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October 2006

Grace of God makes difference for priests

Preparing families for and presiding at two or more funerals a week could take a physical and emotional toll on priests.

But one Archdiocese of Omaha priest believes God's grace helps him find fulfillment instead.

"I don't find funerals personally draining," said Father Daniel L. Wittrock, pastor of St. Michael in South Sioux City. "It's a mystery of faith. By the grace of God, the Lord just makes everything work out."

Dealing with Death

Death is a normal part of life, but priests and funeral directors see more death than the average person. Their roles include providing guidance and a safe place for the grieving to begin processing the loss of loved ones.

In a sea of strong emotions and amid circumstances that range from expected to tragic, how do they survive?

Both priests and funeral directors said they don't just survive, they thrive helping people during difficult times. Both called their professions a rewarding ministry.

God's blessings seen in inspirational 10-year-old

While Claire Poeckes was in her mother's womb, she suffered a stroke, which caused her to be born with cerebral palsy. Doctors said she might never walk.

Today, 10-year-old Claire is a competitive volleyball and softball player. She competes with one arm and with minimal use of her right leg.

Claire is the second of Brad and Cassandra Poeckes's five children. At first, it appeared her doctor's prediction was going to come true. Claire did not walk until she was 18 months old.

Religious leaders speak against video keno

The Archdiocese of Omaha's chancellor was among a group of religious leaders announcing opposition last week to the video keno proposal (Initiative 421) to be voted on Nov. 7.

Father Joseph Taphorn joined the religious leaders in saying the legalization of video keno would be a disturbing expansion of gambling in Nebraska.

In commenting on the problem of expanded gambling, Father Taphorn said one concern is the "temptation toward crime" to support addictive behavior.

Pro-life Prayer Vigil

Pro-life Prayer Vigil is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Planned Parenthood, 46th and Dodge, Omaha. Prayer vigil also held every Saturday, 7:30-9 a.m. at Burt Murphy Blvd. and Mission Ave., Bellevue.

How Can We Reduce Stress in Our Life?

How Can We Reduce Stress in Our Life? will take place Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Benedict Center, Schuyler. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Presenter will be Michele Brehl, M.A. who will address stress and how to reduce it. Program fee is $25. Lunch is available for $8.18 or you may bring your own lunch. Register at (402) 352-8819.

How Do I Want to Live?

How Do I Want to Live? will take place Saturday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Benedict Center, Schuyler. Sister Kathleen Courtney, OSB, will reflect on the questions, Who am I? What do I love? How shall I live? What will be the legacy of my life? Program fee is $25. Lunch is available for $8.18 or you may bring your own lunch. Register at (402) 352-8819.

Beginning Experience

Beginning Experience - weekend retreat for those who have experienced the death of spouse, are divorced or are legally separated - will be held Nov. 3-5 at the Archdiocesan Retreat Center, 3330 N. 60th St., Omaha. People of all faiths are welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call Pat Seier at 551-9003 for more information.

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