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Author Archives: Suzanne Walsh

About Suzanne Walsh

I am a follower of Christ and love to share the joy and beauty of the Catholic Faith with others. For me, the best way to do this is to live a life of integrity or wholeness with a goal of achieving holiness. I enjoy teaching about the Faith and learning with and from my students. We are fortunate today to have access to many valuable digital resources from which we can learn. I'd like this blog is to help make these materials easily available to students for their growth.
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Sacraments 101: Confirmation (why we’re confirmed)

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
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This Easter

Short video which helps us think about the meaning of Easter to us as Catholics in the context of popular celebrations.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

We Respect All People

IMAGE-RESPECT-2Our lesson this week we complete our study of the commandments discussing the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth commandments.  Our focus is on respecting others and how we actively live in a way that demonstrates our appreciation of one another.

The Seventh Commandment:  You Shall Not Steal

        • We live justly not taking away from what justly belongs to others.
        • We respect that others are entitled to their fair share of the what God has given to all of us.
        • We take care of the Earth – we are stewards of creation
        • We respect the goods and property of others
        • We share with the poor (give alms)
        • We make reparation for injustice.

Question for reflections and discussion:  What are ways that you can share with those in need to make their lives better?

The Eighth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor – you shall not lie.

This commandment is about always speaking, acting and behaving truthfully.

  • We respect the privacy of others
  • We avoid saying anything that would harm another’s reputation
  • We do not lies
  • We do not speak sarcastically.  From the Gospel of Matthew we hear: “Let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No”.

The Ninth Commandment: You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife

This commandment calls us to be mindful of our desires, feelings and instincts with respect to our own sexuality.

  • We keep our desires and instincts to what is good and honorable
  • We respect the fidelity (or faithfulness) of the marriage commitment
  • We trust in God’s ways and value our human sexuality
  • We practice modesty in the way we think, act, dress always showing respect for ourselves adn for others.

In all of these ways we are pure of heart – living in the love of God our Father.

The Tenth Commandment – You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods

This commandment reminds us to be grateful for the things we have in our lives and to help others to have what they need.

  • We must not get caught up in wanting things excessively – this is greed. 
  • We guard against envy – that is the feeling of sadness when someone else has something that we want.

The tenths commandment reminds us to be poor in spirit – depending on God and making God more important than anything in our lives.

Partners in Faith – Thomas Merton

“For me to be a saint is to be myself” – Thomas Merton

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

We Honor Life and Creation

This week week we study God’s commands:

  • we choose life by honoring our parents
  • we respecting human life and creation, and
  • we live a responsible and chaste life which honors our human dignity and the dignity of others.

We frequently hear the expression: “Choose Life” this week we will think about what this means to us in how we live our faith as we explore the fourth, fifth and sixth Commandments.

In the parable of the rich young man who has kept all the commandments and wants to know what more he needs to inherit heaven. What response does Jesus give him?   What do you think Jesus is asking of us through this parable?

Honoring our parents if an important responsibility discussed in the 4th Commandment. Living out this commandment. Jesus honored and respected Mary his Mother and loves and obeyed God, his Father.

What are things you can do to love, respect and honor your parents?  What can you do to respect and honor older people in our community?

We live our lives fully sharing our love of Jesus by protecting life from the very young and very old.  In this celebration of life we are demonstrating the commitment  to life.

This commandment also teaches us that we must control our tempers and refrain from angry outbursts. Why do you think God aks us to take care and mind that we don’t loose control of our tempers?

Respecting and loving life also means taking care of our own bodies, respecting nature and the environment.  In what ways do you respect your body, others and the environment?

Finally we live the sixth commandment which teaches about appropriately respecting our own bodies and living a pure life.  Within marriage husbands and wives demonstrate their commitmemt to this commandment by through their faithfulness to one another

What opportunities do students have to fully live this commandment?

Partners in Faith – Sisters’s of Life

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

We Love God and Others

This week we’ll talk about honoring those that we love. We’ll learn about the Great Commandment and the first three of the Ten Commandments – these are the Commandments which guide us in our relationship with God. The remaining se en Commandments teach us about how we are conduct ourselves with others.

When Jesus was growing up what faith did he practice and where did he practice it?

As an adult Jesus began to teach others. We learn that people were amazed at his teaching because he taught with such authority. The religious leaders of the time called scribes practiced the same faith as Jesus. Were they pleased with Jesus’ teachings and happy to have him around?

One day a scribe asked Jesus a question, he asked which Commandment of the law is greatest? What was Jesus’ response?

