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November 2013

St. Patrick students become engineers

Fifth-graders at St. Patrick School in Elkhorn learned about engineering, construction and design by building bridges made of craft sticks and glue.

A 4-H in the Classroom instructor, working in a program available through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension service, taught in several sessions last month about different types of bridges.

All 85 students tried to build craft-stick bridges that could hold at least 50 pounds - and some students created bridges that supported more than 250 pounds.

Omaha school helps food pantry

Students at St. Wenceslaus School in Omaha recently collected 35,067 pounds of food and household items - more than 9,000 pounds over their goal - for Catholic Charities' St. Martin de Porres Food Pantry.

Led by eighth-graders in a social justice class, the school's 890 students brought in items Oct. 14 through Nov. 4. The eighth-graders also sorted, boxed, loaded and unloaded the items.

Book brings Rome event home

In the middle centuries of the first millennium, the Bishop of Rome celebrated the Eucharist with his people during Lent in a striking way. Each day, the pope would lead a procession of Roman clergy and laity from one church (the collecta, or gathering point) to another, the statio or "station" of that day.

Verbal engineering distorts debate

Abortion extremists want to punish Judge Peter Bataillon of Omaha. His offense? During a court hearing in which a minor girl, a state ward, sought a judicial waiver to get an abortion without parental consent (allowable under Nebraska law), Judge Bataillon dared to utter the truth.

He asked the girl if she understood that "when you have an abortion, it's going to kill the child inside you."

Giving back our gift from God

The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' 2001 pastoral letter on stewardship defines a steward as "one who receives God's gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord."

I recently heard this more simply put: "Who we are is a gift from God. Who we become is our gift to God."

Religious freedom at stake

In the short-term aftermath of last week's legislative action in Illinois redefining marriage as "between two persons," the executive director of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Illinois presented a warning about the scope of this cultural battle over a fundamental institution; namely, don't overlook or underappreciate the impact of this redefinition on religious liberty. In a published article, he wrote in part:

Saying thanks to the saints in our lives

Pope Francis' interview with the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolic, drew all sorts of attention in the secular press and all sorts of reactions from within the church offering interpretations of the pope's comments on a variety of topics.

One interview topic that didn't gain much notoriety was the pope's list of his favorite saints - the saints who shaped his spiritual formation and continue to shape his life. Almost any Catholic probably could name two of the saints on that list of eight without reading the article or the follow-up featured on Catholic News Service.

More than 400 share in faith at Heartland Women's Conference

Sandra Renner, a member of St. Mary Parish in West Point, said she picked the perfect birthday gift for her mom.

The two spent Nov. 2 together with more than 400 other women at the third annual Heartland Catholic Women's Conference in Omaha, diving more deeply into their Catholic faith and drawing closer to Christ.

"Out of this world - it's wonderful," Joleen Renner said of her daughter's invitation to the conference.

More than 400 share in faith at Heartland Women's Conference

Sandra Renner, a member of St. Mary Parish in West Point, said she picked the perfect birthday gift for her mom.

The two spent Nov. 2 together with more than 400 other women at the third annual Heartland Catholic Women's Conference in Omaha, diving more deeply into their Catholic faith and drawing closer to Christ.

"Out of this world - it's wonderful," Joleen Renner said of her daughter's invitation to the conference.

Dominican was Omaha native

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Marie Joan O'Keefe, who was born in Omaha and taught at St. Cecilia Elementary School in Omaha from 1969 to 1980, died Oct. 30 at St. Dominic Villa in Sinsinawa, Wis. She was 92.

A funeral Mass was held Nov. 5 at Queen of the Rosary Chapel in Sinsinawa, with burial at the Motherhouse Cemetery.

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