Friday, October 31, 2014

Cross O' Lantern

Did you see the pumpkin at Fr Vogel's House?

Halloween at Papillion Manor

On Wednesday the 5th grade students from St. Columbkille Catholic School took a walking field trip to Papillion Manor - dressed in their Halloween costumes.

The residents were prepared with treats for our visitors.

 It was a good visit for both the residents and our students.

Happy Halloween!


Deacon Frank Mascarello was ordained 31 years ago. In November he will turn 78.Though he is continuing his duties as a chaplain at Methodist Hospital, he has discerned that it is time to take himself off the regular schedule for Masses starting in November. He has however agree to fill in when needed. Ironically, the first time he is filling in is this weekend.

Glenda joined us over 2 1/2 years ago working in the parish office with Judy. On Monday she begins her new job as a Social Worker for the Nebraska Children's Society. Today is her last day with us.

On Wednesday the staff feasted with Glenda and wished her well in her new position.

We hope and expect to see still see Glenda and Dcn Mascarello around the parish.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How About a Fight Song?

Basketball season has just begun, and the election campaign process is nearing its peak.

So with that as my backdrop, I'm embarking on a campaign of my own: I'm proposing that St. Columbkille School adopts a fight song, which could be played and sung during team warm-ups, halftime or breaks -- or at any school event or pep rally.

And I have a specific song in mind. It's lively, embraces our Catholic faith and is sung by a band which just performed at St. Columbkille last week, at a Confirmation day of reflection. Parents were invited to a closing concert.

Here is the song:

The link has punk rock written all over it, but I'm not sure if the song fits that category. Please give it a listen and see what you think.

Now normally, I would be hesitant about a religious hymn sung in rock style. But actually, I love this take by The Thirsting. The band managed to make the song fun and reverent at the same time.

For my family, "Hail Holy Queen" has become part of a pre-game ritual. While driving to a basketball, soccer, baseball or other sports competition, we pray. It's not very formal. We ask for safety for the players and families at the game and as they travel. We pray for good sportsmanship, for a good effort from our team and for a good game for our particular players and anyone who might need a good game that day. And we pray for a win -- if it be God's will.

We close with a "Hail Mary," followed by "Our Lady, Queen of Victory, pray for us!" And if the kids aren't enthusiastic enough, Mom makes them try it again. (Yes, I embrace the embarrassing, tormenting mom role.)

Then, if the CD hasn't strayed from our car, we play "Hail Holy Queen" by The Thirsting. And we're properly prepared for competition.

The more we've tried this, the more I'm convinced "Hail Holy Queen" would be a great fight song.

Father Damian, Mr. Makey, Mrs. Redburn, Father Vogel, what do you think? What about you, Athletic Council, teachers, staff, school council members, students and school families?

Should we have a fight song, and should it be "Hail Holy Queen"?

I think Jesus would be pleased that we would honor His mother. And with His favor, she's a mighty defender to have on our side, as Crusaders.

Please respond with your approval, disapproval or comments below.

Go, Crusaders!

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, October 29, 2014

Socktober is Finishing Up

Every night in the United States an estimated 600,000 people live on the streets. This October, people can prove that even the smallest acts of love, like donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors who are homeless.

The second grade classed have been participating in Socktober and, so far, have collected over 500 pairs of socks with more coming in during the Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Vocations Day

On Friday 7th grade Catholic School students from throughout the area gathered at Skutt High School for Vocation's Day. It gave students a chance to meet priests, religious sisters and vowed religious and learn about their life.

We were well represented by our student.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crazy Hair Day

The students at St. Columbkille Catholic School hit another fundraising milestone and got to celebrate Crazy Hair Day today

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our Parking Plan: Next Steps

Over the last year the parish has been able to purchase the four homes to our east.

There is  currently 1 parking space for every 4.4 people at Sunday Masses. Papillion ordinances say there should be one for every 4 people. Many new churches provide one parking spot for every 2-3 worshipers. Under our proposed plan, there would be 1 parking spot for every 2.9 people.

But flow through the parking lot is as important as the number of parking places. That's why this plan expands the number of lanes into our parking lot from 1 to 3 and the number of exit lanes from 2 to 6. We would also like to work with the city to add a turning lane to improve safety.

Our plan goes before the City of Papillion Planning Commission Wednesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

One of our neighbors has let us know she is planning to be at the meeting to oppose our plan. We would welcome anyone who would like to attend the meeting to support the plan - particularly if you are a Papillion resident.

After the Planning Commission makes their recommendation, it goes to the City Council. If all goes smooth, the quickest it could be approved is mid December.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fire Station Field Trip

 Recently students from Sacred Heart Preschool took a
 field trip. They walked to the Papillion Fire Station.

They got a very good view of the truck: inside and out.

Visiting the Fire Station was a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

St John Paul II's Gift for Us

Twelve years ago this month, St. John Paul II left us a gift, one of the many treasures he left us during his long pontificate.

This particular gift was given to him when he was a child, and he lovingly passed it on to us to be rediscovered and appreciated anew: the rosary.

In 2002 the pope issued his apostolic letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” the Rosary of the Virgin Mary, and delved into the richness of this traditional prayer. It had become devalued in recent times, the pope wrote, but was the perfect prayer for the new millennium, “destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness.”

At the time, St. John Paul II saw the many challenges faced by families, and throughout the world “the need to implore from God the gift of peace.” The answer, he said, was in the rosary.

Twelve years later, we need the rosary more than ever. Now, after celebrating the newly canonized saint's feast day and during the month of the rosary, let's renew our efforts.

If you have never regularly prayed the rosary, now would be a good time to start. If you have been praying it faithfully, you might consider reading (or re-reading) the apostolic letter, to learn from a master how to unite yourself with Mary to contemplate the face of God.

The rosary, St. John Paul II said, will conform us to Christ and allow us to not just know Jesus’ teaching, but to know Him and proclaim Him.

The pope teaches us that the rosary is not just a “mechanical repetition of formulas” but a way to remember the events of our salvation. “Those events not only belong to ‘yesterday,’” he reminds us, “they are also part of the ‘today’ of salvation.”

And “to ‘remember’ them in a spirit of faith and love is to be open to the grace which Christ won for us by the mysteries of His life, death and resurrection.”

St. John Paul II's writing is eloquent, yet easy to understand, with helpful tips that might enhance you or your family’s prayer.

A few of those suggestions:

-Announce each mystery of the rosary, perhaps even use an icon to portray it.

-Follow with “the proclamation of a related biblical passage, long or short, depending on the circumstances.”

“No other words can ever match the efficacy of the inspired word," he said. "As we listen, we are certain that this is the word of God, spoken for today and spoken ‘for me.’”

-Be silent. Pause and focus attention on the mystery before moving into vocal prayer.

-Then say the Our Father. “After listening to the word and focusing on the mystery, it is natural for the mind to be lifted up towards the Father.”

-Pray the Hail Marys, drawn from the words spoken by Mary to the Angel Gabriel and by Saint Elizabeth, contemplating in adoration the mystery of that decade.

Note that the name of Jesus is the "hinge" between the two parts of the prayer. Reverently pause at His name or add a clause related to the mystery. For example, in the Fifth Joyful Mystery (the finding of our Lord in the temple), you could say: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, found in the temple.

-Pray the Gloria (Glory Be), not just as a “perfunctory conclusion,” but to raise your heart and mind “to the heights of heaven.”

Some other things to keep in mind as you pray:

-The beads are more than a counting mechanism. Notice that “the beads converge upon the Crucifix.”

 “The life and prayer of believers is centered upon Christ. Everything begins from Him, everything leads toward Him, everything, through Him, in the Holy Spirit, attains to the Father.”

The beads also “evoke the unending path of contemplation and of Christian perfection.” They are a chain that links us to God, a “sweet chain.”

And for parents who are reluctant to pray the rosary with their children:

“Why not try it? With God’s help, a pastoral approach to youth which is positive, impassioned and creative – as shown by World Youth Days! – is capable of achieving quite remarkable results.”

Alone or with others, give the rosary a try, St. John Paul II encourages us.

“Dear brothers and sisters! A prayer so easy and yet so rich truly deserves to be rediscovered by the Christian community. Let us do so . . .”

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, October 21, 2014

Uniforms instead of Uniforms

We're used to seeing the students at St. Columbkille Catholic School wearing uniforms, but not like these.

As a reward for hitting the third level of their fundraiser, students got to enjoy Athlete Dress Up Day.

Congratulations on hitting 
another reward level!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A + B = Mystery

In January we told you about some Girl Scouts who were filming a movie in the Education Center.

The movie is finished.

So those involved with the movie (and their families) recently gathered to watch it together. It also gave them a chance to talk about the process and what they learned from it.

Part of the lesson is that movie making is a lot of work.

 Congratulations on your film!