Thursday, June 30, 2011

Boys of Summer

So before two of the Crusader Coach Pitch teams played their final game, what did they do?

Then it was game time.

We can hardly wait 'til next year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary Pope Benedict!

Today is the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Pope Benedict XVI. To celebrate, the Vatican has suggested the gift of one hour of Eucharistic Adoration praying for priests and vocations. We are suggesting you do that sometime between today and Friday. Friday is a day of prayer for priests. Our Teen Faith are leading an Hour of Power tonight at 9 p.m. to celebrate this milestone.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Body and Blood of Christ

One of our parishioners, Shannon Zurcher, is a FOCUS missionary who has been serving at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The following was written by Deb Happ who will be a Junior next year.

“Isn’t that cool?! We are all really connected in the Eucharist!” I paused, absorbing the statement that I had just heard. Then Shannon spoke again, “No matter where we go we will be connected, because we are one in the Body of Christ, the Eucharist.” I began to nod slowly until wham, it hit me and everything clicked; it changed the way I saw everything. “Wow so if we are all in Jesus because He brings us into Himself, and if Jesus is within every single one of us, in our heart… then yeah, we are connected! But then in the Eucharist, this spiritual connection becomes physical, and literally we are one in the Eucharist because we are all receiving the same Body of Christ at communion!”

Deb & Shannon at the UIC
Newman Center
This conversation happened during one of our discipleships this year. We were talking about a new identity in Christ and how every choice we make and everything we do has an impact on the whole world. I didn’t understand it until Shannon explained that it is because we are all connected through the Eucharist. My mind blew in a so many ways that day as my thoughts about what it means to be Catholic expanded. The power of the Eucharist… the Body of Christ… for the first time in my life I felt so happy and blessed to be Catholic as I began to understand the true idea of our global human family through this profound epiphany of what the Eucharist really is.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

What do you give the Pope?

The day Fr. Damian and Matt Lauer were at Pope Benedict's Wednesday audience, Matt gave the pope the crystal cat pictured above. In Vatican City you can walk for miles looking at gifts popes have received. So if you're giving the pope a gift, what do you give?

Part of the reason we ask the question is because the pope celebrates the 60th year of his priesthood on Wednesday. If you don't know what to give him, there is a suggestion:

In honor of his anniversary, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy suggested Catholic clergy and faithful be invited to participate in Eucharistic Adoration with the intention of praying for the sanctification of the clergy and for the gift of new and holy priestly vocations.

At St. Columbkille we suggest you stop by the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and spend one hour in prayer between Wednesday (his anniversary) and Friday (the World Day of Prayer for Priests.) Our parish youth will lead the Hour of Power Wednesday at 9 p.m., so you could come then.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Inspired by St. John the Baptist

Michael York as John the Baptist
In the 8th century a deacon named Paolo, upon having to sing the exultet on the Easter vigil, found himself hoarse. He prayed to St. John the Baptist and his voice recovered. Thus he wrote a special hymn for St. John the Baptist

This hymn was so widely enjoyed that it was added to the Divine Office as the antiphon for the psalms of the day celebrating the birth of St. John, which is still celebrated as a solemnity on June 24th. The hymn, because of its length, was divided to make up the antiphons for the Evening Prayer on the night before, the vigil prayer during the night and then the Morning Prayer the day of the solemnity. The Latin of the Evening Prayer, i.e. the beginning of the hymn, reads:

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris mira gestorum famuli tuorum, solve polluti labii reatum, Sancte Iohannes

“So that your servants may, with loosened voices, resound the wonders of your deeds, clean the guilt from our stained lips, O Saint John.”

Now in the early 11th century a monk named Guido d’Arezzo found that the hymn fit perfectly for his desire to find a system of solimization. That is, he could use the syllables from the hymn, known so well at the time, as a way of teaching the basic scale of C. Thus:

UT queant laxis REsonare fibris MIra gestorum FAmuli tuorum, SOlve polluti LAbii reatum, Sancte Iohannes

The UT was changed later to DO to remove a syllable that started with an open vowel sound, and was assumed to refer to Domine “Lord,” though the text is actually addressed to St. John. Also, SI was added later from the Sancte Iohannes for the missing note in the scale, but that too was later changed from SI to our now familiar TI. Some suspect this was because of anti-Catholic sentiments.

