RS 35: Views on Death

Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary.  It happens all the time —-Susan Cheever

Know one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. —-Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

[One] time he was asked if he believed in  an afterlife.  After a oment’s hesitation he said no, that he thought there was only “some kind of velvety cool blackness,” adding then: “Of course, I admit I may be wrong.  It is conceivable that I might well be reborn as a Chinese coolie.  In such case I should lodge a protest.” —Sir Winston Churchill, former British PM

“The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes outof it anew it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal.”  It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again.  Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals…and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise.”                                                                     ––Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep.  We shall rise refreshed in the morning.” –Benjamin Franklin

Which of the above quotes best describes what you think about death?  Clearly explain the reasons for your choice.  If you strongly feel that none of the above quotes best describes what you think about death, then find a quote that you do and share it with us along with your explanations.

RS 35: What is life all about?

Be inspired with the belief that life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and groveling thing that we are to shuffle through as we can, but an elevated and lofty destiny.                                                                                           —William E. Gladstone

Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you. Wally Amos

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.                                                                               —Oprah Winfrey

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.      Anonymous

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.  —Gandhi

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.                                                 —Albert Einstein

Which of the above quotes best describes what life is all about in your view?  Clearly explain the reasons for your choice.  If you strongly feel that none of the above quotes best describes what you think life is all about, then find a quote that you do and share it with us along with your explanations.

RS 35: What is Love?

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down.”                            —– Woody Allen

If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction.                                                                                       —– Emma Goldman

Real love is not a feeling; love is an act of the will.  Love takes over when feelings fail, when the beloved is not longer even likeable.  As with any act of freedom, love includes a commitment to the other, a sacrifice of freedom.                  —– William J. O’Malley

Which of the above quotes best describes what love is in your view?  Clearly explain the reasons for your choice.  If you strongly feel that none of the above quotes best describes what you think about love, then find a quote that you do and share it with us along with your explanations.

RS 25/35 Reflection: Is Racism a Social Justice Issue in Canada?

Is racism a problem in Canada?  We as Canadians like to see ourselves as a tolerant, multicultural society, but are we.  Read at least three of these articles and you decide.

Racism on the Canadian Prairies

Survey on Racism (2015)

Canadians can’t be smug about racism

Hate Crimes

Views of Aboriginals Worsening

Anti-Racism Protest

Reflection Question:

Explain how racism is different from discrimination or  prejudice? Based on the news articles you’ve read, is racism a problem in Canada?  Support your opinion from evidence from at least one of the articles.  Is racism a problem in Vermilion? Clearly explain why or why not using examples from your experiences or knowledge.

RS 25/35: Remember the Titans Background Info for Assignment

For some  information regarding the story of the Titans and the historical accuracy  behind it, see Remember the Titans.  For some information about T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Read the History section and Football and Remember the Titans section.  This will help give your some insight into what was happening in the 1970s regarding integration and race relations.

The assignment is located among the pages at the left.  Look for Remember the Titans Assignment


RS 35: Tuesdays With Morrie Assignment

Directions:  Answer all three questions.  The rubric used to grade this assignment is called Movie Study Assignment Rubric.

(Question #1)  Morrie quotes from W.H. Auden more than once when he says. “We must love one another or die”.  What does the poet Auden mean by this?  Perhaps reading the entire poem, September 1, 1939,  will help answer this.  As you know, not all love is the same.  For example, is love for your pet the same a true love between a husband and wife?  To help you understand this, read what the Greeks say about love.  Now using these two sources, explain what Auden meant by, “We must love one another or die”.

(Question #2) Morrie and Mitch have the following dialogue concerning life.


Morrie:         “…It is what I call ‘the tension of opposites’.  Life pulling you back and forth like a rubber band.  Pull one way cause this is what you want to do, the pull another way cause you think that is what you have to do.”

Mitch:         “It sounds like a wrestling match.”

Morrie:        “You could describe life that way.”

Mitch:         “So who wins?”

Morrie:        “Love!  Love always wins.  You don’t believe that?”

Mitch:          “I don’t know.  Maybe I don’t.  Have you looked at the news lately.  We’re not exactly racking up the gold medals out there.”

Morrie:         “Maybe the game isn’t over yet.”

