IHM Catholic EdNotes Winter 2021-2022

Page 1

Dear Friends,

OUR CREATIVE CONTRIBUTORS Sister Jeanne Baker IHM Sister Mary Chapman IHM Karen Creely Sister Mary Jo Ely IHM Sister Theresa Duffy IHM Sister Judith Kathleen Knowlton IHM Kim Lamb Sister Patricia McCormack IHM Sister Susan Joseph Porvaznik IHM Sister Eileen Reilly IHM Sister Christina Marie Roberts IHM Sister Stephen Anne Roderiguez IHM Sister Amanda Marie Russell IHM Sister Patricia Scanlon IHM Sister Monica Therese Sicilia IHM Sister Mary Ann Spaetti IHM Sister Mary Anne Sweeney IHM Sister Eileen Tiernan IHM Sister Stephanie Gabriel Tracy IHM

Welcome to our Winter 2021 issue of the IHM Catholic EdNotes, formerly known and loved as the ABC Notes! Our cover this edition celebrates the beauty of our human and cultural diversity! We are all worthy and precious in God’s eyes! We know that a better understanding between different cultures, beliefs and life experiences can help make our world a more stable, peaceful place! Our IHM Sisters and our dedicated lay colleagues, who continue to be true everyday heroes, know the importance of providing their students with the knowledge and skills to make sense of their world with a God-view! To assist you with this sacred work, we have engaging, informative and interesting features that we hope will support your best practices, Pre-K through Grade 12, whether in a school setting or parish program! If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us: ihmcatholicednotes@gmail.com God bless you for your dedication to Catholic education!

The IHM Charism – better “caught” than taught! From the very beginning of time, groups of people have been identified by unique cultures. This is evident in the study of ancient civilizations, in their organizational structure, and in the myths, legends, artifacts, stories, and ceremonies that defined a particular way of life. Hidden deep within the ethos are the abstract assumptions, the values, and norms that tie the culture together. If cultural values are strong, it is likely that one would connect outward signs to the history, purpose, and mission of a group of people or an organization. Most would agree that a strong, vibrant, and distinct culture is an asset to identity, historical significance, and preservation of the life of the group.

So, how is culture passed on? Let’s consider the smallest of cultural groupings – the family. A family’s cultural values are often shared in meaningful ways through stories that express family ideals more clearly than mere historical data. Rarely are family principles overtly taught; they are most likely “caught” and passed on through conversations and experiences.

The same may be said about our IHM culture. As a family would seek to share important family values, so too our IHM Sisters engage in dialogue and ministry encounters with co-workers and, in a school setting or Prep program, students to both share and sustain our IHM Charism values. Each person becomes a living expression of the Charism, offering to others both the experience of the Charism and an example of love, creative hope, and fidelity to emulate.

When cultural values are strong within a group or in the heart of an individual, we see outward signs depicting underlying assumptions. Often symbols or words that hold meaning are found both in obvious and inconspicuous places.

As a monogram on this student’s tote bag would identify her as a member of her family, and as an emblem on her blazer as a member of her school, these words written by the student on her bag clearly illustrate her cultural identity… the IHM Charism virtues of love, creative hope and fidelity! We look to you, colleagues and friends of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to continue to pass on stories of IHM encounter which spoke to you strongly and vibrantly of the IHM culture. Afterall, the IHM Charism is better “caught” than taught! Share your stories here.

The Mindful Educator: Going for the Triple Play! +

Dear Catholic Educators, So, how is it going, now that the first trimester is coming to an end? You may answer, “Well, I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. I have so much to do, but there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done.” This is how we may feel at times, but for some of us, if we are honest with ourselves, this isn’t entirely true. Sometimes, the reality is, we just don’t prioritize efficiently. As Catholic educators, we need to remember that to have wholeness or holiness in our lives, we must consider the mind, body, and spirit. So, what should come first? You got it, Spirit. With Jesus at the center, everything falls into proper perspective. I am a visual learner, so I will give you an example. I was talking to a priest friend of mine who suggested that I look at our parish stained-glass window above the altar. Father explained, “If you notice the window, Jesus is in the center and see how the beauty of the surrounding windows extends from the center? He continued, “ when we have Jesus as our focal point in life, everything else will fall into place.” Now every time I look at this window, I ask myself, “Mary, are you keeping Jesus at the center of your life? Do you have your priorities in proper order?” Unfortunately, more times than not, the answer is no, but I keep working at it, and it will take a lifetime. Now, let us consider the mind. Daily, I am guessing that our minds are cluttered with a plethora of thoughts, such as, formulating lesson plans/assessments, conducting walk-throughs, answering emails, scheduling meetings, addressing parents’ and students’ concerns, keeping informed of educational best practices and how to implement them, and the list goes on and on. Here are a few practical strategies for striving to accomplish balance in life. 1. SPIRIT: Begin each day surrendering and placing the day in God’s hands. Here is a short surrender prayer by Servant of God, Father Dolindo Ruotolo that you may find helpful “Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything” https://bit.ly/3jSesKe. Pray the rosary as you are getting ready in the morning, doing the laundry, or driving to school. There are many rosary recordings online. In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has podcasts of the daily Mass readings with a reflection. Here is a sample podcast that fits in with the theme of this article https://rb.gy/svjwxd. This will help get you and keep you in the “Spirit” throughout your busy day. It also helps to recall the presence of God and ask for His guidance before responding to emails or other school or Prep program matters. Don’t be surprised that by inviting God into your everyday happenings, the impossible becomes possible with God. Taking time out for fun and relaxation with family and friends also helps to invigorate your spirit. 2. MIND: Write in broad terms what you hope to accomplish during the week and then create a list of the day-to-day responsibilities. I have found that if I schedule and make a list of tasks to do for each hour, it just becomes a source of frustration, because most days, our time is not our own. Having a checklist to mark off items as they are completed will assist you in noting the importance of prioritizing tasks and will provide you with a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, principals, DREs and teachers do not always have to have an open-door policy; otherwise, the time that should be allocated for completing required paperwork, on time, may result in late submissions, or worse yet, piled on the to-do heap! 3. BODY: As we move into shorter hours of daylight, making time for exercise can be a struggle. One way to make yourself move is to walk the hallways or get the students up and moving. We know the importance of a healthy diet and that we must set time aside to fix a salad for lunch and to plan healthy meals for ourselves and our family. Sleep is also an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Try your best to leave work while there is still enough daylight for you to get a brisk walk in before dinner; this will serve as a way to declutter your mind, so that you can be truly present to your family. These are just a few strategies to assist us in maintaining some semblance of balance in our lives. As I am writing, it just came to me that Spirit, mind, and body is three, like the Trinity. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. May the Blessed Trinity guide you as you strive to order and live your life with Him as the Center! Happy Advent and Blessed Christmas! Happy, healthy New Year 2022! In Mary’s Immaculate Heart, I am, Sister Mary S. Mary C. Chapman, IHM, Ed.D. smaryihm@gmail.com

