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April 2014

Students learn about lives of consecrated women and men

SCHUYLER - Missionary Benedictine Brother Damian Cayetano said he doesn't have to shave his head to be a monk, but his short hairstyle makes it easier to wake up early and be ready for community prayer at the Benedictine Mission House near Schuyler.

Notre Dame Sister Anita Rolenc said she doesn't wear a religious habit as a substitute teacher at St. Philip Neri School and an archivist at the sisters' Motherhouse, both in Omaha, but someone at a shopping mall once recognized her as a religious sister just by the "peaceful look on my face."

Marian senior wins technology award

Ann Gensichen, a senior at Marian High School in Omaha, was honored April 6 for her skills and aspirations in technology and computing by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at a regional award ceremony at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The nonprofit NCWIT - whose members include more than 500 businesses, schools, organizations and government agencies - recognized Gensichen as one of two Affiliate Award winners selected from Nebraska and southwest Iowa.

First-graders' video earns farm visit

First-graders at St. Vincent de Paul School in Omaha sang the praises of farmers in a YouTube video and won a field trip to an Elkhorn-area farm in May.

Teacher Christy Kleffman's class was one of three grand-prize winners in the Nebraska Farm Bureau contest, designed to promote agricultural literacy. The first-graders learned about their win during a surprise pizza party with Farm Bureau officials March 24.

Guardian Angels hosts fundraiser

More than 200 people helped raise $5,800 March 17 at the 17th annual Development Dinner for Guardian Angels Central Catholic School in West Point.

Chaired by Marilyn Parr, a member of St. Mary Parish in West Point, the event provides money for the high school, and it included performances by the high school's speech team and choir. It also included an anonymous donation toward putting air conditioning in the grade school.

Student honored in field name

A football and soccer field under construction at Mount Michael Benedictine School near Elkhorn is being named after a student who was killed in a traffic accident in October.

The Nate LaFave Memorial Field is just one way the school community has honored Nathan S. LaFave, a 15-year-old sophomore who was remembered after his death by students and faculty at special prayer services and other gatherings.

Marian senior wins scholarship

Marian High School senior Lori Nevole will receive $1,500 as one of four seniors in the country to win a 2014 National English Honor Society (NEHS) Merit scholarship.

Graduating seniors from the society's 650 chapters were eligible to apply, and Nevole's essay about the novel "The Well and the Mine" rose to the top, said NEHS Director David Wendelin.

Marian's Marcella Chapter in Omaha is the only NEHS chapter chartered in Nebraska.

College students hold service day

More than 330 volunteers from College of Saint Mary in Omaha tackled 29 projects at 23 nonprofit agencies in the Omaha area April 10 as part of the college's 17th annual Spirit of Service Day. They helped with a variety of projects, including building homes for the needy, working in a food pantry, an emergency pregnancy center and a home for pregnant women.

In the past eight years, the college has doubled the number of volunteers and projects completed during the event, said Caelee Lehman, director of student leadership and organizations.

CUES raises $260,000

More than 650 people helped raise $260,000 at The Gathering, a March 29 fundraising dinner for the Christian Urban Education Service (CUES), which supports Sacred Heart, All Saints and Holy Name schools in Omaha.

Father Tom Fangman, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and CEO of CUES, presented the Heart Award to Beth Moberg of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha for her support of CUES and the John C. Kenefick Award to Matthew Dwyer, managing partner of Greenslate Development, for his work as 2013 CUES Corporate Drive chairman.

Celebrating Easter with late author

This coming Aug. 3 will mark the golden anniversary of Flannery O'Connor's "Passover," to adopt the biblical image John Paul II used to describe the Christian journey through death to eternal life. In the 50 years since lupus erythematosus claimed her at age 39, O'Connor's literary genius has been widely celebrated.

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