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Local Briefs

April 21, 2006

>> A roundup of news from around the archdiocese


Hispanic essay contest names top three winners

The archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry Office has announced the winners of its 2006 essay contest, part of the year-long celebration of Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss' declaration of the Year of the Hispanic Youth.

Mario Ochoa, a 17-year-old parishioner of St. Joseph in Omaha, received $100 for his first-place essay. A 14-year-old parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi in Omaha, Ana Ceballos, was awarded $75 for second place and third place went to Geraldine Jimenez, a 15-year-old parishioner of St. Patrick in Fremont who received $50.

Each wrote essays answering, 'What does it mean to be young, Catholic and Hispanic?"

Memorial service for infants May 6

An infant memorial prayer service will be held May 6 in the Serenity Infant Section of Calvary Cemetery in Omaha.

The 1 p.m. service will include hymns, readings and commemorative prayers followed by a balloon release. Marker pens will be available to families wishing to print a child's name and message on the balloon.

Father Michael Fitzpatrick, director of Catholic Cemeteries, will preside at the 30-minute ceremony.

'All who have lost infants or children and their families are invited to actively take part in this celebration so that we can together give thanks, glory and praise to God," said Deacon Glenn Tylutki, manager of ministry for Catholic Cemeteries.

For more information call the Catholic Cemeteries main office at 391-3711.

Deacon information program April 24

Men interested in learning more about the diaconate are invited to attend a deacon information program April 24 at Holy Ghost Church in Omaha.

The 7 p.m. program will include talks by deacons, deacon couples and those currently going though formation. An overview of the four-year formation course description also will be presented.

Wives are encouraged to attend. For more information contact Father Rodney Adams at 733-9327 or


Update allows seniors to visit pantry more often

Now in effect, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Omaha will allow low-income seniors to visit its food pantry facility three times more often.

Seniors can now visit every 30 days instead of every 90 days. This change was prompted by an announced cut in government spending, which will reduce the number of people eligible for monthly food boxes currently distributed through local agencies.

'We made the decision to change the policy as a response to an obvious need," said Diane Sim, executive director of Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

While 13,000 people currently participate in the program, the most severely affected will be 600 seniors in the Omaha metro area.

New board members for Christ Child Society

Christ Child Society recognized nine board members at a Founders Day Celebration a March 26 at St. Frances Cabrini Church.

Board members receiving pins included Franci Addy, Judy Duffy and Linda O'Hare, who joined in 2005, and Genevieve Casey Bosilevac, Jeff Branstetter, Elaine Martin, Michael Meyers, Patrick Salerno and Terri Sanders, who became part of the board this year.

Christ Child Society is a non-profit agency committed to the delivery of human services to youth, the elderly and families though three neighborhood community centers located along the eastern edge of Omaha.


Parish to honor lifetime service

St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Omaha will honor four parishioners with lifetime service awards May 7 at a Founders Day Celebration.

After Mass at 3 p.m., Frank Reynolds, Maude Chatman and Frank and Bernice O'Neal will be honored for their service during a presentation at Preston Love's Jazz Museum.

The names of parish founders, living and deceased, will be featured in the event program.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from Mary Sells in the church office.

'Heart of Grace" alive in Platte Center

More than 1,000 people attended the 'Heart of Grace" passion play March 29 through April 9 at St. Joseph Church in Platte Center. Participants, who gathered before one performance, included more than 60 costumed religious education students who performed under the direction of Jim Liebig. 'The passion play had a tremendous impact on our students," said Angela Dolezal, coordinator of St. Joseph parish religious education. 'It deepens faith and awareness that we are to serve each other in Jesus' name."


Creighton Prep students awarded scholarships

Jordan Paul Dudzinski and Michael Patrick Burns, Creighton Prep High School students, recently were named recipients of $1,000 Liz Karnes Scholarships for Drug-Free Youth.

The city-wide scholarship program, now in its third year, was established by former U.S. Senator David K. Karnes in memory of his late wife to support young people who share her high standards of dedication to a drug-free lifestyle.

The recipients were chosen out of about 70 applicants from Douglas and Sarpy counties.

Knights insurance agency leads nation in sales

The Pfeifer Agency, which serves Knights of Columbus members throughout Nebraska, was recently recognized for leading the nation in long-term care insurance sales.

This is the fourth consecutive year the agency, based in Grand Island, has earned the top spot. The agency also finished 2005 ranked 10th nationally in life insurance sales.

General Agent Kevin Pfeifer received the award on behalf of the 21 agents who serve the Knight of Columbus families in Nebraska.


Area high schools raise funds for Project Rachael

Fourteen Archdiocese of Omaha high schools raised $4,774 for a state-wide media project that promotes awareness of Project Rachael, a pastoral outreach for women and men suffering from post-abortion trauma. Matt Nelson and Christine Gawley, at left, V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School students, presented the check April 5 to Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss and Greg Schleppenbach, state director of the Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities.

Roncalli award goes to couple

Dr. Steve and Beth Feldhaus are the 2006 winners of the Roncalli Catholic High School Pope John XXIII Award.

Presented April 8 at the Festa del Leone dinner, the award recognizes individuals who exhibit a strong commitment and service to Roncalli and to Catholic education.

Beth Feldhaus taught at Roncalli from 1978 to 1983 and has served on various committees and the Roncalli Catholic School Board. Steve Feldhaus, a 1974 Rummel graduate and an assistant professor of surgery at Creighton University's School of Medicine, volunteers as a sideline doctor for the football team.

Four of their children are Roncalli graduates. Two others attend St. Vincent de Paul School in Omaha.

St. Bernard principal celebrates 40 years in education

St. Bernard School in Omaha principal Ellie Seward is congratulated March 16 by students, from left, Carter McKinley, Erin Snyder and Darrell Schulte following a surprise celebration of Seward's 40 years in education. The celebration was part of the all-school talent show. In her fourth year at St. Bernard's School, Seward's 40 years include years in other cities including Edmond, Okla., Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kan., Mansfield, Ohio and Wayne and Norfolk, before coming to Omaha.

Marian day of service for students, alumnae

More than 100 Marian High School alumnae, current students, faculty and staff participated in a day of service April 8 in Omaha, Chicago and Denver.

In Omaha, the group spent the morning collecting trash and fallen branches, and sweeping pavilion areas at Miller Park, Elmwood Park, Benson Park and Walnut Grove Park.

Denver alumnae donated and collected needed items for The Gathering Place, a day shelter for homeless women and children.

Those involved in the Chicago project donated, gathered and sorted needed items at The Bottomless Closet, an organization that helps women on government assistance successfully re-enter the job market by providing them with work-appropriate clothing and career counseling.

This day of service was created in celebration of Marian's 50th anniversary year.

Lenten drive for Omaha Siena Francis House

Students and residents of O'Neill recently joined forces to benefit an Omaha shelter.

St. Mary Junior/Senior High School in O'Neill, along with St. Patrick Parish and the O'Neill community, held a Lenten drive for the Siena Francis House in Omaha.

Students collected more than 1.5 tons of donations, consisting of clothing and items from the need's list on the Siena Francis House web-site.

All the items will be delivered April 28.

St. Mary students fill Habitat home

The student council at St. Mary School in Bellevue recently organized a drive to help a family moving into a new Habitat for Humanity home.

Each grade sponsored a specific room in the house and collected items that would be used in that room, including laundry baskets, detergent, hangers, trash cans, garden supplies, pillows, silverware, sheet sets, garden hose and rugs.

The items were delivered to a new habitat home April 2 at a ceremony welcoming the family to the home.

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