VBRDTM and Evangelization

Catholic School teachers and

at the time.) In my mind, I had used many

catechists in Parish Religious Education

words to describe these folks, but I had not

Programs answer the Church’s call to

called them “opportunities to evangelize.”

evangelize in ordinary but quite amazing

And yet, that is who and what they were!

ways. They live the virtues of perseverance,

Lynne’s words challenged me to have a

love and fortitude as they show up day after

positive mind shift.

day ready to share the love of Jesus and the beauty of the Catholic Faith with the young people entrusted to them. One of my favorite lines from Lynne Lang’s book Virtue Based Restorative

Discipline is “Every circumstance is placed before us an opportunity to evangelize; unfortunately, these opportunities don’t always come in attractive, user-friendly packaging!” When I first read that sentence I smiled, and the faces of my more difficult “opportunities” flashed before me. They were the faces of students, parents, and even teachers. (I was an elementary principal

Schools and Religious Education Programs that adopt VBRDTM commit to four guiding principles. They are: 1.

We will dedicate

ourselves to living virtue. 2.

We will support others in living

virtue. 3.

We will commit to constructive

thoughts, words, and deeds. 4.

When faced with challenges and

conflict, we will find solutions that cultivate virtue for ourselves and for one another.

(Lynne M. Lang, Virtue-Based Restorative

redeem us and show us a new way of living?

Discipline, Our Sunday Visitor, 2013)

Isn’t redemption the heart and the

A personal commitment to practicing virtue especially through constructive thoughts, words, and deeds has powerful effects in every day evangelization.

foundation of Catholic Education? Adopting the principles of VBRDTM can enrich our efforts to evangelize. To learn more about restorative

Evangelization is all about building

practices and VBRDTM visit

relationships. A commitment to constructive


thinking is a big step that leads to right relationships. We are called to bring others to right relationship with God and with one another. There will always be challenges as we educate and evangelize. Conflict is inevitable. The principles of VBRDTM help us to face conflict positively. Restorative practices bring conflict resolution and build relationships. The essence of restorative practices is redemption. We all need a way to make our wrongs right. Isn’t that also the

“Every circumstance is placed before us as an opportunity to evangelize; unfortunately, these opportunities don’t always come in attractive, userfriendly packaging!" --Lynne Lang

Gospel message? Didn’t Jesus come to

Winter 2021

Young Adults

WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER CARING FOR EACH OTHER AND OUR COMMON HOME GO HAND IN HAND Two major world meetings this fall raised consciousness of emerging needs in our global society -- the urgency of addressing the effects of climate change and the call to renew bonds of compassion, understanding and dignity among peoples. Pope Francis met in Rome in early October with bishops, religious, and lay people to open the first phase of the synod on synodality. Participants were encouraged to engage in active listening with groups like the poor and the young who often feel neglected by the larger community. In early November, world leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss the emerging environmental challenges wreaking havoc across the globe. Leaders pledged big policy shifts, and then settled down to the hard work of making those changes into realities. Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato Si, offers a foundation for understanding these two gatherings. Since its publication in 2015, the message of Laudato Si has resonated in particular with youth and young adults, many of whom see environmental concerns and the divisions in society as major issues in today’s world. Pope Francis has also connected concern for the environment with concern for each other, particularly the poor. In the preface to a recently published e-book, “Laudato Si Reader: An Alliance of Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis wrote, “It is time to develop a new form of universal solidarity that is grounded in fraternity, love, and mutual understanding: one that values people over profit, one that seeks new ways to understand development and progress.” The pope continued, “The recent past has shown us that it is primarily our children who understand the scale and enormity of the challenges society faces, especially the climate crisis. We must listen to them with open hearts. We must follow their lead for they are wise beyond their years.” To a gathering of young climate activists in late September, Pope Francis extended encouraging words aimed at emboldening their efforts to lead the way. “I would like to thank you for your dreams and good projects, and for the fact that you are as concerned about human relations as you are about caring for the environment,” he said. “This vision is capable of challenging the adult world, for it reveals that you are prepared not only for action, but also for patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding.” So, how can we encourage youth and young adults with whom we minister to actively engage with the issues of care for the environment and care for each other?


