Catholic Culture Update Feb 5

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning February 5, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“I am the Light of the world.” John 8:12

February 5th is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. “As Christians, we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We must keep our fervour in spreading the good news of the gospel. Unfortunately, there are many forces trying to suppress our faith. Our own culture would prefer that we hush up about it. Sadly, there is even a growing attitude among Christians that we should keep our faith to ourselves. What could be further from our vocation? A relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our source of happiness and fulfillment. It is the only path to eternal life. In a world starved of true joy, how can we not spread the message of God’s love? If you found the cure of cancer, would you keep it to yourself? Let us not shy away from proclaiming our faith. This does not mean shouting on street corners, but rather witnessing within the context of a relationship. Pray for the opportunity, and always be an example of holiness. When the right time comes, have that crucial conversation with your friend, co-worker or family member. Remind them that Jesus loves them and wants a relationship with them more than anything. Be not afraid; the Holy Spirit is with you. May we go forward as faithful Christians to enlighten the world with our faith!” Connor Brownrigg, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 149.

Image result for St. Paul MikiFebruary 6th is the memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, martyrs. “St. Paul Miki (c. 1562-1597), a Jesuit priest, was one of the twenty-six martyrs of Japan. The local governor felt threatened by the growing influence of the Jesuits and had members of the Christian community arrested and thrown in jail. They were forced to walk six hundred miles from Kyoto to Nagasaki as a deterrent to other Christians, but they sang the Te Deum as they went. At Nagasaki , they were crucified. When Christian missionaries returned to Japan in the nineteenth century, they found that a secret Christian community had survived by transmitting the beliefs and prayers from generation to generation.” I recently watched the new Martin Scorsese movie titled Silence. It is about this time in Japan. Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 46 All you holy martyrs inspire us to carry our crosses with faith when they come to us. Be aware of small inconveniences today and be gracious in dealing with them.

Image result for St. ScholasticaFebruary 10th is the memorial of St. Scholastica, virgin. “St. Scholastica (+547) is thought to have been the twin sister of St. Benedict and was “dedicated to the Lord from infancy” (see 1 Samuel 1:24). Her story is told in Book 11 of the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great. Once a year Scholastica would visit Benedict at a guest house on the grounds of his abbey in order to spend time together in worship and holy conversation. At the end of one such visit, Benedict rose to leave, but Scholastica, having a premonition of her own death, begged him to stay. When he insisted that he had to return to his cell for the night, she bowed her head and wept in prayer. A wild storm arose, making it impossible for Benedict to leave. When Benedict realized he could not return to the abbey, he complained to his sisters, “God forgive you, what have you done?” She answered him, “I have desired it of our good Lord, and he has granted my petition. Therefore if you can now depart, in God’s name return to your monastery, and leave me here alone” (Dialogues, Book II). Gregory comments that God heard Scholastica’s prayer rather than her brother’s because, since “God is love,” it is natural that she who loved more, did more. The next morning, the two returned to their respective monasteries, and three days later, Benedict, as he prayed in his cell, saw his sister’s soul ascend to heaven in the form of a dove. St. Scholastica is the patron saint of female Benedictine monastics. Because of Benedict’s vision of her death, she is depicted in art accompanied by a dove. St. Gregory’s narrative is also found in the Office of Readings for this memorial.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 47 St. Scholastica, thank you for your good example of how to love our siblings. Give your brother or sister or both a heartfelt hug today.

Image result for Our Lady of LourdesFebruary 11th is the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. “It was on this day in 1858 that the 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, a peasant girl in Lourdes, saw a “lady” in a grotto near the river Gave, at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains in France. Over the next several months, Bernadette encountered the “lady” many times. During one of these apparitions, the Lady directed Bernadette to drink from the fountain. But there was no fountain there – only the river. At the lady’s command, Bernadette began to dig in the ground near the grotto, and a spring of water began to flow. Immediately, numerous miraculous healings took place, of those who bathed in or drank the water of the spring. Only later did the Lady reveal to Bernadette who she was: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Today, Lourdes is one of the most popular pilgrimage places in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the little town, to drink the water, and to feel close to the Virgin and to her Son, Jesus Christ, healer of body and soul.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 47-48 Our Lady of Lourdes, encourage us to be a healing presence in the lives of those around us. Carry a Kleenex in your sleeve in case someone needs one.

