Happy 2017! A New Year and a New Look

As a Catholic and a teacher, January 1st isn’t as important as either the first Sunday of Advent or the first day of school. While I celebrate today with the rest of the world, I’ve already welcomed 2017 and 2016-2017.

Culturally it feels like there’s both a sense of relief that 2016 is done, yet trepidation with what 2017 will bring – especially with a new U.S. President in twenty days.

So, I share with you three things today..

First, I chose the image above as it reminds me of a favorite quote:

01-01-light-a-candle

I think I’ll use this as a prayer or mantra over the next 365 days.

Second, I’ve changed the look of this blog. I felt it was time to freshen things up and to allow more posts to be viewed simultaneously. Note that the items which were on the side bars are now at the bottom. Please let me know what you think this new format.

Finally, I offer the list of Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for this coming year. I hope you’ll pray with the Holy Father, the Universal Church, my classes and me for these great needs for our planet.

And, as we face the unknown of what 2017 will bring, may we follow Pope Francis and his invitation for all of us:

01-01-pope-francis-be-brave

 

 

Saint O’the Day: St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9th)

Please download and share this presentation – PDF

I particularly like this prayer found at the USCCB website.

12_09_16_st-juan-diego_st-o-day2

I’m using the beginning of my class tomorrow to show Pope Francis’ prayer intention for December 2016:

And I’ll support Pope Francis’ prayer by introducing my students to the statistics and the work down by this organization – War Child

Ed Tech Emergent Turns Two Years Old!

I finally have a moment to celebrate – this blog turned two years old a couple of days ago. Yeah! Hooray! Alleluia!

It’s hard to believe how quickly these years have flown by. And it’s fun to mark the changes over the past couple of years by looking back at some of the posts from a year or more ago:

We were eagerly awaiting the premier of “The Force Awakens” .

Pope Francis visited the U.S.

Stephen Colbert, one of America’s most visible Catholics, began his show.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy commenced 

Wealth inequality was a problem (and it still is)

Refugees were fleeing and dying (and they still are)

And we thought Donald Trump was just someone we could easily parody. 

Saint O’the Day – Saint Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4th)

Please download and share this presentation: PDF

Just for fun, I’m going to show my students this classic scene from the memorable (and anachronistic?) film “Brother Sun and Sister Moon”

Friday FaithPost – New Pope Francis Books

I previously shared resources for daily Lenten prayer, reading and reflection. If you’d like inspirational reading in a more traditional book format, check out these two recent releases by Pope Francis.

First – a children’s book adults will enjoy:

Pope Francis and Children's Book-2

The release of this quite cute book was recently featured on Vatican Radio and also on Good Morning America.   The video from GMA is worth watching for the brief interview with siblings Luca and Ruby who reminded me instantly of literary sibs Charlie and Lola.

The second book, The Name of God is Mercy, features transcripts of widely ranging interviews with Pope Francis conducted by long time Vatican reporter, Andrea Tornielli.

Pope Francis - Name of God

A couple of days ago, I listened to a really good conversation about this book and Pope Francis on our local NPR station. The talk show included a number of guests, including National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican Correspondent – Joshua McElwee.

When thinking about God’s name, I was curious as to whether the Muslim 99 Names of God, often prayed with beads similar to a rosary, included “The Merciful” as one of them. Not surprisingly, “The Merciful” is included along with “The Most Compassionate”  and “The Forgiver” in the sacred list.

 

On-Line Catholic Faith & Science Course Starts February 9th

A brief post to let you know about a unique on-line course starting next week. The website bills it as:

The first 100% online course of the Catholic Church on the dialogue between Science and Faith. Provided by specialists it is easy to follow and uses the latest e-learning methodology.

Under the Patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture

It’s not free (like most MOOC’s), but there is a discount based upon country of residence. And I imagine most schools, churches, dioceses, etc have reimbursement plans for Continuing Education Units and similar.

 

Happy Jubilee Year of Mercy! Great, Short Lego Video

It’s another celebration of a new year in the Church as Pope Francis opened the doors to the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

While there’s no shortage of educational materials available to aid in celebrating this jubilee, I take a moment to share a fun little video that came across my Twitter feed (@HartleyRKRelig) this morning:

And while you’re at it, check out the first and second posts of videos by Stephen Colbert to celebrate Hanukkah: