Catholic Culture Update April 30th

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning April 30th, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Lord, show me the path of life.” Psalm 16

Image result for emmausApril 30th is the 3rd Sunday of Easter.In the Easter season, we hear accounts of our risen Lord appearing to the disciples. Today’s gospel is a well-told story and we are challenged to hear with new ears. The disciples are walking to Emmaus, upset and confused, when Jesus appears among them. It is after Jesus blesses and breaks the bread that their eyes are opened and they recognize who is in their midst. Perhaps we are burdened by sadness or confusion, unable to see God in our midst. We may need to see through a new lens. The disciples recognized Jesus while at table sharing food and drink. Eastertime is filled with opportunities to gather at family tables. As we gather with family and friends, may we begin by thanking God for the gifts in our lives and ask for the wisdom and understanding to see God present in each day. Today, may we be attentive to Christ present among us. May we recognize him in those we have gathered to pray with, in our presiding priest, in the proclaimed Word, and as we come to share in the Body and Blood of Christ. May the gospel remind us to ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds, hearts and eyes so that we will recognize Christ in our midst and be a sign of Christ’s living presence in our world.” Catherine Ecker, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 348.

cew2017April 30th is the first day of Catholic Education Week. Walking Forward Together is the theme of the week. The bible quote for the week is one from the prophet Micah: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” Let’s celebrate our faith in Catholic Education this week of all weeks.

Month of May – “The fifth month is named after the goddess Maia. She is the oldest of the Pleiades, the seven sisters. According to legend, the Pleiades were placed in the sky to shine as a beautiful cluster of tiny stars. The word mai is also a northern European word that means fresh green growth. In England, hawthorn blossoms are called “may.” Originally, maypoles were small trees that had the lower branches chopped off. They were hung with ribbons and gifts and given to newlyweds as a wish for a life filled with blessings. In some places they were set up in the centres of towns to celebrate Easter or May Day or Midsummer Day, June 24. Many central European towns continue to keep this custom.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 67

Image result for sassoferrato maryMonth of Our Lady – “May is Mary’s Month. Gerard Manley Hopkins wondered about this in a lovely poem called “The May Magnificat.” “May is Mary’s month, and I / Muse at that and wonder why … the Lady Month, May, / Why fasten that upon her, /With a feasting in her honour?” he asked. Hopkins speculates that it is the springtime explosion of new life, in birds and flowers, that make May the right month for Mary. “This ecstasy all through mothering earth /Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth.” Whatever the reason, May is a special time of prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is also Easter Time, so we join with Mary in rejoicing in Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. We can honour Mary in this month by praying the Rosary or another Marian devotion and by participating in Mass on the Feast of the Visitation, which concludes the month on May 31. It’s also a good time for quiet reflection on the seven joys of Mary, the traditional counterpart to her seven sorrows. The joys of Mary are the Annunciation, the birth of Jesus, the adoration of the Magi, the Resurrection, the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and Mary’s coronation as Queen of Heaven.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 68

May 1st is our second day of Catholic Education Week 2017 ~ Walking Forward Together with God.

Image result for St. Joseph the Worker de la tourMay 1st is also a memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. “The memorial of St. Joseph the Worker is a relatively new addition to the calendar. It was introduced by Pope Pius XII in 1955, as an alternative to secular May Day celebrations of the worker, which originated in Communist countries and which did more to promote Communist propaganda that to promote the worker. Pope Pius XII urged workers to look to St. Joseph the carpenter and to see the dignity inherent in human labour, which could become a source of holiness. The prayers for today from The Roman Missal call Joseph our “wise and faithful servant” who is our patron as we “complete the works [God] set us to do.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 69

St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us. Do some good work today to honour St. Joseph’s day.

May 2nd is our third day of Catholic Education Week 2017 ~ Walking Forward Together with our Families.

