Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fr. Emanuel is With Us

Fr. Emmanuel, MSP has arrived at St. Columbkille. He is one of over 200 priests who are members of the Missionary Society of St. Paul founded in Nigeria in 1977. He will be speaking as part of our annual missionary appeal. (We misunderstood and wrongly listed the name of another priest and last and next weekend's bulletin.) Having Fr. Emmanuel here as well as Fr Steve Emanuel might be a little confusing this weekend.

Today Fr. Vogel showed him around the parish and let him know a little bit about us.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Eagle

 Sunday night was the Court of Honor as
 William Pryor became an Eagle Scout.

 As William took the oath, every Eagle Scout took the oath with him.

 William has worked hard on this process for years.

 It was a blessing that Eagle Scout Fr. Norman
 was able to particapate in the ceremony.

Congratulations William!

Monday, July 29, 2013

World Youth Day

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln (center in the hat) was among those blogging for the National Catholic Register on the experience of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He previously attended World Youth Days in Denver, Paris, Rome, Sydney, and Madrid. Read his latest post here.

The 2016 World Youth Day will be in Krakow, Poland.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Farewell to our Transitional Deacon

I leave today to go to a retreat for then seminarians, then a family reunion, my grandparents are celebrating their 60th anniversary. Then preparing to go back to school. Then I cook for 400 new guys in the seminary for a week because I'm in charge of food for orientation.

I'll be busier when I leave. 

I would like to say thank you for a great summer. I've had a lot of great experiences here. Four baptisms, three wakes, helping with funerals and lot and lots of preaching which I think you can tell I enjoy.

Thank you,
Deacon Matt Capadano

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Cure for Acedia

It's 3 o'clock in the morning, and I'm sitting aimlessly at a computer.

I've spent hours here, avoiding the inevitable. I've checked emails, listened to music on YouTube and pinned all sorts of pretty and interesting things on Pinterest. While I was avoiding writing for this blog, I should have checked out a Web site named Because that's what I do. I waste so much time.

I've known for a long time that I suffer from the sin of sloth. Recently I learned another name for the distinctly spiritual aspect of my ailment: acedia.

I'm still trying to learn about acedia. From what I have read, the symptoms can be described as listlessness, inertia, boredom and inattentiveness toward duties or prayer. One of my favorite definitions listed the words "langour" and "torpor." A dictionary definition of torpor used as an example the feeling one might have after eating Thanksgiving dinner. Yep, that's how I feel sometimes, like I'm in a food-induced coma. Even thinking about acedia makes me want to take a nap.

Acedia's effect on the the soul can be likened to what depression or A.D.H.D. are to mental health. Like depression, there is a sadness and weariness to it. Like an attention deficit disorder, acedia steals one's ability to focus on obligations to God and others.

But acedia is not exactly an illness or a feeling. It's a sin.

Acedia has been referred to as the "noonday devil" of Psalm 91. I can relate to this demon's attacks as well as to to the line from St. Matthew's Gospel: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 

In my weakness, I turn from God and His goodness toward far lesser pursuits. Instead of giving Him my all, I develop little addictions to things like computer games or become obsessive in reading news stories and political opinions.

In my heart I know: I have better things to do! My spiritual laziness is an obstacle between me and God; it keeps me from doing His will. St. John's Gospel tells us that apart from God we cannot bear fruit and share fully in His joy. I don't want to be separated from God.

The cure for acedia, according to at least one spiritual adviser, is work. At first blush I was surprised by that answer. Rededicating oneself to work and prayer requires constancy, perseverance, and yes, a routine. And it seems counter-intuitive that repetition would help a bored, inattentive soul. 

But God's ways don't always make sense to us. Further thought reminded me that we have two ways to keep from sinning: fight or flight. Work could help in both ways. The mortal enemy of laziness would have to be work, and if I stay busy at work and prayer, I might not be as tempted to find solace at a computer screen or other escape hatch.

Prayer and laboring for God are both vehicles for His grace. And only through His grace can I draw closer to Him and away from sin.

