Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Letter From Fr. Dave on Clergy Abuse Scandal

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:  As your pastor, I wanted to take a moment to talk with you about the horrible events that’ve been in the news—the terrible scandal of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania that we’ve been learning more and more about.  These are dark days in the Church that we all love, we must all stand with the victims of this terrible abuse, and we must do everything we can to make sure it never happens again. 
I’m thankful for Pope Francis’ leadership, condemning this evil, shameful abuse.  And there must be accountability for the abusers who committed these horrific crimes, and for all who allowed it to happen.
It is good that our Catholic Church has instituted reforms since the early 2000s that have dramatically reduced clergy child abuse, our archdiocese has been dedicated to Safe Environment training for many years to protect our youth, and we at St Columbkille remain totally committed to everyone’s safety and well-being. 
If you suspect child abuse of any kind, please report it immediately to the police or to child protective services.  One way you can report is by dialing the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Hotline for Child Abuse or Neglect at 1-800-652-1999.  Mandatory reporting is our moral obligation, and it’s the law in Nebraska.       
It is only through God’s grace that we can begin to heal from this tragedy; I invite you to join me in prayer, especially for the survivors of abuse, but also for our Church.  And please know that I’m available to meet with anyone who might want to talk more about this important issue.     
Fr. Dave

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Asking for Money in Our Capital Campaign

Reeson’s Ramblings


An Army officer recently asked a soldier:  “Do you have change for a dollar?”  The soldier replied, “Sure, buddy.” The officer responded, “That’s no way to address an officer!  Now, let’s try it again.  Soldier, do you have change for a dollar?”  To which the soldier replied, “No, SIR!” 
Talking about money has never been my favorite thing.  In fact, I think I would rather donate a vital organ than ask people for money.  I prefer that we concentrate on creating a welcoming community and encouraging everyone to share their time and talent to build up the kingdom of God.  And the fact is, we are doing so well in so many areas – we’re becoming more welcoming all the time, we have booming ministries and faith formation programs, and we have many parishioners who are fully engaged at St. Columbkille and are constantly growing closer to Christ. These are all great things!
So, how does asking people to make a sacrificial financial gift fit in, and why has the capital campaign been so prominent these past few months?  Well, as your pastor, it’s my job to shepherd this flock, and to pursue the greatest good for our growing parish family.  The capital campaign simply addresses a different area of need – our facilities – and I truly believe that each phase has something great to offer the parish:
· Phase 1 is a must because it replaces our aging   A/C units and finishes our much-needed parking lot expansion. 
· Phase 2 fulfills so many parish needs.  Our new parish center includes a brand new and expanded preschool that replaces an aging structure and helps us to better educate our youngest parishioners in the light of their faith.  The parish center also will add desperately needed meeting spaces for our many ministries—our parish continues to grow, our ministries are vibrant, and currently we simply do not have enough room for our many youth activities, bible studies, and community support programs.  And finally, the new gym will support athletics, to be sure, but it will also foster fellowship as a gathering space for parish musical productions, it will help meet the expanding needs of our religious formation programs for youth and adults, and it will even give us room for a few extra Masses on Christmas and Easter. 
· Phase 3 will give us an expanded narthex gathering space where our parish family can comfortably converse before and after Mass, out of the elements and outside of our worship space.  Expanding the narthex gives us much-needed space for grieving families during funerals and a place for wedding attendees to gather. 
In sum, the 3 phases of our capital campaign are about so much more than just money.  We’re about halfway to our goal, and I am thankful.  So many people have come forward and given of themselves to this campaign.  Yet, we keep asking for people’s prayerful and financial support.  Why? 
The reason is simple: I believe in the generosity of people’s hearts, I believe in the goals of this campaign, and I believe that God will move the right hearts on His own time. It’s not our job to judge who has or hasn’t given, or how much anyone has given.  Our job is simply to give people the opportunity to be generous, and let the Lord handle it from there. 
And so, the campaign remains at the forefront of conversation and of the bulletin, not because it’s the only thing we’re focused on, but because we can’t fulfill some really important parish needs without everyone’s participation.  I trust in God, but I know He won’t make money grow on trees for me!  That is why I have to continue to invite people to participate. 
I’ve heard from a lot of different views about the campaign from a lot of different parishioners, and I’m thankful for that. The fact that we have parishioners who are so passionate about seeking the greatest good of the parish is a wonderful thing!  Even when we don’t always agree, the very fact that we’re each seeking that greatest good reminds us that we are ultimately on the same team, part of the same family, striving towards heaven together.  Let’s work to remember that and give thanks to God for our wonderful parish and for the many things He has blessed us with, both within and outside of this campaign.
Fr. Dave

As seen in the August 5th, 2018 bulletin

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Feast of St. Columbkille

Today is the feast of our patron, St. Columbkille!

St. Columbkille, is not well known outside of Ireland and Scotland, yet he is one of the three great saints of Ireland and was the first missionary to Scotland. Born in 521 in Donegal, Ireland, to a family connected to kings and princes, Columb was a gifted man with incredible talents. He wrote poetry and music, established churches and monasteries, preached the gospel, and painted manuscripts.

