Catholic Culture Update April 16

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 16th, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” Psalm 118

April 16th is Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord.Today’s gospel reading is one that never grows old or boring for me, because it is a story of such sharp contrasts. Dark becomes light; weeping turns to joy; despair changes into hope. If I were to sum up Easter in one word. It would be ‘transformation.” Just think about the disciples. In the weeks and months after the Resurrection, they found themselves doing things they could never have imagined. Take Peter in today’s first reading: he was the one who a few days earlier had denied even knowing Jesus and was now fearlessly proclaiming his lordship. For all the disciples, life would never be the same again. Their encounter with Risen Christ had changed them forever. Each time we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, Jesus is in our midst, just as surely as he was for Mary Magdalene and the disciples on that first Easter morning. Our faith in the real presence assures us of this. And just as their encounter with the Risen Lord changed the disciples’ lives forever, we too should never leave any celebration of the Eucharist unchanged. We receive his Body and Blood in a world much in need of God’s presence. Nourished and transformed, we go forth to love and serve the Lord and one another. Alleluia! Alleluia!” Teresa Whalen Lux, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 330.

April 17th is memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. “St. Kateri (1656-1680), daughter of a Mohawk warrior and Catholic Algonquin woman, was born in a Mohawk fortress near Auriesville, New York. Her parents and brother died in a smallpox epidemic, and she was left wear scars and weakened eyesight. Kateri’s mother had made an impression on her, and she was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1676. Her conversion to Christianity caused her relatives to mistreat her, and so Kateri fled to a community of Native American Christians at Kahnawake (or Caughnawaga), Quebec. Kateri died at 24. She is called “Lily of the Mohawks,” beatified by John Paul II in 1980, the first Native American to be so honoured.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 62   She was canonized on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

April 18th is the memorial of Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin, Virgin. “Born in 1809, Esther Blondin was a French Canadian who learned from the Sisters of Notre Dame to read and write – at age 22. Although she wanted to join their community, her health prohibited it. As a teacher in a parochial school, she realized that high rates of illiteracy were due to a Church ruling that allowed girls to be taught only by women and boys only by men. She founded an order of religious sisters to offset illiteracy and instruct boys and girls together, a new idea for the time. Her order was called the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne, and she took the name Marie-Anne. However, she faced stiff opposition from their chaplain, who prevented her from taking any administrative position. She spent 32 years doing the laundry, convinced that “there is more happiness in forgiving than in revenge.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 62

April 21st is the memorial of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. “St. Anselm was born around the year 1033 in Aosta, then part of the Kingdom of Burgundy, today part of Piedmont in the Italian Alps. Hearing of the reputation of his countryman, Lanfranc, who was prior of the Benedictine abbey of Bec in Normandy, Anselm entered the monastery there at the age of twenty-seven. When Lanfranc was named abbot of Caen, Anselm succeeded him as prior of Bec, and fifteen years later in 1079, he became abbot. In 1070, Anselm’s mentor Lanfranc was made archbishop of Canterbury in England, and when he died in 1109, William II of England seized the lands and revenues of the archdiocese and left the office of archbishop empty (at this time, bishops were appointed by kings.) Finally in 1093, public pressure forced William to appoint Anselm archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm’s term as archbishop was not easy. He was forced into exile twice because of his support of the Gregorian Reform, which tried to do away with lay investiture, the power of secular authority to appoint bishops. Anselm is a Doctor of the Church and is called the Father of Scholasticism for his works of theology, especially the Proslogion, an argument for the existence of God based on reason and his treatise, Why God Became Man, on the saving action of the Incarnation. He is also celebrated in the Anglican and Lutheran Church. Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 63