The effects of environmental change have made quite an impact on our area recently. Just a few months ago, Hurricane Ida unleashed its wrath throughout the Eastern part of the United States. Relentless flooding and a series of tornadoes devastated entire regions beginning with New Orleans and continuing throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. This catastrophic weather event left many families without many basic necessities. Some homes were completely destroyed, while other families were forced to evacuate due to extreme flooding, left without the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Some families in these regions were spared from such harsh conditions, yet were left without power or access to clean water for a time. No matter how great the impact, the wrath of Hurricane Ida could most definitely be felt by all people throughout the affected regions. The effects of Hurricane Ida have certainly hit home to youth and young adults in those regions as well. Loss of basic necessities due to this extreme weather has certainly made young people more aware of how the environment can impact those who are less fortunate and has made them more aware of what it means to be in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis states, “A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.” Our life experiences truly shape us, and the experience of the wrath of Hurricane Ida has certainly helped all people affected to be more aware of the choices that we make and how those choices affect the poor and vulnerable within our society. Knowing what it is like to be without some of the most basic needs or natural resources, either firsthand or from friends and family, helps one to become much more aware of those who go without having their own basic needs met on a daily basis. These experiences help us to see that we are all connected, and our choices really do have an impact on others. Pope Francis sums this up by commenting on St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun, as he says, ”It is no coincidence that, in the canticle in which Saint Francis praises God for his creatures, he goes on to say: “Praised be you my Lord, through those who give pardon for your love”. Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” In order to love others, we must love and protect all of creation. Then and only then, can we work to bring about justice and peace within our society. Young people must allow their own experiences of the effects of environmental changes and even natural disasters to move them to consider their own actions in caring for our common home in a way that helps all people to not only enjoy the gift of God’s creation, but to live to their fullest potential as children of God.

Winter 2021

Young Adults


Care for Environment · Reusable water bottles · Avoid use of plastic and paper · Reduce water consumption · Separate refuse · Cook only what can be reasonably eaten · Plant trees or a garden · Turn off unnecessary lights · Carpool · Dispose of trash in appropriate places · Donate used items to a thrift shop Service in Local Communities · Volunteer at local after school program tutoring young children. · Visit a nursing home. · Make cards for parish shut-ins. · Plant and care for a community garden, donating the harvest to local food banks. · Plan a “clean up” day at your parish or in your neighborhood. · Do errands for an elderly neighbor. · Send a note of gratitude to those who give service in your community (e.g., police, firefighters, public recreation workers) · Donate food to local food bank. Prayer · Thank God for the beauty of creation. · Slow down and take time to be aware of the presence of God in your life. Count your blessings. · Examine your conscience. How are your actions and personal decisions affecting the world around you? How are you practicing simplicity of life? · Pray for our political and business leaders that they are people of integrity and make good decisions for those they serve and for the environment. · Pray for peace and justice. · Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you and others to be more mindful of the needs of others. · Receive the Sacraments often. · Attend Mass and receive Holy Eucharist, “the source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation” (Laudato Si, #236).

Awareness · Be grateful. Have an attitude of gratitude. Appreciate the people in your life. · Less is more! Evaluate if you really need or want a certain thing before buying it. · Practice moderation. Keep things simple! · Pay attention to how much time you spend on social media. Can you use some of that time reaching out to someone you know who is lonely? · Take a walk and observe God’s beauty in creation all around you. Use all your senses. What do you see? hear? smell? feel? · Read articles, watch videos, or listen to podcasts regarding environmental issues and their effects on society, especially the most vulnerable. · Investigate another culture (e.g., indigenous people) and discover how they reverence God’s creation. · Eat leftovers. · Smile more and spread joy! · Learn about Greta Thunberg. What can you learn from her? · Read the book or watch the movie, The Lorax. Discuss what you can do as a family, class, or individual to help the environment. Activism · Investigate environmental, economic, and political platforms of local politicians. Write and urge them to consider signing bills that protect the rights and dignity of those in the community, especially the underprivileged and underserved. · Boycott products of companies that have destructive environmental footprints. · Investigate new building projects in your community to see if there are plans that allow for green space. · Organize a “Walk for Christ for Justice for the Poor” event in which you raise awareness and money for those in need of food, clothing, and shelter. Donate all monies to local homeless shelters or food pantries. · Investigate kinds of energy used in government buildings. Challenge local leaders to switch to renewable energy sources.

Resources Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Pope Francis' Laudato Si' YouTube Why Care for the Environment? (Laudato Si Explained) - YouTube Laudato Si': Animated clip for young people - YouTube The Canticle of Creation - YouTube Greta Thunberg: TIME's Person of the Year 2019 | Time Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home (usccb.org) What Does It Mean to Be Content? A Reflection on Appreciating What I Have - Busted Halo Digital Retreat for Deepening Our Relationship With God and Nature - Busted Halo Ayres, Jennifer R. (2019), Inhabitance: Ecological Religious Education. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.

