Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Aboard the Polar Bear Express

Something unusual was happening in the 2nd grade classrooms of St. Columbkille Catholic School.

Conductor Makey was giving out
 tickets for the Polar Express!

 It was a day of fun and excitement!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrating Mary as Mother of God

A prayer recited at Compline or the Night Prayer of the Divine Office is:

We fly to your patronage,
O Holy Mother of God;
Despise not our petitions in our necessities,
But deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin

In 1917 an ancient, Egyptian text was discovered using this prayer. This was a surprise as many didn't realize how old the prayer was. Because the prayer uses the term "Mother of God" it was assumed that it could be from just after 431 because that's when the Council of Ephesus declared that Mary was the Mother of God or Theotokos. But scientific tests showed the papyrus dated form no later than the 3rd century. Further research showed that Alexandrian Christians were already calling Mary the Mother of God in the third century.

This is an example of how the people of God experienced Mary and grew from her before the Church officially recognized that dogma. The same was true with calling Mary the Immaculate Conception, which was a widespread practice before the Church officially recognized the term. As a Church we grow through our experiences.

Masses as we celebrate this holy day are:

5:30 and 11:00 p.m.
7:30, 9:00, 10:30 & noon

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Juggling Visit

"Carlos the Rhymer and Juggling Good Timer" stopped by his niece and nephew's classrooms and entertained a bit while he was visiting from South America.

He also told about his travels in South America over the last five years including what life is like in Argentina, Chile and the south end of the world.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Baptisms on the Feast of the Holy Family

On this weekend of the Feast of the Holy Family, it is with great joy that six children have entered the Church through baptism. They are:

Roman Daniel
Jackson James
Nora Amelie
Ava Maureen
George William
Memphis Pearl
George Patrick
Myla Dorothy


Friday, December 26, 2014

Vocations Calendars

If you've picked up one of the calendars, you may have noticed that a portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to support religious vocations.

But don't worry
they're still free to you.
Just stop by & pick one up.

Karly Concert

Our parish is blessed with many fine musicians including Karly Jurgensen who often is the accompanist at the 5 p.m. Sunday Masses. Karly will be playing at the Holy Family Shrine on the Feast of the Holy Family on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. with Mass at 2 p.m.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes Christmas joy can be found in the least expected places – in the smallest and most seemingly insignificant things.

One of my favorite Christmas memories was one such gift.

Several years ago, my extended family decided to try something new on Christmas Eve by letting all the children unwrap a few gifts early. That was a huge hit with the kids, but the next day something unexpected happened.

After the rest of the presents were handed out on Christmas Day, the youngest child in the room, my son David, then 3, said: “Mom, do I have any gifts?”

Apparently he unwrapped whatever presents he had the night before, but no one noticed he had nothing left for Christmas Day. I thought I could make up an excuse and postpone him while I drove off to a Walgreen’s (the only store that might be open) to find a gift. My sister asked what I was doing and told me to wait, that she might be able to find something.

She ran upstairs and came down with two presents: a dog toy she had bought for her pet that could pass for a stuffed animal and a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

And David was delighted.

We have pictures of him standing next to the small, scraggly tree. And even after a year or so had gone by, he said the chew toy was one of his favorite possessions. We’ve never had the heart to tell him that it was meant for a dog. But later, when we had a puppy who became interested in it, he generously gave it to her.

Christmas, I learned, doesn’t have to be complicated. We set high expectations and try to make everything perfect. But for my family anyway, Christmas never turns out perfectly.

And that’s okay.

The best Christmas presents come to us in small packages and in unexpected ways.

And that includes the ultimate Gift we received more than 2,000 years ago.

Merry Christmas!

Inspired by the Year of Faith, Susan Szalewski began writing weekly columns for us. Although that year is over, we liked them so well that we asked her to keep writing. Thankfully, she said yes. So watch for these on Thursdays and see the Year of Faith Blog here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Preparing for Christmas Eve

This afternoon the Children's Choir was busy getting ready for Mass on Christmas Eve. You can celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord with them at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Return of the Homilies

The digital recorder for our sound system had some trouble. We are delighted to let you know that it is repaired and we were able to record the homilies from last weekend. Click here for last weekend's homilies.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Service

On the last day of school before break,while most classes held their Christmas party, a few were doing something to help others enjoy their Christmas.

Students began by decorating bags ...

 ... which they filled with basic necessities 
(which they had collected) for those in need.

 They were able to fill over 160 bags of items.

Then they had some pizza.

Those bags were collected ...

... then delivered to the Lydia House and the Open Door Mission earlier today.

Thank you for your service!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Celebrating Christmas in School

There was a lot of celebrating at St. Columbkille Catholic School. Each was full of unique activities, all designed and run by the parents.

It was a lot of fun!