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December 2007

St. James displays special Christmas tree

A special Christmas tree at St. James Church in Omaha will be making its second appearance on the hospitality table in the narthex this Christmas. Eight women worked together to create 164 Christian symbol needlework ornaments, which adorn the tree. Participants included Velma Cook, Judi Evans, Lisa Hayford, Aveline Marks, LuAnn Thommes, Karen Weeks, Gracia Pacana and Mead Cook.

Youth group sponsors celebration

Lindsay Holy Family Parish youth group members Kim Schumacher, Stacey Lindhorst and Nikki Schnitzler work at the Dec. 9 "Nick at Night" Christmas Celebration in Lindsay. The evening of fun included games, crafts, cookie decorating and a Santa's beard contest. A hand-puppet show, "David Touched the Savior," also was performed by youth group members.

Monthly healing service planned

A Holy Spirit Healing Mass is planned for once a month for six months at St. Wenceslaus Parish, 15353 Pacific St., Omaha.

Dates in 2008 include Jan. 7, Feb. 4, March 3, April 14, May 12 and June 9.

Rosary will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Mass at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Father Christopher Onuoha at 707-7460 or Michelle Stinson at 981-2332.

MCS to hold annual benefit

Music in Catholic Schools (MCS) will hold its annual benefit dance Feb. 1 to raise money used to help financially needy students with the cost of instrumental music classes.

Featuring the Nebraska Wind Symphony Swingtones, the event will be held at St. Robert Bellarmine Church's parish center, 11802 Pacific St., from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

God's love helps us heal

Darkness descended on Omaha Dec. 5 when a gunman killed eight people and wounded four others before turning the AK-47 rifle on himself in the Von Maur department store at Westroads Mall.

Nine lives ended and many others were shattered by the horrific shooting, leaving the city's residents with an indelible memory of the rampage.

Some of the first to respond to the scene were priests who consoled family members and friends. Families of Von Maur employees waited and prayed for word of their loved ones at the Hampton Inn across the street from the mall.

Light in darkness: A meditation for the Advent season

"And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John. 1:5).

Dec. 9 I met with a group of high school students still reeling from the tragic deaths of eight innocent bystanders and their assassin at Westroads Mall Dec. 5. Since I am a priest and have written on suffering, I was asked the age-old question, "Where was God?" Clearly many in the group were struggling to reconcile their belief in a loving God with the recent tragedy.

I responded simply, "God did not cause this tragedy."

Boy's faith is reminder of what Christmas is really about

Christmas has become so highly commercialized it's difficult not to get caught up in the holiday "hustle and bustle." Every once in a while, if you're lucky, you receive a special reminder that sheds light on the true meaning and significance of this time of year. Last year, our reminder came from our then six-year-old son, Louie IV, who was born with Down syndrome.

Official schedule for Dec. 21, 2007 through Jan. 14, 2008

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss' activities over the next two weeks:

Dec. 21

Day off.

Dec. 22

Family members arrive for Christmas.

Dec. 24

Christmas Eve

Christmas Midnight Mass, St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha.

Dec. 25

Christmas Day

Christmas Day Mass, 9:30 a.m., St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha.

Dec. 26-28

Family visit.

Jan. 1

Mary Mother of God, holy day of obligation.


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