Catholic Culture Update: June 18

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning June 18th, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Praise the Lord, Jerusalem!” Psalm 147

June 18th is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. “I heard an expert on poetry remark recently that poetry is language that mirrors the soul. Jesus must have understood this, for he almost always turned to the language of poetry to convey to his listeners what was most important for them to understand: he is the gate of the sheepfold; he is the source of living water; he is the vine and they the branches – and in today’s gospel, he says that to follow him it is essential to eat his body and drink his blood. Jesus longs to convey to us just how profoundly we must remain in his love if we are going to understand his ministry and find strength to live out joyfully our own calling to be God’s presence of loving compassion in our broken world. In the Eucharist we are invited to grasp the depth of the love of God for us and for our world, and to unite our own joy and pain with those of Christ. Usually we receive the Eucharist with others. The Eucharist is a call to community. Together we draw strength and offer thanks, trusting in the wisdom of Pope Francis who has reminded us that the Eucharist is not “a prize for the perfect but…nourishment for the weak.” (Evangeli Gaudium, 47)” Beth Porter, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 400.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi – This Eucharistic day, observed with such solemnity throughout the world, began in a quiet Belgian convent in the thirteenth century, with the vision of a holy nun, St. Juliana. In her vision, she saw the moon, full and bright. It was glorious, except that one part of its disk was in shadow. The meaning of the vision was then revealed to her: the moon represented the liturgical year; the shadow, a missing feast in honour of the Blessed Sacrament. Juliana spoke to her confessor about what she had seen. Amazingly, within thirty-five years, Pope Urban IV had established the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, in the Church’s universal calendar. Hundreds of years later, in 1849, Pope Pius IX added the Feast of the Precious Blood celebrated on July 1st. Following the Second Vatican Council, the two liturgies became one solemnity in honour of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Of course, we already had a feast honouring the Eucharist: the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, which even includes a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. But the purpose and the mood of the two processions are strikingly different. On Holy Thursday, we walk with Jesus to the Mount of Olives, to keep watch with him on the night of his betrayal. The sacrament is carried in the ciborium, covered with the humeral veil: and Christ’s glory, too, is veiled as he undergoes his passion. On Corpus Christi, we walk in the afterglow of Easter Time, in company with the risen Lord. This time, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a monstrance: the Lord’s glory is not hidden, but visible to all. Corpus Christi is one of the most Catholic of days, an expression of our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. And yet, this celebration is also outward looking, carrying the liturgy out of the church and into the streets. We come together in all our diversity and we celebrate our unity. As Pope Benedict XVI has said, “The Eucharist is a public devotion that has nothing esoteric or exclusive about it….we did not choose to meet one another, we came and find ourselves next to one another, brought together by faith and called to become one body, sharing the one Bread which is Christ. We are united over and above our differences of nationality, profession, social class, political ideas: we open ourselves to one another to become one in him” (Homily for Thursday, May 22, 2008).” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 24.

June 18th is also Father’s Day. “Many Canadians observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures. Father figures may include stepfathers, fathers-in-law, guardians (eg. foster parents), and family friends. Many people in Canada celebrate Father’s Day in a variety of ways to express their love and gratitude to fathers or father figures. Father’s Day activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Participating in Father’s Day fun runs and other events in which the proceeds go towards charity or prostate cancer research.
  • Buying presents such as neckties and other items of clothing, chocolates, books or equipment for various types of hobbies.
  • Giving handmade or purchased cards.
  • Breakfasts, brunches, lunches, or dinners either at home or in restaurants.
  • Taking fathers or father figures out to the movies, the park, the zoo, or another place of interest.

Some people organize joint Father’s Day parties and activities with close friends and family. Those who live away from their fathers or father figures may make long-distance phone calls, send an email or online card, or arrange for gifts to be delivered on Father’s Day.  Some museums and other venues open to the general public may host special Father’s Day celebrations where fathers and father figures can enter free of charge.”

Image result for St. RomualdJune 19th is the memorial of St. Romuald, Abbot. “St. Romuald (c. 950-1027) was born in Ravenna and led a self-indulgent life as a young man, but when he saw his father kill an opponent in a duel, he fled to a monastery. Romuald yearned for a stricter life than he found there, and so he withdrew to become a hermit. Eventually, he founded the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictine family, integrating community life with the solitary life. His monks live and work in individual hermitages but come together to celebrate Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.”   Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 83 St. Romuald, help us to meditate so we can live in peace with God, like you did. Dedicate your meditation today to St. Romuald.

June 21 is the Summer Solstice. “In 2017, the summer solstice falls on  Wednesday,  June 21, at 12:24 A.M. EDT. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator. The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice). The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere ranges in date from June 20 to 22. This occurs in part because of the difference between the Gregorian calendar system, which normally has 365 days, and the tropical year (how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun once), which has about 365.242199 days. To compensate for the missing fraction of days, the Gregorian calendar adds a leap day about every 4 years, which makes the date for summer jump backward. However, the date also changes because of other influences, such as the gravitational pull from the Moon and planets, as well as the slight wobble in Earth’s rotation.”