Prayer from Laudato Si

“A Prayer for Our Earth”

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,

so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it,

that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation,

to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature

Dr. Seuss (1971), The Lorax. New York: Random House Books.

as we journey towards your infinite light.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax PG movie (2012) 1 hour 26 minutes

We thank you for being with us each day.

Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

The Holy Family and My Family

The liturgical celebration of the Christmas Season in the Catholic Church begins on Christmas Eve and continues through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which this year is on January 9th. One of the special Christmas Season liturgical observances is the Feast of the Holy Family which occurs each year on the Sunday after Christmas. After we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we then turn our attention to the whole family - Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. In 2016, Pope Francis published an apostolic exhortation entitled “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) which is a reflection on the joys and struggles of families as together they live and grow in faith. This year, being the 5th Anniversary of this document, our dear Pope declared a special dedication to be observed from March 19, 2021 to June 26, 2022 as the Amoris Laetitia Family Year. So, we are right in the middle of this special Year of the Family. Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has consistently highlighted the beauty and importance of families to the Church and has focused on the realities of family

life in our present society. He is always encouraging us to view our families as the place where we find holiness and become holy. Family life, he often notes, can be very “messy” but it is in the messiness that we can find holiness. So, this Christmas Season, as you gather with your family members, take time to contemplate the Holy Family. While all looks peaceful in our Nativity scenes and creches set up in our churches and homes, we know that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were a real family who also had their joys, worries and struggles, but chose to live each day in trust of God the Father’s will for them. Every family should look to the icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Its daily life had its share of burdens and even nightmares, as when they met with Herod’s implacable violence. This last was an experience that, sad to say, continues to afflict the many refugee families who in our day feel rejected and helpless. Like the Magi, our families are invited to contemplate the Child and his Mother, to bow down and worship him. Like Mary, they are asked to face their family’s challenges with courage and serenity, in good times and bad, and to keep in their heart the great things which God has done. The treasury of Mary’s heart also contains the experiences of every family, which she cherishes. For this reason, she can help us understand the meaning of these experiences and to hear the message God wishes to communicate through the life of our families. Pope Francis (from Amoris Laetitia #30)

To find out more about this special Amoris Laetitia Family Year that the Church is currently observing, please check out the following links: https://www.usccb.org/topics/marriage-and-family-life-ministries/year-amoris-laetitia-family http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/laityfamilylife/en/amoris-laetitia.html

GPS for Success Recalculating classroom management & social development Management Rules and procedures  What is working? What is not? - for students - for teachers Discuss the need to change to accommodate everyone. Guide the transition according to age level. 

Group consensus - It is always important that everyone has a voice in making changes. E.g. Identify that classroom library is in need of organization. Solve the problem together.

Consistency 

Readiness of supplies Teacher - manipulatives, technology working, "back-up plan" ready. Student - prepared for Center or Group work. Schedule - in Early Childhood children should be able to see the schedule of the day. In primary grades, students need to know the framework for each instructional period. Share the plan!

Social Development Teacher  Positive communication Praise - offer sincere personal compliments Thank - notice and thank individual students for little things. Encourage - Identify the growth in virtue which you see in children. "Thank you for your patience in helping a classmate with their work."  Guide on the side Repeat directions to meet the observed needs in the classroom during a group activity. "Let's remember there are four steps to complete the task and they are listed on the board." Student  Positive Communication Stop what you are doing and give attention to the speaker. Look at the person speaking Listen carefully without interrupting before asking a question or giving a comment. 

Guide on the side (Group Work) Self-control - Wait your turn. Respect for others - Every voice is important. Appropriate language - Keep on topic and encourage one another.

"What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become." Joseph Chilton Pearce

A SAINT WHO WAS VISITED BY OUR LADY - SAINT JUAN DIEGO No one really knows how many saints there are in the Catholic Church, but we do know that there have been thousands of them throughout the centuries and we can be sure that there will be many more in the years to come. We do know, however, that there have been a certain few who were privileged to be visited by Our Blessed Lady.


Explain to your students how Our Lady is not only Jesus’ mother but our mother, too. While Jesus was dying on the cross, Jesus said to the Apostle, John, “Here is your mother,” and to Our Lady, “Here is your son.” The Church recognizes this statement to mean that Jesus was giving to all people, through the ages, his mother who would forever care, guide, and help us to be faithful followers of her Son. During certain times throughout history, Our Blessed Mother has come down from heaven and has appeared to someone that she has chosen to share with others the special message that she is going to tell them. Many times, Our Lady asks that people pray more, do sacrifices, and be loving and caring to one another.

BRAINSTORMING Depending on your age group, ask your students if they know of any time when Our Lady has come down from heaven and appeared to someone. Some answers that you may receive are: Our Lady of Guadalupe St. Juan Diego Our Lady of Lourdes St. Bernadette Soubirous Our Lady of Fatima Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto, Servant of God Sister Lucia Santo Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Saint Catherine Laboure There are other apparitions of Our Lady, but not all visionaries (those to whom Our Lady appeared,) are recognized as saints. After presenting these Apparitions, you may have the students match the saint to whom Our Lady appeared. It might be easier to have their names on the board and ask your students to match them correctly. Then explain to your students that they will learn about one particular saint who was visited by Our Lady, SAINT JUAN DIEGO.


