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December 2012

Prayer program focuses on Roe v. Wade

Although it began Dec. 12, Catholics across Nebraska can still participate in a prayer program leading up to the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

The "40 Days of Prayer and Reflection" started on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn, and ends Jan. 22, the 40th anniversary of the ruling.

Family: Prayers, medical care saved son's life

Michael Crowe and his family made extra batches of Christmas cookies this year. They were gifts for the doctors and nurses Michael credits with saving his life.

The 23-year-old almost died in September from a heart infection, and said he is grateful for the care he received at two Omaha hospitals.

But more than care led to his recovery. Michael also credits God and the prayers of hundreds of people.

Catholic Charities' fundraising appeal stresses its impact

Catholic Charities of Omaha's annual fundraising appeal this year stresses how the organization helps people who are hungry, abused or fighting addictions.

"We try to capture through photographs and stories the difference people's support is truly making in the lives of those they may see in our community," said John Griffith, executive director.

Archdiocese uses Operation Rice Bowl funds to help stock food pantries over Christmas season

Money raised during Lent through Catholic Relief Service's Operation Rice Bowl is helping stock food pantry shelves in the archdiocese this Christmas season.

The archdiocese's Office of Missions and Justice recently donated $5,000 to Catholic Charities and $3,000 to Together Omaha.

About 75 percent of money raised during Operation Rice Bowl goes overseas, but 25 percent stays in the archdiocese, said Omar Gutierrez, manager of the missions' office.

Parishes, schools offer support, prayers in wake of tragedy

A shared name prompted members of an Archdiocese of Omaha parish to reach out to Catholics in Newtown, Conn., in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Nearly 100 people in St. Rose of Lima Parish in Crofton signed a letter after Masses Dec. 15 and 16, offering sympathy and prayers to members of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, which lost at least eight parishioners in the shooting. The letter was mailed Dec. 17.

Changes in worship patterns affect midnight Mass

By LISA MAXSON Catholic Voice

After sharing a traditional Czech fish dinner at home, Shane and Alice Spence squeeze into a pew at St. Mary Magdalene Church in downtown Omaha at about 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve to listen to carols before the midnight Mass.

Going to Christmas midnight Mass has been a tradition for the couple since they married 12 years ago, and it's something Shane, who moved to the Omaha area when he was 10, and Alice, a native of the Czech Republic, both did as children with their families.

As chaplains, local priests help make Christmas bright for service men and women stationed away from family

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Father Andy Sohm will be away from his family this Christmas, an experience he shares with many people he serves at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

For Father Sohm, it will be the first Christmas away from Iowa in 36 years.

And while it will be difficult, he told the Catholic Voice he has found a sense of family in New Mexico, and he plans to spend the holiday with members of St. Joseph, the Catholic parish on base.

"I'm so thankful I do not have to sit in my home alone," Father Sohm said.

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