Image result for St. Athanasius,May 2nd is also a memorial to St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. “St. Athanasius (295-373), bishop of Alexandria and Doctor of the Church, contributed immensely to the development of doctrine and spirituality. He defended the teaching of the First Council of Nicaea (325 CE) that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. The Arians, who taught that Jesus was not divine, unleashed a series of attacks upon the Athanasius, resulting in exile not just once, but five times in his life, amounting to 17 years out of the 45 he was bishop. During one of these exiles, he wrote the influential biography of the renowned hermit and monk St. Anthony of Egypt. This spiritual classic, entitled Life of Antony, has been and continues to be read by people longing to remove worldly distractions that keep them from mystical union with God. He is also noted for two other works: On the Incarnation and Discourses against the Arians. Many titles have been bestowed upon him, including defender of the faith, champion of orthodoxy, mystical theologian, and spiritual master. Athanasius is venerated by the Eastern Orthodox as well as Western Christians, and is especially revered by the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox.” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 70 St. Athanasius, inspire us with the courage of our convictions and beliefs. If need arise, defend the faith today.

May 3rd is our fourth day of Catholic Education Week 2017 ~ Walking Forward Together with our First Nations, Metis and Inuit Sisters and Brothers. Today we walk for justice and celebrate that Development & Peace turns 50 this year.

Image result for Sts. Philip and JamesMay 3rd is also the Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles. “St. Philip (first century) was a native of Bethsaida, and was among John the Baptist’s followers who saw John point out Jesus as the Lamb of God. He is most prominent in the Gospel according to John. It was Philip who asked Jesus to “show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” To which Jesus replied, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9). Legends of Philip have him preaching in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria along with Bartholomew. Philip enraged the proconsul by converting his wife to Christianity and was crucified upside-down in 54 CE. A gnostic gospel found at Nag Hammadi is attributed to him, but there is no evidence it was actually written by him. Philip is shown in art with two loaves or a basket filled with bread, because of his role in the story of the feeding of the five thousand (see John 6:5-7). The St. James (first century) who is celebrated today is “James the Less,” described in the Gospel as the “brother of the Lord,” which at that time could also mean “cousin,” and in Acts of the Apostles 15 as the leader of the Church at Jerusalem. He is usually thought to be the same person as James, the son of Alpheus and, James the Just. He was called to be a disciple along with his brother, Jude. James appears in the lists of the Apostles, but he becomes more prominent after the Ascension, when he was made the first bishop of Jerusalem. He, along with Peter and John, authorized Paul’s mission to the Gentiles. The Church historian, Eusebius, records that James was martyred by being stoned and then thrown from the highest point of the Temple in Jerusalem. Sts. Philip and James are celebrated on the same day in honour of the anniversary of the church dedicated to them in Rome (now called the Church of the Twelve Apostles.)” Companion to the Calendar – A guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, Second Edition, page 70-71 St. Philip help us to feed those who are hungry. St. James encourage us to be a leader in the faith. Celebrate these saints by reading either John 6:5-7 or Acts 15.

May 4th is our fifth day of Catholic Education Week 2017 ~ Walking Forward Together with Creation.

May 5th is our sixth day of Catholic Education Week 2017 ~ Walking Forward Together in Hope.

May 6th is Educational Assistants’ Day. Show your appreciation for an EA today!

Walking Forward Together with FNMI Sisters and Brothers ~ a quote for the week

“The land is sacred; it belongs to the countless numbers who are dead, the few who are living, and the multitudes of those yet to be born.” Penan, Sarawak, Malaysia


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 parties and, in particular, the federal government, to work collaboratively with plaintiffs not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to have disputed legal issues determined expeditiously on an agreed set of facts.


New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Living in Communion ~ Hope Expectations for Junior Classes

  • Recognize Jesus as a companion and friend who travels with them on the journey of their lives;
  • Appreciate what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ and accept the responsibility of this gift;
  • Participate as an active member in the prayer life of the Communion of Saints to help those saints among us and those who have gone before us and who are in need of our prayers;
  • Recognize and believe in Mary as the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church.

Grade Four LC 2.4: Examine the lives of the saints and explain how they are examples of hope that inspire us to live a holy life.

This would be a great expectation to use as a research project.

