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Catholic Faith Education Newsletter
February 4, 2008 - Volume 1, Number 3

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Featured on the Catholic Faith Education Blog

bullet Stories to Introduce the Sacraments

sacrementsJohn Shea, a master storyteller, has written a number of articles on various sacraments in anecdotal form. These are engaging and I can easily see them being used in RCIA as a springboard to introduce specific sacraments. For a listing and links to these articles, click here

bullet Ash Wednesday - Below are a few articles on the history and meaning of the ashes used on Ash Wednesday and a prayer for Ash Wednesday:

Mafiabullet "The Art in the Christian Tradition (ACT) database is a freely available, regularly updated visual image internet resource. Designed for scholars, students, pastors, and religious educators, all of the images may be used for educational and/or religious non-profit purposes. Images are added regularly. There are currently 2340 images in the collection. The image on the left is from this collection. Read more...

calendarbullet Easter Calendars and the Environment - REEP is "a registered charity which provides unusual and thought-provoking resources for teachers and learners promoting the links between religions and the environment." Each year since 2001, the Web site of REEP has been posting a new Easter section/calendar. All of these are still available online. Read more...

bullet The Text This Week: Artwork of Biblical and Liturgical Themes -  This section on the Web site of Jenee Woodard gives access to a large selection of artwork with biblical and liturgical themes ranging from classical masters to contemporary artists. Read More...

bullet RESource: An online Learning and Teaching Initiative of the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne

QuotationRESource is a response by the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne to the challenge and opportunity offered by the Internet for learning both in and beyond the classroom. Its aim is to help Catholic educators to use the extraordinary technological advances of our time to fulfil the gospel imperative: "Go out to all of the world and tell the good news".quotation

RESourceI usually simply describe the content of resources with few or no editorial comments, but I am so impressed with this resource that I must make an exception.

I have been digging up resources for faith education on the Internet for over 12 years now and I have slowly come to the realisation that our efforts to develop the potential for evangelisation and faith education using the technologies available online have only scratched the surface of what is possible. Much of what is available on Catholic Web sites never goes beyond the mindset of a “book culture” and Web sites are almost always the repository of documents that could just as well be in printed format on bookshelves or filed in cabinets. This approach is akin to buying an expensive computer with all the bells and whistles and using it solely as a doorstop. The RESource Website is an indication that we are finally emerging from this one dimensional mindset and starting to understand how much more powerful the Internet can be as a tool for faith education and evangelisation. The Catholic Education Office of Melbourne is a pioneer in this new frontier. Bravo, well done!

BibleWalkbullet BibleWalks is intended to assist in Bible research and reference, conduct virtual tours to the Holy land places, and absorb the spirit of the Biblical life. Read more...

bullet View a wonderful music video featuring a Gregorian Ave Maria sung by the choral group Seraphin and published by GentleSpiritMusic.com

Wonderful music in this short video available on GodTube

bullet The Ladybug Foundation Inc.

My daughter sent me an email recently that simply read "I love this kid!" and was followed by an internet address: http://www.ladybugfoundation.ca/

I followed the link and spent several minutes on the Web site of the Ladybug Foundation getting to know about the wonderful work they do.

The Ladybug Foundation was inspired by a young lady called Hannah. Hannah believes that “that if people know about homelessness – that there are people living without a home – they will want to help.” Her goals are stated as follows on the foundations' Web site:
  1. To teach people that homeless people are just like you and me they just need us to love them and care for them.
  2. To teach everyone to treat homeless people like family because if you do that you will love them in all the right ways and you will treat them in all the right ways and care for them in all the right ways.
  3. To teach people that no one should ever eat from a garbage can or live without a bed or a home and to let them know that there are people that have to because they have no choice.
  4. To ask every person who will listen to help however they can to make life for our homeless people better.
  5. To teach people that homelessness is not sad if you help.
In 2007, the National Film Board of Canada produced a documentary on Hannah. It is simply called "Hannah's Story" . Below is the description of the 29 minute video extracted from the NFB's site:

This engaging documentary gives new meaning to the term ‘role model.’ Normally we think of children learning from their elders, but here is the story of an 11-year-old girl who is already inspiring adults to make a difference.

When she was just 5, Hannah Taylor spotted her first homeless person in the back alleys of Winnipeg. That momentous sighting not only troubled her but it drove her to do nothing less than change the world, leading to the establishment of the impressive Ladybug Foundation. Under Hannah’s leadership, that charity has raised over a million dollars, literally making change for those lacking life’s basic needs.

As this absorbing documentary shows, Hannah insists on being seen as normal, but clearly she possesses an extraordinary can-do attitude. Her message is disarmingly straightforward, coming as it does from “little kid type theories”: “share a little of what you have and always care about others.” Whether it’s organizing “Big Boss” lunches, speaking to students or to a prime minister, Hannah’s capacity to help others is huge, unflagging, and, ultimately, humbling. We all have a lot to learn from Hannah’s Story.

What a beautiful role model to present to the children we teach, especially during the upcoming season of Lent.

I invite you to explore the Ladybug Foundation Inc. Web site, to read and listen to some of Hannah's talks, to become aware of the Foundations' works and needs, and perhaps feel inspired to take a small step to help homeless people in your community.

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Resources on the Sunday Readings

February 6
Ash Wednesday

word-sunday.com
Bible Study


Resources for Lent and Holy Week:

bullet Way of the Cross - Resources for Catholic Educators
bullet Seven Last Words of Jesus
bullet Creed: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, Died and Was Buried
bullet Listening to the Last Words of Jesus with a Resurrection Heart
bullet Stations of the Cross
bullet Father, forgive them...

Resources for Catholict Educators Store: Books for Lent and on the Way of the Cross

...whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you

...whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.-- Matthew 6.6

 

Let your steadfast love,  O Lord, be upon us,  even as we hope in you.  Psalm 33.22

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. -- Psalm 33.22

 

 

Abraham, I will make of you a great nation

“I will make of you a great nation,and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. ” -- Genesis 12.1-3

See more Bible Posters

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Articles Online

chistian History and BiographyChristian History & Biography

The online edition of the excellent Christian History & Biography Magazine gives access to several of the articles published in the hard copy edition.  Issue 96 of this magazine explores the theme “The Gnostics Hunger for Secret Knowledge”. Other articles on the early Church are also available in the archive of previous issues. Below are links to articles from issue 96.

Roots Matter - by Darrell L. Bock
Defending the faith in today's cultural climate means not only knowing our Bible but also knowing our history.

No Other Gospel - By Nicholas Perrin
Despite the appearance of Gnostic "gospels," the early church decided that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were without rival.

One God, One Christ, One Salvation - By D. Jeffrey Bingham
Irenaeus the "peacemaker" was the early church's best warrior against Gnostic heresy.

Basil of Caesarea ("the Great")
Pugnacious saint and theologian of the Spirit
Mention the "church fathers" to a Western Christian, and Basil the Great (c.330-379) is not usually the first name to come to mind. Yet even for the Roman Catholic Church, Basil ranks with his friend Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom as one of the great propounders and defenders of the faith.

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Religious Products in Review

Catholic Mass RevealedThe Catholic Mass…Revealed!” is designed to help all people, whether Catholic or not, to better understand the miracle of the Mass. We can come to appreciate its beauty, its rhythm, even why many in history have faced death rather than be deprived of the opportunity to participate in the Mass.”

The Web site allows you to view excerpts from the videos available on a CD Rom for purchase. The imagery in these is very beautiful.  Previews of other features of the CD Rom are also available.

One document called 101 Questions About the Mass is offered without cost and can be downloaded in its entirety (a 35 pages PDF document).

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