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February 2014

Urgent need for immigration reform reflected in face of brother in Christ

Last month I wrote about the importance of voting to protect the unborn. This month I need to address immigration reform. It is a difficult issue to write about because the problems and solutions to the immigration crisis are so complicated. But the U.S. bishops are offering some common sense suggestions for going forward. They do not lobby for any one party's solution. They are simply giving us basics that should be met.

Come in from the cold: finding mercy in the city

It's 15 below with a wind chill of minus 39 when I arrive at the cathedral tonight. The holy water is partly frozen. Perched atop Summit Hill in St. Paul, Minn., the Cathedral of St. Paul is the mother church of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a Vatican-appointed National Shrine of the apostle Paul and a towering presence in the capital city.

And tonight, the first Monday of January, it is a refuge for 18 homeless people who will sleep on cots in the basement choir room.

On priorities, exemptions and urgings

The Nebraska Legislature has completed more than a third of its 2014 session of 60 legislative days. Legislators will have been in session for 18 consecutive weekdays by the time they take a four-day weekend for Valentine's Day and Presidents Day.

It would be a stretch to say that accomplishments matched the time spent. Then again, it's not necessarily a negative effect when the legislative process moves slowly, although pressure will build to pass more bills.

New organization for business people focuses on faith

Faith ... that's fine for church or home or even in some community organizations. But faith in the workplace? Now, that's another matter.

You might get that type of reaction from many people when talking about how evident faith might be in the workplace. Some might even tell you that "check your faith at the door" is the unspoken directive where they work.

OACCW accepting scholarship applications

The Omaha Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (OACCW) and its seven deaneries are accepting college scholarship applications from high school senior Catholic girls.

Applicants can be from public or private schools with plans to attend private or public colleges and universities, said Barbara Vaughn, OACCW treasurer and member of St. Mary Parish in Bellevue.

Most of the deaneries offer $250 scholarships and winners will compete for an additional $500 OACCW scholarship, Vaughn said.

'Our Lady' image to tour archdiocese

A 4-by-6-foot Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be in the Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, area and available to visit parishes, schools, abortion clinics and homes Feb. 16 through March 23.

Through Christine and Roger Wilson, members of Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs and Immaculate Conception Parish in Omaha, the image has been to cities and towns in the archdiocese and parts of Iowa off and on over the last 20 years. The Wilsons can be contacted at 402-960-0893 to schedule visits in the archdiocese and beyond.

Student leaders serve the needy

Nine members of the student government team at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Omaha sorted vegetables, beans and pasta Jan. 23 at the St. Vincent de Paul Society's Omaha food pantry.

Their three-hour visit included a tour of the facility, providing a good opportunity for the students in grades four through eight to help others in need and see how a food pantry operates, said Bill Kelly, principal.

Marian student to play Carnegie Hall

Marian High School junior Brooklynn Venteicher will join a group of international high school musicians Feb. 9 when they perform as a 100-member orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York.

"I am so excited to have this experience and to perform with so many talented students from around the world," Venteicher said after being chosen from among 10,000 musicians who auditioned. "It's the chance of a lifetime and a great opportunity for me to grow as a musician."

Kindergarteners tally 100 school days

Kindergarteners at St. Cecilia School in Omaha found what seemed like a hundred ways to celebrate the 100th day of the school year Jan. 30.

In math they counted to 100 by ones, fives and 10s and measured 100 inches and 100 footsteps, Principal Paulette Rourke said. The students read books about the special day celebrated around the country, made 100-Day stew, ate 100-Day cookies and wore 100-Day crowns, Rourke said.

Archbishop: Catholic schools prepare witnesses to the faith

Schools across the archdiocese celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 - and a highlight for 1,100 eighth-graders from more than two dozen Omaha-area schools was a Jan. 30 Mass at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha with Archbishop George J. Lucas.

"Just why do we have Catholic schools anyway?" Archbishop Lucas asked the eighth-graders during his homily.

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