Teaching Guide for 27th February 2012

Free resources to help children learn about Lent

Free resources to help children learn about Lent | Mission Together,Missio,Lent 2012,Lenten Activity Calendar

Mission Together, the Catholic Church’s official mission charity for children, has produced materials to enable children to find out more about Lent in 2012. Mission Together is part of the Missio network of charities and works to help children pray for and share with children all over the world.

Included in the materials for Lent 2012 is the popular Lenten Activity Calendar which provides a reflection, prayer or activity for every day of Lent.

Kasia Greenwood, Coordinator for Mission Together said: “The Lenten calendar is a great way to help children think about Lent in a meaningful way. We’ve found that it is really popular with both parents and teachers. Our materials can also be used to introduce children to the work of the global Catholic Church. Lent is a particularly good time for children to learn about the history of Mission Together and the important role it plays throughout the world, encouraging children to become missionaries and play a part in helping others learn about Jesus.”

The focus for the Lent 2012 materials is on Malawi and there are also resources available for children to find out more about the country and what life is like for children in Malawi. Mission Together materials can also be used by teachers to support RE and Global Citizenship work and they support the ‘Here I Am’ RE programme for schools. The Lent 2012 materials also include a Lenten Liturgy and a Lent activity sheet.

The resources can be downloaded from: http://www.missiontogether.org.uk or ordered online.

Teaching Guide for 27th February 2012

Section: Ecology and Cosmology
Some thoughts on Occupy and Creation Spirituality from Matthew Fox

Now that it is not on the front pages a teacher lesson followed by discussion and debate on the Occupy movement might be a useful lead in to Catholic Social Teaching.

Section: Scripture

Section: Faith:Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple

The Roman Catholic Bishops: Are They Killing Their Church?                   

Invite students to talk about their thoughts and feelings about the Catholic Church. Are they aware of the criticism of the pope and bishops from some/many Catholics? A good article to read in conjunction with this is found in Press BriefsThe church, like Jesus, should say ‘yes’ to new things. http://ncronline.org/blogs/peace-pulpit/church-jesus-should-say-yes-new-things

Rob Ford and Joseph Ratzinger : Two Peas In A Pod”                                   

See under Editorial notes for “The secular press misses the return of the Yes men”

from Catherine Cavanagh

“The burning bush is no metaphor, nor the flames of the upper room. The energy of the universe exists in a God that fills us, heats us, and burns away our pain and sorrow, leaving only ashes behind.” Invite students to discuss the meaning of these two sentences. A great lead in to looking at Thomas Berry and the new cosmologists.

Questions from a Ewe                                                                                      

The first part is a great introduction to teaching about orthodoxy and ortho-praxis. Ask students to look at each of the criticisms and discuss and report on it. A jigsaw would be one approach.

The Misa Campesina at 30                                                                                 

An opportunity to teach about Vatican II, Liberation theology, the Sandanhista Revolution,the support of South American dictators by Catholic bishops etc. Students could research Ernesto Cardenal at Solentiname.

New Voices in the Church: Sofía Chipana Quispe                                             

An opportunity for students research and faculty teach about the new and often female theologians looking at Roman Catholicism from a radically different perspective from the euro-centred celibate males who are beloved of Rome. “Yes, yes. The Gospel presents that image of God as Father, which corresponded well to its context, to the culture, to present an image of a God who is very near.” This one sentence invites faculty to teach about the formation and makeup of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Christ: “God speaks through the community, from the sweeper to the Pope”

See “New Voices in the Church: Sofía Chipana Quispe”. This is about another woman theologizing out of the experiences of real people in the 21st century, not attempting to defend doctrinal statements from the 4th and 5th centuries. The teacher can use guided reading and Socratic dialogue to help students understand both articles.

Belgian church reform activists deliver manifesto to bishops.

“The group said its petition “is not an end, but only a beginning.” It said it wanted to work with the bishops to solve problems that increasingly frustrate practising Catholics.” Invite students to discuss and tabulate problems that frustrate them about the Catholic Church. Invite a local priest or bishop to talk and dialogue with the students. Or role-play the situation with the teacher playing the bishop and offering the current responses to the students concerns.

Men’s night challenges attendees to ‘man-up’ for Christ

I put this article up in hope of getting discussion going amongst staff and students. “The archbishop explained the observations made by theologians in both Catholic and Protestant circles. They noted that Christianity has become more feminine in its expression over the last few decades.” What do you think the archbishop means by this? Is it to do with rejection of Constantinian Christianity by bishops like Tom Gumbleton, priests like John Dear and Charlie McCarthy, and lay organizations like Pax Christi? Is this being “more feminine” or just more Christian than having bishops blessing bombers?

