Friday, July 31, 2009

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Today is the Memorial of St. Ignatius who was born in 1491 at Loyola in Cantabria. He spent his early years at court and as a soldier. After he converted/surrendered to God he studied theology at the University of Paris where he attracted a following and later, in Rome, formed the Society of Jesus (Jesuits.) He trained his followers to surrender themselves entirely to God and they were important in the renewal of the Church. In 1556 he died in Rome. To get a sense of him, here is one of his prayers:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Soul Filled" Summer Fest

Second Annual “Soul Filled” Summer Fest
Music, Wine, Friends and Fun
August 1, 6:00 pm at
Soaring Wings Vineyard
$25.00 includes BBQ by Wheatfields
5 wine tastings, wine glass (keepsake)
and entertainment all evening

All proceeds go to the Holy Family Shrine &
The Knights of Columbus vocations fund

Tickets at Holy Family Shrine, KVSS, Wheatfields and Gloria Deo

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who is this?

Last week we took down the picture of Archbishop Curtiss that was hanging in the parish office and replaced it with a picture of Archbishop Lucas. In the process, we discovered this picture was behind the picture of Archbishop Curtiss.

Do you know who it is?

Monday, July 27, 2009

SPIRITuality ALIVE Picnic

A few weeks ago the SPIRITuality ALIVE picnic was held.

It was a chance for many of the familes participating in samll group discussions to gather as a larger group and enjoy being with one another.

Thanks for coming!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fishers of Men

From Fr. Damian:

Our parish may have as many as five young men in the seminary this fall. That is a terrific sign of the goodness and spirituality of our parish. It is a very real consequence of your faith that our young people grow up in a climate that encourages them to explore dedicating their lives to the work of the gospel. You are doing a good job of fostering vocations! The church certainly needs solid, courageous, and wise young people to say yes to the call to serve God and his people. It is great that young men from our parish are responding. I know there are more young people in the parish who are considering the priesthood. Please pray for them and keep encouraging them to at least spend some time in process of discernment by attending the seminary. If you have ever wondered about the life of a priest I encourage you to watch the Fishers of Men video.

My own experience of the priesthood has been filled with many blessings and wonders. I have never regretted the decision I made to be ordained. I could not have asked for a better life. Like every life it is filled with the normal challenges of living, but it has also been filled to the brim with all the goodness and graces that the work of the gospel brings to our lives.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Serving with the Archbishop

When Archbishop Lucas was installed Wednesday and when he celebrated Vespers the night before, seminarians were the servers.

From our parish, Patrick Cooley was a candlebearer at Vespers Tuesday and John Norman (below) was the thurifer at the Installation Mass Wednesday.

Former parishioner Rheo Ofalsa (below) held
the Sacramentary while the Archbishop prayed.

And our own Deacon Jerry Overkamp
was the Deacon of the Altar during the Mass.

Thank you to everyone who represented our parish.
(The first and last picture on this post were taken from the Archdiocesan website They have a slideshow there with a number of very good pictures.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giving Gifts

Each Sunday at the Children's Collection kids bring their envelope to the priest. Inside the envelope there is money, but equally important is the information on the outside of the envelope. There children write how they showed the love of Christ in their lives. Some recent examples include:

Sophie made her bed
Nathan cleaned his room
Lexi helped around the house
Hannah helped someone up at Kid’s Club because they fell off the slide
Madeline cleaned the house
Lily helped her daddy in the greenhouse

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Installation of Archbishop Lucas

Today at 2:00 p.m. George Lucas will be installed as the Archbishop of Omaha. You can watch it on KETV channel 7, see streaming video at, watch it on EWTN or listen on

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Bottle Campaign wrapping up

We want to thank all of the people who have helped support A Women's Touch Pregnancy Counseling Center by returning youor baby bottle filled with money.

If you still have a baby bottle, we ask you to return it either to the parish office during the week or to the church when you come to the weekend Mass. Thank you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Alumni & Alumnae

Everyone pictured is not only a recent graduate of Gross High School, each is also a graduate of St. Columbkille School. We are proud to have them represent us.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Come & See

Please feel free to stop by our Candle Shrines to say a prayer of healing for a loved one or for a deceased. All are welcome to use this shrine.

There is a suggested donation is 50 cents for the small votive candles and $2 for the larger 6-day candles just to cover our expenses.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Supporting the Action

A week ago today the Crusader Classic Baseball Tournament was in full swing. While the action was on the field, it could not have taken place with out the dedicated people behind the scenes who provided the encouragement and whatever needed to be done to make it all happen.

