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April 2013

Fremont family shares story of joining the Catholic Church

After years of searching for a religion that was right for them, Mark and Anna Simonson said they and their five children are finally home in the Catholic Church.

"Mark and I have been to, I think, every single church, and we've dragged our children to every church with us. We really wandered and never felt at home," Anna said. "But we just felt such a sense of peace in the Catholic Church - like that was where we were supposed to be."

Archdiocese of Omaha raises $153,918 for national retired religious fund

Totals are in and the final number is available: Catholics in the Archdiocese of Omaha last December raised $153,918 for the national Retirement Fund for Religious, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Donations help provide finances, education and consultative support for men and women religious communities as they care for their senior members and plan for long-term retirement needs.

New initiative encourages prayer, ongoing support for vocations

As the 50th anniversary of World Day of Prayer for Vocations is celebrated April 21, the faithful across the archdiocese are being encouraged to offer daily or weekly prayers through a new initiative called the "Invisible Monastery."

Introduced by Vianney Vocations, a Georgia-based Catholic company that provides resources to vocations offices of dioceses and religious orders, the effort includes a website - www.invisiblemonastery.com - where people can enroll to pledge to pray for vocations.

VOCATION AWARENESS

Jesuit Father Rob Kroll, the superior of the Jesuit community at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, talks with boys from St. Isidore School in Columbus at the April 2-3 Vocation Awareness Days at St. Benedict Center near Schuyler. The event drew more than 250 sixth-graders from 14 rural Catholic schools across the archdiocese to talk about the priesthood and religious life.

FOCUS spreads faith beyond campuses

Leaders of FOCUS brought their message of one-on-one evangelization from the college campus to the wider community at an April 16 breakfast in Omaha.

More than 100 people - including Archbishop George J. Lucas - attended the gathering sponsored by Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and the national organization is holding similar events in dioceses across the country.

Novena of Masses to celebrate feast of Pentecost and Year of Faith

By LISA MAXSON
Catholic Voice

To mark the Year of Faith and the feast of Pentecost, which celebrates the Trinity and birth of the church through the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, a novena of Masses next month at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha will focus on the gifts of the Spirit for the conversion of the world.

"In this Year of Faith, we want to rekindle the faith for all people," said Colleen Cruise, a member of St. Cecilia's Spiritual Life Committee, which is sponsoring the novena.

Rwandan genocide survivor and author shares her story

More than 850 people from 12 different states heard 1994 Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza's message of forgiveness and hope when the author led a retreat April 6-7 at St. Isidore Church in Columbus.

"She really is amazing," said Annette Micek, a member of St. Isidore Parish and coordinator of the retreat. "People don't go away unchanged."

And because the retreat sold out, Ilibagiza will present another retreat at St. Isidore March 28-29, 2014, Micek said.

Newtown parish thanks archdiocese for prayers

The pastor of a Newtown, Conn., parish hit hard by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December sent a letter to the Archdiocese of Omaha April 5 thanking its parishes and schools for their prayerful support.

In the letter, Msgr. Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, wrote that the number of parishes, schools, religious education programs, Catholic-based groups and dioceses nationwide offering support and concern was "overwhelming."

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