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November 2010

Giving thanks benefits physical, mental health

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians 5:18

Praise and gratitude are cornerstones of Catholic prayer, much as they were foundations for St. Paul's writings to the early Catholic communities, theologians say.

And as families gather for Thanksgiving dinners and reunions, it's about more than turkey and all the trimmings. Gratitude and religious beliefs can even improve mental and physical health, according to a study on gratitude.

Columbus woman leads efforts because of need for vocations

Inspired by the need for vocations, one woman in Columbus is working hard to spread the word about the St. John Vianney Priesthood Cards project.

"People usually know I have a pack or two in my purse," said Sue Wozny, who also purchased about 200 packs for $1 each and gave one to each student at St. Isidore School.

Featuring pictures and facts about priests throughout the archdiocese, the cards are a way to pray for priests and encourage boys and men to think about the priesthood, Wozny said.

Priesthood cards becoming popular

Father Jim Novotny's wilderness encounter with a black bear has fired the imagination and prayers of a 10-year-old boy who read about the exploit on Father Novotny's priesthood card.

"He paddled a canoe 2,000 miles and fought and chased off a bear!" said Brendan Vankat, who often prays the Our Father and Hail Mary for Father Novotny.

The cards' creators hoped for that kind of reaction when they designed the St. John Vianney Priesthood Cards early this year. They wanted to encourage prayers for priests and foster vocations to the priesthood.

Schools receive special visit from archbishop

Sarah Dyer, an eighth-grade student at St. Patrick School in Elkhorn, said the idea of serving for Omaha Archbishop George J. Lucas at an Oct. 19 all-school Mass made her nervous.

"But when I looked at him, he had a big smile on his face," she said. "After I saw that, I knew it would all turn out just fine."

St. Patrick was one of three schools the archbishop visited recently. He was at Ss. Peter and Paul School in Omaha Oct. 29 and celebrated Mass at Scotus Central Junior and Senior High School in Columbus Nov. 1.

Crucifix tells others where Omahan stands

This is one story in an occasional Got Faith series featuring people living their faith in the workplace.

Before he ever opens his mouth, Vern Packard tells people who he is: a Christian.

The large crucifix that hangs on a chain around his neck gives him away. So do the Christian patches sewn onto his leather biker vest and the stickers placed on his motorcycle.

Packard, 66, said it's his way of getting people to think about Christ and to make him and others accountable for their thoughts, words and actions.

Crucifix tells others where Omahan stands

This is one story in an occasional Got Faith series featuring people living their faith in the workplace.

Before he ever opens his mouth, Vern Packard tells people who he is: a Christian.

The large crucifix that hangs on a chain around his neck gives him away. So do the Christian patches sewn onto his leather biker vest and the stickers placed on his motorcycle.

Packard, 66, said it's his way of getting people to think about Christ and to make him and others accountable for their thoughts, words and actions.

Official Schedule

Archbishop George J. Lucas' scheduled activities:

Nov. 19

St. Columban celebrations, St. Columbans.
Nov. 20

Confirmation, Urban Northeast Deanery, Holy Name Church, Omaha.

Nov. 21

Confirmation, Christ the King Parish, Omaha.

Suburban West Deanery dinner, Boys Town.

Nov. 22

Curia staff development, Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center, Omaha.

Confirmation, St. Cecilia Parish, Omaha.

Nov. 23-24

Catholic Charities helps show us how to share in the redeeming love of Christ

The writer of Psalm 116 poses a question to himself half way through this inspired hymn: How can I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me? It is a very good question. It was a good question for the psalmist whose life had been spared. It is a good question for us who are being saved from death by Jesus Christ, in spite of all of our weaknesses. Is there some way to give something back to God for all that we have received?

Organization holds winter coat drive

Hundreds of people will be warmer this winter thanks to the annual winter coat giveaway sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The organization gave away 3,000 coats, hats, mittens and boots to men, women and children in the Omaha area Nov. 6 from 8 a.m. until late afternoon.

Gail Micek, chairman of the giveaway, thanked the community for donations but urges people to continue giving winter clothes.

Boy Scouts go on pilgrimage

Fourteen Boy Scouts from Troop 319 of the Catholic Homeschool Association of Omaha traveled to Imogene, Iowa Oct. 30 to visit St. Patrick Church, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

After touring the church, the scouts prayed the rosary while they hiked 20 miles on the Wabash Trace Trail.

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