April 22 is Earth Day. “Perhaps the most important thing the astronauts on the first trip to the moon did was bring back photos of Earth. Until that time, most people probably thought of their planet as a larger version of a globe, with every country a different colour edged by visible borders. In the historic 1969 photos we earthlings saw a very different picture. The earth was mostly a vast blue ocean misted with clouds. No borders between nations could be seen on the land masses. Citizens of Earth were reminded that we all share the same home. Just at the time the photographs appeared in magazines, scientists found out that almost every creature in Lake Erie had been killed by pollution. This discovery made many people aware of the dangers we humans cause ourselves and the creatures who share our planet, by the ways we treat our air, farmland, and water.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 63 “The first Canadian Earth Day was held on Thursday, September 11, 1980, and was organized by Paul D. Tinari, then a graduate student in Engineering Physics/Solar Engineering at Queen’s University. Flora MacDonald, then MP for Kingston and the Islands and former Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, officially opened Earth Day Week on September 6, 1980 with a ceremonial tree planting and encouraged MPs and MPPs across the country to declare a cross-Canada annual Earth Day. The principal activities taking place on the first Earth Day included educational lectures given by experts in various environmental fields, garbage and litter pick-up by students along city roads and highways as well as tree plantings to replace the trees killed by Dutch Elm Disease.[26][27] Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national environmental charity founded in 1990 that provides Canadians with practical knowledge, tools, and simple easy-to-accomplish actions to support a healthier environment through EDC’s year-round and award-winning programs. Education: EcoKids supports teachers and students, grades K-8, with free educational resources, curriculum-linked lesson plans including ESL and FSL, and homework help and games for students. EcoMentors offers youth the training and resources they need to facilitate local environmental education workshops with their peers and other young Canadians. Action: EDC’s challenges, contests and campaigns promote practical, culturally relevant and cost-effective solutions to help individual Canadians support a healthier environment. EDC also encourages action by supporting individuals and community groups in the organization and delivery of local Earth Day (April 22) events. Recognition and Financial Support: Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program recognizes tomorrow’s environmental leaders providing twenty $5 000 scholarships to graduating high school students going on to post-secondary education in the discipline of their choice. The Hometown Heroes Award Program recognizes environmental leaders at the community level with an individual and a group award (each with a cash-prize of $10 000), and business leaders with a small business award. Earth Day Canada’s Community Environment Fund funds sustainable community projects in Ontario providing grants of up to $20 000 to schools and not-for-profit organizations. The Diversity Engagement and Inclusion Initiative helps the environmental sector to better communicate with, engage and activate Canada’s diverse social and cultural communities. The Employee Engagement program works with employers to achieve business and sustainability goals through inclusion of best practices.”

Walking Forward Together in God ~ a quote for the week

“Imagine that you and a close friend are enjoying a walk down a country lane. You are in close proximity. You talk, laugh, listen, and share your hearts. Your attention is focused on this person to the exclusion of almost everything else. You notice the beauty around you or an occasional distraction, but only to point it out to your companion. You share it together. You are in harmony, and you both enjoy the peaceful camaraderie. Walking with God is like that.”

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 Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

Did you know that the word Aboriginal is a legal term? That is why it shows up in government documents. If anyone would like to read the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, click here..

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

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

  • Participate with joy and gratitude in the Sacramental life of the Church and celebrate the Eucharist as the central sacrament of the Catholic Church;
  • Recognize the presence of Christ in the Liturgy of the Word, under the sign of the bread and wine of the Eucharist, in the celebrant priest, and in the assembled Body of Christ;
  • Appreciate the importance of participating in the celebration of holy days, feast days and days dedicated to the saints;
  • Continue to deepen their understanding of the multi-fold meaning of symbols, scripture narratives, ritual actions and practices associated with the liturgical celebration of the saints and the salvation stories of our faith, i.e. the Paschal Mystery.

Grade Seven CL 2.1: Identify the link between the Hebrew Scriptures account of the Passover (Exodus), the Christian Scriptures accounts of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion of Christ, and the prayers of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Read the passage from Exodus about the First Passover (Exodus 12:1-32). Discuss the account of the Passover. The context is that the Egyptian ruler Pharaoh would not let the Hebrews be free but made their lives burdensome and hard. Moses warned Pharaoh but Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews go. This was the consequence of Pharaoh’s decision.

Jesus’ Last Supper takes place during the Passover of the Jews. Read one of the Last Supper accounts (Matthew 26:17-30 / Mark 14:12-26 / Luke 22:7-23). Make the connections between the first Passover and the Last Supper. Every year the Jewish people celebrate the Passover (this year on Tuesday April 11) they re-enact the first Passover. They don’t wipe blood of lambs on their door frames but they recall the story and eat special foods. This is what Jesus’ disciples were doing on the night of the Last Supper. They were celebrating Passover. Once they had their meal, Jesus instituted the Eucharist (bread and wine > becomes his body and blood) and He becomes the Lamb of the Sacrifice. Ask your students “Do Jesus’ words sound familiar to you?” These are the words used at the Consecration of the Eucharist – when the priest changes the bread and wine into Jesus’ body and blood.

Read the passage of the Crucifixion of Christ from one of the gospel accounts: Matthew 27:32-54 / Mark 15:21-40 / Luke 23: 26-47.

Jesus dies on the Cross. During the Eucharistic prayer we pray as a community the Memorial Acclamation. There are three forms:

The priest says: The mystery of faith. We say: We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again. OR When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again. OR Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set up free. We proclaim one of these acclamations each time we participate in the Mass so a bit of Holy Thursday/Good Friday is recalled. We also pray during the Communion Rite >The Lamb of God. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us. X3. Then the priest holds up the host for the whole congregation and says: Behold (See) the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

Living in Communion ~ Hope Expectations for Intermediate Classes

  • Strive to integrate faith with all arenas of their life, personal, social, academic, etc. in order to show God’s love and promote God’s reign on earth;
  • Appreciate what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ and accept the responsibility of this gift;
  • Appreciate the role of the Holy Spirit in initiating believers into the communion of saints, forming them for a life of service and promoting in them a holy and virtuous life.