February 11th is the World Day of the Sick. “Since 1992, the World Day of the Sick has been celebrated each year on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. [Saint] John Paul II had already been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease when he instituted this world day of prayer. Today we pray for all who are sick and suffering, that they may see in their suffering a share in the Cross of Christ. We pray also for caregivers, for nurses and doctors, that they may be unfailingly gentle and compassionate. We pray, too, for researchers and scientists who seek to eradicate disease. And we pray for the poor of our world, who do not have access to adequate health care.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 48 Healing God, bless all our sick and heal them.

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

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. Jane Howard

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, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to acknowledge that the current state of Aboriginal health in Canada is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies, including residential schools, and to recognize and implement the health-care rights of Aboriginal people as identified in international law, constitutional law, and under the Treaties.

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 2.3: Outline the structure of the Christian Liturgy of the Hours (i.e. Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, Divine Office, Mid-day Prayer, and Night Prayer) and the reasons for the commitment made by religious, deacons, priests and laity to pray this Prayer. [CCC nos. 1174-1178]

The outline of the structure of the Christian Liturgy of the Hours for Lauds (morning prayer):

Sign of the Cross; opening song; Lauds begins with two psalms separated by a canticle from the Old Testament.

A short reading follows. Then comes the Benedictus, the canticle of praise by Zechariah at the birth of his son John the Baptist.

Then come prayers to consecrate the coming day’s work to God. The Our Father and a concluding prayer bring Lauds to an end with the sign of the cross.

The outline of the structure of Liturgy of the Hours for Vespers (evening prayer): Sign of the Cross; opening song.

Vespers begins with two psalms, followed by a canticle from the New Testament. Many of these canticles were used liturgically by the earliest Christians, some of them even before the Gospels were written down. A short reading follows. Then comes the Magnificat, the canticle of praise by Mary at the Annunciation, when she consented to become the mother of God. Then come prayers and intercessions for the church and for the world.

The Our Father and a concluding prayer bring Vespers to an end with the sign of the cross.

The other hours follow similar structures.

There is a four week cycle of prayers and there is a schedule for the four weeks so that the whole church is praying the same psalms, canticles and readings each day of the year. Sometimes significant feast days are given special recognition in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Reasons for the commitment to pray this prayer > “The Liturgy of the Hours… is faithful to the apostolic exhortation to “pray constantly,” and is “so devised that the whole course of the day and night is made body by the praise of God. In this “public prayer of the Church,” the faithful (clergy, religious and lay people) exercise the royal priesthood of the baptized.” [CCC 1174]

There are special books called “The Divine Office.” Usually there is more than one book for the whole year and every season.

If you are interested in giving your class an experience of the Liturgy of the Hours, email Sister Pat and I will set you up.

Living in Solidarity ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

By the end of Grade 8, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Understand that one’s purpose or call in life comes from God and strive to discern and prepare to live out this call throughout life’s journey; (CGE: 1g)
  • Develop attitudes and values founded on Catholic social teaching and act to promote social responsibility, human solidarity and the common good;
  • Respect the faith traditions, world religions and the life journeys of all people of good will.

Grade Eight LS 3.3: Identify and describe some of the efforts the Church has made to continue Christ’s mission to spread the Good News to all people of the world (e.g. working with people from other religions on issues of social justice as a means to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ; witnessing to Christ through our work with those in need; participating in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue). [CCC nos. 830-856]

Since Jesus sent the disciples out on mission to spread the Good News in the first century there have been people trying to complete Christ’s mission. 1. There are Mission societies. Have your students research Mission societies > – this is the Canadian branch of the pontifical missions. There are four main mission focus groups: Holy Childhood (sometimes supported by our schools); Propagation of the Faith; St. Peter the Apostle; and Pontifical Missionary Union. Ask your students to dig deeper to find out the goals of each group. The pontifical Mission societies are organized and coordinated by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

  1. Working with people from other Christian traditions on issues of social justice as a means to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. These are three other groups that work for justice as a means to spread the good news of Jesus. (National and International level)
  2. St. Vincent Place here in SSM has a soup kitchen that operates twice a week. Different church denominations have formed groups to provide, prepare and serve food to the intercity poor on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. There is a fundraiser coming up that your students might be interested in participating in. It is called Coldest Night of the Year. Supporters gather pledges and walk various distances to raise money and awareness of the situation of poverty in our city. The money raised support St. Vincent Place food bank, men’s shelter and soup kitchen. This year’s walk is on February 25th. (Local level)
  3. Ecumenical Dialogue – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity happens every year from January 18-25. This year St. Jerome’s and Zion Lutheran Church communities have been invited to come together in dialogue on six Wednesday evenings from January 25 – March 1st. This dialogue helps the participants to get to know the similarities and differences in the beliefs of each church. This type of dialogue also happens on an international level too.
  4. Interfaith Dialogue brings people from different faith traditions together to communicate beliefs. For example: Christians and Jewish people sometimes get together in certain locations. < this group meets in Toronto. < this group brings Christians and Muslims together to discuss beliefs and ideas. Have your students research the various faith groups to see if there is dialogue happening.

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

Jeanne Jugan ~ Would you like to have a job as a maid, working in the kitchen of a wealthy family? Well, that’s the job Jeanne took when she was only sixteen years old. Jeanne was one of eight children in a poor family that lived in a little fishing village in France. When she was only three years old, her fisherman father died in a storm at sea and her mother struggled to raise the family. Jeanne went to work for a wealthy noblewoman, who was very generous and often took Jeanne with her when she went to deliver food and medicine to the poor and sick of the village. After a few years, when Jeanne was twenty-five, she went to work in a hospital where she cared for the sick, and then spent all her spare time helping the homeless and hungry who lived in the streets. Later, she again worked as a maid in the home of a wealthy woman and this noblewoman also helped Jeanne feed the starving street people. Eventually, Jeanne moved in with a seventy-year-old woman and a seventeen-year-old girl, and the three of them took in poor elderly women from the streets and gave them their own beds and begged for food to feed them. Soon other women began to help in this work, and volunteers raised money so they could move into an abandoned convent and repair it and use it as a place to care for the most helpless of the poor. In 1842 this group of women formed a new religious community known as the Little Sisters of the Poor and elected Jeanne as their superior. She then took the name of Sister Mary of the Cross. More and more women joined the Order, and by the time Jeanne died, at the age of eighty-seven, there were hundreds of Little Sisters of the Poor working in many cities of the world. In her later years, Sister Mary was no longer superior but was in charge of the very youngest sisters, who did the manual work in the convent, and many of the Sisters never even knew that this elderly Sister was the foundress of their Order. Jeanne has not been named a saint yet, but she was “beatified” in 1982 and can now be called Blessed Sister Mary of the Cross. Isn’t it wonderful that a poor sixteen-year-old girl who began work as a maid could start by helping a few homeless people and then gather a group that has grown to help thousands of people all over the world? Don’t ever think YOU are too poor or too young or too dumb to do something important! You can’t just DREAM it or WISH it or THINK about it – but if you really want to do something and are willing to work and pray for it, you, too, CAN do something important!” pages 80-81

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

The couple actually celebrate the sacrament and the bishop, priest or deacon are present as witnesses to the sacrament.

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

Sacraments 101

  1. “He took _____________________, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body” (Mark 14:22).   A. jars of wine B. crackers C. dinner    D. bread
  1. The sacrament of the anointing of the _____________________ is celebrated with seriously ill or dying people.     A. bread and wine B. water C. sick      D. Communion hosts
  1. ____________________, deacons and bishops are ordained when they receive the sacrament of holy orders.     A. priests B. nuns C. monks    D. married couples
  1. Chrism is the holy ______________________ that is used at baptisms, confirmations, and ordinations.     A. oil B. water C. clothes  D. candle
  1. Eucharist literally means “come together to break bread.” T or F

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

Nocturnal Animals – This movie was released in this year and has been nominated for some awards. It stars Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Jake Gyllenhall. This movie has a disturbing opening scene and is definitely not a movie for children. “A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.” This movie provoked many questions. When is art pornography? Does what we put into our consciousness influence our lives in subtle ways? Is it better not to watch such movies so our interior peace is not disturbed?  I give this movie ♥♥♥/5 hearts.

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

Focus on the 90% by Darci Lang – This is a self-help/motivational book. The author states her book is “One simple tool to change the way you view your life.” You are invited to focus on the positive 90% of your life and not the 10% which is troubling. She invites you to explore this change of perception by focussing on five areas: yourself, your family, your job, others around you and your clients. In her workshops she gives everyone a small (sometimes imaginary) magnifying glass. 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 Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting during his life? The Red Vineyard at Arles.” Huh!!

One comment

  1. ?As always, thank you for the blessing of such emails, have a blessed Sunday!

    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.” “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response*** ________________________________

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