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.
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As part of the third annual Open House for Priests and Deacons Dec. 8, Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss blesses the recently renovated Cosgrave Company in Omaha. He is assisted by Father Dan Soltys, left, pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Omaha. Also pictured is Tom Koley, Cosgrave owner.
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.
The students, faculty and staff of Mercy High School in Omaha recently collected 8,040 diapers - 3,000 more than last year - during the fifth annual Diaper Derby.
All of the diapers will be given to Project Welcome, which serves the local Sudanese refugee community and currently has 86 babies in need of diapers.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss' activities over the next two weeks:
» Day off.
» Family members arrive for Christmas.
» Christmas Midnight Mass, St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha.
» Christmas Day Mass, 9:30 a.m., St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha.
» Family visit.
» Mary Mother of God, holy day of obligation.