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February 2013

Catholic Charities' Journeys program takes step forward

A Catholic Charities' program for teenagers suffering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs is moving this spring to a newly renovated, $1.15 million building in southwest Omaha that combines two locations.

Journeys' outpatient services and day treatment program in west Omaha will share the space with the program's residential substance abuse effort, which has been based in Bellevue, said John Griffith, Catholic Charities' executive director.

Simple word captures spirit of Benedict XVI's decision to resign

Historic ... that's one word used to describe Pope Benedict's announcement of his plans to step down later this month, ending a papacy of about eight years.

While a common description, historic was hardly the only adjective used in official statements, messages and newspaper columns offering some reaction to the pope's planned resignation, the first such resignation in 600 years. Many other words - surprising, blockbuster, bold and daring to list a few - attempted to capture the announcement's significance.

Alaskan cruise starts journey to priesthood

Matthew Bearth was 17 when he set out on an Alaskan cruise that changed the course of his life and led him to the seminary.

Today the 20-year-old college junior loves to recount that northern voyage the August before his senior year. It was a time when an onslaught of questions was beginning to come from every direction. What college are you going to attend? What kind of career are you planning?

He didn't know the answers.

Morning prayer sets tone for office and employees

Our office begins each day with prayer. This morning ritual began long before I joined the Stewardship and Development Office. No one is quite certain how it started, but we are all grateful for it.

That gathering for prayer is the ideal water cooler moment. We offer warm greetings, check on each other's weekends, new grandchildren or ill parents; we may take care of a few points of business as we wait for all to be assembled. But then we offer our intentions, bringing our individual concerns and our collective ministry to God.

Inspiring service

Canned and boxed goods in the shape of a ballerina tied with a race track for first place in a Feb. 4 food drive with an artistic twist at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Omaha. The second grade's creation combined originality, creativity and effort - and the race track made by fifth-graders also won for creativity and being built with a "ton of cans," indicating great effort, said William Kelly, principal. The event helped bring in more food for St.

Penny war

Religious education students at St. Francis Parish in Humphrey drop coins into a jar for a penny war during Advent that raised $78.60 for the Platte County Food Pantry. The 59 students enjoyed an early Valentine treat and cards for their efforts Jan. 31, and the winning class of third- and fourth-graders, led by teachers Trish Hanis and Janet Osten, earned a party in April. Students in the PRE program participate in community service activities throughout the school year, including holding several breakfasts after Sunday Masses.

Sixth-grader wins spelling bee

Correctly spelling the word "eureka" propelled Christ the King sixth-grader Patrick Fayad to victory in the annual Omaha-area Catholic school spelling bee Feb. 9.

Allison Young, a seventh-grader at St. Robert Bellarmine School, finished second in a field of 48 students from 26 schools.

Lily Yates, a seventh-grader at St. Wenceslaus School, took third and Meghan Schuette, a sixth-grader at St. Stephen the Martyr School, was fourth.

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