Thus we have the DO – RE – MI – FA – SO – LA – TI as the simple scale, which is still used as a teaching method in many parts of the world. It should be noted, too, that these come from Gregorian Chant which is the musical tradition that provided humanity with a system for writing music. Few realize that Gregorian Chant is the most influential musical tradition in the history of humanity, regardless if you’re Christian or not. With over a thousand years of use, it was also the longest musical tradition. It is just such a shame that so few Catholics are familiar with it at all or – worse – associate with it a “darkened” age. But don’t get me started on that.

This is a portion from Omar F. A. Gutierrez's March 21, 2011 blog entry
His blog is Regnum Novum.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


You may have noticed the cross shaped
raised bed of dirt north of the parking lot.

 It has been planted.

Produce from this garden will be donated
to the Stephen Center or others in need.

So you can grab your friends and just
 show up any Saturday at 8:00 a.m.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Maintenance

Some of the bathrooms in the Religious Education Building have been painted. They are getting new tile and readied for next year.

Plans are underway for the Extreme Makeover
of the bathrooms in the church as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trinity Sunday

What does the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity tell us about the kind of God we worship and what does this say about the kind of people we should be?

(1) God does not exist in solitary individualism but in a community of love and sharing. God is not a loner. This means that a Christian in search of Godliness (Matthew 5:48) must shun every tendency to isolationism.

(2) True love requires three partners. The Trinity shows us that three is community, three is love at its best; three is not a crowd. When a man A is in love with a woman B they seal the loving by producing a baby C. Father, mother and child -- love when it perfected becomes a trinity.

We are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only in a relationship of three partners. The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with others and a vertical relationship with God. In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. Then we discover that the so-called “I-and-I” principle of unbridled individualism which is acceptable in modern society leaves much to be desired. The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity challenges us to adopt rather an I-and-God-and-neighbour principle. I am a Christian insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and other people. May the grace of the Holy Trinity help us to banish all traces of self-centeredness in our lives and to live in love of God and of neighbour.

(Excerpts from a homily by Fr. Munachi E. Ezeogu, cssp.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sr. Jean Marie's Jubilee

These six women have known each other since they were 13 years old. Five of them were at our parish last weekend to help Sr. Jean Marie Faltus celebrate 50 years of religious service. This weekend Jean Marie is helping them celebrate their 50 year milestone.

The theme at Jean Marie's celebration was on being yeast in the leaven. It was a reminder of how we are all called to be the yeast -- to do our small part to create change around us.

As part of the refreshments there were a variety of breads.

Various breads were also used as centerpieces
as well as some rising dough.

Sr. Jean Marie:
Thank you for 50 years of
being "Yeast in the Leaven."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Farewell to Fr. Wee

A farewell reception was held to give parishioners
a chance to say goodbye to Fr. Wee.

Ordained seven years ago, Fr. Wee has been at St. Columbkille
for four years. He will be the pastor of St. Rose of Lima parish in
Hooper and St. Lawrence in Scribner, Nebraska.

Fr. Wee's last weekend Mass will be Sunday at 10:30.
His final Mass as the Associate Pastor will be
Wednesday, June 22nd at 8:15 a.m.

Thank you Fr. Wee!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fr. Damian visits Summer Religious Formation

This morning Fr. Damian spoke to the 280 students
attending Summer Religious Formation.

He brought along parishioner and seminarian John Norman who is currently studying in Rome. John spoke of vocations in general as well as the call which has brought him to seminary.

Before students went to their classes, the fourth graders led the Our Father using American Sign Language.

Tomorrow will be the last day of the summer session.
Enjoy the rest of summer!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Camp Invention

Last week Camp Invention was held in the Religious Education building. Inventors would sign a time card when they began their work -- just like the workers in Thomas Edison's shop.

There was brainstorming at Inspiration Point
as inventors would design amusment rides.

They built roller coasters.

The inventors were called upon to save Sludge City.
Here they first designed a more econ friendly city ...

 ... then they built it ...

 ... complete with St. Columbkille church.

The inventors also realized the joys (and frustrations)
that real inventors face during the process
of creating totally new inventions.

During the week, inventors worked in teams to create
multi-step inventions using pieces and parts of broken
appliances and other upcycled materials.

On Friday they were able to show their
families everything they had created.

Well done inventors!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Christmas Story

During their Summer Religious Formation, the First Grade class has been learning about the Church seasons. Last week they learned about Christmas. This morning they told the Christmas story to all of the students in Religious Formation.

Here are their posters: