Student members of The St. Columbkille Secret Agent Kindness Group will be collecting used cell phones throughout the year. The phones will be donated to a non-profit organization, "Cell Phones for Soldiers," that will recycle used cell phones to purchase calling-cards for deployed active military soldiers to talk to their loved ones.
All makes, models and conditions (new, used, cracked or broken) are accepted. Cell phones can be dropped off at the St. Columbkille Parish Office throughout 2017.
06/25/17: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr Dave Reeson
06/25/17: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr Pat Nields
The first reading from the prophet Jeremiah contains a lament and a declaration of confidence in God who is the source of his strength. As a prophet, Jeremiah experienced pain and suffering for the message that he was charged to deliver to Israel. The first part of today’s reading tells of the struggles he experienced. The last part of the reading expresses his confidant assurance that God “who has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked” is his strength.
The Gospel reading from Matthew follows on this theme of enduring suffering for the sake of the message. It is part of Jesus instruction to the twelve regarding their mission. “Fear no one!” “Do not be afraid!” “Even all the hairs of your head are counted.” These admonitions are to shore up the apostles who in the era when Matthew’s Gospel was written toward the end of the first century were no doubt experiencing opposition and persecution for their persistence in proclaiming the message of Jesus. Those who “acknowledge him” will be acknowledged by God in heaven. This is the promise to the apostles and the promised to us.
The Romans reading immediately follows the selection we heard last week. Paul is reflecting on depth of sin that pervades all humanity, Jew and Gentile alike due to the sin of Adam. Jesus is seen as the new Adam, unstained by sin and giving salvation to all, whether followers of the Law (Jews), or those subject to natural law (Gentiles—everybody else).
06/18/17: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
06/18/17: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christ) - Fr Dave Reeson
(5:52, 5:37 MB)
06/18/17: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christ) - Fr Pat Nields
(6:34, 6.02 MB)
The Lectionary today includes a non-scriptural passage, the sequence, which comes from the pen of the great theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas. The readings of the celebration deal with bread and wine (and fish in the Gospel) as signs of God’s covenant and of priesthood and remembrance. The sequence comes as a meditation on these same aspects and more as found in the Eucharist: sacrifice, memorial, Communion, salvation, all in Christ. Especially in year C, when the readings are shorter, it is a good idea to sing and preach on the longer version of the Sequence.
The first reading presents the mysterious character of Melchizedek, the king priest of Salem – what we know as Jerusalem. The Gospel reading concerning the loaves and the fishes only heightens this link, from Abraham and Jerusalem to the Covenant of Christ recounted in the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. The love of God fills all of these moments, and continues to be known by us through Communion and through the liturgy. How can we respond to this love, this covenant, this unbreakable friendship, which is life for us?
06/04/17: Pentecost: Day - Solemnity - Fr Dave Reeson
06/04/17: Pentecost: Day - Solemnity - Fr Pat Nields
06/04/17: Pentecost: Day - Solemnity - Fr Dennis Hanneman
(9:21, 8.57 MB)
06/04/17: Pentecost: Day - Solemnity - Fr Tony Ike
(11:25, 10.4 MB)
Like the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the Lectionary gives some options for this day in the various years of the three-year cycle of readings.
In all years we hear the wonderful reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which describes how people from all over the known world, from Parthia, Media and Elam (current Iran and parts of places as far away as Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Pakistan), Mesopotamia (Iraq), Judea (with Galilee made up Israel) Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia (Asia minor) Egypt, Libya (North Africa), Rome.
The Greeks get added to the procession of nations in the first option in all years for the second reading, where we are all called to be baptized and so share in the one Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is one of the few days left in the liturgical calendar that calls for the use of the Sequence. The Sequence is a poetic text, designed to be sung, which prepares us to better hear the message that we know is coming, the message of the Gospel.
The Gospel for Pentecost is taken from the Gospel of John. It is the scene from Easter evening, when Jesus bestows the Holy Spirit.
05/28/17: Seventh Sunday of Easter - Fr Dave Reeson
.(5:51, 5.36 MB)
05/28/17: Seventh Sunday of Easter - Fr Pat Nields
(7:59, 7.31 MB)
Within the axis of Ascension and Pentecost, today’s Scriptures offer insight to how the community reacted to the absence of Jesus. In the selection from Acts, it is reported that the apostles with some women disciples returned to the “place where they were staying” and devoted themselves to prayer.
