Monday, June 30, 2014

New Carpets

When you remove the desks in the Education Center, it becomes obvious that the carpet has gotten a lot of wear.

This is the second summer of a five year process of replacing all of the carpet in the building.

 It looks much nicer now!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Feast of Sts Peter and Paul

From Pope Francis' homily today, on the Feast of St. Peter and Paul:

I wonder, dear brother bishops, are we afraid? What are we afraid of? And if we are afraid, what forms of refuge do we seek, in our pastoral life, to find security? Do we look for support from those who wield worldly power? Or do we let ourselves be deceived by the pride which seeks gratification and recognition, thinking that these will offer us security? Dear brother bishops, where do we find our security?

The witness of the Apostle Peter reminds us that our true refuge is trust in God. Trust in God banishes all fear and sets us free from every form of slavery and all worldly temptation. Today the Bishop of Rome and other bishops, particularly the metropolitans who have received the pallium, feel challenged by the example of Saint Peter to assess to what extent each of us puts his trust in the Lord.

You can read the full homily here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Invented at Camp

During Camp Invention, campers were busy inventing and creating. Yesterday they got to share their work with their families.

We have found some great inventors!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Water Race Relay

Have you ever had a relay race where you used
 a sponge to pick up water from one bucket ...

 ... and squeezed it out into another?

They did at Camp Invention this week.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Fr. Henry Hoheisel was our first, full-time pastor and served from 1897 to 1939. During that time he oversaw the expansion of the first church, the building of the second and starting our school in-between. Fr. Hoheisel was not a fan of the name "St. Columbkille" as it made no sense to him that a parish made up of mostly Germans would be named after an Irish Saint. But he did have a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is why he named the school "Sacred Heart Academy."

The school was renamed after St. Columbkille in 1979 to make clear the connection between the parish and the school. But one of the few statues in the church is of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As early as the 11th century there was devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but it was a private devotion. It was in 1670 that Fr. Jean Eudes encouraged the spread of the devotion but it really took off after St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a "great apparition" where Jesus asked that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the octave (eighth day) of the Feast of Corpus Christi in reparation for the ingratitude of humanity for the sacrifice that Christ made them.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus does not simply represent His physical heart, but His love for all of mankind. It is a day where we can ask if we are truly grateful for Christ's sacrifice.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I live vicariously through my children.

There, I said it.

Moms and dads aren’t supposed to do that, some parenting experts say. But I’m not ashamed to say that my greatest joys are my children’s joys, and my worst heartaches are their heartaches.

I suppose what the parenting experts mean is that we shouldn’t heap our individual hopes, dreams and expectations on children and not let them live their own lives. But what’s wrong with getting a kick out of children laughing, playing and having fun? Or sharing in their happiness when they ace a test, kick a soccer goal or land a job?

I suppose my tendency to live vicariously is part of the reason I love photography. I can capture a moment and make it last longer, reliving that moment by just looking at a picture. In a way, that’s living vicariously.

But it’s also immensely satisfying to watch progress over time, to see kids gradually grow in their unique talents and interests – to become the one-of-a-kind persons God intended them to be.

And I not only live vicariously through my own children, but through others as well. Even people I don’t know personally.

One of my favorite vacation memories was a vicarious one, when my family was at a water park which had a 4-D theater showing of “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Seated near us was a group of college guys, being silly and having the time of their lives. They knew every word of the SpongeBob theme song and sang loudly and proudly. They laughed uproariously and interacted with the cartoon, especially during the 4-D special effects, when a pirate spit and sprayed the audience or when we could feel the movie's rats scurrying under our chairs. The young men’s antics had me remembering what it was like to be their age, to have that kind of fun, and I loved every minute of it.

And isn’t being a sports fan all about living vicariously? We usually don’t know the players or coaches personally, but we become wrapped up in the excitement of their competition and become interested in their personal success. I know I really enjoyed living vicariously through Doug McDermott and the Creighton University men's basketball team this past season. And I know thousands of others did, too.