June 21 is Aboriginal Day. “Canada’s National Aboriginal Day is annually held on June 21 to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of the nation’s Aboriginal peoples. There are three Aboriginal groups in Canada – the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Canada’s National Aboriginal Day gives many people the chance to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions towards the country’s development and progress. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people have the opportunity to showcase their cultures and achievements throughout Canada on this day.

National Aboriginal Day events are held in every region across Canada. Activities and events include (but are not limited to):

  • Summer solstice festivals.
  • Barbecue fundraisers.
  • Social networking gatherings with traditional and contemporary music, dance and singing.
  • Sacred fire extinguishing ceremonies.
  • Traditional feasts, which may include fry bread and moose stew.
  • The cutting of a cake to honor National Aboriginal Day.

National Aboriginal Day in Canada gives people of all walks of life the opportunity to celebrate and share knowledge about the Aboriginal peoples’ values, customs, languages, and culture.”

Image result for Sacred Heart of JesusJune 23rd is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. “One of the most beloved aspects of our Catholic tradition is our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In honouring the Sacred Heart, we are honouring the compassion and love of Christ: his human heart, moved with pity for his flock, his divine heart, pierced for the sins of his people. From the heart of Christ, pierced by the soldier’s lance, blood and water poured out, “the wellspring of the Church’s Sacraments” (Preface for the Sacred Heart).” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 24

Image result for Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin MaryJune 24th is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “On the day after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we celebrate a memorial in honour of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. It was St. John Eudes, a priest and a contemporary of St. Margaret Mary, who helped make devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart part of the life of the universal Church. When Mary brings the baby Jesus to the Temple, the aged Simeon tells her that her heart will be pierced by a sword (Luke 2:35). And Mary, quietly listening and pondering the life of her Son, “treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Mary’s heart is the treasury of the Lord’s deeds and words; and it is the place of her anguish, in witnessing the sufferings of her Son. [St.] Pope John Paul II raised this commemoration, a liturgical sister to yesterday’s Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart, from an optional to an obligatory memorial.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 25

Image result for Nativity of St. John the BaptistJune 24th is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. “Today we commemorate the birth of St. John the Baptist, the only person besides Jesus and Mary whose birthday is celebrate on the Church calendar. John is the forerunner of Jesus, as we hear in the Benedictus, the prophetic canticle that John’s father, Zachary, proclaimed: “And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins…” (Luke 1:76-77). This is an ancient solemnity, reaching back to the fourth century, though the date of the celebration varied in East and West. In the East, the birth of the forerunner was celebrated on the day after the Epiphany, January 7th, because of the association with the baptism of the Lord. In the West, it was celebrated on June 24, in keeping with Luke 1:36, which notes that Elizabeth was six months pregnant at the time of the Annunciation of the Lord. It is not by coincidence that the birth of John the Baptist falls shortly after the summer solstice (June 21), while that of Christ is after the winter solstice (December 22).” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 84-85

Staff Self-Care Tip of the Week – How to Tackle Your Cravings with Mindfulness

“Our bad habits and addictive behaviors—like smoking, overeating, or constantly using technology—hurt well-being and public health. A new book shows how mindfulness can help.”

Walking Forward Together in Hope ~ a quote for the week

“Have faith One step a day and Positive thoughts Empower your mind.”

Catholic Character Education and the Virtues – Justice

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr.

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 government to eliminate barriers to the creation of additional Aboriginal healing lodges within the federal correctional system.

“In 2015/2016, Aboriginal adults were overrepresented in admissions to provincial and territorial correctional services, as they accounted for 26% of admissions, while representing about 35 of the Canadian adult population.”   There is something to ponder with this overrepresentation!


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 2.3: Identify in the liturgical prayers of the Mass, reference to the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine of the Eucharist and explain why those who receive it become the living Body of Christ – the Church. [CCC nos. 1331; 1367-1374]

Before the consecration – in the third Eucharistic prayer (as one example, each Eucharistic prayer states it too) it states: “Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you: by the same Spirit graciously make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration, that they may become the Body and Blood of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.”

And it continues: “For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and, giving thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body which will be given up for you. In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and, giving thanks, he said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”

Then a bit later it states: “grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with the Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.” Invite your students to think about the Last Supper. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, he probably had one loaf of bread that you broke into two parts and asked the disciples to break off a piece to eat. The whole loaf would have been consumed. Everyone had a piece from the one loaf, just as Jesus only has one body. The same would have happened with the cup. So everyone who receives from the one chalice takes part in Jesus’ one body of blood. So all who eat of the bread and chalice are one communion, a living Body of Christ, which we call the Church. It might be helpful to have a large wine glass with grape juice in it, and one pita on a plate as a visual for the lesson as you are speaking about this concept. Explain to the class that the consecration is the climax of the Eucharist. It is when the bread and wine become Jesus’ body and blood. In CCC 1374 it states: “The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” “This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.”

