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December 2009

Teacher achieves highest standards

Christina Kleffman, a first grade teacher at St. Vincent de Paul School in Omaha, has achieved National Board Certification in 2009.

Kleffman is one of 82,000 teachers throughout the country to receive the certification.

A voluntary assessment program, National Board Certification is designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers and is based on a performance assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete.

Christmas can be a new beginning for forgiveness, family, generosity

This year, think about Christmas as a new beginning. It was, of course, a new beginning for the whole human race 2,000 years ago, but think about it now as a new beginning for you personally, wherever you happen to be.

The fourth Gospel, the Gospel of St. John, opens with these words: "In the beginning was the Word."

Living on food stamps for a week is Advent challenge

As the folks at my parish were completing their weeklong "food stamp challenge" and trading beans and rice for the bounty of Thanksgiving weekend, news of surging numbers of food stamp users hit the press.

The New York Times reported nearly 12 percent of Americans are receiving food stamps, and in 239 U.S. counties, an astonishing one-quarter of the population is on the program.

Food stamps (or Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program as they've been more cheerfully renamed) constitute the federal government's effort to provide a safety net for the hungry.

D.C. law casts dark shadow on freedom of religion

It has been an interesting time around the Washington area these last few weeks. The District of Columbia City Council passed a law restricting the ability of Catholic Charities to continue its same level of social services to the city's poor and homeless.

The Baltimore City Council passed a bill subjecting crisis pregnancy centers to a $150-a-day fine for not posting signs stating what services they do not offer.

FEJT-Lena "Babs" (Hoffman

FEJT-Lena "Babs" (Hoffman). Funeral Mass Dec. 17 at Holy Cross Church. Interment St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents; husbands, Anton Fejt and Robert W. Hoffman Sr.; sister, Naomi Shafer; son-in-law, Pat Greve; great-granddaughter, Mallory Allen. Survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Ann Marie and Bill Allen, Deborah and Jim Dwornicki, Lorrie Greve, and Diane and Ken Lucas; 13 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Joan Lucas; brother-in-law, Maurice Shafer; step-sons, Robert W. Hoffman Jr. and Ronald W.

NOVAK-Don G. Lt. Col USAF (Ret)

NOVAK-Don G. Lt. Col USAF (Ret), 82. Funeral Mass Dec. 17 at St. Mary Church. Interment Cedar Memorial Cemetery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Survived by wife, Jane; sons and daughters-in-law, Dan and Maxine, Montgomery, Ala., Don and Rachel, Bellevue, David and Joan, Como, Colo., Douglas and Denise, Carlsbad, Calif., and Dale, Bellevue; daughters and sons-in-law, Debra and Jim Tompkins, Austin, Texas, and Diane and Charles Marti, Lincoln; 25 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren.


KRAJICEK-John J., 93. Funeral Mass Dec. 17 at St. Thomas More Church. Interment St. Mary Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Patricia; grandson, Dylan Krajicek. Survived by son, Edward; daughter and son-in-law, Shirley and Tom Morin; three grandsons; two great-grandchildren; Memorials to Children Hospital or the family.




TUNINK-Jean, 58. Visitation 6 p.m., wake service 7 p.m., both Dec. 17 at the funeral home. Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m., Dec. 18 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by father Alden Serven. Survived by sons and daughters-in-law, Rob and Amanda, Greg and Amy, and Lance Tunink; daughter, Heather Tunink; seven grandchildren; mother, Agnes Serven; brother, Jim Serven; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family.



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