Catholic Culture Update May 7

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 7, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23

May 7th is the 4th Sunday of Easter and it is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. “He calls us by name. After a long winter, spring finally arrives in the Yukon, sometimes as late as May. When it comes, it is like a sudden revelation. First, a faint tinge of green sweeps across barren hillsides. In just days, trees burst out in full leaf. Long silent, held fast in a snow-covered land, life breaks free, filling the valleys and mountains to the brim. Renewed by the increasing warmth of the sun, northerners deeply savour this abundance of creation. How many times have I climbed high to try to take in this majesty even more deeply from the vantage of some mountain pasture? In the words of the Bard of the Yukon, Robert Service, “It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder, it’s the stillness that fills me with peace.” No matter what we have suffered or how much we have been asked to endure, the hope-filled offer of new life presents itself over and over again to us physically and spiritually. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter called out to the “corrupt generation” of his day. “Repent, and be baptized,” he urged. Do we hear the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, calling today? What does Jesus tell us of his vocation? “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Green pastures await us if only we enter through his gate.” Michael Dougherty, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 357.

Good Shepherd Sunday – In the Vatican Museums, there is an ancient statue of a young man, carrying a lamb on his shoulders. He holds the lamb gently and carefully, and his face is watchful; with eyes looking into the distance. This is one of the oldest existing representations of Christ, and it shows Christ as the Good Shepherd. In the Gospel according to Matthew, the angels announce to poor shepherds the Good News of Jesus’ birth, and Jesus refers frequently to shepherds and sheep in his parables and sayings. In the Gospel according to John, he helps his disciples understand his saving mission by describing himself as a shepherd. “’I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep; sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away – and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep….’” (John 10:11-15). Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 19.

May 11-12 is the March for Life in Ottawa.

Image result for Our Lady of FatimaMay 13th is the memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. Today the Church honours Mary as Our Lady of Fatima. In 1917, in a tiny, rural town of Portugal, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children on the thirteenth day of six consecutive months, beginning on May 13th. During these apparitions, the lady urged the children to pray for sinners and above all to pray the Rosary. On October 13, the last of the apparitions, the children were joined by a crowd of around 70,000 people, who witnessed what came to be called “The Miracle of the Sun.” Today pilgrimage to the site of the apparitions continues all year round. The largest crowds gather on May 13 and October 13, when up to a million of the faithful come to pray and participate in processions, both during the day and at night, by the light of tens of thousands of candles. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 74. This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of this first apparition. Send greetings to our schools in Elliot Lake and Chapleau to celebrate their patroness.

Walking Forward Together with Creation ~ a quote for the week

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder. E.B. White

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 federal, provincial, and territorial governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in custody over the next decade, and to issue detailed annual reports that monitor and evaluate progress in doing so.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

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 2.1: Explain the signs of holiness found within the Church (e.g. teachings, sacraments, witness of love and service) and connect this with the “communion of saints”. [CCC nos. 687-747; 823-829]

Have a conversation with your students about what is holiness. There are many ways that the Church encourages us to live holy lives. There are teachings that the priests give during their homilies. There are teachings in Church documents that offer advice and inspiration to those who read the documents. The sacraments are moments of grace when God blesses us. When we see someone living a life of holiness, it has a great deal of inspiration to encourage others to live likewise. So the lives of the saints can help us to live a good and holy life; saints who have been canonized and use St. in front of their names. There are ordinary men and women who by their lives show us how to live in relationship with God and others.

The communion of saints is the gathering of all God’s people, living and dead, who share the grace and goodness of God. The communion of saints is especially present during the Eucharist, when the veil between earth and heaven is very minimal. Ask your students for individuals who the students think show holiness. What characteristics do these individuals express in their lives? I find it a gift to go to funerals to hear families speak of the goodness of their loved one’s life. It is usually in the witness of love and service that people experience holiness. Ask your students if they want to be saints.

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > Sweet Baby Siblings Can’t Stop Giggling At Each Other > 22 sec,   it is short but oh so sweet
  • > Unfinished music video by Mandisa – a song with a great message – 3.36 min God started something good and he will complete it. Celebrate the truth that God’s still working on me.
  • > 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

Kateri Tekakwitha ~Did you know there was a North American Indian who is known as the “Lily of the Mohawks” – an Indian maiden who was baptized as a Christian on Easter Sunday and made her first Communion on Christmas day? Kateri was orphaned as a child and grew up with the Mohawks, living the typical Indian life. But when she was twenty years old, she met a missionary priest who told her about Christianity, and Kateri asked to be baptized. After that, the other Indians were furious at what she had done and were mean to her and treated her like an outcast. Afraid for her life, Kateri decided to leave the Mohawks and try to find a Christian Indian village she had heard about. She started out, all alone, and walked TWO HUNDRED MILES through the Canadian wilderness – but she found the village! She was safe there and was a good and holy Christian for the rest of her life. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri. Would YOU be afraid to travel two hundred miles all alone through the wilderness? Most people would be – and Kateri was probably afraid too; but, with God’s help, she did what she had to do. The next time you have to do something you’re afraid to do, think of Kateri, ask God to help you – and then do what you have to do! ” pages 93-94

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

What’s Your Catholic IQ? Mary, Our Lady of Fatima by David O’Brien

  1. “My _______________________ proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my saviour” (Luke 1:46-47). A. mouth B. soul C. church   D. school
  2. Catholics believe Mary’s role was only to raise Jesus when he was a child.   T or F
  3. Before he died on the cross, Jesus said to Mary: “Woman, behold your son” and then to the disciple John: “Behold, your ________________________” (John 19:26-27)     A. sister B. friend   C. aunt   D. mother
  4. Miraculous appearances of ______________________ made the towns of Fatima, Lourdes, Knock, and La Salette famous. A. Mary B. Jesus    C. the Pope   D. Adam and Eve
  5. The people who Mary has appeared to have often been ________________________.   A. kings   B. prime ministers C. children D. bishops

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

Lion – I read the book that inspired this movie about two years ago. It was a best seller ~ initially published with the title A Long Way Home in 2015. This movie makes you laugh, cry, hope, sigh and more. This is directed by Garth Davies and is his debut film. The young Saroo is played by Sunny Pawar, who is so convincing as a little lost boy. I just wanted to hug him. Nicole Kidman plays the Australian woman who adopts Saroo. Dev Patel plays the grown Saroo. I saw him interviewed and he studied long and hard the experience of living in India as he prepared for this role. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5 hearts.

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

A Long Way Home – written by Saroo Brierley. It tells the heart breaking then heartwarming tale of losing everything you have in the world. It is connected to themes of last week’s book entitled Where I Belong. It is autobiographical. On the cover of the original book, it has been reprinted with the title Lion, it says “a boy’s incredible journey from India to Australia and back again.   I give this book ☺☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces. I am willing to lend this book to anyone who wants to read it.


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

“More than 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are manufactured each year.” Huh!!

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