Thank You!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The focus on FOCUS

Shannon Zurcher, one of our parishioners, is dedicating two years of her life as a FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionary. Her role at UNO is to meet college students where they are and invite them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Every day she is living our parish's mission to "Go and Make Disciples."

This weekend Shannon will speak after all of the Masses to tell us more about FOCUS and how she is a part of that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

Registrations for the St. Columbkille Family Fun Festival 3 on 3
basketball tournament will be taking place soon. Watch the bulletin for
details. If you have any questions, please call Scott at 850-3910.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Adventure

Jeff Cavins has developed a study of scripture based on the idea that you can get a better picture of the whole Bible by studying just 13 books. People from St. Columbkille who participated have said:

* Mass comes alive for me – I can put the scripture passages into perspective
* There is a greater realization that my actions ripple through all God’s
* I have a better appreciation of why it is so important for me to
remain faithful to God
* The bible comes alive for me because I can see the
timeline of the events and where the books fit into the big picture
* It is amazing how intricately the Old and New Testament are intertwined
* I have a much better understanding of God’s plan for us
* The psalms come alive for me now --- I understand where they fit in bible history
* I am excited about continuing and doing the other scripture studies in this series
* This study has tied together world history with bible history
* I want to learn more of the “tidbits” of information that make all the difference in the depth of each word or action and its relevance of the whole picture
* I now have a much better realization of how dearly God loves us
* Seeing how the prophesies of the Old Testament are in fulfilled in Jesus was a quite a revelation for me

Watch for some new groups forming this fall.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2009 Baseball Tournament

It was a busy weekend at the ball park as St. Columbkille
hosted our annual tournament.

It was fun for everyone ...

especially those in the championship game.

We're proud of HOW you played!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Conversational Dinners Deadline

There is only a week left to sign up to participate in an August:

This will be an opportunity for parishioners to get to know one another better. People can sign up to participate in the months that work for them. Then they will join with others to create a dinner of eight. The group will determine when they will meet and what type of a meal: easy or elegant; banquet or barbeque.

Please prayerfully consider participating in one or more gatherings. You can sign up now by emailing by Monday August 20th. New participants are welcome anytime, but you need to register within the next week for the August dinner.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Veritas in Caritate

On Tuesday Pope Benedict released his latest encyclical Varitas in Caritate.

Fr. Damian said, "It is a worthy read for any intelligent Catholic especially those who are involved in business. Please add it to your summer reading."

You can get the encyclical at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Youth Serve

15 of our youth and two young adults participated in Youth Serve recently along with people from St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Patrick in Elkhorn, and St. Mary in Bellevue.

They did work at Hillcrest Country Estates, Stephen Center, Keep Omaha Beautiful, Seven Oaks of Florence, Crestview Village Apartments, and A Woman's Touch

Part of the experience was the work itself. The process includes activities for the entire group

including helping them process whatthey see and experience. Many of the participants (Youth and Young Adults alike) experience first hand things they had never know about before.

We are excited by these disciples that are letting Christ's light shine.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lend A Hand

Some members of a SPIRITuality ALIVE group were inspired to begin one of our newest ministries, Lend A Hand. They realized there are a number of members of the community who are unable to do some projects around their home. Some tasks are as simple as helping clean out a gutter on a two story home.

They have recruited a number of people who are able to do various types of work such as carpentry, plumbing or electrical work. As they discover people in the community (regardless of their faith) in need of help, they match the needs with someone who possesses the right skills. Part of their ministry is to say a prayer with the people they help.
In the picture above John Bramblett and Charlie Pape installed new steps and replaced several boards on this deck. They and many others are working to further our parish mission to "Go and Make Disciples."

If you are able to help this ministry or know of someone who needs help, please call 339-3285 and let us know.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Muglia Concert

About 400 people attended Chris Muglia's concert Sunday.

His daughter MaryAnne (above) and son Thomas (below) were part of the concert.

Afterwards everyone gathered outside to talk, laugh & eat ice cream.
Thanks for coming Chris!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Celebrate St. Damien with Fr. Damien(s)

When I was born in 1973, my mother and father chose the name “Damien” because they had read a newspaper article about a priest named Father Damien who went to Molokai in Hawaii (called the Sandwich Islands then), to give his life in service to lepers. Fr. Damien de Veuster eventually died of leprosy.

