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January 2008

Official schedule, Jan. 25 through Feb. 7, 2008

Jan. 25-30

» Vacation.

Jan. 31

» Catholic Schools Eighth-Grade Mass, St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha.

» Annual Catholic Charities meeting.

Feb. 1

» Deacon Council annual dinner.

Feb. 2

» Annual Mass and dinner for Consecrated people, St. Leo the Great Church, Omaha.

Feb. 3

» 50th Anniversary of St. Joan of Arc School, St. Joan of Arc Parish, Omaha.

Feb. 4-5

» Priest Clergy Conference, Columbus.

Aftermath of communism lingers on in our world

I have lived long enough to see an amazing transformation of life in the little country of Slovenia. My first visit there was in 1955 when I was a young seminary student. I spent time with my great uncle, who was pastor of a rural parish, and other members of my family. My mother was born there, but left the country with her parents in 1912 for a new life in America.

Boyd County parishes merge into one

Everybody loses, but everybody gains.

That was Father Garry Welsh's philosophy when he merged three Boyd County parishes last July.

Instead of closing just one parish, he, along with representatives of the three parishes - Ss. Peter and Paul in Butte, Assumption in Lynch and St. Mary in Spencer - chose to close all three and unite as one.

As the new Sacred Heart Parish of Boyd County, the communities now share a priest, a parish council, a finance council, a parish office and an accounting system.

Local toastmaster club turns 20

The Roman Forum Toastmaster Club will celebrate its 20th anniversary Jan. 29 at Pasta Amore in Omaha.

The 6 p.m. dinner is for past and current club members and those interested in joining.

The club originally was started for archdiocesan priests, deacons and religious sisters, but has grown to include lay people who serve in leadership roles at their parish.

At monthly meetings, members learn to improve their communication and leadership skills by giving extemporaneous and prepared speeches, receiving feedback and critiquing others' presentations.

Archdiocese cooperating with Cleveland investigation

The Archdiocese of Omaha is cooperating fully with the investigation involving a former Omaha priest.

Father Patrick Henry, 66, a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland, has been placed on administrative leave since June because of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor in the mid-1970s before Henry was ordained to the priesthood. The case has been reported to the appropriate civil authorities.

Lenten Regulations

>> The season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 6, and concludes with the beginning of the Triduum, March 20. The Triduum begins with Mass of the Lord's Supper and concludes with vespers on Easter Sunday, March 23.

>> Ash Wednesday, Feb. 6, and Good Friday, March 21, are days of fast for those 18 to 59 years old. Fasting is observed by one ordinary/full meal and two lesser meals sufficient to maintain strength for the obligation of a person's circumstances. There is no eating between meals.

Mercy High School in Omaha receives largest donation in school's history

Omaha's Mercy High School recently received its largest individual gift in the school's history. Although the amount has not been confirmed, the donation will range between $550,000 and $575,000, said Sister Johanna Burnell, RSM, president of the all-girls school located at 48th and Woolworth Avenue in Omaha.

The gift will be used to pay for renovations to the front of the building. Although construction plans have not been approved yet by the city planning board, they are under way, she said.

New superior general urges Jesuits to strengthen their service to poor

ROME - Spanish-born Father Adolfo Nicolas, the newly elected superior general of the Jesuits, called on the more than 19,000 members of his order to strengthen their service to the poor and those excluded from the benefits of economic globalization.

Father Nicolas, who had been moderator of the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania, was elected superior general of the Society of Jesus Jan. 19 and celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving Jan. 20 in Rome's Church of the Gesu.

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