Picture or globe showing the country of Mexico Picture of an Aztec temple Picture of Mexican people in native costume Piece of burlap Vocabulary cards Mexico Tepeyac Hill Indigenous Aztec Indian Convert Apparition Visionary Tilma Humble Persistent

TELLING THE STORY  St. Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Cuantitilan, near Mexica City.  His original name was Cuauhtlatoatzin which means ‘the talking eagle.’  After his parents died, Juan was raised by his uncle, and practiced the Aztec religion and beliefs.  Franciscan Friars came to Mexico with the Spaniards and began teaching the Indians about the true faith.  Juan was baptized in 1524 at the age of 50. He received the name JUAN DIEGO. His wife, Maria Lucia, and his uncle were also baptized. They were the first indigenous Indians to be baptized and who followed the faith.  Juan loved his new faith and would travel 14 miles every day to attend Mass.  On December 9,1531, two years after his wife died, while Juan was walking to Mass, he heard beautiful singing near Tepeyac Hill, and there saw a beautiful young woman, who looked like an Aztec princess.  The beautiful Lady told Juan that she was the Blessed Virgin and she wanted him to go to the bishop to tell him to have a chapel built so that others may worship her Divine Son.  Juan Diego obediently traveled to see the bishop, but the bishop was very reluctant to believe Juan’s story about the Blessed Virgin.  When Juan told Our Lady that the bishop did not believe him, he suggested to ‘His little daughter’ that perhaps she should choose someone of noble birth for this important task.  Our Lady replied to her ‘little son’ that he was the one that she wanted to relay her message. So, once again, Juan visited the bishop but was still unsuccessful in convincing him to build the chapel.  The bishop finally told Juan to ask his Lady for a sign so that he would really believe that she was the Blessed Virgin.

 On his way home, Our Lady appeared to Juan and he relayed to her the message from the bishop that he needed to have a sign . Our Lady replied to Juan to come back the next day and she would give him the sign.  As Juan Diego returned home, he found his uncle seriously ill. The next day his uncle asked Juan to go for a priest for he was dying.  Not wanting to waste any time, Juan travelled another way so that he would not see the Blessed Virgin.  Our Lady, however, did stop Juan and asked why he was trying to avoid her. Juan told her about his sick uncle and how he needed a priest to come to him.  Our Lady assured Juan not to worry for his uncle would soon be well.  Juan then asked Our Lady for the sign. The Blessed Virgin directed Juan to go to the top of Tepeyac Hill and pick the flowers that were blooming there.  Juan obediently went and there he found beautiful roses blooming even though it was not the season for flowers to bloom.  Our Lady then placed the flowers carefully in Juan’s tilma (his cloak) and told him to show the sign to the bishop.  The bishop finally met with Juan and as Juan explained to the bishop that his Lady did give him a sign, he opened his tilma and the beautiful roses fell to the floor.  As the bishop saw the roses falling, he also saw the image of Our Lady on Juan’s tilma.  Immediately, the bishop had the chapel built and more than 8 million Aztec Indians were converted.  Juan Diego spent the rest of his life in a small hut near the chapel. He spent his time in prayer and telling others about God’s great love for them and how Our Lady was their special mother.  Juan Diego died on May 30, 1548.  On July 31, 2002, St. John Paul II declared Juan Diego a saint, the first indigenous American to be canonized.  Saint Juan Diego is the Patron Saint of indigenous people. Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe | The Saints and Heroes Collection - YouTube Juan Diego 34 min. Saint Juan Diego: The First Indigenous American Saint | Marina S. Brungardt (patheos.com) Story Juan Diego Activity and Our Lady of Guadalupe Lesson (sadlier.com) Story and Activity Papers 3 Lessons from Juan Diego | SoulPainter | Cristóbal Almanzalesson-plan-our-lady-of-guadalupe.pdf (archbalt.org) Good for olde older students Our Lady Of Guadalupe Craft Ideas (And St. Juan Diego, Too!) (catholicicing.com) Craft ideas GUADALUPE -- English / Español / Français / Italiano / Portuguese - YouTube Meet Juan Diego! • Saints for kids - Teaching Catholic Kids

Winter 2021

CATHOLIC TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Instruct the wise and they become wiser still.

Proverbs 9: 9

Catholic Podcasts Apps for Ipad, Iphone, Ipod Christ in The Classroom


Listen as host Jose Gonzalez and

Wanderlight A Pilgrim’s Adventure is a faithlled, adventure game that invites players to explore the Catholic Faith in an engaging and beautiful world. Players embark on a pilgrimage, a journey of spiritual discovery. Along the way, each player, in the role of “the Pilgrim” encounters a series of quests that help deepen their faith through exploration and practice of Catholic prayers, traditions, and social teaching. Download for free at the Apple or Google Play store. Does have in app purchases.

his guests have a conversation on various topics to help teachers come to a deeper understanding of the Catholic Faith and give them ideas of how to most effectively lead their students closer to Christ. It is meant to be an educational podcast and not a commentary on social issues/politics, doing their best to stick to what scripture and the Catechism say on topics as well as the witness of the lives of people who walk the walk. Each episode is about an hour. American Catholic History Hosted by Tom and Noelle Crowe, each podcast brings you the story of Catholic Americans who have contributed to our nation's history

Christmas Kindness The Christmas Tree of Kindness is a simple way to encourage all to perform acts of kindness. Select a tree and theme, then decorate your tree with ornaments. All ornaments are earned by performing acts of kindness. You can choose from the suggested acts or create your own. Once you have decorated your tree, you will receive a star at the top and hear Christmas music. Great tool to use for an Advent activity in your classroom. Download for free on Apple.

by virtue of their faith. Visit American Catholic History here:

resources for your classroom. Each


episode is about 20 minutes.

