Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
ArtReach will have a showing of art from all grades on Tuesday.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A lot of the stuff I saw at the hospital, I can’t tell you about.
It’s the kind of stuff that makes you cover your kids’ eyes. I wanted to cover mine.
What I can tell you about is St. Francois de Sales, the CRS-supported hospital that was almost destroyed in the earthquake but is now once again taking care of people. The Haitians there will break your heart.
Like Sara. A 6-year-old with what seems to be a left leg broken in multiple places. The quake buckled her house and she was trapped under it for a few hours. She was finally pulled out and now she’s here. Laying in a white undershirt and a diaper fashioned out of bandages. Her mom, wearing a red beret, sits next to her and spoons rice and beans into Sara’s mouth from a Styrofoam container. Neither of them smile.
Many of the people at the hospital were trapped in rubble and have the ghastly injuries to prove it.
Some were trapped for a few minutes, others for a few hours. Most of them sat on the floor in the heat and stink of various hospitals around the city.
They waited patiently to be helped by medical staff that were bombarded with people broken apart, being carried in on doors and tables and any flat surface people could find. At night, the injured slept in the street and hoped that tomorrow would be better.
Hovering over Sara was Dr. Guesly Delva, a Haitian who now works in Baltimore, MD, at the Institute of Human Virology. He’s lived in the United States for 15 years. He went to medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans.
“I was dreadful of coming here because of what I was seeing on TV,” he says. “I broke down the first night.”
And now he’s here, hovering over Sara, speaking to her mom in Creole, the language he grew up with. As the day wears on, and the more bandages he peels back, the more his face sinks.
“I feel a sense of desperation,” he says. “There’s so much to do. I know that we’re probably not going to have enough time or resources to relieve all the pain and suffering.”
Ninety-nine percent of the people at the hospital are trauma cases. Stessy Jeannot, 18-months old, asleep on a bed in a frilly skirt and red velvet top, had part of her hand crushed. Dore Lalanne, 12, sleeping in his underwear next to a French bible, has severely injured legs. Still he’s in a good mood and brightens up when the subject of soccer, and his favorite player, Messi, the Argentine, comes up.
Seeing the kids was rough. But it was good to know they were finally getting help. The toughest part for me was when a doctor rushed up and asked for me to follow him.
We wound our way through the patients. His walk had an urgency about it that made me uncomfortable. He led me to a blond-haired Belgian doctor, holding a 1-year-old little girl named Shleidem who was resting her head against the doctor’s chest.
On a bed next to her, Shleidem’s mom, Vanessa, 24, was getting ready to go into surgery. Her leg had a deep, ugly cut in it. The wound needed cleaning and suturing. These people lost their house, the Belgian doctor, told me. Can you find a place for them to stay?
There had been a mistake. They saw me jotting down notes earlier and mistook me for a counselor. And, unbeknownst to me, word had spread that I could help families find a place to stay.
“I’m afraid for the baby,” said Dieuness, Shleidem’s father. “We have no place to go.”
‘Courage,’ I told him, a phrase that’s frequently heard now. Nothing else seemed appropriate.
I knew that word wasn’t enough. But I also knew that without St. Francois de Sales, Vanessa’s leg may have become infected and Sara would never have had someone like Dr. Delva helping her.
It was only a few days ago that patients lay listless in the courtyard here. The doctors seemed shell shocked when they told me during the quake the pediatrics ward collapsed on the maternity ward that collapsed on some surgery rooms. Nobody knows how many people are trapped inside. Some say 50. Others say 75. The truth is, nobody knows.
Things seemed so hopeless that the medical director considered closing the hospital down. Then Anna van Rooyen showed up.
Anna’s got a personality that won’t quit. She speaks four languages and can multitask like a pro. Most impressive: Even in the chaos of Port au Prince, she has a sense of humor.
She’s determined to get St. Francois de Sales, built in 1881 and one of the oldest hospitals in Port au Prince, up and running again. She works on the AidsRelief team. The consortium, that includes CRS, partners with St. Francois de Sales. After the earthquake, Anna was named the head of CRS’ emergency health response. She helped organize the visit of a team of Belgium doctors and firefighters. The firemen dug into the rubble of the hospital and accessed the medical supply room. Anna arranged for more medical supplies. Volunteer nurses and doctors from around the city started examining people in the courtyard. She got people cleaning up a building that had not collapsed, one that CRS helped build; it would serve as the operating room. She even got the hospital an ambulance.
Now three operating rooms are going at once; They do a lot of amputations and debridement. A refrigerator was pulled out of a destroyed building and cleaned up to be used for blood storage. Anna contacted the United Nations for blood.St. Francois de Sales is back up and running.
The best news: University of Maryland surgeons should be arriving shortly.
This crushed landmark is going to rise again.
Anna is sure of it.
Lane Hartill, regional information officer, sent this report from the ground in Port au Prince, Haiti.
Monday, January 25, 2010
It is just 40 days from today until Columb's Ceili. This is a signature dinner for the parish. This is where Fr. Damian awards the Spirit of St. Columbkille Awards, the parish auction and dancing. This year will also include a live band: ShurThing!