Celibacy strangling the Catholic Church

“I say ‘mostly’ because if you’re a married Anglican priest who joins the Catholic Church, you can slip straight in to becoming a Roman Catholic priest. The logic of that and its implications for the celibacy of Catholic priests?” An opportunity to teach about the history of the church law on celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church and to invite students to dioscuss the questions raised in the article. A panel discussion with a celibate Catholic priest and married Protestant priest might benefit students.

The Purple Culture

“I suggest that a search for the motivations that underlie episcopal behaviors will help us understand their behavior in this scandal and on many other issues including a married clergy, women priests, openness and dialogue with dissenters, birth control, their increasing fundamentalism, and more. The answer lies in an evaluation of their unique culture, a purple culture whose behaviors were borrowed and established centuries ago.” This article might be a good one for faculty to read and discuss, particularly in Ontario with the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario opposing Gay Straight Alliances in Catholic schools and OECTA supporting them.

Section: Justice and Peace

Remembering Bishop Samuel Ruiz

Staff and senior students in the Greater Toronto area might consider attending the event. Others might research and report on the life and work of Bishop Ruiz.

Camp Micah

A worthwhile event to be advertised and promoted. Perhaps student councils could sponsor a student to attend.

from Charlie McCarthy

See “Men’s night challenges attendees to ‘man-up’ for Christ” above in Faith:Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Max Josef Metzger and the idea of a Council

Teach about Vatican II, its significance, the conciliar movement and the likeliehood of a Third Vatican Council being convened in the near future.
Tom McKillop: order of Canada, ‘father’ of families, friend of Jesus, dies at 84

If you are in the greater Toronto area see if you can get some of Tom McKillop’s Youth Corp personnel to speak of the Vatican II inspiration and vision behind what they did.

Section: World

What does Pro Irael mean today?

Have kids discuss: Can you be Catholic and challenge the ideas of the pope, the curia, the bishops and your parish priest? Can you support the Toronto Maple Leafs and disagree with the trades made by Brian Burke and the coaching decisions made by Ron Wilson? What about being pro-Israel and disagreeing with government policy on Palestine?

Religion Aside, Vatican Ambassadors Support Romney

Teach students that being adult and particularly when one is “practicing” to be an adult Catholic the ability to deal with ambiguity is a sign that you are getting there.
In the wake of the crisis: Bully capitalism A good article for Economics, Business, Civics classes as well as Religious Education. An opportunity to teach about Catholic Church condemnation of “bully capitalism” and support for workers rights.

Section: Editorial and Other Voices

Podcast with Desmond Tutu

Students and faculty have an opportunity to listen to a great person.

The secular press misses the return of the Yes men

“Prophecy is the prophetic protest against the self-righteousness of the institutions…God throughout history has not been on the side of the institutions but on that of the suffering and the persecuted.” Josef Ratzinger 1962 Along with the article “Rob Ford and Joseph Ratzinger : Two Peas In A Pod” this is an opportunity to look at the loyal opposition to institutional religion that has been everpresent since Jesus and Paul, and includes such luminaries as Mary Ward, Dorothy Day, Sts. Francis,Dominic,AngelaMerici, Catherine of Siena, and many others. A great topic for research.

Christian Europe; Benedict’s Relativist Vision

Have students research and present on “Christian Europe” from 1930 onwards. Teach about “Christendom” and Catholicism’s relationship with other religions up to Vatican II. Research and present on JP II and Benedict’s approach to the totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe and their approach to similar regimes, led by Catholic dictators, in Latin America.

Shepherds, Sheep, Non-violence and Homosexuality

An article for all faculty to read and discuss.

“Think Different – Accept Uncertainty” Part IV: Expanding the Bankruptcy of Theism

“It was a German theologian named Paul Tillich who first opened for me the possibility that God was not a being, supernatural in power, dwelling somewhere beyond the sky and ready to come to us with intervening miraculous power.” A great lead in to inviting students to speak of their understanding of God, Jesus and Church. Has it changed over the years? Will it continue to change?

Section: Using nctsf in schools and communities

Section Arts

from John Chuchman

See “The Purple Culture” above in Faith:Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple

 Section: Last things

from Joan Chittister OSB

An opportunity for students to talk, discuss and ask questions about faith, beliefs, religion, church.

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