Shared Wisdom Two heads are better than one. Please submit your favorite technology resources for Catholic religious education at krantzihm@yahoo.com. Submissions will be included in upcoming issues. Many thanks to those who shared tools for this issue.

american-catholic-history/ and nd





Pope Francis offers an “integral ecology,” which respects the fundamental interconnectedness of the economy, society and environment. Our care for the natural resources of the earth cannot be disconnected from our care for one another. Loving God, Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained. Open our minds and touch our hearts, so that we can be part of Creation, your gift. Make us courageous in embracing the changes required to seek the common good. Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent. Enable us to succeed in listening and responding to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. We pray through Christ our Lord, under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians, Amen. – Pope Francis

Helpful Resources www.laudatosimovement.org www.catholicclimatecovenant.org www.laudatosiactionplatform.org

2021-2022 Laudato Si The Principles of Social Justice Pope Francis urges the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics and all people of good will to take urgent action against the injustice of the climate emergency and the ecological crisis, to protect the poor and future generations. His encyclical letter “ Laudato Si” is a compelling call to care for our common home, Earth, and builds on a long history of Catholic teaching. We are being asked to respond to Pope Francis’ call. As Pope Francis discusses in the encyclical, caring for the environment is part and partial to the Dignity of the Human Person, Solidarity, and Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, since without the environment, we really can’t provide for each other in the way God intended. What Pope Francis expressed in “Laudato Si” is easily aligned to the Principles of Catholic Social Justice: • •

• • • • •

Life and Dignity of the Human Person Care for God’s Creation Option for the Poor and Vulnerable Call to Family, Community, and Participation Rights and Responsibilities The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. Solidarity

The Bulletin Board suggestions in this edition will focus on these themes with seasonal applications where appropriate. Additional resources can be found at the following sites: These downloadable handouts and posters feature the USCCB's seven themes of Catholic social teaching, with images courtesy of Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS: https://www.crs.org/resourcecenter/CST-101 http://www.catholicsocialjustice.org/uploads/1/3/0/4/13041697/resources_for_sharing_laud ato_si-murray_institute_students.pdf (catholicsocialjustice.org) https://www.crs.org/get-involved/resource-center/institution/school

DECEMBER Life and Dignity of the Human Person During the Advent Season, we see perhaps one of the greatest examples of Respect for Life and the dignity of the human person. Discuss these with the students: • • • •

The love and care given by Joseph for Mary and her Child on the journey to Bethlehem and subsequent flight into Egypt to preserve the life of the young Child. The respect shown by shepherds and wise men for the new life in their midst. The perseverance shown by so many in bringing new life into the world despite the poverty that existed at the time. The suffering experienced as a lack of respect for life as evidenced in the murder of the Holy Innocents.

Bulletin Boards with a focus on the Nativity can be an opportunity to focus on respect for life. Using the Advent theme of “waiting,” ask the students to contribute ideas of things they can do to show respect for life during the Advent Season. Let them “wrap” their “gift” and place it near the manger scene on the bulletin board. Another Bulletin Board could have the outline of a “Giving” tree. Younger students could draw a picture of themselves showing respect for others on ornaments to be placed on the tree.


JANUARY Care for God’s Creation “I urgently appeal . . . for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” ( Laudato Si, no. 14) The beautiful scenery often produced by a January snowfall can be an opportunity to talk about the wonders of creation and what can be done to create a better environment. Suggest ways they can help. Create bulletin boards to reflect the need for all to take action. • • • • • •

Plant Trees & Flowers (clean air) Take good care of animals, rescue animals (be gentle & respectful, take care of pets) Clean Up-- Pick up trash. Save water (Turn it off while brushing your teeth) Save energy (Turn off lights, tv when not in use.) Walk, ride a bike & Carpool more (less pollution)

(Use shapes of tears and smiles to show student responses. Polluted water

Clean water

FEBRUARY Caring for the Poor

The month of February is a month when we celebrate the gift of love. It is also a month when we show appreciation for our American heritage as we celebrate President’s Day, National Freedom Day and Black History Month.


Bulletin Boards this month could focus on the theme of caring for the poor. It is important to help students realize that, although they may not have all they want, there are many in the world that have so much less. Prepare a Valentine Bulletin Board and ask them to write on a blank heart a way in which they can help the poor. Remind them that remembering the poor in prayer is a way they can help if they have nothing else to give.



The celebration of patriotic remembrances this month can be a reminder to consider those who have given their lives as members of the military or in public service and who have fallen on hard times. Letters of remembrance with a promise of prayer could be sent to those who have given of themselves to protect us and who have fallen on hard times. Donations could be sent to homeless shelters that provide a hospice for these veterans.

Grades 3 & 4 JANUARY A noun is a fine word Yes, sirree! A person, a place Or an object you see.

FEBRUARY On February second The groundhog looked around The sun wasn’t shining brightly So his shadow wasn't out.

Vicki Dabrowka

Grades 5 & 6 JANUARY Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

FEBRUARY Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. Mahatma Gandhi

Grades 7 & 8 JANUARY Each day comes bearing its own gift. Untie the ribbons. Ruth Ann Schabacker

FEBRUARY In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. St. Teresa of Calcutta


Grades 3 & 4

Grades 5 & 6

St. Joseph was a special guardian For Jesus and Mary, too He took good care of them Because God asked him to!