How did Jesus’ response sum up all of the Ten Commandments?

Based on your understanding of The Great Commandment what in your opinion is one word which captures Jesus’s core message?

We live out the first commandment – We Love and Honor God above all others

“I am the Lord Your God You Shall not have Strange Gods Before Me”

As we start to think about the meaning of the ten Commandments it’s helpful to think about the world in which Moses and the people of Israel lived.  In Israel the people were slaves and were powerless.  What did God do for the people of Israel and what was the first thing he did for them in return?

When Moses returned to Mount Sinai the people were impatient and started to turn away from God.  What did they create in place of God?

What are some of the “strange gods” that might distract us from loving and honoring God?

What is meant by idolatry and why is it a sin against the First Commandment?  Is idolotry really a problem today?  Or is that just something that ancient people had to worry about?

How can we live this commandment in a positive way?

Habits of Doing Good – The Theological Virtues

The Theological Virtues

The first three Commandants teach us how to love God. The first Commandment calls us to put God first by believing in Him, hoping in Him and loving Him.  We express our connection to God through Faith, Hope and Charity or Love.

We Respect and Honor God’s Name – Living the Second Commandment

To the ancient Jews a name evoked the the character of the individual and so the use of a name, particular God’s name was considered sacred. In fact the Jews were so respectful and reverent that God’s name – “Yaweh” in Hebrew were not spoken – instead hey adopted the term “Lord” when referring to God.

We learn from this Commandment that we are always to speak the name of the Lord with love, reverence and respect.  We are also reminded that misused of the Lord’s name is a sin against the Second Commandment. Various misuse and abuse of the Second Commandment include:

  • blasphemy: a thought, word or act that makes fun or shows contempt or hatred toward God.
  • perjury: making a false oath in God’s name
  • cursing: calling on God to do harm to someone

We can live the Second Commandment in a positive way by using God’s name to bless, praise and glorify him and by meditating or praying on God’s name and holding it lovingly in our hearts.

God Wants Us to Rest – Living the Third Commandment – Keep Holy the Sabbath

When God delivered the people from Israel they were slaves, no rest, only work.  God did not want his people to be slaves.  Instead he wanted them to have time for rest, to enjoy the world he created.  Just as God stopped on the seventh day to look at what he created he wanted his people to do do the same… stop, enjoy creation, appreciate what He created, appreciate Him and the beauty of the world and to enjoy each other.  

We actively practice this Commandment by gathering together for the celebration of the Eucharist, participating as a community in Mass and also by resting and not doing unnecessary work.

What are some ways that kids and families can observe the Sabbath and actively live this Command?   How can you help encourage others to do the same?

Partners in Faith – Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Recommending Reconciliation

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Finding Happiness by Abiding in God’s Ways

What is it that bring happiness into our lives? Is it achievement of a goal? Is it things we acquire? How do we know when we’ve achieved it?

In this week’s class we”ll talk about God’s instruction book for happiness – his plan for living a good life. To be prepared for our discussion you’ll need to read Chapter 3 of our text book and be ready to discuss these questions. You do not need to write answers to the questions in advance but you may want to highlight in the textbook or write a notes on your thoughts so that you are ready to actively participate in the discussion.

1. Look at the image above. Imagine yourself traveling on this road, it’s beautiful, your car is moving fast, the ride is amazing and your destination is even more awesome than the road you’re now on. What do you do to make sure you arrive safely? Is there any similarity to God’s plan for your life?

2. God’s plan for our happiness started with some important instructions he gave to Moses on Mt Sinai. What did God give Moses? Moses made an agreement with God on behalf of the people of Israel. What was the agreement called?

3. Who needs live by the agreement Moses made with God?

4. What is happening in the picture below? Who does the father in the picture represent? What can we learn about God’s attitude toward us from this scene?

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5. What is meant by the word “conversion”? Is this something that applies to you? How is conversion related to our happiness?

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6. What did Jesus teach his followers that they should do to achieve happiness? What are some things you can do today to follow what Jesus taught his disciples on the mountain?

7. Jesus gave his disciples a very important instruction on the night before he died. What was it? What else did he expect his disciples to do? What is he asking you and me to do?

Partners in Faith – This week’s hero: St Ignatius of Loyola. Learn more about this cool saint by checking out this fun video which tells his life story.

St Ignatius – The Olive

Gang, I’d also like to remind you of your assignment from last class. The handout for this assignment is posted here: Recommending Reconciliation  Please ensure you bring your completed project to class on Saturday october 20th.  If you wish to submit on-line please comment below.  Thanks!

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Uncategorized