The selection from First Peter again encourages the community to enter into suffering as a redemptive practice and not return insult for insult. Any who give offense to a Christian are to be loved and embraced; the suffering, a chance to grow closer to Christ.
John’s gospel gives us the prayer of Jesus before his suffering and death. The oratio of Jesus acknowledges that he has come from the Father and will return to the Father, however, it is the disciples and Christian community that will be responsible for making Christ known in the world. The Christian community is in the world but not of the world, thus marking them as special in God’s eyes and having a special part in the salvation history as the Church grew. This prayer is a signal of Church which will, in Johanine theology be born from the blood and water that poured from Jesus’ side after his death on the cross.
The Scriptures of this Sunday mark a turn in the celebration of the Easter Season. We begin to focus on the promise of the Holy Spirit. In the selection from Acts, after the people of Samaria are baptized “in the name of Jesus” and accept the word of God, apostles are sent to pray over them so they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Three elements are indicated as necessary for living lives of faith: hearing and accepting the word of God; baptism with water; and the prayer for the Holy Spirit.
The selection from the First Letter of Peter seems to speak to a community that is undergoing trials or persecution for their faith. The sacred writer indicates to the community what is meant by being one with Jesus in his suffering, death and resurrection. Instead of reacting to violence with violence, the community is encouraged to join their sufferings to the suffering of Christ, and thus enter into redemptive suffering to be made holy and grow in faith. Christians may suffer for doing good, but they will grow in the Spirit the more they enter into the paschal mystery of suffering.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus promises to send the apostles (and community) the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide them on their Christian journey and strengthen them in time of adversity. The evangelist encourages those who may have become disillusioned with the fact that Jesus had not returned in glory with salvation for all. This part of the farewell discourse of Jesus is intended to give hope and strength to the believers, and give confidence to the doubters.
05/07/17: Fourth Sunday of Easter - Fr Dave Reeson
(3:13, 2.95 MB)
05/07/17: Fourth Sunday of Easter - Fr Pat Nields
(5:12, 4.76 MB)
05/07/17: Fourth Sunday of Easter - Archbishop George Lucas
(16.04, 14.7 MB)
The fourth evangelist, John, offers a discourse from Jesus about being shepherd and sheep gate. The voice of Jesus assures the late first century Christian community of the importance of listening to his voice and resting in his safety. Jesus promises to keep the flock (the Christian community) safe from thieves and robbers. For the community today, it is important that our music and liturgy focus on the voice of the shepherd and not get too impressed with having our own voices, gifts and talents get in the way.
The selection from the Acts of the Apostles exhorts people of faith who have heard the message to be “baptized…for the forgiveness of your sins” and “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The words of Peter have been prescient for many generations, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” The more things change, the more they stay the same. In all times and generations, the culture has been a challenge to living a life of faith in Jesus Christ and being witnesses to the world of God’s power over sin and death.
The words from the First Letter of Peter offer us a glimpse of how we are to embrace suffering to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Whereas our culture embraces vengeance and revenge, the redemptive suffering and sacrifice of Jesus our what we are to embrace. Like the non-violence of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, we are exhorted to “return no insult”, not to threaten but to hand ourselves over willingly for the sake of our faith. Doing so, we will be saved by the shepherd who knows his sheep.
I have some news that I need to share with you. I am sad to announce that Mr. Jim Makey has decided, after much prayer and soul searching, to resign his position as Principal at the end of this school year. I have really enjoyed working with Mr. Makey. I have a great respect of how he has handled our staff, students and all the committees and activities that make our school so vibrant. We have such an awesome school thanks in no small part to his leadership and direction.
As a first time pastor with such a large grade school, he has helped me personally learn what a successful school should look like. Although we are sad to see Mr. Makey go, we are grateful for the time he spent here at St. Columbkille and wish him and his wife, Betty, all the best for their plans for the future and our prayers will be with them always.
The other side of this coin is that I am delighted to announce that Brandi Redburn has agreed to be the new Principal of St. Columbkille School. Over the past two school years, I have been so impressed by her skills and abilities, and I am confident that in her very capable hands, the transition will be seamless.
The students, parents and staff will have a dynamic leader who is 100% committed to the families of the school and our mission. I have no doubt that our school will continue to offer our students the very best Catholic education in the Archdiocese under the direction of Mrs. Redburn.
