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Happy 83rd Birthday, Holy Father!

Today is the 83rd Birthday of Our Most Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.  This video was from his visit back in 2008.

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Polish Pączki Day on Fat Thursday

February 18, 2010 3 comments

I’ve never celebrated it, but apparently there is a Polish tradition called Pączki Day (pronounced POONCH-key) that is celebrated on Fat Thursday (the Thursday before Lent … which would have been last Thursday).  In the spirit of Fat Tuesday, people eat a lot of pączki before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

A pączek (singular) is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or bits of dried orange zest. Although they look like  jelly doughnuts, pączki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar and sometimes milk. They feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar. Powidła (stewed plum jam) and wild rose hip jam are traditional fillings, but many others are used as well, including strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry and apple.

Pączki have been known in Poland at least since the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz has described that during the reign of August III, under the influence of French cooks who came to Poland, pączki dough was improved, so that pączki became lighter, spongier, and more resilient.

Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki Day on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.

A great news report on Pączki Day in Hamtramck, MI.

In the large Polish community of Chicago, and other large cities across the Midwest, Pączki Day is celebrated annually by immigrants and locals alike. In Buffalo, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, South Bend, and Windsor, Pączki Day is more commonly celebrated on Fat Tuesday instead of Fat Thursday. Chicago celebrates the festival on both Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday, due to its sizable Polish population.

In Hamtramck, Michigan, an enclave of Detroit, there is an annual Pączki Day (Shrove Tuesday) Parade, which has gained a devoted following. In the greater Cleveland, Ohio area, it it wide spread through out the region, that many bakeries have people that will wait in lines for pączki on Pączki Day. The Pączki Day celebrations in some areas are even larger than many celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day.

[A “more Polish” perspective with a nice photo blog.]

I wish I knew this a couple days ago … I would have bought donuts.

CCD 7th: God the Son (day 17)

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we reviewed God the Father (from last week) and focused on God the Son (chapter 5 in our book).

(A) Reviewed God the Father. Played the video clip from Martian Child (see last week’s summary).  Reviewed homework assignment … think of an example of a movie clip demonstrating a “good dad.”  From that, we brainstormed why our relationship with God the Father becomes so wounded that we stop trusting the unconditional love He has for us.

(B) Discussed prayer “Core Wounds.” In our diagram of the Christian Heart (body, mind, soul), our life experiences can develop “core wounds” that hurt our lives physically, psychologically and/or spiritually.  They are shown as X’s on our diagram.  These wounds are actually “LIES” that affect our future relationships, especially with our Heavenly Father.  A common example, even shown in movies, is how our hurt relationships with our earthly father affect how we view the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father.  Wounds can keep us from trusting His loving plan for our lives.

(C) Who is Jesus? We showed a movie clip from the 1996 Sylvester Stallone movie called Daylight.  It’s the scene when the rescue worker (Stallone) first encounters the trapped people.  Only getting 1 rescuer is not what the trapped people expected.  This disappointed reaction is similar to the one Jesus received from people as they came to discover Him as the Messiah.  The idea came from thesource4ym.com clip ideas.  Click the link to get discussion questions.

Here is a trailer for the movie.  The actual clip used is here (but it’s in a foreign language).

Good discussion as we imagined the roles of the people, the Messiah and what our reactions would be in their shoes.

Homework: (1) Chapter 5 assessment questions on the last page.
(2) handout “How the Bible describes Jesus” … look up passages
(3) bring textbook + Bible + journal

CCD 7th: God the Father (day 16)

January 31, 2010 1 comment

In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we touched on God the Father (chapter 4 in our textbook).  I finally got to bring in my laptop and play a few movie clips.  Awesome topic.  — I was really looking forward to today!

(A) Opening prayer song reflection was He is Yahweh by Dean Salyn.

(B) God the Father is always present & knows what’s best for us & forgiving. Showed a clip from Lion King (1994), when Simba takes Nala to the Elephant Graveyard after father Mufasa warns against and ends up saving them from the 3 Hyenas.  The focus is the discussion between father and son at the end.  [Idea from thesource4ym.com with discussion questions.]

(C) God the Father has unconditional love for me. Showed the movie trailer for the John Cusack movie Martian Child (2007) about a sci-fi writer wanting to adopt a child who thinks he’s a Martian sent to observe Earthling life.  The focus clip is when the child breaks something and thinks he’s bad and will be sent away.  The father assures him that “Nothing you can do will change the way I feel about you.” and then proceeds to break other “things” showing they don’t matter as much as him.  Awesome clip!  — I had to “pause” when leading the discussion … it easily resonated how I hear my Heavenly Father’s voice.

Discussion was great.  [Idea from thesource4ym.com with questions.]

Homework:
(1) Chapter 4 Assessment questions,
(2) Pray the Lord’s Prayer each day this week,
(3) Give an example of a movie clip with a “good dad.”

catechists … prepare for Advent

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I found a great blog called Catechist’s Journey.com by an 8th grade catechist named Joe who “knows his stuff” and provides resources and discussion about catechesis.  He’s been in ministry for 30+ years and does online seminars called “webinars.”  Check it out … especially if you’re a catechist.

In the above video, I especially like the following (I’ll use it in class next week)

Jesus’ Three Comings:  In …

  1. History — when Jesus came Man (incarnation)
  2. Mystery –as Jesus comes to us today in many ways, especially in the Eucharist
  3. Majesty — as we look forward to His triumphant return at the end of time

Lots more on his site.  Check it out!

NY ordination 2009 video

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

As we are in the Year for Priests, the USCCB website posted this You Tube video of the priest ordination of New York.  It’s done really well … by the same people (Grassroots Films) that made the Fishers of Men video.

The USCCB website also has a listing of all the new priests that were ordained this year with pictures, backgrounds and quotes.

the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is the “Lord’s Prayer” (Our Father) in Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke.