Catholic Culture Update June 4

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning June 4th, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Lord, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” Psalm 104

June 4th is the Pentecost Sunday “The meeting with the Risen Lord in John’s account of Pentecost is the humble yet powerful beginning of a new age: fear is transformed into joy, pain is changed to peace and trust; flight and hiding become courage and mission. Division and hatred are vanquished by the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Peace be with you” is the greeting and gift of the Risen Lord. The Hebrew word shalom means re-establishing the full meaning of things. Biblical peace is not only a pact that allows for a peaceful life, or indicates the opposite of a time of war. Rather, peace refers to the well-being of daily existence, to one’s state of living in harmony with nature, with oneself and with God. The gift of peace that Jesus entrusted to his first disciples becomes a promise and a prayer shared with the entire Christian community. The movement of the Spirit in people results in gifts and talents. This movement does not reach its end in individuals. Rather, it is supposed to have a ripple effect so that our unique abilities promote the common good. The Spirit’s gifts are many; wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. The Spirit will increase our gifts to the extent that we love Jesus and our brothers and sisters, obey the commandments and freely share with others what we have so lavishly received.” Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 385. Dress in red to celebrate the Church’s birthday!

Solemnity of Pentecost – Last Sunday of Easter Time “Easter Time comes to its glorious conclusion with the great Solemnity of Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish harvest feast, celebrated fifty days after Passover (hence the name “Pentecost,” which means fiftieth in Greek). At Pentecost, bread made from the newly-harvested grain would be offered to God. The feast also commemorated the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. It was while Jews from every nation were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate this feast that the Spirit came upon the disciples gathered in prayer, like wind and fire. They must have remembered the Exodus account of the giving of the law to Moses, when there was a sound like a trumpet blast, and fire and smoke (see Exodus 19:16-19). But the contrasts between the giving of the Law and the giving of the Spirit are even more striking than the similarities. At Sinai, Moses alone went up to receive the immutable word of God carved on tablets of stone. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit came down to the people and rested on each of them in a play of wind and fire. The Spirit cannot be contained, or written down. The special sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, “Come, Holy Spirit,” that is prayed during Mass today addresses the Spirit with many different titles and images – the Spirit is “Father of the poor,” “comforter,” “sweet refreshment,” “solace,” and “light.” The multitude of images suggests the free play of the Spirit. In the Middle Ages, this free play of the Spirit was expressed in many creative ways in the great cathedrals. In some parts of France, wind instruments would fill the church with sound, while roses and other flowers would be dropped on the assembly. In other places, live doves would be set free to fly through the church. These customs spoke to the people about the nature of the Holy Spirit: gentle, yet impossible to contain or control. Pentecost is sometimes called “the birthday of the Church,” because it was only after they were filled with the gifts of the Spirit that the Apostles set forth on the mission Christ gave them, to preach the Good News, and to baptize all nations. The Spirit transformed them, and transforms us.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 20

June 5th is the memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr. “St. Boniface (c. 675-754) was an Anglo-Saxon Benedictine monk. He was first sent as a missionary to Frisia, which is in the vicinity of the Netherlands, but he failed because of wars between the local tribes and the Frankish king Charles Martel. Boniface then went to Rome and was commissioned by the pope to evangelize in Germany. He started by chopping down an oak tree dedicated to Thor, and when he was not immediately struck down, the people believed and became Christians. Boniface returned to evangelize the Frisians but was killed by them in 754 CE. He is buried in the cathedral in Fulda.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 81 St. Boniface, you trusted in your faith, help us to trust in ours. When facing a predicament today, look for the simple answer.

June 5th is also World Environment Day – “The United Nations began this annual observance in 1972 to raise awareness of environmental issues and to encourage environmental action in communities across the planet. Hundreds of thousands of people have responded to the challenge, whether planting trees in Afghanistan or setting up new compost stations in Argentina. Such actions are key at a time when half the world’s wetlands and three-quarters of its fish stocks are depleted. Species extinction is occurring at 1000 times the natural rate. This day expresses hope that “every year, everywhere, everyone” can bring about the crucial change that’s needed (Press Release, World Environment Day, 2011).” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 81

June 8th is World Oceans Day – “is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This site serves as the central coordinating platform for World Oceans Day, with free resources and ideas for everyone – no matter where you live – to help expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on June 8 and year-round. Overall theme for WOD 2017: Our Oceans, Our Future. Conservation action focus: Encourage solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future.”

Staff Self-Care Tip of the Week – Affirming Important Values

We all face many threats and challenges in our daily lives, from receiving negative feedback at work to being socially excluded.

This exercise from Greater Good in Action helps you to focus on your most cherished values, which can make you feel more clear-headed and in control.

Walking Forward Together with our Indigenous Brother and Sisters ~ a quote for the week

“One does sell the land people walk on.” Crazy Horse

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 recognize as a high priority the need to address and prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and to develop, in collaboration with Aboriginal people, FASD preventive programs that can be delivered in a culturally appropriate manner.


