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September 2013

Project Rachel provides hope

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) official pro-life program, the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, urges pastoral care efforts that encompass "a broad range of services" that "includes spiritual assistance and essential material help..."

"Providing pastoral care to those in need is a primary way that the church expresses its love for all God's children."

Leaders inspire others to know and share gifts

Jesus invited the apostles to come, to learn, and to follow as disciples. But later and just as important, he inspired the 12 to go, to teach and to lead - calling on them to join him in guiding people to holier lives.

Following Jesus as disciples and leading people to him as apostles are two entirely different, but vital, responsibilities. Yet those who are called to lead often are positioned with power that can be misused or can inspire phenomenal change and goodness. It is with the sensibility of a servant leader that the latter most often occurs.

Krakow brings special place in history to WYD 2016

This past August, while contemplating the beauties of the Ottawa River from the deck of my family's cottage on Allumette Island, Father Raymond de Souza, the Canadian commentator and a former-student-become-friend-and-colleague, offered an interesting take on World Youth Day 2016, which will be held in Krakow.

When you think about it, he said, "The 20th century happened in Krakow."

Idea man helps communities bring faith alive

The late Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Computers, didn't achieve his level of business success because he knew the technical side of computers. He turned to an army of computer and technology experts to handle those aspects of the business.

Jobs was the idea man. He somehow came up with ideas that connected people to all that technological expertise and - at least for some - made it simple.

Father Burns remembered for work in spiritual direction

Jesuit Father Robert L. Burns, an Omaha native known for his work in spiritual direction and pastoral ministry at Creighton University in Omaha and parishes of the archdiocese, died Sept. 10. He was 88.

His funeral Mass was Sept. 13 at St. John Church on the Creighton campus. Father Burns donated his body to medical science.

A graduate of Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha and St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., Father Burns was ordained in 1957 and completed his Jesuit course of studies at schools in Missouri, Kansas and Minnesota.

An occupational hazard for good and faithful persons

In a masterful book on grace, Piet Fransen suggests we can test how well we understand grace by gauging our perception of this story:

Imagine a man who during his whole life is entirely careless about God and morality. He's selfish, ignores the commandments, ignores all things religious and is basically consumed with pursuing his own pleasure - wine, sex and song. Then, just hours before his death, he repents of his irresponsibility, makes a sincere confession, receives the sacraments of the church and dies inside that conversion.

Jesus wakes us from the sleep of complacency

"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." (Ephesians 5:14)



Have you ever slept through your alarm? I imagine you have at least once in your life, if not more often. I know I have many times, and I presume I will many times more again. It's so easy to do, especially once the alarm sound becomes familiar to us. We might even make the sound a part of a dream.

Special Masses honor medical, police and legal professions

Three special Masses honoring and praying for the medical and legal professions, police and other emergency personnel will be held later this month and early in October.

Archbishop George J. Lucas will celebrate the annual White Mass to honor and pray for health care providers at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at Christ the King Church in Omaha.

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