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April 2010

Legislators' dilemma alleviated on prenatal care to illegal immigrants

The Nebraska Legislature is a remarkable institution. That's not only because of its uniqueness as the sole unicameral among all the states, or the fact it makes both public policy and history on a regular basis.
It's also because it assembles 49 elected citizen-legislators and facilitates and coordinates much of their public-service, encompassing their personalities, principles, ideas, political concerns and judgments. It is more than a process; it's the unique sum of unique parts. It has its own existence, role and influence.

Enhancing spirituality of priests

In the 1990s, a small group, led by Father Richard Gabuzda, founded the Institute for Priestly Formation to assist bishops in the spiritual formation of diocesan priests and seminarians.
After finding a home in the Archdiocese of Omaha, IPF established offices on the campus of Creighton University, with the goal of offering spiritual formation - inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola - so priests will have a deep interior relationship with Jesus.

New prioress named for Norfolk sisters

Benedictine Sister Pia Portmann was installed as the prioress of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk Feb. 28.

Sister Portmann succeeds Sister Kevin Hermsen, who served eight years as the community's prioress.

The Missionary Benedictine Monks of Schuyler were in attendance along with many of the community's Oblates and friends.

School project takes arts to children

Sixth grade students at St. Stephen the Martyr School in Omaha are participating in a three-part project this school year sponsored by Holy Heart Media's "Children Bringing Art to Children" program.

For the first project, students presented Sheila Graham, development coordinator for Catholic Charities, with a set of student-made books for the daycare run by Catholic Charities.

Mercy declares mission week

Inspired by "The Girl Effect," a program designed to show how educating girls can help turn around a community, Mercy High School declared the week of March 8-12 as mission week.

The Omaha school collected $3,594 - enough to send seven girls from third world countries to a Mercy school for five years - through fundraisers such as penny wars, dress down Friday and hot lunches. The school's initial goal was $2,500.

The students also sold pins representing a different country, including Belize, Jamaica, South Africa, Philippines and Somalia.

Priest recognized at gala event

The Voice for Children in Nebraska honored Father Val Peter, executive director emeritus of Boys Town, with its lifetime achievement award March 20 at the group's sixth annual fundraising event.

Over the past 20 years, Father Peter and Kathy Bigsby Moore, the founding executive director for Voice for Children in Nebraska, have worked together to address children's issues including health care, child abuse, foster care and adoption.

More than 400 attended the event, which raised more than $70,000. The gala was held at the new Embassy Suites Omaha - La Vista.

CU president to narrate symphony program

Jesuit Father John P. Schlegel, president of Creighton University in Omaha, will join the Omaha Symphony as a narrator for the "All-American Fanfare" concerts April 23 and 24.

Father Schlegel will narrate Aaron Copland's famous Lincoln Portrait, reading excerpts of Abraham Lincoln's documents, including the Gettysburg Address, complementing the orchestra and photo choreography of James Westwater.

For more information, visit the Omaha Symphony Web site at or call 342-3560.

New leadership for Servants of Mary

Omaha native Sister Mary Gehringer has been chosen by the American Province of the Servants of Mary as the community's new provincial. She will assume the role June 6.

Sister Carol Kowalski will take the role of assistant provincial. Councilors on the leadership team include Sister Linda Hess and Sister Mary Lefevre.

Our Lady of Sorrows Convent in Omaha is the site of the Motherhouse of the community, which has been in Omaha since 1918.

Creighton to host 'Kicks for a Cure'

The fifth annual "Kicks for a Cure" soccer weekend to raise awareness and generate funds for research, education and prevention of women's cancer will be held April 16 and 17.

This year's event chairs are Dr. Terence Zach and his wife, Mary. Dr. Zach is a pediatric neonatologist with Creighton Medical Associates.

Honorary chairs include former U.S. Senator Dave Karnes and daughters Korey, Kalen, Kara and Laurel.


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