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LIFE Runners in Jerusalem marathon: Pat Castle, founder and president of LIFE Runners, kneels to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial, in Jerusalem March 16. He and his wife, Angi, represented LIFE Runners, the world’s largest team of pro-life runners based in Omaha, in the 2019 Run for Zion. The run was an opportunity for Christians to participate in the Jerusalem marathon while fundraising for local mission work including outreach to terror victims, widows, orphans and Israeli soldiers on the front line. LIFE Runners was the top donating team in the marathon, raising $2,350. COURTESY PHOTO

News from across the archdiocese

SCHOOLS

Tuition grants available for new students

The Archdiocese of Omaha is offering tuition discounts next school year to students transferring to a Catholic elementary school from a public, private or home school.

Transfer students entering first through seventh grade can receive Welcome Tuition Grants and have their tuition reduced by $1,000 in the 2019-20 school year. The grants will also reduce a student’s tuition by $500 in the 2020-21 school year.

The archdiocese provides needs-based tuition assistance through several private and parish-based programs as well as merit-based scholarships, said Michael Ashton, the archdiocese’s superintendent of schools. 

Families can request Welcome Tuition Grants in August from 23 participating schools. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis and the number of grants available varies by school. Students already attending a Catholic school are not eligible. 

For more information, including a list of participating schools and the eligible grade levels, visit www.lovemyschool.com/welcome.

Scotus Central gala funds STEAM lab

A mobile STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) lab will become a reality for Scotus Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School thanks to this year’s Scotus Gala dinner and auction.

The 38th annual event, held April 6 with the theme “A Night at Castle Shamrock,” netted about $40,000 for the mobile lab, which will help the school reach out to and involve students at St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure and St. Isidore elementary schools in STEAM subjects.

Scotus Central developed its STEAM curriculum a year ago, and the lab will help meet the growing interest in the subjects at the elementary school level, said John Schueth, development director.

In addition to funding the mobile lab, the event netted another $190,000 for the school’s general fund through silent and live auctions, a lottery and donations, he said.

Rural schools find Quiz Bowl success 

Three schools from the Archdiocese of Omaha competed in the Mid State Quiz Bowl Conference, a competition in which pairs of teams go head-to-head answering questions from areas of knowledge including history, science and current events.

Teams from Norfolk Catholic Junior/Senior High School, Guardian Angels Central Catholic in West Point and Cedar Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Hartington took part in the double elimination tournament March 25 at O’Neill High School.

Eight schools competed in two divisions, one for freshmen/sophomore teams and another for junior/senior teams. 

The teams from Norfolk Catholic finished first in both divisions. Cedar Catholic’s freshmen/sophomore team finished sixth and its junior/senior team finished third.

Schools compete in robotics tournament

Teams from four archdiocesan schools – St. Margaret Mary, Mary Our Queen and V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, all in Omaha, and Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue – joined teams from around the world at Mid-America Center and Iowa West Field House in Council Bluffs April 1-6 for the 2019 CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship.

Fifteen teams from these archdiocesan schools competed against over 700 teams from the United States, Canada, Australia, Egypt, Turkey and China in the competition’s six divisions for elementary, middle and high school students. 

In the CREATE Jr. competition, St. Margaret Mary was among four finalists out of 49 teams. The middle school team sponsored by Gross was a skills finalist in the VEX Robotics Competition Middle School Division.

The tournament was sponsored by the CREATE Foundation, an Omaha-based nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and enhancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.  

ORGANIZATIONS

Newman Center holds blood drive

The St. John Paul II Newman Center remembered one of its own as it held its second annual American Red Cross blood drive April 4 at the center, near the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The event was a tribute to John Patrick Nicholson, who passed away Sept. 9 at the age of 22 after a seven-year battle with brain cancer. He was a student at UNO and a former resident at the center.

Twenty-six donors turned out, including seven first-time donors. The drive produced 23 good units of blood, components of which will help up to 69 patients.

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