Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cleaning up for Pastor

One of the benefits of Fr Damian's trip to Guatemala was the ability to get in his house and paint.

All the nail holes have been filled in and everything will be fresh when Fr. Dave moves in tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What's happening in Guatamala?

The pictures and comments below are from Fr. Damian's Facebook site. :

See the village in the valley? That is where
the Ixim group is staying these days.

At the water project in Huehuetenango that we installed years ago. It now produces 14,000 gallons of pure water a month.

Archbishop Lucas and others on the trip are in the procession at San Miguel Acatan Guatemala

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sometimes Facebook is Wrong

On Facebook, there has been a silly argument that the reason for our original bulletin cover this weekend was to support the supreme court ruling on gay marriage. That is false.

Quick version: If you want feedback about the supreme court decision, then please listen to this homily by Fr Vogel. We will warn you, Fr Vogel did a very crazy and unusual thing before he commented on the supreme court ruling: He actually read it.

If you're wondering about the bulletin -- let's go a little deeper.

St. Columbkille Parish is the only parish we know of in the Omaha Archdiocese that is having 1-2 Holy Hours every day for two weeks leading up to July 4th. During this time we are primarily praying for Religious Liberty, but we knew full well that the Supreme Court Decision might come out during these two weeks. We asked our parishioners to pray also for traditional marriage.

Fr Damian has often said strong reactions can be a sign that you are doing something right.

During VBS, different groups wore different colored shirts. The idea was then to take a picture of all the VBS kids as a rainbow - the sign God gave us as a covenant of His love for us. This picture was taken on Thursday June 18th. Those who read the bulletin each week will have likely noticed that we try to tie in between the Collect Prayer and the image each week. For this week, Deacon David Krueger thought this image would tie together with this week's prayer of standing up as children of light for truth. The bulletin was printed and shipped on Wednesday, June 24th, two days before the Supreme Court Ruling came out. Had we known what the ruling would be and when it would come out, we wouldn't have used that image at that time.

Saturday there was a little teasing that this bulletin could be politicized -- then it was.

We have redone the bulletin cover as an online version. Some parents were rightly concerned that they did not want the images of their children to be politicized. We agree entirely. We apologize to those families.

Also, we continue to pray for our country this week. Please join us.

Telling Fr Steve Goodbye

The 6:30 Mass was a little fuller than usual last night. This is the last weekend Fr Steve is with us before he departs for West Point as pastor. We are collecting cards or notes for him this weekend and next weekend.

After Communion, the assembly broke out in spontaneous applause.

After Mass there was a multitude of people waiting to see him in the courtyard - many dressed in Gross High School gear.

 Goodbye Fr Steve

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Adding Storage

A lot of items for Liturgy, the Festival and Ceili have been kept in the basement of the old parish office which will be torn down in a few weeks. Unfortunately, to make way for the building, some trees had to be cleared out first.

Because the new parking lot will be at a different level, a lot of calculating must be doen to make certain the storage facility is built even with the level the parking lot will be.

We're making progress!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Inventors were Busy!

Camp Invention was this week. Mr Nardini (above) and Miss Wisniewski (below) gave the parents and family an overview of what the students were doing all week.

Then it was time for the students
 to show off their creations.

The week was amazing!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Live and Love to the Maximum

It’s easy to drift into mediocrity. Sometimes day-to-day life lulls us into a sort of a sleep in which we forget what’s important, why we’re alive. We can feel like Dorothy in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” She can see her goal, the brilliant Emerald City, in the distance. But the seemingly innocuous field of poppies makes her so drowsy she can't go on.

We don’t have a good witch or a scarecrow, tin man or lion to help us get unstuck. We have something better: God and our own traveling companions, the saints. We have those in the making here on earth and those who have gone before us to Heaven. And from time to time, they help rouse us.

I recently was introduced to one such saint, Servant of God Guglielmo Giaquinta, a bishop and founder of the Pro Sanctity Movement, who teaches ordinary people how to be holy, to live and love to the maximum. His message might seem like Catholicism 101, but for me it’s been a spiritual wake up call.

The following passage, from his “Gospel of Maximum Love,” was borrowed from the Pro Sanctity website:

  • “Jesus came to bring the message of maximum love;
  • We have a Father in heaven who loves us infinitely, watches over us unceasingly, and has sent his only Son, having him accept death for our salvation;
  • Jesus, the Word of God, has come among us to bring the message of the Father, to make us one with himself as branches of a vine, showing us concretely how we must live, and He died to merit for us the strength to do this and to draw us to Himself with the example of His infinite love;
  • We must correspond with all our strength, that is, to the maximum, to this love of the Father and of Jesus, accepting and actuating the message received;
  • Love among ourselves as Jesus loved us, that is, to the point of heroism unto death, is a duty that Jesus has left us as his last will and testament;
  • This unity and fraternal love must find a particular expression in our faithful participation in the life of the Church centered on the Eucharist, animated by the Spirit and the presence of Mary, and based on Peter and the Apostles.”

Don’t settle for a life that’s anything less. Let’s love to the maximum.

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, June 23, 2015

The Omaha Padres played Sunday

A collection of priests from the Omaha Archdiocese gathered Sunday for the I-80 Collar Series at Werner Park as they  hosted the priests from the Lincoln diocese.

Fr. Pietramale brought plenty of holy water.

 All the priests signed posters...

 ... and took in the atmosphere of
 playing before 8,000 fans.

 But before they even took the
 field, they met and prayed.

 Then it was time for the national anthem ...

 and player introductions ...

 ... before the game got underway.

Fr. Brancich was the first priest from
 the Omaha team to get a hit (and score).

Fr. Vogel would soon be on base as well.

Above Fr Mario Rapose tagged third for 
one out and looks to first for a double play.

There were some hi-jinks on the field.

The Omaha team kept the trainers busy. Fr. Korth felt his hamstring pop during warm-ups. He was, we think, the only Omaha priest to play baseball in college. He was unable to take the field (though he did manage to bat with a pinch-runner.) On the right, Fr. Vogel got some cuts bandaged.

Captain-Father Voithofer called his shot.

 Fr. Ben Boyd stays on second base.

 Fr. Mark Beran got his workout on the field.
We don't recall exactly what the final score was or who won. We do know the last batter for the home team ended up being Fr. Hoesing (stepping up the the plate above) and the last play was him sliding for an inside the park home run.

It was a great and fun event!