Thursday, April 30, 2015

Making Goodbye Sweet

My smart phone has been dinging a lot lately.

It’s the sound of emails hitting my account. And lately there’s been a lot of activity, with fellow eighth-grade parents responding to a call for donations for a parent get-together following the annual eighth-grade dinner May 8.

I like the sound of the dinging. It reminds me of school families’ willingness to help – always, for anything – and managing to have fun while they’re at it. The email responses began almost as soon as the initial request came in.

The phone’s dinging also reminds me that we have a lot of families at St. Columbkille who enjoy getting together and celebrating. In this case – the eighth-grade dinner and dance, and the separate parent party – are bittersweet. We’re seeing kids off to high school after years of developing friendships between students and among families.

This will be the sixth eighth-grade dinner for our family (with three more to go, God willing). The first one was amazing, but each year the event grows and becomes even better, thanks to seventh-grade parents who host the event and other eighth-grade parents who help ensure it’s memorable for the students. You have to experience the dinner to believe it. They go all out with the invitations, decorations, photo opps, food, service, slideshow and memorabilia.

Thank you to the creative parents who put on the event. And thank you to all the eighth-grade families who have been part of our lives during these formative years (for both the parents and students).

Thank you for making saying goodbye so sweet.

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, April 29, 2015

Pray for our New Pastor

The mere detail that we don't know who our next pastor will be yet does not prevent us from praying for him. We can also pray for the people he currently serves and will leave.

We are in a special time in our parish where we are in a mixed emotions. As we prepare to say farewell to Fr. Damian, we also long to know about the man who will become the 7th pastor in the 139th year of our parish. What we know for sure: He needs our prayers.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Training While They Can

The Papillion Fire Department and our local SWAT team are among those who have used the soon to be burned houses for training.

For some reason most people don't volunteer to let fireman use their roof to practice cutting holes. But now they have a chance.

The Papillion Fire Department has told us they plan to do a controlled burn on these houses on Monday, May 11th -- the same week as Ascension Thursday.

It's one more step in transforming the space into parking.

Monday, April 27, 2015

26 Pints - Up to 78 Patients

The Red Cross tweeted their thanks to those who donated blood on Sunday. The Knights of Columbus who coordinated this effort deserve thanks as well.

Thank you!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

First Communion - Weekend I

This was the first of two weekends of First Communicants. We 
congratulate those who were able to receive Christ this weekend.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring Tea

Yesterday all of the Kindergarten students at St. Columbkille Catholic School invited a special guest to Mass and then a Spring Tea.

Our Kindergarten Teachers and Aides served yummy treats.

Each of the students made a 
certificate for their special guest.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Helping Caitlyn

During Lent, one of our 7th grade students worked towards helping her family raise money for her sister, Caitlyn, who needs a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Caitlyn is sixteen years old and was born with Angelman Syndrome. Angelman Syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. Characteristics of this condition include delayed development, intellectual disability, severe speech impairment, debilitating seizures, and problems with movement and balance. Angelman Syndrome requires life-long care. She has had numerous surgeries throughout her life. The most recent one was a spinal fusion. Since the spinal fusion surgery Caitlyn has not been able to walk anymore.

With Caitlyn not being able to walk, it makes it very difficult for the family to lift her, especially in and out of the car. That is why they need to get a wheel chair accessible vehicle. Their family and friends have organized fundraisers, but they still fell short of the goal. These vans are about $55,000.

Caitlyn's Aunt Linda found a non-profit organization willing to contribute two dollars for every dollar raised from this point on. Today St. Columbkille Catholic School had a Dress Down Day where for $1 or more, students can dress down instead of wearing their uniform with all the proceeds going directly to help Caitlyn's family purchase a van.

Caitlyn's sister wrote, "My family continues to work diligently to raise these funds by doing extra jobs and having fundraisers. As a single mother with a severely handicapped child, my mom does the best she can. God always provides us with what we need, but it can be a struggle sometimes. We just do not have a lot of extra to afford this type of vehicle on our own. Our goal is to get the wheel chair accessible vehicle by June."

So today Mrs. Redburn asked our student if she wanted to guess how much  she thought the school raised for her sister. She didn't. That's okay as she would have likely been low. The typical dress down days raise $300 or so, but today they raised


When you calculate that $2 will be raised for every dollar from us, that's $19,500. Our school families have been very generous.

If you would like to contribute more to help Caitlyn and her family, donations can be made to “Ann Thompson for benefit of Caitlyn Thompson” at any Great Western Bank.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Stealthy Work to Build Up the Kingdom of God

In the world of sports, assists seem underrated. All the glory seems to go to the scorer.

But in sports, as well as the rest of life, assists are invaluable, the play that sets up someone else to score or receive recognition.

I’ve seen a lot of assists outside of sports, when people help set up others to succeed or shine, typically without drawing any attention to themselves. These people might be teachers, coaches, parents, siblings, volunteers, co-workers or friends, quietly doing background work out of the spotlight.

Sometimes they simply encourage others, perhaps in just a few short words.

Two of my daughters have talked about friends from St. Columbkille Parish who consistently look for ways to build up others. Riah Carerra, a junior at Mercy High School, has used Twitter to draw attention to others’ accomplishments, including artwork by my daughter, Rose.  And

Josie Wrobleski, an eighth-grader at St. Columbkille, often has kind words for classmates, including my daughter.  Faustina needs to wear blue more often, Josie said, because it brings out the blue in her eyes.

Those actions might not seem to be a big deal. But as a mother, I appreciate the little things good friends do, especially when they help my children.

And the encouragers remind me that I should do more to lift up others, especially my own family members.

I hope to begin that work today, by acknowledging the gift of encouragement – my feeble attempt at encouraging the encouragers.

Thank you for your stealthy work.

By building up others, you build up the Kingdom of God.

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, April 21, 2015

Keeping the Oath

The Scout Oath calls scouts “.. to help other people at all times” and Jesus repeatedly calls us to help the unfortunate.  Pack/Troop 359 put this into action recently as they gathered 1,354 items in their food drive during the rain last weekend.

Well Done!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Class of 2011 Marble Party

A number of current seniors came to the Marble Party party Mrs. Loeffler, Mrs. English and Mrs. Tanner hosted last night. Many former students at St. Columbkille Catholic School fondly recall their First Grade teachers.

 Here was Class 1A

 Here was Class 1B

 And we even got a picture of KC.

It was great to have former teachers (including Mrs. Fahey who somehow missed the picture) and a principal there to visit.

Some students were even fortunate to get a refresher course in handwriting, including how to properly hold a pen.

Thanks for coming back to visit!

What's a Marble Party? Glad you asked, Click here.