There’s nothing wrong with taking on others’ happiness or suffering. It’s the Christian thing to do.

Sometimes I hear Catholics refer to “entering into” someone’s joy or pain. Jesus certainly entered into our all our experiences, our human condition – not vicariously, but in a very real way. We can’t enter into anyone’s life the way our Lord can, but we should share in each other’s joy or grief.

When we feel something of what a person is going through, it helps us be more compassionate.

God created us to be this way.

He made us to live as one, in Him.

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, June 25, 2014

The Last Lesson & Living It

At the end of Vacation Bible School (VBS), the last lesson the campers received was one in trust.

Our VBS Directors were under a bag of water and trusted that they would stay dry even whilepencils were stick through the bag.

They did not trust in vain!

Then on Sunday the campers were called to live their faith by singing some of their songs after the noon Mass:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Camp Invention

It didn't take long to realize that Camp Invention
 is about being very "hands on" and ...

 ... dreaming.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weird Animals

At Vacation Bible School last week, campers learned that even though some animals were made kind of weird, they were made for a purpose.

In the same way, we know that we were designed by God for a purpose, even when we feel different or don't seem to fit in.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy 750th Anniversary

It was 750 years ago that Pope Urban IV issued the papal bull "Transiturus," which established the Feast of Corpus Christi as a universal feast of the Church. He then asked the leading theologians of the day, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, to compose the official prayers for this feast. After casting lots, St. Thomas Aquinas presented first. With tears of joy, St. Bonaventure was so impressed that he threw his composition into a fireplace and insisted that what St Thomas Aquinas' composition be used -- and it is.

Today Pope Francis said:

"Whenever we participate in the Holy Mass and we eat the body of Christ, the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit works within us, it shapes our hearts, it communicates inner attitudes that transform within us into modes of behavior according to the Gospel. ... I would like to highlight these two things: the measure of God's love is to love without measure, our life with the love of Jesus; by receiving the Eucharist we make ourselves a gift just as Jesus was."

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Big Change

Mrs. Thome & Mrs. Long
After thirteen years, Judy Thome is retiring from being the Religious Formation Director. In her time she has worked with 5 Youth Ministers, 5 secretaries, 4 principals and 2 pastors. She has been steady in the midst of much change.

Fr. Damian wrote in our bulletin:

A big change for us this year is happening in our Religious Formation Program. Judy Thome who has directed the program for thirteen years has decided to “retire” from the administrative position and is looking forward to doing other things. I extend my deepest thanks to her for the many years of service that she has offered to the parents and children who participated in the religious formation program. I could always count on Mrs. Thome to have the program running smoothly with catechists in the right places and children eager to learn. For a pastor, it is a delight to watch people grow in their faith and Mrs. Thome was always looking for new direction and new ways to have the children better understand the truth of our faith. She will be missed, but she assures us that she is not leaving the parish, just the day to day challenges of managing a large catechetical program. I know that the transition to the new person will be an easy one because Mrs. Thome’s position is being filled by a person who has experience with the St. Columbkille community and comes with lots of teaching experience.

 Mrs. Lori Long begins as Director of Religious Formation on August 1st. Mrs. Long has taught in the Omaha Public Schools for ten years with a focus on special education. She also has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. She is a perfect match for the position of Director of Religious Formation because she knows the student’s experience of public school, and she loves the Catholic Faith. She will be able to assist our catechists to be better in the classrooms and will be able to help parents in their duty as the primary educator of their child in the ways of faith. I trust that our religious formation families will find the transition from one director to another to be a smooth one.

Congratulations to Mrs. Thome 
and Mrs. Long in their Changes

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Lesson From the Cross

At VBS Thursday, a bright cross shone 
forth representing the light and love of God.

 Earlier in the day, the campers had written their sins.
These sins were collected in black garbage bags and...

 ... hung on the cross -- separating God's love from the people.

 Then Jesus was able to come 
and remove the sins for us.

Now we are no longer separated form God and His love.