Monday, March 31, 2014

Basketball Wins

Congratulations to the following St. Columbkille basketball teams for their tournament wins

PAL Tournament:
4th grade boys Blue (McMillan/Avalon) - 2nd Place
5th grade boys (Stannard) - 1st Place

CYO Tournament:
2nd grade boys (Pechar/Miller) - 2nd Place
3rd grade boys (Gonzalez/Stultz) - 1st Place
5th grade girls (Weiss/Goodman) - 1st Place
6th grade girls (Caldwell/Epp) - 2nd Place
6th grade boys (Gonzalez/Connolly) - 1st place
7th grade boys (O’Connell) - 1st place

CYO League
6th grade girls (Caldwell/Epp) - 1st Place
Holy Ghost Tournament:
3rd grade boys (Gonzalez/Stultz) - 1st Place
Bellevue Tournament
6th grade girls (Caldwell/Epp) - 1st Place

St. Bernadette Tournament
3rd grade boys (Waldron) - Silver Division Runner Up
3rd grade boys (Gonzalez/Stultz) - Gold Division Runner Up
5th grade boys (Stannard) - Silver Division Champions
8th grade boys (Pietryga) - Silver Division Champions

We have video from one of those championship games:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fr. Norman on Catholic News Service

In this video about Fr. John Norman and the priesthood, Pope Francis has a cameo at about seconds 14-17 in this Catholic News Service story.

Oops ... we mixed that up.

Fr. Norman has a cameo in this video of Pope Francis talking about the priesthood.

It's still cool.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Soup & Stations & Stations & Stations

 Monday and Wednesday was Soup and Stations
 for our families in Religious Formation.

 Families first gathered to together for a meal ...
... then they moved upstairs to pray 
the Stations of the Cross together.

 But they aren't the only groups 
to be praying with the stations.

 Tuesday night those in RCIA 
prayed the Stations together.

Fr. Vogel has been leading school groups in them as well.

Tonight at 6 p.m. we will have 
Stations of the Cross in the church.

But feel free to just stop by sometime
 and pray -- just you and the Stations.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Madness

There's a reason end-of-season basketball is called March Madness.

Even at grade-school level, games can get crazy.

A tournament St. Columbkille teams competed in last weekend exemplified some of the best and worst of that.

Many games went into overtime and double overtime, bringing out the best and worst in players, coaches, fans and referees. Most of it was good: good competition, effort and enthusiasm. But there were bad moments too. A coach and referee got into a brawl, parents criticized referees, referees became confrontational, coaches yelled at kids, etc.

But beyond all that, there were some exceptional moments of athletic competition. Two incidents in particular transcended sports and made me proud to be Catholic and part of a faith-filled community like St. Columbkille. Both involved our fourth-grade boys teams.

The first:

The two fourth-grade teams had to compete against each other in their third game of the tournament. As a parent, I kind of dreaded that match up, fearing the game might become too competitive, pitting friends and classmates against each other. I was running late for the game, but on the way there I prayed that, win or lose for my son, good sportsmanship, friendship and camaraderie would prevail.

My prayer was answered in a big way. Before I got there, players and coaches from both teams joined together for prayer, a Hail Mary while holding hands in a circle. Blue and white jerseys intermingled in the circle. The opposing coach held my son's hand.

The game was intense, bringing out the best in the boys. The victory was by one point, in double overtime. But that last point was amazing.

Lane McMillan was fouled with about 10 seconds to go. He knew one free throw shot would break the tie and probably seal the game. He ran to the free throw line before other players got in position, dropped to his knees, made the sign of the cross and pointed up. Then he readied himself, and swished the ball through the net.

His moment of faith was witnessed by a packed gym, including teams and fans waiting for the next game.

Both teams gathered after the game for photos of all the fourth-graders together. Coaches had stressed good sportsmanship, and the boys seemed to have no problem with that, playing and joking around like normal. So much for my worries.

The second incident:

My son's team, the winner of the St. Columbkille vs. St. Columbkille game, advanced to more competition, but eventually they lost, placing third overall. But even the loss ended up pretty sweet. The St. Columbkille team was being beaten handily; in the final moments of the game knew they couldn't avoid the final outcome. But one thing was left unfinished for the team: one player hadn't had many opportunities to score. So the coach and players made sure he got the ball as the game wound down.

He got an open look -- and sank the ball into the net. Everyone cheered. It was a bright ending to an otherwise dismal loss.

Sports can be crazy, but they give people a chance to shine. Sometimes that happens in the most pleasing, unexpected and faith-filled ways.

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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Server Awards

Last night six of our servers received awards from Archbishop Lucas for their service.Thank you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mary Accepts Her Vocation

Today we celebrate the Annunciation. This was the day the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and asked if she would be willing to take on the vocation of having and raising the Son of God.

Along with celebrating Mary's "Yes," it is a day for us to consider the vocation God asks of us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Parish Sister Sets

The Catholic Voices recently did a story on three sets of sisters in our parish. David Gouger's article begins:

Many adult siblings remain members of parishes they grew up in, building on the family faith foundation with their spouses and children. But at St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, at least three sets of sisters have moved into the parish, keeping their extended families together while embracing a new faith community.

The three Caveye, three Gunia and five Novotny sisters say they enjoy St. Columbkille's active and vibrant parish and school and are grateful that as fellow parishioners they can maintain close relationships with their siblings and families.
 Read more here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Connecting Spirit Mind & Body

On Wednesday Dr. Hand Dethlefs and Fr. Damian led a session on how our physical and Spiritual Health are connected.
Dr. Dethlefs stated his admiration for a colleague who said, "I don't want my patients to be healthy, I want them to be glorious."

