCC nos. 13248-1355]

Scripture passages Christ’s presence united to Eucharist Strengthen our faith in the mystery
Matt. 26:26-30 Jesus institutes the Lord’s supper. Jesus makes a connection between bread and wine to his body. He invites us to take and eat his body for the forgiveness of our sins.
Mark 6:30-44 Jesus feeds the crowd with very little bread and fish. Jesus helps us to see that the little we have can be multiplied and can fill us with all we need.
John 2:1-12 Jesus changes water into wine, great wine. This miracle helps us to know that Jesus values the joy that comes from celebrations and commitment. It strengthens our faith that He can be counted on there is a great need.
John 6:22-59 Jesus says “I am the bread of life.” If we make the Eucharist a priority in our lives, our faith will be strengthened and we will live forever with God in heaven.
John 13:1-17 Jesus washes the feet of the disciples before the last supper. Jesus teaches us that we must serve our brothers and sisters as He did. We must be willing to wash people’s feet (be humble in our service of others.) By acting as our Lord did our faith will be strengthened.


Grade Six CL 1.2: Identify in each of the three Rites of Holy Orders i.e. Bishop, Priest, and Deacon – who can receive and celebrate the sacrament; the rituals, blessings and prayers, signs and symbols that signify and convey the grace and meaning of these sacraments; the effects of the sacrament; and link the ordained priesthood to the baptismal priesthood of the laity. [CCC nos. 1554-1589] – Part 1

This is the material that may be taught to fulfil the expectation above.

There are three rites of Holy Orders: Bishop, Priest and Deacon.

  • There are two forms of deacon > permanent deacon (once ordained, is a deacon for the rest of the man’s life, may be a married man but once widowed, is not able to remarry) and temporary deacon (a step in the formation of a priest.) Both are ordained by a bishop.
  • The priest is ordained by a bishop and is a helper of the bishop by providing proclaiming the Gospel and pastoral care (offering the sacraments to God’s people.)
  • The bishop is ordained by other bishops. Bishops hold three offices/roles: sanctifying (priest), teaching (teacher) and ruling (shepherd) for a particular Church (diocese) entrusted to him.

All three rites are conferred by imposition (laying on of hands on the head) of hands and through words of consecration (praying for the Holy Spirit).

Tasks of deacons> to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity. [CCC 1570]

Celebration of the sacrament> The initial rites – presentation and election of the ordinand, instruction by the bishop, examination of the candidate, litany of the saints – attest that the choice of candidate is made in keeping with the practice of the Church and prepare for the solemn act of consecration, after which several rites symbolically express and complete the mystery accomplished:

  • For bishop – an anointing with holy chrism, a sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who makes their ministry fruitful; giving the book of the Gospels, the ring, the mitre and the crosier to the bishop as the sign of this apostolic mission to proclaim the Word of God, of his fidelity to the Church, the bride of Christ, and his office as shepherd of the Lord’s flock;
  • For priest — an anointing with holy chrism, a sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who makes their ministry fruitful; giving the book of the Gospels, presentation of paten and chalice, “the offering of the holy people” which he is called to present to God;
  • For deacon — giving the book of the Gospels who has just received the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. [CCC 1574]

Who can Receive the Sacrament? Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. He is called to it by God. Except for permanent deacons, normally ordained ministers are chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate. [CCC 1577-1579]

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

James the Less – How would you like to have a name like “the less”? Well, as you have probably guessed by reading about James the Greater, in this case, less, means “the younger” – and being young is a lot better than being less! This younger James was a pretty important follower of Jesus. He was the Bishop of Jerusalem and is believed to be the author of the Epistle of James in the New Testament. Pretty good for someone known as “the less”! Do you ever feel “less” – less smart than a friend, less strong than a schoolmate, less rich than a neighbour, or less energetic than the rest of your family? Does feeling less leave you listless? Well, don’t let less get you down! Most people feel “less” at some times or on some days. So when you have one of those times or one of those days, remember that God thinks you are the “most”! Why? Because YOU are one of his creations, one of his children, one of his special friends. So hold your head high, lift up your spirit, and say, “I will be MORE than less. I will be grateful for all God has given me, and I will use those gifts to become MORE. No matter what happens or what anyone says to me, I will remember that God loves me and thinks I am the MOST!” page 79-80

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

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

Sacraments 101

  1. The first Christians celebrated baptisms and the Eucharist. T or F
  1. ______________________ is one of the sacraments of initiation. A. holy orders B. marriage           C. confirmation       D. confession
  1. If a person is baptized in a mainline Protestant community, it is recognized by the Catholic Church. T or F
  1. “I baptize you in the name of the ______________________, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”   A. bishop B. Church C. Trinity   D. Father
  1. Which is the only sacrament that is not celebrated by an ordained bishop, priest, or deacon?     A.holy orders B. matrimony C. reconciliation D. anointing of the sick

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

No Country for Old Men – This movie was released in 2007 and won awards. The movie is about a man (played by Josh Brolin) who steals drug money from a drug ring and then spends a rest of the movie trying to avoid the owners of the money. Tommy Lee Jones is the sherriff. There is great cinematography. Javier Bardem plays the part of the drug Lord looking for his money. There is some great acting but it is frightening to see how immorality can eat away at the soul of people.   There is much gratuitous violence but it is what I expected in a movie directed by the Coen brothers. This is not a movie for children. I give this movie ♥♥♥/5 hearts .

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

Sacrifice by Carolyn Arnold – Detectives Madison Knightly and Terry Grant solve the murder investigation of a wealthy heir to Randall Investments. The story poses the question, how can justice be done if the Chief of Police is interfering with the investigation and is potentially in the debt of the victim’s father? This is a series that I have read several of the books. Easy reads and good twists and turns. I give this book ☺☺☺.5/5 smiles.

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

“Did you know that Jean-Paul Sartre declined the 1964 Nobel Prize for literature?” Huh!!

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