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 Five CL 3.2: Name the images and symbols associated with Holy Thursday and Pentecost (e.g. sacred oils, bread and wine, foot washing, wind and tongues of fire) and explain what they convey and how their meaning deepen our Christian faith and guides our life of witness and service. [CCC nos. 1145-1155]

Images and Symbols Explain what these conveys How their meaning deepen Christian Faith How they guide our life of witness and service
Bread & Wine – offered at every Mass but commemorated as instituted by Jesus on Holy Thursday The bread and wine that is offered becomes Jesus’ body and blood. Jesus becomes the Paschal sacrifice for us, like the Hebrews sacrificed a lamb before the Exodus. Jesus willingly gives his life for us. We are called to participate in the Eucharist as our sign of unity with the Christian community. It sustains us so we can witness and serve as the apostles did.
Foot washing – done on Holy Thursday Jesus wanted to give an example of servant leadership. He wanted the apostles and us to be leaders in service to the people of God. If Jesus was willing to wash the feet of the apostles, we ought to be willing to wash each other’s feet. Jesus’ action gives us a great example of humility. We are called to serve one another as Jesus served his apostles. We are called to witness to the power of humility.
Sacred Oils – are presented to the congregation on Holy Thursday after the priest returns from the Mass of Chrism. After someone had their feet washed, oil was applied to keep the feet soft. Oils were also used to anoint kings and priests so they would serve God wholeheartedly. We are anointed in baptism and confirmation.   We are anointed as priest, prophet and king so we can serve God as did Jesus. The sacred oils mark us as priest, prophet and king so we can live a life of witness and service as disciples of Jesus.
Tongues of fire – symbolize the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles at Pentecost The tongues of fire convey the coming of the Holy Spirit. The apostles are given the ability to speak many languages so that they can share the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection without fear. We too are able to share the Good News of Jesus with people around us. We may even be gifted with the gift of tongues. Through our baptism and confirmation we have been gifted with the Holy Spirit. If we allow the Holy Spirit to be active in our lives we can accomplish many amazing things for God.
Wind in the upper room – symbolizes the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the apostles at Pentecost When the Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles, they hear a wind unlike any they have heard before. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives she can deepen our faith in God and our willingness to move out of our comfort zone. The Holy Spirit moves in and out of us with every breath we take. We are empowered with the Holy Spirit to witness to God and to serve God in ways we could not imagine.


Grade Six CL 2.1: Identify the parts of the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist and explain their fundamental unity in relationship to the New Testament narratives (e.g. Emmaus, Last Supper). [CCC nos. 1345-1355]

Parts of the Liturgy of the Word Fundamental Unity in Relationship to Christian Narratives.
Greeting All of Paul’s Letters were written before the Gospels. In each one, Paul begins with a greeting to share his joy in Christ with those to whom he writes. So in our celebration, after the opening hymn, our liturgical celebration begins with a greeting from the celebrant. Sometimes in some parishes, the priest invites those in attendance to greet the people around them.
Penitential Act As with the Lamb of God, we acknowledge in humility that we need God’s mercy. Jesus’ death on the cross is an act of penance on our behalf.
Gloria As at the birth of Jesus, we sing the words sung by the angels to the shepherds announcing the Good News that Jesus has been born.
Readings The readings are proclaimed from the writings of the prophets, the letters of the Apostles and the Gospels. [CCC 1349]
Homily This explanation of God’s Word is to assist the people of God to put it into practice. It is supposed to help to witness to God in our daily lives. [CCC 1349]
Prayer of the Faithful The prayer of the faithful comes from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy when he writes, “I urge that supplication, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all.” [CCC 1349]
Parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist  
Presentation of the Bread and Wine The bread and wine (and gifts of money for the Church and the poor) are brought to the altar, as an offering; these will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood, as the action that Christ himself asked us to do in “memory of me.” [CCC 1350, 1351]
Consecratory thanksgiving We come to the heart and summit of the celebration.   In the Preface, the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all his works: creation, redemption and sanctification. In the Epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit. [CCC 1352, 1353]
Communion Preceded by the Lord’s prayer and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive “the bread from heaven” and “the cup of salvation,” the body and blood of Christ who offered himself “for the life of the world.” [CCC 1355]

