Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ceili will be Spectacular

There's still time to get in on the fun of Ceili, one week from today: Saturday, March 7th. Click here for more information.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fish Fry Tonight

The best Fish Fry in town is tonight from 5:00 to 8:00 in the Social Hall at St. Columbkille. Here's video from last week:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Little Consolations

Our Lenten spiritual journey into the desert can seem like the winter we’re having, long and desolate at times.

But like Jesus, we have angels to minister to us, and help us during these 40 days. Little consolations can mean so much when we’re undergoing temptations and even minor hardships and inconveniences.

These little consolations help get me through the day.

Even the smallest things give me a boost – as seen in the cell phone photos below – and sometimes make me laugh out loud, during Lent and throughout the year.

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, February 24, 2015

Another Doctor in the Church

Pope Francis recently named St. Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Church.

St. Gregory was an Armenian born around the year 950. At a young age he entered Narek Monastery which was a thriving center of learning. This was a relatively quiet, creative time before the Turkic and Mongol invasions changed Armenian life forever. Armenia was experiencing a renaissance in literature, painting, architecture and theology, of which St. Gregory was a leading figure. The Prayer Book is the work of his mature years. He called it his last testament: "its letters like my body, its message like my soul."

At the request of his brethren, St. Gregory set out to find an answer to an imponderable question: "What can one offer to God, our creator, who already has everything and knows everything better than we could ever express it?" To this question, posed by the prophets, psalmist, apostles and saints, he gives a humble answer – the sighs of the heart – expressed in his Book of Prayer, also called the Book of Lamentations.

In 95 grace-filled prayers St. Gregory draws on the exquisite potential of the Classical Armenian language to translate the pure sighs of the broken and contrite heart into an offering of words pleasing to God. The result is an edifice of faith for the ages, unique in Christian literature for its rich imagery, its subtle theology, its Biblical erudition, and the sincere immediacy of its communication with God.

St. Gregory left this world in 1003, but his voice continues to speak to us.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Rite of Election

Yesterday  was the Rite of Election at St. Cecilia's Cathedral. Each year, during the ceremony, catechumens (who are entering the Catholic Church through baptism) and their sponsors get the chance to meet Archbishop George Lucas, as do the candidates (who join the Catholic Church from other Christian denominations) and their sponsors.

 It's fun to meet the Archbishop!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

God's Covenant

While at the Sea of Galilee, Fr Damian took the picture above, which seems to fit in nicely with today's first reading:

 God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
and with every living creature that was with you:
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you,
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood;
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.”
God added:
“This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come,
of the covenant between me and you
and every living creature with you:
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth,
and the bow appears in the clouds,
I will recall the covenant I have made
between me and you and all living beings,
so that the waters shall never again become a flood
to destroy all mortal beings.”

Fr Damian seems to be enjoying himself by the sea!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Giving Some Firemen Some Practice

The Papillion Fire Department is planning to do a controlled burn on this house on Wednesday, March 11th. This will someday be parking leading to a holding pond.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Six Inches of Snow Today ...

 ... in Jerusalem.

We appreciate the weather report from Fr Damian.

Fr Vogel's Lesson on Ashes

Each year palms from the previous Palm Sunday are burned to create the ashes for Ash Wednesday. There is an art to it as they need to burn just the right amount of time to be the correct color. As a young associate pastor, Fr Damian learned the hard way that while it might it a nice idea to burn the ashes at Mass to show everyone, they are too hot to use right away.

Since becoming a pastor, Fr Damian has considered it one of his duties to make certain every associate knows how to properly burn ashes before they leave. Earlier this week Fr Vogel got his lesson -- and passed with flying colors.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Feast in the Midst of our Fasts

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me." -- Luke 9:23

Welcome to Lent.

Below is a feast in the midst of our fasts: Lenten prayers and words of wisdom from saints and others, to feed us on our journey.

As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst. . . . ‘Repent and believe,’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor – He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” – Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

 Nothing, how little so ever it be, if it is suffered for God’s sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God.” – Thomas a Kempis

Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life. . .” – Pope Benedict XVI

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor. . . . Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Christ, like a skillful physician, understands the weakness of men. He loves to teach the ignorant, and the erring He turns again to His own true way. He is easily found by those who live by faith; and to those of pure eye and holy heart, who desire to knock at the door, He opens immediately.” – St. Hyppolytus

"We can think of Lent as a time to eradicate evil or cultivate a virtue, a time to pull up weeds or to plant good seeds. Which is better is clear, for the Christian ideal is always positive rather than negative. A person is great not by the ferocity of his hatred of evil, but by the intensity of his love for God. Asceticism and mortification are not the ends of a Christian life; they are only the means. The end is charity. Penance merely makes an opening in our ego in which the Light of God can pour. As we deflate ourselves, God fills us. And it is God's arrival that is the important event."  – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Look at His adorable face.
Look at His glazed and sunken eyes.
Look at His wounds.
Look Jesus in the face.
There, you will see how He loves us.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

My beloved Jesus, Your face was beautiful before You began this journey; but now it no longer appears beautiful and is disfigured with wounds and blood. Alas, my soul also was once beautiful when it received Your grace in Baptism; but I have since disfigured it with my sins. You alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty. Do this by the merits of Your passion; and then do with me as You will.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori

Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ.” – St. John Paul II

Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” – Pope Francis

Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.” – Pope Francis

May Christ bring us closer to Him this Lent!

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, February 18, 2015

Fr Damian and his Cohorts

Fr. Damian is in Israel exploring and studying at the Tantur Institute For Ecumenical Studies. He seems to be enjoying his sabbatical.
Here he is with his classmates: ten priests, two nuns and three from other Christian churches. Study well!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A 50 States Party

A postcard mailed from each of the 50 States has been received by the First Grade students at St. Columbkille Catholic School. That meant that they got to have a 50 States Party today.

Each student could wear items from a states. Then they were asked if they could name the capital of that state. Each state could count once in their points and they would also receive one point for every correct capital.

The students colored in their map
 for every state represented.

Then each class calculated their scores.

Students had also brought
treats representing states....

 ... which they got to enjoy while watching
 a movie about the states.

It was a fun activity on Mardi Gras!

We Enjoyed Fat Friday

 Our Knights of Columbus worked together to help us celebrate Fat Friday before Lent begins tomorrow.
And it was very good!