Tuesday, March 31, 2015


If you want to remove a tree, you can remove some of the lower branches and dig up the roots ...

Then push it over...

Then you can move it just where you want it.

You may have noticed that Bob Roth has begun removing existing trees from our future parking lot. As part of the process new trees will be planted.

But it will take quite awhile before any
 of the new trees grow roots like this.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Lincoln Field Trip

The 4th grade classes from St. Columbkille Catholic School had a field trip to Lincoln last week.

They toured and learned about the capital building.

They also visited Morrill Hall 
where they got to learn about fossils. 

Here some of the students with the largest 
assembled Mammoth skeleton in the world.

They also managed to enjoy a pizza lunch.
It was a very good field trip.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

For Palm Sunday everyone was invited to grab a palm and participate in the opening procession.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Learning Courage

Earlier this week the 7th grade students from St. Columbkille Catholic School had a Courage Retreat with the Youth Frontiers.

It was a day to inspire students to follow their hearts instead of the crowd, use moral courage and make responsible decisions despite their fears.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What Basketball Should Be

Post-season basketball is aptly named March Madness, a time of intense tournament play, when players, coaches and fans go all out.

Lots could go wrong in all the intensity: bad sportsmanship, bad role modeling, injuries.

But a lot of good can come out of the competition, and I saw that at a recent March Madness tournament hosted by St. Bernadette Parish.

St. Columbkille teams seemed to give it their all, with some winning championships. But even more impressively, I saw St. Columbkille parishioners supporting each other as players and their families dropped in on games being played by other St. Columbkille teams. The kids were especially boisterous, creating their own cheering section near a St. Columbkille team bench, chanting and spurring on the players.

Last year, a couple of referees had spats with fans or coaches. But I didn’t see anything like that this year. In fact, I saw well-officiated games, and from at least one referee, some gentle encouragement and instruction for young players.

While officiating a fourth-grade boys game, a referee named John helped players find their spots as they lined up for a free throw and nudged them to the sideline when one of the teams called a timeout.

During the timeout, he noticed my son Paul, a uniformed fifth-grade player watching from the sidelines and approached him to give some tips on the game.

The referee asked my son, “You don’t play with alligator arms, do you?” He explained that alligators have short arms that don’t work well for basketball. He told Paul he should have spider arms instead, long and extended. And John showed him how to position his arms to effectively block shots and passes. And the referee told Paul where to keep his eyes, too: on an opposing player’s belly button, not on his head.

The time out ended, but John kept returning during game breaks to teach Paul and let him know what he should be practicing during the off-season, including this tip: Don’t practice 3-pointers, work on free throws first and then move around for other shots inside the 3-point line.

During the game, John occasionally would look over at Paul when a player did something that reinforced his teaching. If the ref was close enough, he’d ask Paul if he saw how that basket was made, how the player positioned his arms for the shot.

The game was a lopsided win for St. Columbkille’s fourth-grade team, so there wasn’t much pressure on John as he refereed. He used the opportunity to teach, encourage and make friends, including some St. Columbkille sixth-grade boys when they stopped by to watch.

John the referee reminded me of what youth basketball should be – competition, instruction, fun.

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.

Last Chance with Jesse

Tonight at 7 p.m. is the last evening of our Parish Mission, and it may be your last chance to sing with Jesse Manibusan.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jesse & TEEN Faith

Typically our TEEN Faith group meets on Wednesday nights, but not tonight. Instead they gathered on Sunday and not just for pizza...
 ...but also to meet our parish 
mission leader Jesse Manibusan.

After a few games, they got to have 
their own private session with Jesse.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Praying for Life

During the 40 Days for Life, Respect Life members from St. Columbkille have committed to praying at the abortion site in Bellevue on Thursdays from 10:30 to noon. The site is open more often on Thursdays because the number of people praying on Saturdays has affected their operation.

 In addition, we have committed to praying for 24 hours outside the site from 8 a.m. Saturday March 28 and ending at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 29th (Palm Sunday.) Anyone interested in praying is invited to call the Parish Office at 402-339-3285.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pinewood Derby

At the Pinewood Derby Saturday the contestants were introduced like rock stars.

Then the cars were lined up for race after race.

 You could see the excitement on their faces.

The event was full of winners.