Jackie Buso has done a tremendous job as our parish Bulletin Editor and Athletics Administrator for the past five-years. Now with two children in Catholic High Schools, she has decided it is time to return to fulltime employment. She does more than most realize and is going to be greatly missed. She will continue on a part-time basis until her replacement is secured.
We are now considering comprehensive staffing needs for our parish and job description for the Bulletin Editor and Athletics Administrator is being adjusted. Employment opportunities at our parish will be made known and a search committee established soon. Watch the bulletin or our web site for more information.
Homily :: April 30, 2017
04/30/17: Third Sunday of Easter
On April 30th, I used the following illustration in my homily to help us understand that we often need to focus and concentrate to see Jesus. Even some of the Disciples failed to see Jesus when he was in their midst. I may not see Jesus in someone that thinks differently than I do or someone that cuts me off in the parking lot. If we concentrate and focus we can see Jesus all around us!
Third Sunday of Easter - Fr Dave Reeson
(5:59, 5.48 MB)
Concentrate on the four dots in the middle of the picture for about 30-seconds. Then close your eyes, or look up toward the ceiling. Within seconds, you will see an image. Continue looking at the image…What Do You See?? Is it a heavenly sign?
20170430: Third Sunday of Easter - Fr Dave Reeson
(8:29, 7.78 MB)
Third Sunday of Easter - Fr Pat Nields
(6:04, 7.78 MB)
20170430: Third Sunday of Easter - Fr Pat Nields
(5:32, 5.06 MB)
04/30/17: Third Sunday of Easter
The resurrection appearances of Jesus are central elements of the Gospel in all three cycles of the lectionary. Scripture scholars believe that it is these resurrection accounts that were some of the first written recollections of the salvific events of Jesus suffering, death and resurrection
The story of Emmaus from Luke’s Gospel is perhaps one of the best known stories of Jesus’ appearance after the resurrection. The recognition of him in the “breaking of the bread” is an obvious image of the Eucharistic meal. The fledgling Christians were no doubt coming together for the “breaking of the bread” and doing what Jesus did on the night before he died. No doubt, this meal included reminiscence of Jesus as well as sharing of stories from the Hebrew scriptures.
The proclamation from the Acts of the Apostles is a well developed exposition of the importance of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for the community. It contains the kernel of what would later become an article of the Creed, namely, that Jesus was both God and man, that he died on the cross, rose from the dead and is not seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven and sent the Holy Spirit.
The selection of First Peter is a deepening of the theology of Jesus life and death. It places Jesus in the scope of terrestrial history with universal significance attached to his resurrection. “Before the foundation of the world” Jesus was known and now revealed to you in glory.
The Easter Season is such a hopeful time. The joy of the Resurrection of our Lord; he has conquered death and conveys salvation and love to us. Even the warmer weather of this season and the scent of Easter lilies can lift the spirits. If we gave kudos to each person that was involved in making Holy Week and Easter beautiful and successful, this bulletin would contain nothing more because so many volunteers were so very actively involved.
In reflecting upon Holy Week, our parish Triduum liturgies were beautiful celebrations leading us all closer to Christ through the remembering and representation of the Paschal Mystery. At the Easter Vigil Mass, we were honored to witness the baptism, profession of faith, confirmation, and reception of first Holy Communion by some of our newest parish members – those who participated in the RCIA and Come & See programs this year. If you came to Mass on Easter Sunday, you know we welcomed more faithful people than our church could even hold!
Months of formation and weekly meetings prepare the Elect for their reception of the sacraments at Easter Vigil, and countless hours of behind-the-scenes preparation go into planning the liturgies and creating beautiful, welcoming spaces for us to worship in. We’d like to thank the groups of dedicated folks who live their call to discipleship by participating in these ministries:
Thank you to the RCIA Team and Come & See catechists for their ongoing dedication to evangelization and formation of new disciples.
Thank you to those who spent part of their Holy Week cleaning the worship space and providing art and environment that remind us of the beauty God surrounds us each day.
Thank you to those who worked around the parish grounds to provide a beautiful, welcoming scene as people arrived to worship.
Thank you to the Liturgical Ministers – sacristans, servers, EMHCs, lectors and ushers (ministers of hospitality) – who helped to create seamless liturgies.
Thank you to all the ushers for the welcoming hospitality and providing needed service with our collections.
Thank you to our parish musicians who helped us to raise our voices to give all glory to God. A special thank you to our dedicated choir who sang each evening of the Triduum and was back bright and early Sunday morning to sing!