Columb’s family sent him off to study under the future St. Finnian at Clonard Abbey, where he surrendered his princely claims, became a monk, and was ordained. He spent the next 15 years preaching and teaching in Ireland. As was the custom in those days, he combined study and prayer with manual labor. By the time he was 25, he had founded 27 Irish monasteries, including those at Derry, Durrow, and Kells, as well as some 40 churches. His work for the Church gained him the addition of “kille” to his name. Columb means “dove” in Gaelic and kille is “church”, so he came to be known as the “church’s dove”. Columb lived, with every ounce of his energy, the commission of Jesus to “go and make disciples.”

There is a famous tale about Columbkille that stands as one of the first copyright cases on record: Columbkille was so anxious to have a copy of Finnian’s Psalter that he shut himself up at night in the church that contained it and secretly transcribed it by hand. He was discovered by a monk who watched him through the keyhole and reported it to his superior. Bibles and prayer books were so scarce in those days that Abbot Finnian claimed the copy, refusing to allow it to leave the monastery. Columbkille refused to surrender it until he was obliged to do so, under protest, on Finnian's appeal to King Diarmaid, who said, "To every cow its calf," meaning to every book its copy.

While historically a bit unclear, an unfortunate period followed, during which, owing to Columbkille's protection of a refugee and his impassioned denunciation of an injustice by King Diarmaid, war broke out between the clans of Ireland, and Columbkille became an exile of his own accord. Filled with remorse on account of those who had been slain in battle and condemned by many of his own friends, he experienced a change of heart and an irresistible call to preach to those who had not heard the gospel. In 563, at the age of 42, he left Ireland with 12 companions and landed on an island now known as Iona. Here on this desolate rock, only three miles long and two miles wide, he began his work. Iona became a center of Christian learning, the heart of Celtic Christianity, and a potent factor in the conversion of the Picts, Scots, and Northern English. Monks from the monasteries established by Columbkille would later travel to mainland Europe and Christianize the Frank and Germanic tribes.

There are many miracles and incredible events recorded in the biography of St. Columbkille. His memory remains a potent force in Celtic lands, and his poetry and songs are still sung:

“Alone with none but Thee, my God, I journey on my way; what need I fear when Thou art near, O King of night and day?"

Monday, June 4, 2018

Feast of St. Columbkille

In honor of our parish patron St. Columbkille, we will celebrate Mass at 8:15am on Saturday, June 9, the Feast of St. Columbkille.  A social will follow in the courtyard.  All are welcome!

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Mary Month of May

Can you believe that May is almost over?  Throughout this beautiful month of Mary, we've been featuring articles in the bulletin, provided by our Legion of Mary members.  May is known for being the month of Mary, and we started off with a beautiful May Crowning by our school children.  To culminate, please enjoy this blog post from the Gregorian Institute blog with 17 music videos to honor Our Lady!


Monday, April 23, 2018

Safety & Security Survey

The Safety and Security Council has developed a survey to evaluate safety and security within the St. Columbkille parish. Please take the time to complete the survey, which can be found on the parish homepage at saintcolumbkille.org. If you need a paper form, please call the Parish Office at 402-339-3285. Please note, we are in the information gathering stages at this point and no actions will be taken based solely on the results of the survey. The survey will be open until May 13th, and it is very important for as many parishioners as possible to participate. Your input is necessary to help us identify focus areas to make our parish even stronger than it is now. Please feel free to contact Wendy Squarcia at wjmiller11@hotmail.com or Brian Cerny at briancerny1@gmail.com with questions.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hour of Power

Join us tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. for Eucharistic Adoration in the church!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Calling all Veterans!

In case you missed it in the bulletin - we are collecting names of all our past and present military so that we can honor them in a special Mass on Memorial Day. We would like to create a program with the names of all of our currently serving military personnel, as well as those in our parish who have ever served in the military and veterans who have passed away. Please email Tess Sousek at mtsousek@saintcolumbkille.org with your name, branch, and current military status, as well as those you know.
Thank you for your service!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

What's so great about Holy Thursday?

We all know the Last Supper was important, but why? Often times, when we don't have the background and context of what happened in the Bible, we don't fully understand the significance. Dr. Scott Hahn gives a wonderful talk called "The Fourth Cup" about the Last Supper within the context of the Jewish Passover meal, and it's on Formed! The perfect thing to listen to and meditate on tonight - if you haven't logged into Formed before, use our parish code: VPVKJ8.
If you've ever doubted that the Eucharist is the real deal, then this talk is for you!!
May you have a blessed and holy Easter!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Reconciliation Services

Pope Francis continues to invite us to rejoice in God’s Mercy.  He said that Catholics are called to grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy, which should always come before judgment. 

“How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy, he said.  “We have to put mercy before judgment,” he added.


Through prayer, song, and scripture, we come to realize our sinfulness and know God’s forgiveness.  If you or someone you know has been away from the sacrament for a while or have never had the opportunity to experience this positive, welcoming celebration, please join us. 

The Rite involves the following:

Together, we come to realize that we are all sinners but still loved by God who desires to forgive.  Together, we say a prayer of sorrow which indicates our desire to turn from sin back to God.  Then, with the help of 14 priests we approach a confessor and say something like:

“I am grateful for God’s love & forgiveness, even when I…” 

We mention anything major or other areas of our lives (sin) that keep us from God’s love.  You need not go into a lot of detail.  The priest doesn’t counsel or lecture but provides forgiveness through the ministry of the Church.  This part goes quickly.

After you have had the opportunity to approach a priest & receive a penance & absolution, you will move to the chapel by way of the credence table door for a concluding prayer and blessing.  A wine, cheese, cookie & cocoa social will follow in the social hall.