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————  (Question #2)  What does Morrie mean when he says, “Love always wins”?  Is this true?  Justify your response.  What does the first letter of Paul to the 1 Corinthians 13:4-14 say love is?  Could this be what Morrie means?  Why or why not?  You can use Oremus Bible Browser to help you find out.

(Question #3)  Morrie says, “Death ends a life, not a relationship!” What does this mean?  Was Morrie suggesting he believed in an afterlife?  What do Christians believe about the afterlife?  Click on the article, Thirty-five FAQs About Eternity to help you answer this?  Be sure to fully explain yourself.

RS 35: Tuesday With Morrie Reflection

Choose one of the following questions and answer it.  The page on the right hand side called Reflection Rubric will be used to grade your reflection.

1)  Morrie says to Mitch regarding his imminent death, “I’m a lucky man.  I still have time to learn.  I still have time to say goodbye.  Time to teach my final course about living.  When you know how to die, you know how to live”What do you think Morrie means when he says, “When you know how to die, you know how to live” ?  Summarize in a short paragraph what Buddhist Philosophy (which is what Morrie is referring to) what it really means.  To find out, read the article called Love the little Bird on your Shoulder.

2)  Mitch asks Morrie, “Do you ever wish you were young?” Morrie provides an interesting response to this question.  He says, “Nah.  I’ve been young.  I know how miserable it can be being young.  Aging isn’t decay, you know.  Its growth!  This  culture worship’s youth.”  Do you agree with Morrie that our culture worships youth?  Why is this so?  Read the article Why do We Idolize Youth?   to find out a possible answer.  Do you agree with the article ?  Why or why not?

Tuesdays with Morrie is a true story.  These are the real people.

Reflection Rubric

RS 25: Catholic Social Teaching Assignment

Answer the following questions:

1)  What is Social Justice?  Write at least two definitions.  Provide the source of your definition.


Major themes from Catholic Social Teaching

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


2)  Use  the following websites to briefly summarize each of the seven themes from Catholic Social Teaching.

3)   Select a pressing or urgent social justice issue that for you needs to be addressed by society and write a brief summary (4 or 5 sentences) of the issue. Also, explain why you believe it is the most urgent issue to be addressed.   Which of the seven Catholic Social Teaching themes does your social issue apply to.  Explain.  The websites below will help you do this.

RS 25: Tuck Everlasting Assignment

  1. Explain how this movie (story) is a parable.  What specific characteristics does this story have that meet the criteria of a parable? Be as specific as possible and discuss all the characteristics of a parable.
  2. What is the surprise that caught your attention in this parable movie?  In other words, what is the “twist”?
  3. What is the “truth” being taught by this parable story?  Could the main teaching of this parable movie be, “Don’t be afraid of death, be afraid of the unlived life. ” What does Angus Tuck means by an “unlived life”.  Explain. Reading the poem, An Unlived life might be helpful.  ”John 10:10 say about the purpose of life?  (Use Oremus Bible Browser)  What does Colossians 3:1-17 say about how to live life this way?

The rubric used to grade this assignment can be found at the pages on the right.  The rubric page is titled, Video Study Assignment Rubric

RS25: Tuck Everlasting Reflection

Answer the following question.  The rubric page titled, Reflection Rubric will be used to grade this reflection.

Use the following to answer the question

Angus Tuck takes Winnie out onto the lake and tells her the following:
Look around you, it’s life. The flowers, and trees, and frogs, its all part of the wheel. It’s always changing. It’s always growing. Like you, Winnie, your life is never the same. You were once a child, now you are about to become a woman. One day you’ll grow up. You’ll do something important. You’ll have children maybe, and then one day you’ll go out. Just like the flame of a candle. You’ll make way for new life as a certainty. It’s the natural way of things. And then, there’s us. What we Tucks have, you can’t call it living. We just are. We’re like rocks stuck at the side of the stream. Listen to me, Winnie, you know a dangerous secret. If people find out about the spring, they’ll trample over each other to get that water. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people: Many people will do anything. Anything not to die. And they’ll do anything to keep from living their life. Do you want to stay stuck as you are right now, forever? I just want to make you understand.”


  1. Tuck clearly as an idea about what life should be.  Explain Tuck’s vision of life in your own words.   Do you agree with Tuck?  There is a Scottish Proverb which says, Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead. Is this proverb trying to tell us the same thing as Tuck is?  Explain.