Catholic Culture Update Feb. 12

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning February 12, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Blessed are those who walk in the Lord.” Psalm 119

February 12th is the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time. “Today’s Scripture passages echo and re-echo the same essential concept. The verses of Psalm 119 will guide our response, “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.” The reading from Matthew’s Gospel is packed with potential actions, optional responses and possible consequences. “But I say to you” signals that the stakes are being raised to a whole new level. We find the same approach in the reading from Sirach: fire and water, life and death, good and evil. The Lord is not interested in half measures or lukewarm responses. Pick one or the other, there is no room here to sit on the fence. The message is unchanging: come to the Lord completely. This should not surprise us, for it is from the One who chose to empty himself completely and become one of us to show us the way to God. It comes from the one who fully and absolutely understands what it is to be human. And it comes with the promise that we can spend our whole life in a constant and profound relationship with divine grace and love, immersed in God forever.” Marilyn J Sweet, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 155.

Image result for Sts. Cyril, Monk and MethodiusFebruary 14th is the memorial of Sts. Cyril, Monk and Methodius, Bishop. “Saints Cyril (827-869) and Methodius (815-884) were brothers born in Thessalonika (Greece), in the ninth century and are known as the “apostles to the Slavs.” Cyril was a scholar and linguist, and Methodius was a monk. In 862, Prince Ratislav of Moravia asked the Byzantine Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch of Constantinople, Photius, to send missionaries to his people. It is likely that Ratislav turned to Constantinople for help rather than fall under the influence of the Franks. At the time, there was no written form of Old Slavonic, so Cyril and Methodius developed the Glagolitic alphabet, from which their disciples developed the Cyrillic alphabet, still used today in Slavic languages such as Russian and Ukrainian, as well as by the Russian-influenced languages Moldovan, Mongolian, and Tatar, among others. As part of their work, they translated some of the Scriptures into Old Slavonic and devised a liturgy in that language. Shortly before his death, Cyril became a monk; Methodius continued the mission alone and later was made an archbishop. The Eastern Orthodox churches venerate them as saints with the title “equal-to-apostles,” and they are celebrated with national holidays in Bulgaria and Macedonia. In 1980, [St.] John Paul II declared them co-patrons of Europe, an honour they share with St. Benedict of Nursia. Their joint commemoration is celebrated on the anniversary of Cyril’s death. Sts. Cyril and Methodius are the patron saints of ecumenism, of unity among the Eastern and Western Churches, of Europe, as well as countries such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Moravia.”  Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 48 Sts. Cyril and Methodius, inspire us to work on including all people into our circle of belonging. Send a Valentine message of caring to someone who may not get one.

Image result for St valentineFebruary 14th is the memorial of St. Valentine. “An ancient, mysterious legend explains this day’s origins. Two St. Valentines, both third-century martyrs – one a bishop, the other a priest – sent letters of encouragement to people dreading persecution. Hence, we send valentines decorated with flowers, hearts, and the colour red, which symbolizes the blood of martyrdom. Initially, the celebration was not meant to be exclusive; now it has taken on romantic overtones. However, to retrieve the original sense, Peter Mazar suggests handmade cards for people who might not otherwise receive them: residents of retirement centres or hospitals and members of the armed forces. While the day provides revenue for card shops, jewelers and florists, it’s intended to celebrate the Christian values of thoughtfulness and tender care. And it enlivens a long winter!”  Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 48 St. Valentine, guide us to love those closest to us who we sometimes take for granted. Tell someone close to you that you love them.

Walking Forward Together with Others ~ a quote for the week

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. Dakota Proverb

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 government, in consultation with Aboriginal peoples, to establish measurable goals to identify and close the gaps in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, and to publish annual progress reports and assess long term trends. Such efforts would focus on indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.

How can we support all of our students to have better mental health and physical health?

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 1.3: Link special moments in human life to the sacraments (e.g. birth of a child – Baptism; growing in maturity and responsibility – Confirmation; the need for forgiveness – Reconciliation; the experience of sickness – Anointing of the Sick; decisions of commitment – Marriage and Holy Orders) and suggest other times in our ordinary daily life when awareness of God’s presence makes them both spiritual and significant (e.g. experience of nature i.e. watching a sunrise; special achievements i.e. artistic and sports endeavour; once in a life-time events which are not repeated i.e. the first day of school).