Friday, January 22, 2010
The pictures below are some of the ones Fr. Wee has taken on previous trips.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Dear family and friends of the Guatemala mission group,
I have received a couple of inquiries from some of you about a news item that was released around lunchtime today. This morning there was an earthquake off the coast of Guatemala about 60 miles from Guatemala City. We immediately contacted the mission group through Bruce McGregor of KVSS who called his wife Kris. We were relieved to find out that they were not even aware of it. Not only had they experienced nothing, they had no news nor had they received any phone calls (from Guatemalan associates) about it.
Katie Zimmer left a voicemail shortly after that just saying: “Please let family and friends know that we are doing wonderfully well and have been totally unaware of this occurrence.”
From what I’ve read online, it looks like people in Guatemala City felt the tremors in Guatemala City but (at least so far) the news doesn’t indicate that there was much damage. Since the group is flying out of Guatemala City on Wednesday, our travel agent is checking with the airlines to make sure all is well at the airport.
One of the articles online explained that the Guatemala quake occurred 60 miles or more underground. The Haitian quake was “surface”…only five miles underground which makes a big difference.
Please know that Terry Wood, Bruce McGregor and I will be staying in contact with one another and keeping an eye on the news.
If you hear from your loved ones and have any updates or news, please let me know and I will pass it on.
People pass by a house whose interiors are exposed from Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince January 12, 2010. Tens of thousands of people were feared dead on Wednesday in Haiti's catastrophic earthquake, buried beneath demolished schools, hospitals, and homes, and traumatized citizens milled in streets strewn with rubble and scattered bodies.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, is responding to victims of the massive earthquake in Haiti. CRS Country Representative in Haiti, Karel Zelenka, described Port-au-Prince as "covered with a plume of dust from damaged buildings."
"I've been in earthquakes before, but I've never felt anything like this," Zelenka said, speaking from the city of two million people. "This was a major hit. And it was direct. We should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured."
To donate, please call 1-877-HELP-CRS or text "RELIEF" to 30644. You can also donate online at http://www.crs.org/ or send a check to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. In the memo portion of your check, please write: Haiti Earthquake
For more information, please visit http://www.crs.org/
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Of course, what more could she say?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Let's send one back!
From Sunday, January 24 to Saturday, January 30
we will be praying for "Our Parish" 24/7.
You can be part of thei "STORM" by signing up to pray
in the chapel for one or more hours that week.
Send your name - phone number - day(s) - hour(s)
that you will come to chapel and pray for Our Parish
to Sr. Jean Marie Faltus or call her at 593-9214.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Sarah has dedicated her life to sharing with other Catholics the riches of Sacred Scripture as seen through the eyes of the Church. Sarah is editor of The Great Adventure Bible Study series and co-author of three Great Adventure studies: The Bible Timeline, Matthew, and Acts. Sarah has been a Bible study teacher since 1999. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study (CSS) for Catholic Exchange and is co-author of two Bible studies on Genesis, published by Emmaus Road. She has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. Sarah lives near Philadelphia with her husband, Mark, and their four children.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Today Archbishop Lucas released this statement:
Our hearts and our prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in Haiti who are so devastated by the effects of the earthquake earlier this week. Catholic Relief Services, the overseas aid agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, already has a strong presence in Haiti and has been able to commit an initial $5 million in aid. We know much more will be needed.
I ask our pastors to take up a second collection this weekend, January 16-17, to assist the relief efforts of CRS in Haiti. The proceeds of this collection should be forwarded to the chancery in the normal manner as soon as possible. Additional funds received in parishes during the coming weeks should also be forwarded to the chancery, and we will send these donations on to CRS as soon as we receive them.
I also ask that prayers for the people of Haiti be offered at all Masses during the coming weeks. I give thanks in advance to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Omaha for your generous response to our neighbors who are now in such critical need of our support.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Sharp shooters: Practice your free throws for the Knights of Columbus Annual Free Throw contest, Friday, January 15, in the school gym. Children age 9-14 are eligible. All boys and girls, recreational or competitive, are encouraged to participate. Each participant will receive a certificate.
Runners-up in each boy‘s and girl‘s age bracket will receive a commemorative basketball with winners receiving a plaque and continued shooting into the next round at Districts. Former St. Columbkille champions have gone on to win Districts, Regionals, and even the Nebraska State Championship!
Boys & girls ages 9-11,
6 p.m.— 6:45 p.m.
Boy & girls ages 12-14,
7:15 p.m.— 8 p.m.
Concession stand will be open 5:30 p.m. — 8 p.m.
Sign-up sheets are available at the Steinhausen Center. If you have any questions, please contact Frank Colabello at 596-1328.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
This weekend at all of the Masses we will hear from Pat Cooley (top right) about his experience.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Although they will get away from our snow, they are visiting a mountainous region, not a tropical one.
For the International Flight, each person will bring one suitcase filled with medicines and another for themselves.
They are very thankful for all the donated medicine that will benefit the people of the Diocese of Huehuetenango.