The elevator to success is out of order. You have to take the stairs... one step at a time. Joe Girard

Grades 7 & 8 Know how to give without hesitation, How to lose without regret, How to acquire without meanness. George Sand

Winter, 2022

Advent Prayer for 2021 Composed by; Sister Mary Anne Sweeney IHM

Week One Sign of the Cross: Call to Prayer: One of the best known symbols of Advent is the Advent Wreath - an evergreen wreath holding four candles. The circular wreath is a sign that God’s love and care are never ending. The evergreen branches remind us that God’s faithfulness is alive and fresh. The four lighted candles, one for each week of Advent, help us to remember that Jesus is the Light that shatters the darkness of our sin and fear. The color purple calls us to prepare for Jesus’ coming and the pink candle invites us to rejoice that the waiting is almost over. Let us now bless our Advent Wreath and ask our Blessed Mother to be with us in a special way this Advent.

Blessing of the Advent Wreath: Loving God, by day and by night and through every season, You watch over us. We ask Your blessing upon this beautiful symbol of preparing for Christmas. By the lighting of the Advent Wreath, we shall wait in patience for Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. His Coming brings healing and hope to our wounded world. Come, Lord Jesus, Come. Amen.

Reader: Each week during Advent, we also focus on a special virtue. During the first week, we think about and pray for HOPE. Lord, Jesus, come into our hearts and bring us HOPE. Help us to slow down, to listen to Your voice, and to focus on the real “Reason for this Season.”

Lighting of the First Purple Candle – The candle of HOPE.

The Response is: COME, LORD JESUS! Lord, bring hope and healing to all victims of violence and their families, we pray… Lord, bring hope and help to the sick and dying, the unemployed and the homeless, we pray… Lord, bring hope and a helping hand to those who are still recovering from natural disasters, we pray …

We conclude our prayer by asking Mary to be with us on our Advent journey: Hail Mary… Sign of the Cross:

Week Two Sign of the Cross: Reader: During the second week of Advent we focus on and pray for PEACE. Jesus, You entered this world as the Prince of Peace. Help us to strive this week to be PEACEMAKERS in our families and among our friends and classmates. Lighting of the Second Purple Candle - The candle of PEACE.

The Response is: COME, LORD JESUS!

Help us to be true Peacemakers in our words and actions at home, at school, and at play, we pray… Help our members of the US Military who are giving their lives every day to preserve our peace, we pray… Help all elected Leaders to work for peace in our cities, our country, and around the world, we pray…

We conclude our prayer by asking Mary to be with us on our Advent journey: Hail Mary… Sign of the Cross:

Week Three Sign of the Cross:

Reader: During the third week of Advent, we focus on and pray for JOY. With a JOYFUL heart, we look forward to Christmas. There may be many gifts under the tree, but the most important gift we are sure to receive is the love of Jesus in our hearts. Knowing that Jesus loves us more than we can imagine gives us deep JOY. The pink candle this week is a symbol of that JOY.

Lighting of the Third Pink Candle – the candle of JOY.

The Response is: COME, LORD JESUS! For the grace to live JOY each day with: J - Jesus first, O - Others second, Y - Yourself last, we pray… For all the people who bring JOY into our lives, we pray… For those who feel no JOY at this happy season, we pray…

We conclude our prayer by asking Mary to be with us on our Advent journey: Hail Mary… Sign of the Cross:

Week Four

Sign of the Cross: Reader: During the Fourth Wek of Advent, we focus on and pray for LOVE. ”God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” We gratefully celebrate that LOVE with the birth of Jesus on Christmas. We learn to love by being loved. Thank You, God, for loving us so much. Teach us to share that LOVE with others.

Lighting of the Fourth Purple Candle – the candle of LOVE.

The Response is: COME, LORD JESUS!

Teach us Your LOVE that calls each of us to respect all God’s children, we pray… Teach us Your LOVE that calls each of us to serve, we pray… Teach us Your LOVE that calls each of us to forgive, we pray…

We conclude our prayer by asking Mary to be with us on our Advent journey: Hail Mary… Sign of the Cross

Redirect Lying, Cheating, & Exaggerating, Part 1/2 Is it a lie to say something which you later realize is misinformation? Is it a lie when you make arrangements with another person and later change your mind? Is it a lie if you forget or are unable to keep a promise that you made? Is it a lie when a four-year-old reports that he was bitten by a million mosquitoes? What makes an untruth a lie? Lying means to speak a falsehood that intends to deceive. Cheating is a form of lying because it is a deliberate attempt to mis-represent reality. Exaggeration is a type of fantasy language that is common among pre-school age children. How do you handle these kinds of situations? What are helpful way to respond to your child if she lies, cheats, or exaggerates?

LYING Fantasy talk is characteristic of young children. Some children, however, practice a pattern of telling untruths because they are unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy and, therefore, are unaware that they tell lies. This is different from deliberate fantasy and may need professional guidance. Intentional deceit is the distinguishing factor between an untruth and a lie. Motivations for lying vary. Some children lie because they want to avoid punishment. Parents can minimize lying that is due to fear of punishment by using logical, non-emotional consequences for mis-behavior in general, and for lying in particular. • Consistently use moderate, logical, non-emotional consequences for misbehavior. Emotional, overly-severe parent responses make a child nervous; lying then becomes a self-protection mechanism. • When the truth is already known, do not question him about the incident; that sets up conditions for defensive lying. Instead, use as few words as possible and a calm voice to let him acknowledge his behavior. Follow up with an appropriate consequence. Let your face and body language convey that you love him and that you are both going to take this incident in your stride. • Let the child know that truthfulness is respected. Express admiration for her courage and sometimes reward her immediate truthfulness by sparing the consequence.

