Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcoming our Neighbor

Following Pope Benedict's encouragement, we are getting to know our Jewish and Islamic neighbors this Lent. Last night was the first of three sessions Rabbi Aryeh Azriel of Temple Israel will be with us. Then we will spend three weeks with Mr. Chaka Muhannad Benson as we learn about the Islamic community in Omaha and their beliefs.

Together we share the Abraham as a Father in faith. Rabbi Azriel spoke last night about Abraham and the lessons the Jewish community draws from knowing them.

He was very relaxed, even entertaining, as he talked and interacted. He said he loves reading anti-Semitic material because, even though there are only 15 million Jews in the world, the anti-Semitics write of how Jews control the banks and Hollywood and even President Obama. He said it is exciting to read of such power, but when he reads Jewish material it is much more depressing.

When asked, "Can anyone come to the synagogue and pray?" He answered, "No, you must have an Iranian passport." As the laughter died down he continued, "Of course anyone can come and pray with us. Like you we have most of our services on the weekend."

Monday will be the next session covering "Jewish Values and Ethics: What Does God Demand of Us?"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a Style Fundraising Event

March 1st from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
10% of all Chico's proceeds
will benefit St. Columbkille Catholic School

You can also meet and get tips from our very own best dressed list and frequent Chico's shoppers including Dr. Blue, Mary Lyn Loeffler, Meg Faher and Katie Rainbolt. Kay from "Body by Via" will be on hand serving healthy shakes. There will also be a "Sneek Peek" at some of the "Classroom Creations" which will be offerred at Columb's Ceili. You can win your teacher a special surprise by simply showing up.

The proceeds raised will go towards a Student Response System.

A system similar to this will allow teachers to get
instant responses from their students during class.

So enjoy Chico's Thursday night!

Monday, February 27, 2012

It was great to have you!

St. Columbkille Catholic School was delighted to have four Korean students study with us for the last few months. Kevin and Shawn each studied with one of our 6th grade classes while Grace and Christy each studied with one of our 5th grade classes.

Besides being a chance for the exchange students to learn about us, it also gave our students a better perspective of the world around us and realize that all over the world kids are very much alike. Today was their last day with us.

As you return home, we hope you always remember us.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lent: There's an App

The publishers of the Magnificat, used by many of our parishioners, have also created a Lenten app which can be used with an iPhone, iPad or as an Ebook. You can see details here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fish Fry Video

This video is from a couple years ago, but it's the same great Fish Fry here during Lenten Fridays.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stations of the Cross

This afternoon Fr. Vogel led the 3rd and 4th graders of
St. Columbkille Catholic School in the Stations of the Cross.

Each Friday evening during Lent we will have
Stations of the Cross at 6 p.m. in the church.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scout Sunday

Our scouts but in a lot of work on projects
to earn their religious emblems.

They reviewed their work and explained what they
learned in an interview with one of our deacons.
On Scout Sunday Fr. Vogel presented the awards.

Congratulations to our Scouts!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ashes in Preschool

On Ash Wednesday Deacon Krueger visited
 the Preschool for a short Lenten Service.

He read the day's Gospel and we talked a little about it.

Deacon Krueger blessed the ashes then made
the sign of the cross on our forehead.

We finished the service with the Our Father.

It was a special way to begin the Lenten Season.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ash Wednesday is Tomorrow

There are Masses tomorrow at: 6:20, 8:15 a.m., 12:10, 5:30 & 7 p.m.

Observing the Practice of the Lenten Fast
The U.S. Catholic bishops call for all Catholics 14 years and older to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and the Fridays of Lent. Catholics who are 18 to 59 years old are to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting refers to the quantity of food eaten. Traditionally, fasting calls for refraining from eating between meals and consuming only one full meal per day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 Years in the Basement

For the last thirty years some of the stained glass windows from our second church (where the Steinhausen Center now stands) have been in the basement of the Parish Office (the old Rectory.) The window pictured above was once in the entry of the church.

After 30 years in a corner of the basement our experts expected to find the windows warped or broken. But they didn't know how well Don Schram and his friends crated these. Still, with two windows per crate, it was difficult to even guess what the image was.

We were reluctant to open a crate because it was so well preserved. But we decided to open just one to see the image and show it to our architect. If we had to re-create windows like this, it would be out of our budget.

Unlike the stained glass we just placed in the clerestory, these pieces of glass were individually painted then fired in a kiln. The indiviual pieces were then put together with lead. This is the way stained glass windows have been made for churches around the world.

This one is of the 12 year old Jesus teaching in the Temple.
 It looks very nice in the sunlight.

At the early meetings many parishioners suggested we try to incorporate some of these stained glass windows into a new Eucharistic Chapel. It's because of their comments that we went into the basement to look. The one above has been shown to our achitect and he said four panels like this one could be used in the new Chapel. Karen Conoan was able to direct us to a list of the windows so we didn't have to open any crates yet.

The two sets (four panels) that seem to make sense for a Eucharistic Chapel are Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (The Agony in the Garden) and another of an Angel telling of the Resurrection of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and her companions by an empty tomb. Those four panels have not been opened yet, but from the looks of the crates, they should be in good shape.

It was wonderful to find such treasures in the basement.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We Ceili in 20 days

Columb's Ceili [Kay-Lee] is our annual dinner where over 400 parishioners and friends gather for an evening of Friendship, Community and Celebration. Ceili is a Gaelic word that means community party. Columb is the given name of our parish's patron, St. Columbkille. So Columb's Ceili is the appropriate title for this celebration of our parish family.

Besides a nice dinner, the annual Spirit of St. Columbkille awards are given out. There is also a silent auction, a live auction. But don't forget about the dancing!

For more information or to make your reservation

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Her Month

Family Spectrum Magazine has named Terri English as the February Teacher of the month. Mrs. English teaches first grade at St. Columbkille Catholic School. You can read the article here.

Congratulations Mrs. English!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fat Friday is TONIGHT, but that's not all

The Fish Fries start next week. Tonight it's time to see what the Grill Masters can do with Hamburgers, Sausages and Hot Dogs. They are letting everyone know they have a fully stocked condiment bar so you can get everything just right.

But That's Not All
This year Fat Friday isn't just a celebration of our parish family, it's also a Fund-Raiser for one of our families who could use some help. Kevin Plasek is pictured above, back in the center. His family has experienced a number of things fairly recently:
  • Numerous trips to Dallas for doctor visits and five surgeries for cancer in his scalp
  • Challenging pregnancy/delivery of their 5th child and post-op surgery for Colleen
  • A near fatal car accident requiring knee surgery to repair PCL.
  • Missed work for all the above
  • Oldest son Jeremiah, had surgery and has Autism, Asperger Syndrome requiring specialized care

So this year's dinner the Knights will donate all profits to their Brother Knight Kevin Plasek and his family to help wiith Medical bills.

There will also be French Fries, Mac & Cheese and Cole Slaw. To quench your thirst there is pop, beer or wine. As if that's not enough, check out there is a dessert bar to complete your meal.

It's all tonight in the Social Hall from 5 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Training Servers

 This week Fr. Vogel spent two evenings working with Servers.
 They went through the Mass and did everything
 they do during Mass, but in a relaxed setting.

On Monday he was working with current servers.

On Tuesday he was training new servers.

Training continues next week so everyone is refreshed before Lent.

New Server Training
Monday, February 20
6:30 to 7:30
This is open to anyone in 4th grade or older who would like to become a server. A parent is requested to come and fill out a form at the start of the session.

Server Training
Tuesday, February 21
6:30 to 7:30
If any current servers were unable to attend the training this week, they are asked to attend Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wow, This Must Matter

So the Department of Health an Human services made a rule requiring all health insurance companies to provide sterilization procedures, contraception including the “morning after pill” (which can cause spontaneous abortions) and tubal ligation.