Fast forward 36 years, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will canonize Blessed Damien of Molokai and declare him a saint on October 11, 2009!

From October 8 to 15, 2009 Fr. Damien Cook, Pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Omaha, who was also named after Blessed Damien, and I, will be leading a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi.

At the same time, four others will be canonized, including Blessed Jeanne Jugan, whose second miracle happened right here in Omaha, Nebraska.

In addition to the canonization ceremony, we will also visit some tombs, including Sts. Peter & Paul, St. Agnes, St. Monica, St. Ignatius, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Francis of Assisi and Pope John Paul II. We will also visit some beautiful basilicas and churches along the way. If it works out, we will be part of a public audience with Pope Benedict.

The price of the pilgrimage is $2,600 per person, based on double room accommodations. The price includes round trip fair from Omaha to Rome, meals, sightseeing, admission fees and hotel accommodations.

Time is of the essence. Our pilgrimage will only have a maximum of 20 people. If you would like to join us, please prayerfully consider this and call me at 339-3285 x 106 by next Monday, July 13.

God bless,
Fr. Wee

Baseball this Weekend

The St Columbkille Crusader Classic Baseball Tournament begins Thursday.

Come be part of the fun, Thursday through Sunday!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Feast of St. Maria Goretti

In 1902, just 2 months before her 12th birthday, Maria was accosted by the young man Alessandro Serenelli. Alessandro threatened her with death if she would not have an immoral relationship with him. Maria's response was, "No! No! it is a sin!" On July 5, 1902, the frustrated Alessandro was to stab Maria 14 times, causing her to suffer an agonizing death. She succumbed the next day of her wounds. She had repeatedly warned Alessandro he was risking eternal damnation.

As she lay dying, when the parish priest of Nettuno brought her Holy Viaticum and asked whether she forgave Alessandro, she replied, "Yes, I forgive him and want him to be in Paradise with me some day."

Alessandro was sentenced to 30 years of prison. Showing no remorse for his crime, Alessandro had a remarkable dream during his 8th year of imprisonment. "The dream was so vivid he could not distinguish it from reality. The prison bars and walls fell away and his cell was a sunlit garden blooming with flowers. Towards him came a beautiful girl dressed in pure white. He said to himself: 'How is this? Peasant girls wear darkish clothes.' But he saw it was Marietta. She was walking among flowers, smiling, and without the least fear. He wanted to flee from her but could not. Marietta picked white lilies and handed them to him saying, 'Alessandro, take them!' He accepted the lilies, one by one, fourteen of them. But a strange thing took place. As he received them from her fingers, the lilies did not remain lilies but changed into so many flaming lights. There was a lily turned to purifying flame for every one of the 14 mortal blows he struck her on the fatal day in Ferriere. Marietta said smilingly, 'Alessandro, as I have promised, your soul shall someday reach me in heaven.'"

From that time on, he was consumed to make reparation for his crime. After 27 years of imprisonment, Alessandro was released, spared 3 years of confinement due to being a model prisoner. He went to Maria’s mother, Assunta Goretti, whom he had last seen 31 years before at his trial. Begging Assunta's forgiveness, she placed her hands on his head, caressed his face and gently said, "Alessandro, Marietta forgave you, Christ has forgiven you, and why should I not also forgive. I forgive you, of course, my son! Why have I not seen you sooner? Your evil days are past, and to me, you are a long-suffering son." (DiDon ato, p. 142)

Alessandro would testify at length at the canonical process for the beatification of Maria Goretti- the only witness who could detail what had actually happened in a brutal murder. He died at the age of 89 after a long life of prayer and penance in expiation of his crime, always invoking the intercession of St. Maria Goretti as his "protector".

On June 24, 1950 at the canonization of St. Maria Goretti in the open Piazza of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. "Never before had a million souls come to St. Peter's Basilica all at one time, nor in Catholic history had there ever been present at the ceremony of canonization the mother of the Saint." (Di Donato)

Pius XII who would canonize her, noted that St. Maria Goretti stood not only for purity of soul and body but also for "mastery of the spiritual over the material, for docile love of her parents, for sacrifice in harsh, daily labor, for poverty accepted as the Gospel teaches us to accept it, for love of prayer and of Jesus in the Eucharist, for charity in her heroic forgiveness [of her murderer]."

The Safe Environment program is the Omaha archdiocesan response to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. For more information go to

The text on St. Maria Goretti was taken from the website and the icon above was written by Fr. William McNichols. More information on Fr. McNichols and his icons is available at