Grade Eight LC 1.3: Explain giving examples, how the Grace of Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit received through the sacrament of Confirmation, support a life of faith and encourage participation in the life of the Church (e.g. strengthens our communion with Christ, our understanding of Grace, Church fellowship, the will to witnessing to Christ through words and actions, endows new gifts – wisdom, counsel, etc.). [CCC nos. 733-747] Ask your students if they know what the gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, awe and wonder in God’s presence, reverence, courage, right judgment.

Definitions for these gifts are:

Knowledge > means being aware of the world God has created and understanding how things work and fit together

Wisdom > means being able to see how God wants thing to be. It means knowing what needs to be done or said to help God’s plan happen.

Reverence > means loyalty and faithfulness to God and changing our behaviour because of our faith. It also means praying and trusting in prayer.

Awe & Wonder in God’s Presence > means knowing that God and only God deserves our absolute trust and commitment.

Courage > means being able to keep going even then things get really hard.

Right Judgment > means helping to change things to the way they should be. It means making good judgments and giving good advice.

Understanding > means seeing why things are the way they are. It means seeing what needs to be done and responding the way God wants us to respond.

When the Bishop lays hands on the confirmandi he prays that the gifts of the Holy Spirit in each one become enflamed, because they have been in the person since their baptism. When these gifts become alive, the young person can become an active person of faith. These gifts support and encourage participation in the life of the Church. Ask your students if they have experienced any newness, boldness, prayerfulness since their confirmation, if they were confirmed. Of course, there needs to be an openness to use of these gifts. Have they responded to invitations to participate in activities at their parishes. Their youth is always needed. Of course that would require that they belong the community regularly so they can hear the invitations.

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > Merry Easter > 3.53 min – Carrie addresses the need for families to redirect their focus toward the Christ centered mentality of Easter. However, Melinda still really likes to get into the commercialized aspects of Easter, like decorating and making models of the resurrection. This video portrays how we can worship and glorify God during the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, even if we do like dyeing our Easter eggs!
  • > This Easter > A Teaching Video – 1.12 min
  • > 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

Joseph ~ The Bible tells us that Joseph was a good and just man – and that’s about it. But that’s enough to make this quiet man the favourite saint of many. We DO know that Joseph took care of Mary and Jesus. When there was “no room in the inn,” Joseph found shelter for Mary in a stable. When Jesus was born, Joseph was there. When an angel told Joseph the Baby Jesus was in danger, Joseph bravely left his home and took Jesus and Mary to the safety of Egypt. When it was time to present the Baby Jesus to be blessed at the Temple, Joseph was there. When Jesus was twelve years old and got “lost,” Joseph went with Mary, searching until they found him. As Jesus grew up, whenever he needed a fatherly, helping hand, Joseph was there. Not much is known about the life of this saint except that when he was needed, Joseph was there. There are many “good and just” people in the world, but their stories are seldom seen on the front page of the newspaper or on the TV news. You see and hear all about rock stars and movie stars, but how often do you hear about the people who quietly go about their lives, working, helping, “being there” when they are needed? Say a prayer of thanksgiving today and EVERY day for all the GOOD parents, grandparents, teachers, plumbers, priests, electricians, garbage collectors, police officers, doctors, farmers, school bus drivers – all the “saints” of TODAY!” pages 90-91

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

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

Our Lent and Easter Quiz

  1. The resurrection of Jesus happened on the first day of the week, which was ________________________.   A. Saturday B. Monday    C. Sunday   D. Friday
  1. The Easter Triduum includes Holy Thursday, Good _______________________, and Easter Sunday.   A. Friday B. Monday C. Tuesday   D. Wednesday
  1. One focus of the Holy Thursday Mass is the commemoration of the Last ______________________.   A. Supper B. meal C. teaching             D. miracle
  1. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper.   T or F
  1. How many Masses are celebrated at your parish on Holy Thursday?     A. 5 B. 3   C. 2   D. 1

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

Jackie – This role was played by Natalie Portman. She is being interviewed by a reporter about the death of John F. Kennedy in Dallas. The accent Natalie used did not sound authentic. I did not realize that Jackie smoked cigarettes so much. I really hope that her personal assistant Nancy was in life as caring as she is portrayed in the movie. The choice of music was perfect and in a particular way the strange music played during certain moments. I give this movie ♥♥♥.5/5 hearts.

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

The Right To Be Cold written by Sheila Watt-Cloutier. This book explains the journey that this Inuk woman has been on to save her Innu culture, traditions and language from colonization, pollution and climate change. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize the same year as Al Gore. This book taught me many things about Inuit culture. As we have been doing the Blanket exercise, I have learned much about Indigenous culture. It was great to hear in more detail about how colonization specifically effected the North. Sheila’s book was one of the five finalists in the Canada Reads CBC competition. I give this book ☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces.

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

Easter always occurs between March 22 and April 25.” Huh!!

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