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM © IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

In addition to fear of punishment some children lie because they are imitating parental behavior. Some have a need to defend themselves with a cover-up or protective story. Still others are not developed enough to be able to integrate information from several sources, and so they tell the truth as they see it; but their perception is necessarily limited and, possibly, untrue to reality. Sometimes a child lies to impress others. She equates personal worth with achievement. The need to impress others can be healed if parents help her to focus on her strengths, discourage comparisons, and improve the skills that she considers valuable. CHEATING Cheating is a form of lying. It breaks the trust that is essential to any relationship. A student who cheats misrepresents his knowledge, violates a teacher’s trust, and is unfair to the students who were not cheating. Such a student deceives herself, those who care about her, her teacher, and her classmates. A habit of cheating undermines selfconfidence, self-respect, a sense of industry and self-esteem. The dynamics that motivate lying and the practices that minimize it apply to cheating as well. In both instances, children of the age of reason benefit from understanding that trust is the foundation of personal relationships. The temptation to cheat is lessened when a child understands that we need trust in order to communicate with each other, believe in each other, rely on each other, and to grow together in a loving, satisfying relationship.

EXAGGERATING Is the exaggeration of a young child a cause for worry? Imaginary playmates are not unusual to three-year-olds and four-year-olds. Tots are great tellers of tall tales. Fictional tales are often indicators that the child perceives that he merits attention when he has something bigger or better to relate in order to receive attention. When parents acknowledge the core message without correcting the inaccuracies spoken, the child feels validated. Parents can then speak accurately about the topic and in that way instill a sense of reality while giving positive attention. Once a child is capable of distinguishing fact from fiction a parent can ask, “ Is this fact or fiction?”

Part Two of this topic offers parent-suggested advice for developing a truthful character.

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM © IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

Going to Mass – A Family Value,

Part 2/3

Proactive Preparation Prior to taking preschool children to Mass the first time, introduce them to the Church in brief, ten-minute visits. Present church as a sacred space that is a privilege to visit. 1. Introduce youngsters to the custom of blessing themselves with holy water as a signreminder that they are about to enter a sacred space. Explain the sign of the cross. 2. Teach how to genuflect as a sign-reminder that they are in the court of the King. Pray: “Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament, I adore you” or “O Sacrament most holy. O Sacrament divine. All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.” 3. Walk the Stations of the Cross. They form a picture story of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on Good Friday. Pray: “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” 4. Discuss the statues and the stain glass windows. 5. Let them touch the altar. Explain that at every Mass Jesus offers his life to God the Father just as he did on the cross of Good Friday. And so this altar of sacrifice is very sacred because Jesus repeats his sacrifice at every Mass. 6. On another visit explain that at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday Jesus told us that he would give us – and leave with us – his body and blood. Jesus does that when the

priest says the sacred words of consecration. Jesus arranged to remain with us always through the miracle of the Eucharist. And so this altar is also a banquet table where Jesus invites us to eat his body and drink his blood. 7. Let them touch the tabernacle. Explain that it is a sacred house where Jesus (in the form of a host) remains to welcome us anytime that we want to visit. Tell them that Jesus is always there waiting for them and willing to listen and to guide them. 8. Let them explore the confessional. Explain that Jesus lets the priest help him to forgive us when we do wrong and are sorry and want to do better. 9. Visit the sacristy and explain that this is the room that stores the sacred objects and special clothing that are used for worshipping God. 10. Visit the baptismal font. Explain that it was in the Sacrament of Baptism that he/she became a child of God and a member of this Church. Connect that when we make the sign of the cross with holy water upon entering and leaving the church, we are reminding ourselves about our Baptism and the privileges of church membership.

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM © IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

For pre-school children keep a “Mass totebag” that includes quiet items that are used only on Sunday in Church. For example, picture books of Bible history and Gospel stories, saints, religious accessories like scripture finger puppets, touch and feel books, lift the flap books … “Families have a responsibility to participate in ways that do not disrupt those around them.” (Joel Schorn, USCatholic.org) Set the mood for Mass by remote preparation. • Sufficient sleep/rest – “Prayer in the morning begins with the sleep of the night before.” • Provide protein nourishment – breakfast or snack – before leaving home. • Pre-determine appropriate dress for attending the banquet of the King. • Pack prayer materials like an offertory envelope, a missal or a resource booklet like Magnifikid or Pflaum Gospel Weekly.

Participation is key. • Prepare the readings and responsorial psalm. What theme, question, or words “pop out”? What in your life connects with them? • Recall the events of the past week that need healing or evoke gratitude. • Look to the week ahead. What joys, anxieties, needs exist? • Prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer. - When the celebrant refers to people who have died, name loved ones. - When he prays for the living, name people and concerns. - When he offers the bread and wine, imagine placing the events of the past week on the Paten and the unknowns of the week ahead in the Chalice. - Offer your life with Jesus to the Father.

Part Three of this topic offers parent-suggested advice for ways to promote participation in the Mass.

Dr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM © IHM Formative Support Services. All Rights Reserved.

Website: www.ParentTeacherSupport.org

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.