In response Cardinal-designate Tim Dolan (president of the USCCB) immediate spoke out against it in video, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have been publishing things like the six things people ought to know, and our own Archbishop George Lucas had a letter in our bulletin February 5th, will have another this weekend and has said "We will not comply" in his podcast (at the link, look to the bottom right under 'Podcasts' for the 2/3 podcast.) The Army said that a letter written by Archbishop Broglio could not be read at Mass because they thought it sounded like a call to civil disobedience.

So why are all of these old, celibate
dudes so excited about this?

It must matter.

While the Wall Street Journal has has called the mandate unconstitutional and illegal, on the underlying principle, a Business Journal has declared it is Time to Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control. Dr. Janet Smith points out how prophetically accurate Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae was on birth control.

Maybe we ought know
more about this teaching?

While one of the expectations of parishioners at St. Columbkille Parish is to believe the teachings of the Church, we don't say everyone must do this with blind faith. If you question or disagree with this teaching, we encourage you to study it closer. There are resources available for that.

Hidden on the Omaha Archdiocese's website is a video teaching on Humanae Vitae by Archbishop Lucas. Archbishop Lucas said that Pope John Paul II took Humanae Vitae and "put it to music" with his teaching on the Theology of the Body. The teachings that came to be known as the Theology of the Body were not made to counter birth control, but to show the inherent dignity in the Human Being. When understand, it is obvious that birth control contradicts that truth.

In our diocese, the Family Life Office has developed a three hour "come and see” class on the beauty of marital intimacy and responsible love which includes education on the biological basis of NFP and details on charts and usage statistics; all in the context of the Church's care for us.  The class is led by certified teachers from the Couple-to-Couple League and FertilityCare Centers.  Couples attending have the opportunity to ask candid questions of practicing NFP couples as well as spend time in couple prayer and discussion.  The cost is $25 per couple.  For more information, contact Heidi Emanuel at the Family Life Office at 402.551.9003. (Unfortunately there are not dates for it online.)

As you understand this, you may ask:

What should I do
to oppose this?

While the US Bishops have advocated an online petition with pre-written text asking for your Congressman to co-sponsor legislation against it, the reality is that Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is THE sponsor of the legislation which he introduced about 11 months ago (well before this rule was made.) So it would be appropriate to write him and say thanks. You could also contact Congressman Lee Terry, Senator Ben Nelson and Senator Mike Johanns, all of whom have expressed their opposition to the HHS mandate. 

What Else?

It is important to know your faith so you can discuss this with others when it comes up. Also, as one woman points out, this is an issue that should be taken up with your doctor. Stacy Trasancos wrote:

It is I who should have been decrying this all along. It’s not just unacceptable for the doctor to push it on a Catholic woman, it’s unacceptable for any doctor in any Catholic institution to even make it available, and women have the unique opportunity to say so directly to the doctors they visit. How many do that though?

Think about it. If a doctor is willing to prescribe abortifacient drugs or abortifacient devices, then the doctor is willing to induce abortions. If we wouldn’t let a practicing sex offender examine our children, then why for Heaven’s sake would we let a practicing abortionist deliver them?

Unless I have looked at every doctor along the way for the last three decades in the face and told them why contraception, sterilization and abortion are immoral, and demanded they stop offering it lest I seek new medical professionals to care for my body and my family, then I really have no foundation for any outrage today at all. Yes, I confess, I’ve walked out of doctor’s offices and ignored the contraception ads hanging on the wall, just glad I did “the right thing.” But I failed. I should have spoken up, right then, right there, directly to the medical professionals.

Mea culpa

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Parties

The afternoon at St. Columbkille Catholic School
was busy with Valentine's Day parties.

There were many crafts being done ...

... and gifts made.

It's a fun day to celebrate with our friends.

Happy Valentine's Day!