Catholic Culture Update April 9

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 9, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Hosanna in the highest.”

April 9th is Passion (Palm) Sunday.What did Jesus cling to? Not to the fleeting glory of crowds shouting, “Hosanna!” Paul says Jesus didn’t even cling to his divine position: he “did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself,” becoming human. He accepted the suffering and pain of human life. He lived in vulnerability, God’s Suffering Servant, not hiding his face “from insult and spitting.” But he did not cling to suffering… he did not let it become the final word. Not even on the cross. He clung, instead, to his identity as God’s beloved. He clung to his relationship with the Father. Even in his agony, he remembered who he was. His final, heartbroken, cry was, nonetheless, a cry of faith, a prayer from Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He clung to what he knew best: he was God’s beloved; he trusted in God. And God did not let him down. Paul assures us, “God highly exalted him.” We need to be reminded that evil, hatred, suffering and death don’t have the final word. Jesus gives us this gift. He shows us that life is stronger than death; love is stronger than hatred; faith and hope are stronger than fear and suffering. He shows us that we, too, are God’s beloved. Let us cling to this love.” Dinah Simmons, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 228.

April 13th is Thursday of the Lord’s Supper (at the Evening Mass) / Holy Thursday. “The Triduum begins with radiant glory at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The laws of the Church permit no other parish Masses on this day. Like the Jewish Passover custom, this liturgy begins after sundown. The Scriptures for the Lord’s Supper remain the same each year. The First Reading from the Hebrew Scriptures recalls how Moses led the Hebrew people out of the land of Egypt. The Lord commanded Moses and Aaron to instruct the people of Israel to sacrifice year-old male lambs, without blemish, and smear the blood on their door. When the angel of death came to their house, it would pass over if it saw the blood of the sacrifice, thus sparing their firstborn child. This passage ends by instituting this as a yearly memorial feast. It lays the foundation for the Christian feast of the Lord’s Supper. The Second Reading recounts the Apostle Paul instructing the people of Corinth to offer a sacrifice of praise. He tells them how on the night before he died, “Jesus took bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” The priest uses a variation of these words at every Mass to consecrate the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. The Gospel comes from John’s account of the Last Supper. Unique among the Gospel accounts, John omits references to bread and wine. Instead, he describes a meal during which Jesus takes a bowl and pitcher of water to wash the disciples’ feet. The image is clear. Eucharist is not simply a ritual meal. It must also move us from worship to service for one another. Following the homily the priest may wash his parishioners’ feet. By imitating the Gospel just proclaimed, the pastor and any associate priests demonstrate the commitment made at their Ordination to serve the community in the likeness of Christ Jesus. The Liturgy of the Eucharist continues as normal, though with these vivid Eucharistic images in the minds of those assembled. This evening’s liturgy ends differently from other Masses. This is no official ending, as this was the beginning of a three-day liturgy. Following the distribution of Holy Communion, an elaborate Eucharistic procession makes its way through the assembly. Using incense, candles, and a processional cross, the priest processes with the consecrated Eucharistic bread to a chapel or side altar. There the faithful can remain in presence of the Lord. The procession and prayer hint at the somber tone to come on Good Friday.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 15

April 14th is Friday of the Passion of the Lord/Good Friday. “Good Friday commemorates the Crucifixion, Death, and burial of Christ Jesus. Only one liturgy is permitted this day, and it continues the one begun on Holy Thursday evening. The Good Friday liturgy consists of reading the Passion of Jesus Christ, the Adoration of the Cross, and concludes with the reception of Holy Communion. The liturgy begins in silence as the priest enters the sanctuary and prostrates himself on the floor before the altar and cross. The assembly silently kneels in this gesture of penance. After arising, the Scriptures follow in the usual way. The First Reading comes from the prophet Isaiah. He tells of an unnamed suffering servant who will give his life for the sins of others. Like an innocent lamb led to slaughter, yet bearing the guilt of many, this servant will see the fullness of light for his sacrifice. The Second Reading offers the image of Christ Jesus as the priest offering his own life. St. Paul states this great high priest became the source of eternal salvation. The highlight of the Scriptures for Good Friday is the Passion reading from John’s account of the Gospel. Various details reveal how John’s Passion differs in tone and content from the others. Jesus is clearly in command of the course of events. Jesus and Pilate exchange powerful dialogues. John’s account of the Gospel introduces an unnamed beloved disciple, who appears at the foot of the Cross with Mary and two others. Following the homily, the priest or deacon, along with other ministers, presents a large cross to the assembly. The priest chants, “Behold the wood of the Cross, / on which hung the salvation of the world.” All respond, “Come, let us adore.” So closely identified with Christ himself, the cross receives the adoration of the faithful. One by one all approach, to genuflect, kneel, caress, touch, or softly kiss it in an act of worship. This simple liturgy ends with the distribution of Holy Communion from hosts consecrated at the Holy Thursday liturgy. All depart in silence, longing for a joyful conclusion to this prayer come Saturday night.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 116


April 15th is the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night / Holy Saturday. “Lent and Holy Week reach a climax at the Easter Vigil. This solemnity of all solemnities begins after sundown on Holy Saturday. Like the ancient Jewish custom, Catholics believe the sun’s setting completes a day, and therefore the festivals for the next day (Easter Sunday) may begin. The Vigil starts outdoors with all gathered around a fire. A new and stately paschal candle takes its flame from the fire, and the priest blesses it as the light of Christ. All process into the empty church, illuminated only by vigil candles to hear the Exsultet (Easter Proclamation), an ancient text summarizing the significance of this holy night. The procession of light concludes and leads to the Liturgy of the Word. This night calls for a more generous use of the Scriptures to emphasize God’s saving work throughout history. The rite offers no fewer than seven Hebrew Scriptures readings, each followed by a Responsorial Psalm. Fittingly, the creation story itself is first, followed by Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. The vivid imagery of Moses leading the Hebrew people through the Red Sea to freedom from their Egyptians oppressors prominently highlights the significance of this night. Passing through water to new life foreshadows the Baptisms that will take place in this celebration. Readings from Isaiah and the prophet Hosea are also offered. The Christian Scripture reading is always from Romans, when Paul reminds the believers of the significance of their Baptism. In that ritual they died to Christ and were given the divine promise to live with him forever in his Resurrection. After fasting from Alleluias for six weeks of Lent, musicians jubilantly lead the community in this act of praise before the Gospel account of the Lord’s Resurrection from the dead. The third major act of this night, the Baptism of the elect, follows the homily. The priest baptizes each adult and then must confirm them with the oil of chrism. Having witnessed these new believers professing their faith, the entire assembly then renew their own baptismal promises and sign themselves with the fresh baptismal waters. Clothed in radiant white garments, like the image of the Risen Lord, the newly baptized join the assembly for the first time at the Lord’s table for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The liturgy concludes in the normal way, with the addition of a double Alleluia to the final blessing to signify the jubilant nature of this solemnity.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 15

Walking Forward Together in Hope ~ a quote for the week

“Where you stumble, there your treasure lies.” Joseph Campbell

 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, and territorial governments to review and amend their respective statutes of limitations to ensure that they conform to the principle that governments and other entities cannot rely on limitation defences to defend legal actions of historical abuse brought by Aboriginal people.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

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 Four CL 2.1: Identify the gifts received through participation in the Eucharist (i.e. offertory, communion); connect them with the various symbols, rituals, and sacramental signs found in the liturgy of the Mass; and explain how they help us to recognize the presence of Christ. [CCC nos. 1391-1405] “Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. [CCC 1391] …What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. [CCC 1392] …Holy Communion separates us from sin. [CCC 1393] …the Eucharist makes the Church… [CCC 1396] …The Eucharist commits us to the poor. [CCC 1397]”

In the Eucharist we receive the gifts of community, hearing the Word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit, being able to help the poor through the offertory, and receiving the Bread of Life. These may be intangible gifts for Grade 4 students so you will have to teach the class directly about these gifts. Before you attend the next School liturgy you may want to teach this lesson.

Gifts received through participation in Eucharist Symbols Rituals Sacramental Signs We are helped to recognize the presence of Christ
Community – our school is a faith community that may be joined by parishioners. We all sit together facing the altar. We come into the Church together. We stand, kneel, sit and pray together. Many people in the community are baptized so Jesus is present in the community. God created all of us and through our baptism we live in Christ.
Word of God is proclaimed and explained. Lectionary contains the Word of God and the homily is offered as guidance. We make the sign of the cross on our foreheads, on our lips and on our hearts to ask God’s word to bless us. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of God’s Word so this word is a living testimony of God’s love for us. God’s presence is imbued in the Bible and when we listen to it being read it can affect us deeply, by guiding our hearts and lives.
During the Offering we are able to bring gifts to the altar for consecration. Bread & Wine

(Money on weekends)

Procession down middle aisle. The priest takes the gifts of bread and wine and consecrates them to become Jesus’ body and blood for us. During the consecration, Christ becomes present in the bread and wine.
Receiving Holy Communion (for those who have made their first Communion) Usually only consecrated hosts are available at a school mass. Opening our hands and receiving the host and consuming it. When we consume the consecrated host, Jesus becomes a part of us. As we receive this bread, we become closer to Jesus.


Grade Five CL 3.1: Identify and examine a selection of the scripture passages in the New Testament which reveal the divinity of Jesus (e.g. Epiphany, miracles, transfiguration, resurrection) and explain using examples, how images, signs and symbols in the Liturgical year convey this important truth of faith for Christians. [CCC nos. 1153-1162]

Invite your students to read the scripture passages and ask them to explain how they understand that Jesus is the Son of God in these passages. The Visit of the Wise Men – Matthew 2:1-12; The Baptism of Jesus – Matthew 3:13-17; Jesus Cleanses the Leper – Matthew 8:1-4; Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant – Matthew 8: 5-13; Jesus Stills the Storm – Matthew 8:23-27; Jesus Heals the Gadarene Demoniacs – Matthew 8:28-34; Jesus Heals a Paralytic – Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals Two Blind Men – Matthew 9:27-31;

Jesus Heals One Who Was Mute – Matthew 9:32-34; Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand – Matthew 14:13-21; Jesus Walks on the Water – Matthew 14:22-33; Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret – Matthew 14:34-36; The Transfiguration – Matthew 17:1-13; Jesus Cures a Boy with a Demon – Matthew 17: 14-21; Jesus Heals Two Blind Men – Matthew 20:29-34; The Resurrection of Jesus – Matthew 28: 1-10; The Wedding at Cana – John 2:1-12; The Resurrection of Jesus – Luke 24:1-12; Mark 16:1-8; John 20:1-10.

Advent is a time when we use purple to signify the coming of the King. Purple is a colour for royalty. We use an Advent wreath to show God’s love for us in the evergreen circle. Candles are used to show the passage of time through the season and the closeness to the anniversary of Jesus’ birth and his coming again in glory. We hear readings from the prophets predicting the coming of the Messiah.

Christmas is a season of white, new birth, the gift of the Son of God incarnate for us. It really is a birthday party for Jesus. It is a season that is 12 days long.

Ordinary time is anything but ordinary. We call it ordinary because the weeks are counted, for example: the First Week of Ordinary Time, Second Week of Ordinary Time… it is during these weeks we hear stories of Jesus’ life and ministry from during evangelists depending on the cycle of readings.

Lent is a time when we use purple again. We hear readings from Hebrew Scriptures and Pauline letters as well as the Gospels.

The Triduum is a three day retreat/liturgy which highlights Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. The cross plays a role in helping us to know how much Jesus loved us. The Bread and Wine are instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper to become Jesus’ new covenant with the faithful. Lent is a season of forty days.

Easter is a joyful season that we celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead. For us in North America, we have many signs and symbols of Spring coinciding with this liturgical season. There is new life all around us. Fire is blessed, water is blessed and we receive anew the love of God. It is a season of fifty days. Jesus is the God-man on earth; Christ is the resurrected one.

Grade Six CL 1.3: Outline the historical development of the priesthood from its beginning in the Hebrew Scriptures Covenant to the ministry of the priesthood today (i.e. Melchizedek and Levitical orders; its perfection in the leadership of Christ; Christ’s institution of the priesthood in the Apostles (Christian Scriptures); its formation in the early Church; and its life in the Church today). [CCC nos. 1533-1553]

“The chosen people was constituted by God as ‘a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance. A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are ‘appointed to act on behalf of the people in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.’” [CCC 1539]

“Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer, this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish.” [CCC 1540]

“Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigures finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the ‘one mediator between God and all people.’ The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, ‘high priest after the order of Melchizedek’; ‘holy, blameless, unstained,’ that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.” [CCC 1544]

“The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ’s priesthood: “Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers.”” [CCC 1545]

On Holy Thursday at the Last Supper, Jesus institutes the Eucharist and the priesthood. He calls these eleven apostles (Judas left) to remember what Jesus did with the bread and wine – and asks the apostles to repeat this sacrament of his grace – the New Covenant. He also washes the feet of the apostles giving them an example to follow. They are to serve others. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the apostles break bread and pray as a small Christian community. Wherever they travel they bring the Eucharistic celebration with them. It becomes the celebration we have today.

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > Crowder Praises God’s Unconditional Love in ‘Forgiven’ > Christian Music Video – 3.55 min
  • > Colton Dixon – The Other Side > Music Video – 3.54 min – A good music video for all those who are grieving.
  • > Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Become a member of D&P this year for free. It is their 50th anniversary as Canada’s Catholic Justice voice. Add your voice to theirs.
  • > New Jesuit website on Truth and Reconciliation
  • > 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

“John of the Many! ~ WOULD YOU BELIEVE there are SEVENTY saints officially recorded with the name of John? And there are probably many more “saintly” Johns who are NOT recorded! The first St. John was, of course, John the Apostle, said to be a good friend and the “favourite” apostle of Jesus. A recent “saintly” John is, of course, Pope John Paul II. And in between there have been John the Good, John the Silent, John the Almsgiver, John the Spaniard, John of Nicodemia, John of Perugia, John of the Marches, John of the Grating – and LOTS more. What a saintly name this is! Do YOU have a saintly name? Or an unusual name? Or a popular name? Or a name you hate? Well, you’ll never have to take the blame for your name – since somebody else gave it to you! If you like it, flaunt it. If you don’t like it, change it! But you DO have to take the blame for the way you use GOD’s name. Some people throw it around, using it casually, sarcastically, and NOT reverently. You would never do that, would you?” pages 89-90

What’s your Catholic IQ? A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment by David O’Brien

Our Lent and Easter Quiz

  1. “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the _____________________, and he remained there for forty day, tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:12-13).   A. synagogue         B. desert   C. city     D. school
  1. Giving up candy or TV for Lent makes God love us. T or F
  1. While Jesus was in the desert, Satan tempted him to sin instead of following _____________________ will.     A. God’s B. Mary’s C. the Pope’s   D. Moses’
  1. _________________________ is a 40-day retreat for the entire Church.   A. Easter B. Mardi Gras   C. Lent D. Christmas
  1. Lent was originally a special time for prayer and fasting for people preparing to be baptized and become Catholics.   T/F

What’s your Catholic IQ? A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment by David O’Brien

Our Lent and Easter Quiz

  1. ________________________ is when we disobey God, hurt others, and hurt ourselves.   A. Eating candy   B. A mistake C. Sin D. Laziness
  1. The main purpose of Lent is to give up something we like for 40 days.   T/F
  1. Many saints, such as St. _________________________ the Baptist, lived in the desert so they could focus on God and avoid worldly temptations.   A. Thomas B. Bonaventure C. Paul          D. John
  1. __________________________ is a Lenten practice of sharing one’s riches with those in need.   A. Prayer   B. Almsgiving   C. Fasting D. Confession
  1. When the women disciples went to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning, they found the stone rolled away but they did not find his _________________________.   A. cross      B. other disciples     C. mother   D. body

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

Miss Sloane – In this movie Jessica Chastain plays a lobbyist against gun control in the USA. Funny how business done by a woman as it is done by many men is especially criticized. Senate Ethics committee makes her accountable. Miss Sloane is ruthless and highly competitive, she served time in a Federal institution. I am always perplexed by the idea of gun control in the USA as seen as against their constitutional rights. I give this movie ♥♥♥.5/5 hearts.

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

Life of Pi was written by Yann Martel and won the Man Booker Prize. It is an extraordinary tale that causes dissonance in the reader. Is it a true story? It is told so vividly. But it says it is a novel on the cover. I really appreciated how the main character Pi was able to understand the truths of the major world religions and connect those truths. It won three other major awards. Of course, you must know that the book was made into a movie by the same title. I went to the movie to check my imagination of the exotic scenes with the interpretation of the film maker. I give this book ☺☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces.

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

“The Whale Shark is the largest fish in the ocean.” Huh!!

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