As our students become less familiar with Church, it becomes more important to teach these Celebration expectations in a direct and intentional way. The previous expectation was teaching the actions, symbols and prayers of each sacrament. Now this expectation is trying to tie the sacraments to ordinary life moments. The sacraments are moments in our lives when we experience God’s presence in a real affective manner. So a baby becomes a member of the Christian community in a formal way by being baptized.   This is not the only time someone can be baptized. If an adult who has not been baptized want to belong to the Christian community in a formal way s/he may be baptized too. Look above there are more examples for the special moments in human life linked to the sacraments.

There are other times in our ordinary daily life when we can become aware of God’s presence. Recently I was babysitting a friend’s one-year-old. I had helped the baby to fall into sleep. As the baby slept beside me, his little belly moving up and down with each breath, I was swept up by the miracle a baby is. I was moved to thank God for Xavier’s life and his parents’ openness to having him.

When I see it snowing gently outside the window of my home, or see the sunrise in the early morning sky, I am grateful for God’s creation. So often you can hear someone say “Oh my God, that is beautiful!” when they see a sunrise or sunset happening.

Ask your students to identify special moments like that that they may have experienced recently. Maybe it will be finally being able to perform some hockey skill or dance step… Ask them if they can imagine God’s help as they experienced the special moment.

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > social justice organization that works with many Christian churches to do the work of justice in Canada
  • > Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
  • > Catholic Women’s League > does much justice work locally and nationally
  • > New Jesuit website on Truth and Reconciliation
  • > A website that explores the science of a meaningful life
  • > World Community for Christian Meditation – Canada part of the site > This is a site for Christian Meditation for teachers and students alike.
  • > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grade

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

Jerome ~ What’s in a name? Well, St. Jerome was really named Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius. AND he had friends named Bonosus, Evagrius, Heliodorus, Epiphanius, and Eustochium! In spite of that, Jerome became one of the greatest, wisest saints. Jerome was a secretary to a pope, became famous for his writing and translation of the Scriptures, and impressed the people of his time with his honesty, learning, and personal holiness. So the only name we need remember him by is “saint.” Although the names of his day may sound strange to you, maybe names you know today – Elvis, Robin, Whitney, Goldie, Kiefer, or Nicole – would sound just as strange to the people who lived back in the fourth and fifth centuries when Jerome did! Do you ever wish you had a different name? If you could have chosen any name when you were born, what would that name have been? How about Glamouroso, Astronautus, Star, Richenfamous? Or how about Christian? Could people tell by the way you act that you ARE a Christian even though you weren’t named that name? Should people be able to tell that? What could you do today to let someone know you ARE a Christian?” pages 82

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

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

Sacraments 101

  1. When a baby is baptized, the ______________________ speak for the child until they can profess their faith for themselves at the sacrament of confirmation.   A. priest B. grandparents   C. altar servers   D. parents
  1. In the sacrament of matrimony, the couple vows to be open to ______________________.   A. wedding presents   B. having children C. moving to a better job D. volunteering in parish
  1. Jesus’ first miracle was the Wedding at _______________________ (John 2:1-12).   A. Cana B. Jerusalem C. Bethlehem   D. Nazareth
  1. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles like tongues of ________________________ (Acts 2:1-13).   A. doves B. cows C. incense D. fire
  1. Only mortal sins should be confessed to a priest. T or F

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

Deadpool – This movie was released in this year and has been nominated for some awards. It stars Ryan Reynolds as the main character. It is a comic book-like movie. I was intrigued by the title of the movie and when I initially saw the trailers I thought it looked very violent. Then I saw it was nominated for awards. I watched it and realized that it is violent, had bad language, and it was not a movie to show children. I really did not relate to the revenge and spite of the story.  I give this movie ♥♥♥/5 hearts.

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

Still Life by Louise Penny – This is a Canadian author whose main character is Armand Gamache, a wise, honest Chief of Homicide of the Sûreté de Québec. This is the first novel in a series of twelve by the same author. I have read some of the later novels in past years but now I wanted to begin the series and read the books in order so I could understand threads of stories I found in later books. Armand Gamache is a person of integrity. If Armand were a real person, I would want to learn more about how he grew to be who he is. I am also intrigued by the way Penny portrays the Québec police force. There have been real life difficulties in the history of that force and Penny alludes to some of these in her novels. I give this book ☺☺☺☺/5 smiles.

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

Fonts that contain small decorative lines at the end of a stroke are called serif fonts.” Huh!!

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