Grade Eight CL 2.1: Analyze the life of the early Church (Acts, Letters of Paul) and its Tradition to see the central role that the Eucharist has played in the life and witness of the Church.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of our life as Catholic Christians; it has been that way since the early Church. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he speaks to the abuses that are taking place at celebrations of the Lord’s Supper. Someone has sent Paul a message to inform him that these abuses are happening. So Paul reminds the church in Corinth about what happened on the night that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. (1Cor. 11:17-34) In Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, he tells the story of the early church, it is common to read “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” At the end of Acts, Paul exhorts his companions to eat in order to survive. “He took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat.” (Acts 27:35). The early Church was known by different names. One name was “the Way.” The traditions that are present are care for the poor, widowed and orphaned, this was the role of the deacons of the Church. Another tradition was almsgiving. In order that everyone in the church had what they needed, alms were collected and shared. Paul preached the Good News of Jesus Christ, even though when the Church was first established Paul persecuted the Church. This is one expectation that will have to be taught by the teacher. Once this material is taught, the question can be posed: “Do these traditions continue in the Church today?” The students who participate in the Church may be able to take a lead in affirming that in fact these traditions continue today.

Twenty-first Century Learning

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

Lydia ~ “This saint like the “colour purple.” Lydia lived in Thyatira, in the west central portion of the Roman province of Asia – a district that was famous for its purple dyes. At that time, purple was considered a “royal” colour, and any material dyed that colour was rare and expensive. Lydia had a flourishing business, selling items of the “colour purple.” Then one day, she heard St. Paul preaching. Lydia was so impressed that she became Paul’s FIRST Christian convert in that area. And then she had her whole household listen to Paul, and they ALL became Christians! Lydia became famous as the “purple lady” whose story of conversion is told in the biblical book called the Acts of the Apostles. Do you have anything that is purple? Did you see the movie titled The Colour Purple? Did you ever try to DYE anything purple? A lot of people dye Easter eggs purple, and a lot of people WEAR purple clothes. Whenever you see purple, think of Lydia and how she listened to Paul and was willing to change her whole life. In fact, why don’t you honour Lydia by making TODAY a purple day? Put on purple socks, eat a purple grape, or make up a prayer and write it down with a purple crayon!” pages 99-100

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

  1. The first three cardinal numbers are A. 1,2,3 B. 2,4,6 C. 3,6,9 D. 5,10,15
  2. The first three ordinal numbers are   A. First, second, third B. 2,4,6   C. 1, 1.5, 2 D. none of these
  3. The longest season in the Church year is   A. Advent   B. Lent   C. Ordinary Time D. Easter
  4. Ordinary Time begins after this season A. Advent B. Christmas C. Lent   D. Easter
  5. The number of weeks in Ordinary time is   A. 32 B. 33   C. 34   D. 33 or 34

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

  1. What is another name for this feast day?  A. Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ    B. Solemnity of the Body of Christ   C. Solemnity of the Blood of Christ   D. Solemnity of Jesus’ Body and Blood
  2. When did Jesus leave us his body and blood in the Eucharist? A. on Holy Thursday B. on Good Friday   C. on Holy Saturday   D. on Easter Sunday
  3. What does the word Eucharist mean?   A. Body and Blood B. Communion   C. Thanksgiving   D. Mass
  4. What word do we say at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer to proclaim: “Yes, we believe”?   A. Alleluia B. Amen C. Thank you Jesus   D. Christ is risen
  5. What are the two meanings of “Body of Christ”?   A. the Body and the Blood B. the Eucharist and the Church      C. Holy Communion and the Building   D. none of these

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

Transformers – This is a fantasy, sci-fi movie that was released ten years ago. I remember when the toys called Transformers first hit the stores. They were a very popular gift item for young boys. I had not seen the movie before the weekend, but last summer a friend of mine said she really enjoyed these movies. I thought to myself it was because she was the mom of two boys. However, after I accepted that there was going to be a great deal of violence and destruction involved in the story, I was able to sit and watch the movie. Shia LaBeouf is so cute and innocent in the first movie. I give this movie ♥♥♥/5 hearts.

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

The History of a Diocese in Northern Ontario is a coffee table book that I purchased when it was published. Until now it has been one of the items that I dust. I read it this weekend and enjoyed the read. The first section of the book tells the story of how the diocese was created and about the bishops from the first to Jean Louis Plouffe. The second half of the book moves in alphabetical order of the names of the villages, towns and cities where churches have been built. It gives a brief synopsis of how the parish community started and has a photo of the church. This is a good read for any history buffs. I give this book ☺☺☺/5 happy faces

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

“Summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 20, 21, or 22, when the sun reaches its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude). .” Huh!!

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