Catholic Culture Update April 23

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 23rd, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, his steadfast love endures forever.”

April 23rd is the 2nd Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday.Today’s gospel presents a very dramatic story, describing astonishing events. The resurrected Jesus somehow passes through locked doors and appears before his disciples. Later, Thomas the Doubter is invited to put his fingers right into the mortal wounds in Jesus’ body to see for himself that the figure standing before them is truly their friend and teacher, who had been killed before their eyes just a few days earlier. These extraordinary moments offer important teachings, not just to the disciples, but to us, too. But the most powerful teaching moment is also the quietest. Jesus’ followers are hiding in terror, their hopes crushed, their spirits defeated, afraid for their very lives. All seems lost. Then Jesus is somehow among them and says these simple words: “Peace be with you.” Instantly their fear and dread are gone and in their place – joy. Peace, inner peace, is the first gift the resurrected Jesus offers his disciples. Nourished by the peace of the Lord, this group of ordinary people will soon change the world. And we, also ordinary women and men, also full of anxieties and disappointments, confused about the present and uncertain about the future, are offered the same gift. Right here, today Jesus is saying to us, too, “Peace be with you.” We need only to open our hearts to receive it.” Patrick Gallagher, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 340.

Image result for Divine MercySunday of Divine Mercy – “On April 30, 2000, St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun and visionary to whom Christ appeared with red and white rays streaming from his heart, an image that has since become famous as the “Divine Mercy.” St. Faustina realized that God sees the world through the wounds of his Son, and that God’s gaze is full of mercy and love. We need not fear, therefore, but only trust in Jesus. The Divine Mercy chaplet is a special prayer using Rosary beads, but with a different sequence of prayers, emphasizing the saving Passion of Christ. One of the prayers of the chaplet summarizes the devotion, which focuses on Christ’s Passion and God’s mercy: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Another prayer associated with the Divine Mercy devotion is a novena of prayer concluding on the Sunday of Divine Mercy Sunday, (thus beginning on Good Friday). On each day of the novena, a different group is prayed for, encompassing, by Divine Mercy Sunday, the whole world. It is a prayer of trust in the love of Christ.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 19

Image result for St. markApril 25th is the Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist – “St. Mark (first century) is the traditional author of the Gospel account that bears his name. Although he has been identified with John Mark and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, the earliest tradition sees him as a distinct individual, one of the seventy disciples sent by Jesus to preach before the Crucifixion. According to Hippolytus, a writer of the second to third century, he had such difficulty with Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist that he left but was later brought back by St. Peter. Subsequently, he traveled with Peter and worked as his interpreter, wrote the Gospel based on Peter’s preaching, and became bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. The Coptic Church claims him as their first bishop and parts of their liturgy are attributed to him. Their tradition says that he was martyred at Alexandria in 68 CE.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 64-65 Thank you Mark for your gospel! Inspire us to use God’s word to guide our lives. Read the first chapter of Mark’s gospel today.

Image result for Our Lady of Good CounselApril 26th is the memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel – “Today in Canada the Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured under the title of Our Lady of Good Counsel. In this well-loved image, Mary embraces the child Jesus, who has his arm around her neck. She seems to be leaning down to hear what the Child Jesus has to say – to listen to his words of “good counsel.” The original image is found in Genazzano, near Rome, but the devotion has spread all over the world. Many schools, colleges, and parishes are dedicated to Our Lady under this title, and Pope Pius XII was devoted to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us, and for the people of Canada.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 65 Our Lady of Good Counsel is the patron of the CWL. Say a prayer for guidance for this women’s group in the Church.

Image result for St. Catherine of SienaApril 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church – “St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was a Dominican tertiary (lay member) and mystic, the twenty-fourth of twenty-five children. In spite of family opposition, she dedicated herself to Christ at a very young age and at the age of sixteen, she withdrew from her family to lead a life of intense prayer. When she emerged, she began to dedicate herself to the care of the sick and poor. Her joyful spirit attracted a number of followers. After a series of mystical experiences, Catherine felt compelled to write letters to those in secular and Church authority, which she dictated to her friend, the Dominican Raymond of Capua. Her influence became so great that papal legates consulted her. At this time, the popes had moved their residence from Rome to Avignon, France. Catherine begged Gregory XI to return to Rome, which he did in 1377, St. Catherine died in 1380 at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind her writing, the Dialogue on Divine Providence, letters, and prayers. She is represented in art holding a lily and wearing the habit of Dominican tertiary, and is the patron saint of Europe and Italy. In 1970, Pope Paul VI made her a Doctor of the Church, one of the first women, along with Teresa of Avila, to be so honoured.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 66 St. Catherine continue to guide our Church and our Pope Francis. Say a prayer for Pope Francis as he leads our church throughout the world.

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

“There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.” Charles Langbridge Morgan

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 law schools in Canada to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law, 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 antiracism.

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 2.3: Through an examination of selected Scripture passages, identify the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christ and in the early Church and explain how this role is repeated in the liturgy of the Mass in the Church today. [CCC nos. 1373-1381]

“Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,” is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church’s prayer, “where two or three are gathered in my name,” in the poor, the sick and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass and in the person of the minister. But “he is present…most especially in the Eucharistic species.” [CCC 1373]

Ask your students the following questions: Who asked Mary if she was willing to be Jesus’ mother? [Angel Gabriel] How did she become Jesus’ mother? [Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would help her to become pregnant with Jesus.] Read to your class Luke 3:21-22. In this passage we learn that Jesus had a special relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Explain to your class that after Jesus was baptized by John, his cousin, he moved into the desert for forty days. Read to your class Luke 4:1 – What does the Holy Spirit do in Jesus’ life? [The Holy Spirit leads and guides Jesus in his life.]

Explain to the students that Jesus taught his disciples that when he went to heaven, he would send the Holy Spirit to them and to us. So the Holy Spirit can lead and guide us in our lives like the Spirit guided Jesus. The Holy Spirit has also guided the Church from the time of Jesus’ resurrection until today.

Every time we go to Mass the Holy Spirit is present. We sign ourselves with the sign of the Cross of which the Holy Spirit is a part. During the Eucharistic Prayer the priest says over the gifts “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The priest also prays during this prayer “Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.”   During the Mass, the Holy Spirit is active to help us to follow Jesus and to become a community of believers.

It is the Holy Spirit who guides us to share our gifts, especially when we may feel shy to do so. When we show the kindness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, patience, joy, peace and love – we show the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

Joseph of Cupertino ~ Did you know there is a patron saint of astronauts? Yep! This is the saint. There are several saints named Joseph, but this one was a person who started out as a real “loser”! His family was so poor that their house had to be sold to pray their debts, and Joseph was born in a shack. As a child, he was so absent-minded that everyone made fun of him. He went to work as a shoemaker’s helper but was so bad at the job, he got fired. Then he tried to join a monastery, but the superiors refused to take him so he joined another one. He was so bad at his job there that they asked him to leave after only eight months. Finally, he was accepted at a third monastery and was put to work in the stables. Here he worked so hard and was so prayerful and kind that he was finally accepted to study for the priesthood. After Joseph became a priest, he continued to do simple, routine duties but spent most of his time in prayer. Many people reported miracles of healing when Joseph prayed for them. Over seventy times, people SAW Joseph praying so hard that, while he was praying, he actually ROSE from the floor and was suspended in the air! This is known as “levitation” and it is one reason Joseph was named the patron of astronauts! Would you like to be an astronaut? Or would you like to be a saint? Well, maybe you could even be BOTH! And if you ever feel like a “loser,” just think about Joseph of Cupertino – a man who seemed destined to fail but instead “rose” to great heights as a saint.” pages 91-92

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

What Do You Know? About Initiation by Peggy O’Neill Fisher

  1. Unbaptized adults prepare for the sacraments of initiation through a process called   A. RCIA   B. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults   C. RCIC   D. A and B
  1. A person who asks about becoming a follower of Christ is called   A. an inquirer   B. a disciple C. a seeker   D. curious
  1. Catechumens hear and learn to follow   A. their catechist B. The word of God C. the parish priest   D. none of these
  1. This oil is used to anoint and strengthen those preparing for baptism   A. Chrism B. Infirmed C. Catechumen D. none of these
  1. We call the baptized person who accompanies a catechumen on their journey  A. a sponsor B. godparent   C. catechist D. teacher

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

Captive – Kate Mara and David Oyelowo star in this movie based on a true story. A single mother, who is struggling with drug addiction, is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run. He has broken out of jail and murdered the judge assigned to his case. This is a drama that is filled with suspense. I give this movie ♥♥♥.5/5 hearts.

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

Open Heart, Open Mind is an autobiographical account of Clara Hughes. In her own words, Clara describes the life and struggles of elite athletes. It is an easy read. I was inspired as she described how she felt as she won medals in both cycling and speed skating events. It also tells her story of her involvement in Right to Play and Bell – Let’s Talk. I give this book ☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces.

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

“Eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, have become part of our Easter tradition.” Huh!!

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