Fr. Damian told how his first advice for people desiring to grow spiritually has been to exercise. He also said that he often tells young people, "God knows a lot more about sex than you do."

Fr. Damian said that Dr. Dethlefs did a great job of 
putting this together and could take this "on the road." 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Doug's Big Day

Before Doug McDermott said goodbye to Creighton fans on Senior Night ...

And before he passes 3,000 points in his scoring career ...

 But after he and his teammates warmed up...

Doug got to meet one of our sixth grade basketball teams. It must have been the highlight of his day!

Well ... maybe not. But it was pretty special for our kids who brought a signed basketball to put in our trophy case.

Good luck today!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Righteous Man

The solemnity of St. Joseph falls within the same week of my father's birthday, so this week makes me think of fathers, and what makes a good father.

St. Joseph sets a standard for all dads, including my own. But my father has given me a first-hand look at how ordinary men can be like St. Joseph.

There were two Gospel readings for Wednesday's Mass, one of which tells us St. Joseph "was a righteous man." So I guess fathers first and foremost must be righteous. The reading that preceded the Gospel, from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, spoke of Abraham's "righteousness that comes from faith," a righteousness that "depends on faith, so that it may be a gift."

Abraham "believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations," the first reading said.

My dad lives a "righteousness that comes from faith," and demonstrated that righteousness when he was worked as a union's business agent and had many opportunities to travel for his job. He often turned down the travel, though, because he didn't want to use union money unwisely or for his own pleasure. That would have countered his convictions as a Catholic.

We also know that because St. Joseph was righteous, he was compassionate. He was unwilling to expose Mary to shame and "decided to divorce her quietly."

My father might be compassionate to a fault. One time when a stranger's car broke down, my father helped the man restart it, and loaned him money to buy a new battery. And naturally, the man never returned to pay my father back. But I'm certain my father wouldn't hesitate to offer the same help again.

He lives Jesus' teaching: "If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles."

Earlier in the same Gospel passage, Jesus says: "Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the evil one."

That's another passage that reminds me of my dad, because like most fathers, he could be firm. As teenagers, my siblings and I sometimes pushed my mom when she said no. But when my dad said no, that was pretty much the end of debate.

Yes, my father could be a bear, someone we feared, but sometimes that was a good thing. Like St. Joseph, he protected his family. In our family's case that sometimes took the form of my dad rebuking someone if they cussed in front of his kids or in any way exhibited lewd behavior. And he still doesn't mind telling people to behave in public.

My father has his faults, but I'd have to say that usually his heart is in the right place, that he has kept his priorities straight. Some men like to spend money on fancy cars, others on nice homes -- my father once said -- but he'd rather spend his money on his kids, just having fun with them. Because of that philosophy, I have a lot of great memories of ice skating, sledding, fishing and watching hockey and baseball games with my dad, my five brothers and sisters and usually a few neighborhood kids.

He continues to be a great example for me, and like St. Joseph, he sets a high standard of fatherhood.

St. Joseph, pray for us, especially for my dad and for all fathers.

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.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Celebrating Ceili

 Gail and John DeBoer were our Honorary Chairs
 as we celebrated our 2014 Columb's Ceili.

 The Schmid and Pokorny Families received the Spirit of 
St Columbkille Awards for being models of quiet Discipleship.

 It was a wonderful night to come together
 and celebrate as a parish family.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Can't Be Underestimated

God's mercy and the graces He extends to us at Mass, can never be underestimated -- or even comprehended.

I received one such grace Wednesday, when I went to a lunch-hour Mass in a small chapel in Omaha.

The lector, still wearing her coat, walked up to the altar and read the first reading for day. It was the story of Jonah in Nineveh telling the residents that their city will be destroyed in 40 days, and how the people, their king and even their animals repented, fasting and wearing sackcloth. Their actions moved God, and the city was not destroyed.

Then the lector began the Responsorial Psalm: "A heart contrite . . ." But then her voice changed and she had to pause.

She was weeping.

She struggled through the line and somehow finished, and the bewildered people in the pews replied back: "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn."

The lector returned to the Psalm: "Have mercy on me, O God . . ." But again her voice broke up and she started crying again. The priest rose from his presider chair, walked to the ambo and put an arm around the woman's shoulder, gently excusing her from the reading. He took over Psalm 51 from there: "Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense . . ."

I don't know why the lector cried, but it struck me that she was moved to tears while reading words of repentance.

And the thought of her tears stayed with me through Mass. In the homily, the priest talked about God's infinite, incomprehensible mercy that even extends to the cross. . . and the only thing we need to receive it is a repentant heart, a sorrow for our sins. Like the Psalm said: "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn."

It was also at Mass that I realized my lack of tears, my lack of repentance this Lent. I'm doing things to observe Lent, but is my heart in the right place?

I need God's mercy and a heart contrite and humbled enough to receive it. I need to weep for the way I offend Him.

"Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

"A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me."
-- Psalm 51

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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Food Experiment

With the Papillion La Vista school system on spring break, St. Columbkille Catholic School decided to experiment and try out the lunches provided by Westside -- with help from some of our parent servers.

With three meal options, students
 could line up for their choice.

 French toast sticks were popular today.

 There seemed to be happy customers and ...

 ... a lot of clean plates.

This was one of the options ( and the proportion) 
for parents eating with their child today.
The trial continues tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rite of Election

Sunday was the Rite of Election at St. Cecilia Cathedral. It is a time where Archbishop Lucas gets to meet those who are preparing to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil and their sponsors.

At our parish, 28 people plan to join the Church at our Easter Vigil. Of those, 12 children and three adults will be baptized/

Below is a picture of the three adults to be 
baptized signing the Book of the Elect.

Please keep in prayer all of those who are preparing to enter the Church this year.