Inspired by this Year of Faith we will be posting columns like this from Susan Szalewski about exploring and/or deepening our faith. Watch for it on Thursdays and see the Year of Faith Blog here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Carpeting without Power

The electricity may have been out this afternoon, but the carpeting in the school offices continued.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Finishing Touches on the Construction

Above and below you can see the difference of putting tile on the floor by the elevator in the Social Level of the church.

You also may have noticed that the railings by the southeast entrance have received its first coat of paint.

In addition, the awning now has a metal cover on it (below) to match the awning on the south side of the Social Level entrance.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Few Good Quotes

Who doesn't appreciate a good quote, words artistically strung together and packed with meaning? 

To entice you to read Pope Francis' new encyclical letter "Lumen Fidei" (The Light of Faith), I offer you some of my favorite quotes from the encyclical. Most of it was written by Pope Benedict XVI, but Pope Francis added his own insights to the unfinished work and recently released it to the faithful. Some of the quotes I selected are just a phrase or a few words, but all of the quotes spoke to my heart.

"We 'believe' Jesus when we accept His word, His testimony, because He is truthful. We 'believe in' Jesus when we personally welcome Him into our lives and journey towards Him, clinging to Him in love and following in His footsteps along the way."

"Those who believe come to see themselves in the light of the faith which they profess: Christ is the mirror in which they find their own image fully realized."

"Christians are 'one' (cf. Gal 3:28), yet in a way which does not make them lose their individuality; in service to others, they come into their own in the highest degree."

Faith "is meant to find expression in words and to be proclaimed."

". . . we need knowledge, we need truth, because without these we cannot stand firm, we cannot move forward."

Faith has an "intrinsic link to truth." And related to that thought: we have a "crisis of truth in our age."

"Faith transforms the whole person precisely to the extent that he or she becomes open to love."

". . . Love aims at union with the beloved. Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to the truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time. True love, on the other hand, unifies all elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing the way to a great and fulfilled life. Without truth, love is incapable of establishing a firm bond; it cannot liberate our isolated ego or redeem it from the fleeting moment in order to create life and bear fruit."

"By His taking flesh and coming among us, Jesus has touched us, and through the Sacraments He continues to touch us even today; transforming our hearts, He unceasingly enables us to acknowledge and acclaim Him as the Son of God. In faith, we can touch Him and receive the power of His grace. Saint Augustine, commenting on the account of the woman suffering from hemorrhages, who touched Jesus and was cured (cf. Luke 8:45-46), says: 'To touch Him with our hearts: that is what it means to believe.' "

". . . believers know that, rather than ourselves possessing truth, it is truth which embraces and possesses us."

"What other reward can God give to those who seek Him, if not to let Himself be found."

My favorite quote of all might be the apt description  of our Lord as "the God of perpetual surprises."

If you have read "Lumen Fidei," please share your own favorite quotes or thoughts. If not, I encourage you to read the encyclical and let it speak to your heart.

 Inspired by this Year of Faith we will be posting columns like this from Susan Szalewski about exploring and/or deepening our faith. Watch for it on Thursdays and see the Year of Faith Blog here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Times on our new Principal

St. Columbkille names principal
Meet the new boss.

St. Columbkille School hired its new principal last April, and he knows he has big shoes to fill.

Jim Makey started his new job this month, and is looking forward to his first year as principal. Makey, of Guthrie Center, Iowa, has been an educator for 33 years. His most recent job was principal at Logan Magnolia Elementary School in Logan, Iowa.

Working at a private Catholic school will be a new experience for him.

“I’ve been in public schools my whole life, so this is a switch for me,” he said.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Adding to Kindergarten

Due to increased enrollment, St. Columbkille Catholic School is in the process of interviewing for a third kindergarten teacher. Because of this, we now have additional openings for kindergartners starting this August.

If you, or someone you know of,  has a child ready to start kindergarten this year, and you're looking for a school with strong Catholic values and good academics, please send an email to:, or call 339-8706. 

We also have a few openings left for 1st graders and 8th graders.