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February 2011

2011 Sacrament of Marriage

Weddings are exciting - candles, decorations and flowers, special devotions, beautiful clothes, friends and family, bridesmaids and groomsmen, wonderful receptions, cakes and gifts. Drill down to the essentials of getting married in the Catholic Church and find a community gathering for a man and a woman who vow love and fidelity to one another - till death do they part.

NCC backs bills challenging life without parole for minors

Having been convened on 23 consecutive weekdays, state senators - and also legislative staff, the media corps and perhaps even a few lobbyists - were looking forward to the first four-day weekend of the 2011 session. It consists of Presidents' Day and the preceding Friday. After the modest break, the Legislature will meet for 13 more consecutive weekdays. Thereafter, Speaker Mike Flood's calendar calls for four-day work weeks the rest of the way, until final adjournment in early June.

Change requires willingness to do without

Someone recently questioned why Christians seem to be impotent when it comes to influencing the conduct of public affairs: "One often wonders how it happens that Christians who personally are believers do not have the strength to put their faith into action in a way that is politically more effective."

Good question, especially considering the source: Pope Benedict XVI.

"We can only hope that the inner strength of the faith that is present in people will then become powerful publicly as well by leaving its imprint on public thinking," the pope continued.

Parents' lesson of stewardship applies today

My parents are 90 somethings and have lived in the same house for almost 52 years. They were both born of immigrant parents and grew up grateful for what they had because they started with very little and worked for everything. They were impressionable teenagers during the Depression years and knew how to make the most of what they had and how to do without what they didn't have.

Eighth-grader wins Catholic Spelling Bee

Rachel Medara, an eighth-grader at St. Matthew the Evangelist School in Bellevue, won the Metro Catholic Schools Spelling Bee Feb. 12 with the correct spelling of her final word, spaghetti. She placed first among 49 students from 29 archdiocesan schools in the Omaha area and advances to the Midwest Bee sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald in March.

Claire Wilson, a seventh-grader at Christ the King School in Omaha, took second place; eighth-grader Ben Reckmeyer of St. Mary School in Bellevue finished third and St. Mary seventh-grader Jordan Roberts was fourth.

Teacher at St. Anthony wins Gerhold award

JoAnn Brandt, a first-grade teacher at St. Anthony School in Columbus, has been honored with the 13th annual William and Barbara Gerhold Family Teacher of the Year Award.

Teachers at Columbus-area Catholic schools - St. Anthony, St. Bonaventue, St. Isidore and Scotus Central Catholic Junior-Senior High - are eligible for the $5,000 award, which was given Feb. 2 as part of Catholic Schools Week.

Irish Charities elects officers

Irish Charities of Nebraska, the charitable arm of the Father Flanagan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Omaha, elected officers at its annual meeting Jan. 29.

Re-elected officers included Tom Lynch, president; Pete McGinn, vice president; John Farnan, secretary and Terry Devlin, treasurer.

Irish Charities recently delivered several truckloads of food, toiletries and other supplies to the Siena/Francis House homeless shelter in Omaha and Catholic Charities' domestic violence shelter.

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