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 3.2: Explain how and why particular days, various seasons and feast/saints days throughout the Liturgical Year of the Church are celebrated (i.e. Sunday/the Lord’s day – celebration of the Eucharist, activities such as Sabbath rest, leisure and recreation; Advent and Christmas – colours, images, rituals and cultural practices which express faith; Feast days – All Saints Day, Easter Vigil with the Litany of Saints). [CCC nos. 956; 1163-1173]

Ask your students why we celebrate Easter Sunday. [Hopefully they answer because Jesus rose from the dead.] In the Church Easter is the biggest, best feast. More important than Christmas even! Explain to your students that we celebrate the Lord’s day or Sunday with a celebration of the Eucharist because of Easter Sunday. That is one reason why Sunday is called the Lord’s day. It is first day of the week from the Christian perspective. As well, in the creation of the world God rested on the seventh day. So Sabbath rest, leisure and recreation are borrowed from the Jewish tradition. God wants us to get rest from all of our work. Many of our special days called feasts (just like the Indigenous culture) are connected to the Jewish tradition from which Jesus grew up.

Advent comes four Sundays before Christmas. Ask your students why do we celebrate Advent? [need a clue – before Christmas: to prepare for Jesus’ second coming] Advent helps us to prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and to prepare our hearts and minds for when Jesus comes again. What colour is the colour of Advent? [Purple] What items do we set up during Advent? [Advent wreath to help us count the weeks and to remember God’s love is always with us. An Advent calendar helps us to count down the days. We may set up a crèche for Jesus. We set up lights because it is dark early.] During Advent we may tell the story of St. Nicholas to remind us to be generous with the poor. What colour is the colour of Christmas? [White officially, but red too.] What items do we set up during Christmas? We put up a tree with decorations and lights. We may only put up a crèche during the Christmas season. We have special baking and special meals for Christmas like we would for our birthday celebrations. We usually gather with family members. We have special Masses at Church. We have special skits and plays telling the story of Jesus’ birth. We sing special songs. All Saints Day is celebrated during November, the month when we remember our dead friends and relatives. All Saints Day reminds us of the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints is a group of all those living and dead who are trying to follow Jesus in how we live, and work, and pray. Those who are in heaven are still very close to us through the Communion of Saints. We know the names of some of the Saints because they have been given the name Saint by the Church. There are many other people who lived good and holy lives that we do not know by name but they are still counted among the Communion of Saints. On this day and at the Easter Vigil a special hymn is sung called the Litany of the Saints (it can be read as well). In this prayer we ask the saints to pray for us.

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > Pray with Kari Jobe as she sings The Garden, 5.64 min Close your eyes, say a prayer and be transported to a serene place in the garden.
  • > 14-year-old and Dad Sing ‘What a Beautiful Name’ in Car – Acapella with a beat off the steering wheel – 2.53 min Jess Cass has a beautiful voice.
  • > 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

Ludmilla ~ “You might say this lady became a saint because she was a good grandma! (Or maybe because she could spell all the names of the people in her family!) Ludmilla was married to a duke named Borivoy. They had two sons named Spytihinev and Ratislav. And Ratislav and his wife, Drahomira, had a son named Wenceslaus. (Could YOU spell all those names?) Well, anyway, when Borivoy decided to become a Christian, Ludmilla asked to be baptized also and together they built the first Christian church in Bohemia. But then Borivoy died and Ratislav became the duke. His wife was not a very good Christian, so Ludmilla decided to take charge of her grandson and teach him all about God and Christianity. The people loved Ludmilla because she was so lind and good to them, and Wenceslaus learned a lot from his grandma’s good example. All was well until Ratislav died too! Then the leaders of an anti-Christian party saw their chance to try to take over the government, and they were afraid of the influence of Ludmilla had over her grandson. So one night, two men sneaked into the castle and killed her! But Ludmilla had taught her grandson how to be a good Christian, so Wenceslaus supported God’s law and his Church and ruled with justice and mercy. Did you ever hear the song about Good King Wenceslaus? Sing that song today, and remember the ruler who learned a lot from his saintly grandma!” pages 98

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

  1. Where did John Paul II place one of the bullets that almost killed him?   A. the Vatican museum  B. the Vatican police department C. the garbage      D. Mary’s crown at Fatima
  2. Mary’s visit to Fatima also held a message for this religious group   A. Jews B. Muslims C. Buddhists D. Hindus
  3. In preparation for Mary’s appearances, ______________________ visited the children   A. an angel B. the bishop C. St. Peter D. Jesus
  4. Mary asked the children to pray ______________________ daily.   A. at Mass B. for 10 hours C. the Our Father   D. the Rosary
  5. This year is the 100th anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima.   T or F

What do YOU Know? About Pentecost by Peggy O’Neill Fisher

  1. The last day of the Easter season is   A. Easter Monday B. Ascension Thursday C. Pentecost Sunday D. none of these
  2. The word Pentecost means   A. tenth day B. twentieth day C. thirtieth day D. fiftieth day
  3. The liturgical colour for Pentecost is A. purple B. white C. red D. green
  4. In this book of the Bible we find the story of Pentecost   A. Gospel of Mark B. Gospel of Luke C. Acts of the Apostles D. none of these
  5. The disciples were able to do this after they received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost   A. speak in other languages B. perform miracles C. cause fire  D. raise the dead

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

The Shack – I read the book by the same name about fifteen years ago and enjoyed it. The movie is even better because of its visual nature. I totally agree with the image of God that is portrayed. There are some deep questions that many people ask, that are pondered and answered in the movie. Is it theologically orthodox? Some would say no. It is pastoral and when someone needs pastoral care, love trumps correctness. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥/5 hearts.

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

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. It is on many best seller lists now. The reason is because it is written in such a way that you want to solve the mystery. I read it in one full day. I could not put it down. There is mystery, intrigue and character. Put this on your summer reading list if you have no time now. It is an easy read. I give this book ☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces

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

“Pentecost has been given the name the Feast of Weeks.” Huh!!


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