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December 2013

DUNN-Marie C., RN

DUNN-Marie C., RN, 94. Memorial Mass Dec. 20 at St. Margaret Mary Church. Preceded in death by twin sister, Katherine Brummett. Survived by husband, Donald J. Dunn. Memorials to the church.




SWINARSKI-Margaret W., 91. Funeral Mass Dec. 20 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Michael. Survived by daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Brian Goeken; son and daughter-in-law, Michael, Jr. and Cindy Swinarski; five grandchildren; two great-granddaughters.


Seeing and being the face of Jesus

I first learned of mirror neurons during a program on compassion at the Servite Center for Compassion, the spirituality center sponsored by the Servants of Mary. The 1990s discovery of these neurons offered fascinating insight into many behaviors, learning skills and even the neurological cause for empathy.

These brain cells cause us to respond to what we see or experience in a like manner, offering an explanation to why it is that our emotions and demeanor imitate those of whom we encounter.

Faith drives Cardinal George's courage

When Francis Eugene George first sought admission to the Chicago seminary in the 1950s, Chicago Catholicism imagined itself the future of the Catholic Church in the western world - and not without reason. A lot of the ferment in Catholic intellectual, liturgical and pastoral life that would eventually produce the Second Vatican Council had already passed through Cook and Lake counties in the previous two decades.

Next session to feature taxes, health care

The Nebraska Legislature's specially created "Tax Modernization Committee" met the Dec. 15 deadline and issued a report ahead of the upcoming session.

A report on modernization and reform of a system as complex and broad in scope as taxation could have shaken some policy cores; it could have been overwhelming; a "wow" moment; an "oh-my-gosh" happening. It didn't. It isn't. It wasn't. It's relatively measured, perhaps even a bit underwhelming. And that's probably a good thing.

Spirit of Santa is another gift God provides

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." Those were the words of a famous New York Sun editorial written more than 115 years ago by veteran newsman Francis Church to answer concerns 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon expressed in a letter to the newspaper.

It's not likely there's another editorial that's been reprinted or quoted so often. And with good reason. Church addressed Virginia's concerns and - more important - gave her and thousands, even millions, of other children hope for the future, and the editorial still is fulfilling that role today.

Students frost cookies for needy in Norfolk

How many students does it take to frost 750 Christmas cookies in 30 minutes?

At Norfolk Catholic School in Norfolk, it took about 90 students from the second grade and the sixth grade, working in the school commons area Dec. 11.

The sugary goodies went to a good cause - the Salvation Army's soup kitchen in Norfolk.

A student's mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, baked all of the homemade sugar cookies, said Troy Berryman, principal. The students used a homemade frosting, with several different colors and lots of sprinkles.

Artwork from students to grace Christmas cards

Fourth-grader Dra-Chaya Hagens-Rhone and sixth-grader X'Zajanai of Sacred Heart School in Omaha each will have their artwork grace the cover of a local company's Christmas cards this year.

For the ninth straight year, Boyd Jones Construction Co. held an art contest for its Christmas card design among students at Sacred Heart who are in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The students were asked to draw construction-themed Christmas cards that incorporated tools or equipment.

Pre-game benefit raises $12,000

About 200 college basketball fans raised $12,000 at a Catholic Charities' Hoops for Hope benefit before the Creighton-Nebraska men's game Dec. 8.

Catholic Charities Junior Board organized the third-annual event at The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill, which included appetizers and raffle prizes. Donations were accepted at the door, said Emily Cunningham Kozlik, development director for Catholic Charities.

This year's benefit was the most successful so far, raising 25 percent more than last year, Kozlik said.

Australian team visits Mount Michael

Mount Michael Benedictine School near Elkhorn recently hosted high school basketball teams from a Sydney, Australia, school for games and Christmas dinner.

During the Dec. 11-12 visit, the 25 students and five coaches from Knox Grammar School, which stresses ecumenism as part of the Uniting Church in Australia, toured Mount Michael, joined students, faculty and staff for the school's annual Christmas dinner, and played reserve, junior varsity and varsity basketball games.

Mount Michael families hosted the guests overnight.


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