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > A Cappella cover of Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise” is Powerful – 4.38 min – Chris Rupp wanted to celebrate our Lord and Saviour with his gift, his voice. This is a great Easter song.
  • > 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

“Jude (Thaddeus) ~ Did you ever get blamed for something you didn’t do? That’s a terrible feeling, isn’t it? Well, Jude had a name that SOUNDED like Judas – the apostle who betrayed Jesus – so it would be easy to get him confused and blame him for something he did NOT do. Jude was NOT a traitor; in fact, he was a very good disciple who worked to spread the teachings of Christianity. He is mentioned in the Bible, but in some places, he is called Thaddeus, so it is easy to get him confused with another saint who was also named Thaddeus! All this confusion may be the reason Jude is known as the patron of people who are in HOPELESS situations. MAYBE – since Jude sounded so much like Judas and NOBODY would want to ask Judas for help, people would want to ask everybody else first, and THEN, when all else failed and the situation was HOPELESS, they would ask Jude and he would help them! Have you ever been in a HOPELESS situation? Maybe you wanted to learn to swim, but no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t keep from sinking! Maybe you wanted to be friends with someone, but he or she did NOT want to be friends with you. Or maybe you wanted to DO something special, but you just couldn’t decide WHAT that would be. Well, the next time you get in a HOPELESS situation, pray to St. Jude, begging him to ask God to help you find an answer or a way out. It may take a while, since this is such a confusing saint – but when all seems hopeless anyway, it couldn’t hurt to ask for help!” pages 92-93

What’s your Catholic IQ?  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
  2. A person who asks about becoming a follower of Christ is called      A. an inquirer    B. a disciple      C. a seeker    D. curious
  3. Catechumens hear and learn to follow   A. their catechist    B. The word of God   C. the parish priest    D. none of these
  4. This oil is used to anoint and strengthen those preparing for baptism   A. Chrism   B. Infirmed   C. Catechumens   D. none of these
  5. We call the baptized person who accompanies a catechumen on their journey    A. a sponsor B. godparent   C. catechist D. teacher

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

  1. Who told the apostles about the resurrection of Jesus?   A. Mary Magdalene   B. Joanna   C. Mary mother of James   D. all three
  2. How many days [does tradition tell us] did Jesus remain on earth before he ascended into heaven?   A. 30   B. 40 C. 50 D. 70
  3. How long does the Easter season last?   A. 30 days   B. 40 days   C. 50 days D. 8 days
  4. How long is Feast of Easter?   A. an octave   B. one Sunday   C. one Saturday and one Sunday   D. none of these
  5. What is the liturgical colour for Easter?     A. white   B. white, sometimes gold   C. gold   D. rainbow colours

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

Hollers –The following actors are in this movie: Sharito Copley, Charlie Day, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Josh Groban and Margo Martindal. A man returns to his small hometown after learning that his mother has fallen ill and is about to undergo surgery. It is a comedy and worth watching. If your family is anything like mine, you will relate to this movie. I give this movie ♥♥♥.5/5 hearts.

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

Where I Belong is a novelette written by Tara White. It is a story about a young Mohawk girl who is adopted by a loving non-native couple but never feels like she belongs with them. There is a bit of a love story with the girl when she meets a cute Mohawk boy. It is a historical fiction situated around the time of the Oka Crisis. Could be used to give students a sense of that historical time in Quebec. It is only 109 pages. I give this book ☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces.

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

“The name Easter derived its name from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eastre, which symbolizes hare and egg.” Huh!!

One comment

  1. As always, thank you for such special emails.

    Happy Catholic Education Week!

    Peace, Joy, Hope, Charity, Appreciation and Humility, 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.”?? “True peace can rarely be imposed from the outside; it must be born within and between communities through meetings and dialogue and then carried outward.” – Jean Vanier ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response*** ________________________________

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