Of course, a thank you to our Deacon community, for the witness they provide and assistance and service throughout Holy Week in the various liturgies and who were instrumental in facilitating the smooth flow of the Masses in the Church and the overflow in the Social Hall for the most crowded Masses.
A particular thank you to Nicole Cook, our Coordinator for Disciple Formation, for all her efforts and dedication to the RCIA and formation programs in our parish, providing that needed support to others to come to and to grow in the Catholic faith.
As well as to Michelle Grzywa, doing so much behind-the-scenes, so many details, to help provide such a beautiful worship space, that helps us to focus on the Lord and in all hopes to fruitful prayer and deeper relationship with our Lord.
It is so encouraging to see so many come to our Easter Sunday Masses, even necessitating the use of the Social Hall for the 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Masses. A special thanks to Bill Heese and the maintenance crew for all their work in getting the Church ready and setting up the 650 chairs in the Social Hall.
Linda Gries also deserves Easter kudos for the awesome work she did to organize the simulcasting that enabled up to 650 people at most of our Masses to participate from our Social Hall.
Certainly many that came on Easter Sunday were visiting family, but many we imagine live close by although may not be regular Mass goers, so our hope and prayer is that the flame of faith may increase in their hearts and through our welcoming community and prayers, they may return to our parish each weekend. Please keep them and those from our RCIA and formation programs in your prayers.
Easter Season blessings to you and your loved ones.
Frs. Dave and Pat
Reeson’s Ramblings :: April 23, 2017
Let’s Cool It!
Our parish plan is to pay off phase two of “Pave the Way” and have one-half the money on hand before we proceed with phase three which will include a new more efficient Air Conditioning System for the Church and Social Hall. In order to keep the old Church/Social Hall AC units running, we have had the AC units repaired and serviced seven times since I have been here in the past two years which is rather costly for our parish. We have slowly but surely been paying down phase two of “Pave the Way” but we still owe $147,700.
I would like to get the three quotes for the new AC units, as is the policy of our Finance Council, and secure ASAP the funds to pay off “phase two” and raise one-half the funds for “phase three” so we can move more quickly to replace the units. I encourage you to join me in making a sacrificial gift that will help make St. Columbkille’s not only the best parish but also the “coolest” Church in the Archdiocese of Omaha. When it is 95 degrees with 90% humidity outside we will all be happy that we pressed hard to secure the new energy efficient units! If anyone is interested in what I am willing to contribute to the cause, I am even willing to “release my tax returns!”
I am so delighted with Deacon Eldon Lauber, Michelle Grzwya and Doug McWilliams who prepared our Easter Candle, which is the largest in the Archdiocese. If you missed it on our Parish Blog, see the story below.
Preparing the Easter Candle
In 1983, Brother William, Director of Office for Divine Worship in the Archdiocese of Omaha, taught one of our very own deacons, Eldon Lauber, how to prepare the Easter candle for the vigil service held on Holy Saturday. For the past 34 years, Deacon Eldon Lauber has followed Brother William’s instructions and carefully prepared the Easter “Paschal” candle at St. Columbkille.
The Paschal candle represents Christ, the Light of the World. The pure beeswax of which the candle is made represents the sinless Christ who was formed in the womb of His Mother. The wick signifies His humanity, the flame, His Divine Nature, both soul and body.
Five grains of incense inserted into the candle in the form of a cross recall the aromatic spices with which His Sacred Body was prepared for the tomb, and of the five wounds in His hands, feet, and side. The wooden spikes are inserted into the candle and melted beeswax secure them in place.
The Easter Vigil begins with the blessing and lighting of a new fire, symbolizing our eternal life in Christ, and is used to light the new Easter candle. The candle, representing Christ himself, is blessed by the priest who then cuts a cross into the candle, the first letters and last of the Greek alphabet, (Alpha and Omega `the beginning and the end’) and the current year, as he prays:
Christ yesterday and today; the Beginning and the End; the Alpha; and the Omega. All time
belongs to him; and all the pages. To him be glory and power; through every age and forever. Amen.
The priest then lights the candle from the new fire, saying: “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.”
The Easter candle is used throughout the Easter season until Ascension Thursday. It is also used at every funeral Mass and Baptism throughout the year.
We are grateful to Deacon Lauber for taking the time and special care to prepare our Easter candle each year. Thanks also to Doug McWilliams, our candle preparation “apprentice” and Michelle Grzywa for her efforts to prepare our worship space for the Easter celebration.