Saturday, March 31, 2012

Helping Habitat

Churches in Sarpy County are joining together to build a Habitat House on Childs Road. St. Columbkille Parish was asked to raise is asked to provide the windows & doors for the “church build” house. The cost is $3,250.00. After Masses last weekend donations were collected.

You generously donated

And perhaps even better 26 people signed up to help with the church build. Anyone still interested in helping can contact Sr. Jean Marie Faltus.

God bless everyone who helped!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Ham Sandwich Parable

Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. There is a narrow exception for kosher catering halls attached to synagogues, since they serve mostly members of that synagogue, but kosher delicatessens are still subject to the mandate.

The Orthodox Jewish community—whose members run kosher delis and many other restaurants and grocers besides—expresses its outrage at the new government mandate. And they are joined by others who have no problem eating pork—not just the many Jews who eat pork, but people of all faiths—because these others recognize the threat to the principle of religious liberty. They recognize as well the practical impact of the damage to that principle. They know that, if the mandate stands, they might be the next ones forced—under threat of severe government sanction—to violate their most deeply held beliefs, especially their unpopular beliefs.

Meanwhile, those who support the mandate respond, “But pork is good for you. It is, after all, the other white meat.” Other supporters add, “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.” Still others say, “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.”

Those proposing the new law claim to hear and understand the concerns of kosher deli owners, and offer them a new “accommodation.” You are free to call yourself a kosher deli; you are free not to place ham sandwiches on your menu; you are free not to be the person to prepare the sandwich and hand it over the counter to the customer. But we will force your meat supplier to set up a kiosk on your premises, and to offer, prepare, and serve ham sandwiches to all of your customers, free of charge to them. And when you get your monthly bill from your meat supplier, it will include the cost of any of the “free” ham sandwiches that your customers may accept. And you will, of course, be required to pay that bill.

Some who supported the deli owners initially began to celebrate the fact that ham sandwiches didn’t need to be on the menu, and didn’t need to be prepared or served by the deli itself. But on closer examination, they noticed three troubling things. First, all kosher delis will still be forced to pay for the ham sandwiches. Second, many of the kosher delis’ meat suppliers, themselves, are forbidden in conscience from offering, preparing, or serving pork to anyone. Third, there are many kosher delis that are their own meat supplier, so the mandate to offer, prepare, and serve the ham sandwich still falls on them.

It is absurd for someone to come into a kosher deli and demand a ham sandwich; that it is beyond absurd for that private demand to be backed with the coercive power of the state; that it is downright surreal to apply this coercive power when the customer can get the same sandwich cheaply, or even free, just a few doors down.

Will our nation continue to be one committed to religious liberty and diversity?

Above are excerpts from Bishop William Lori's testimony before Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at the United States House of Representatives on February 16, 2012. Obviously he is using this parable to show the injustice of the HHS mandate. You can read his testimony in it's entirety here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Living Stations of the Cross

Last night our TEEN Faith group led the
community in Living Stations of the Cross.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Helping in Lent

Principal Janet Wilson from St. Matthew Catholic School, Principal Dana Martin from Holy Ghost Catholic School, Principal Dr. Cheryl Blue of St. Columbkille Catholic School and Principal Lynn Schultz from St. Bernadette Catholic School coordinated the four schools to come together for a common lenten project helping the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.

Students from all four schools collected items like school supplies, books, toothbrushes, shampoos, and other items for families who need them.

In addition, stuffed animals were collected to be given to the police in Papillion, La Vista and Bellevue so the officers can give them to children in times of stress.

The 8th grade students from all four schools gathered at St. Columbkille yesterday to sort these items for families. Each student got a bag and collected items from each of the areas.

These were given to the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.

Then the students had snacks.

It was good for the students to meet people from other schools. They were able to talk about a variety of things such as comparing school lunches and High School plans.

 Then everyone lined up for a group picture.

Thank you for coming together and helping those in need!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Islamic Neighbors

Last night we continued "Getting to Know our Neighbors" as Mr. Chaka Muhammad Benson visited speaking as an American Muslim about his faith and traditions.

Of the 1.8 Billion Muslims in the world, only 18% are Arab. Of the American Muslims, Arabs are only 25%. So not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs.

Mr. Benson related that a man came to the Prophet and asked him, "Who amongst his near one had the greatest right over him?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother". The man then asked, "Who after that?" to which the Prophet replied again, "Your mother". Asked who is next, the Prophet again replied, "Your mother." When the man asked who after that, the Prophet said, "Your father."

Thus the place of a mother is very important in Islam.

We continue our discussions next Monday at 7 p.m.
 in the Steinhausen Center.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today We Celebrate the Annunciation

“The Annunciation,” by Denise Levertov
We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
almost always a lectern, a book; always the tall lily.

Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.

But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentionscourage.
The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.

God waited.

She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.

Aren’t there annunciations
of one sort or anotherin most lives?
Some unwillingly
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,

More often
those moments
when roads of light and storm
open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from
in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair
and with relief.

Ordinary lives continue.
God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.

She had been a child who played, ate, slept
like any other child – but unlike others,
wept only for pity, laughed
in joy not triumph.

Compassion and intelligence
fused in her, indivisible.
Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
only asked
a simple, ‘How can this be?’
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel’s reply,
perceiving instantly
the astounding ministry she was offered:
to bear in her womb

Infinite weight and lightness;
to carryin hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,
the sum of power -
in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.

Then bring to birth,
push out into air, a Man-child
needing, like any other,
milk and love -

but who was God.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

She Cried

A little girl cried when she came to Mass today. She wanted to see Jesus.

In the United States the practise of covering images and crosses may be observed. This seperation is meant to be painful, as it was for the little girl and as it was for Mary Magdalene when she searched for Jesus' body on Easter morning.

Hopefully this brings greater joy at the reunion. Crosses remain covered until the celebration of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday, but images remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Folks were out getting the ballfields game ready.

One of the exciting additions is the dugouts for the newest field.

Thank you to everyone who came out to help!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Standing up for Religious Freedom

Knowing that parking could be difficult around the Federal Building during the Rally for Religious Freedom in Omaha today, many people parked at St. Peter's Church and were shuttled by buses.

 Fr. Cook was there welcoming and herding people into place.

There were a number of speakers lined up.

It was great just to mingle with other concerned citizens.

 In addition to the talks, there were prayers
 and songs like "God Bless America."

At the end balloons were released taking
our prayers and concerns up to God.

Here is the talk from Archbishop George Lucas:

And here is Dr. Lloyd Pierre from the Sancta Familia Medical Apostolate:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It looks (and feels) like Spring

Fr Vogel on KVSS this morning!

This morning Fr Vogel is on KVSS. He's pictured above with Rachel of "Daybreak with TJ and Rachel." The show starts at 6:30 a.m. and you may want to be listening by 7:00. So get to KVSS and listen this morning. (Or check out the archive if you miss it.)

The topic? Expect something about science and our faith.