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6 March 2012 Vol. I No. 24

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Parish and School Study

The due date for a strategic plan for Catholic schools and parishes east of 72nd Street has been delayed. Click here for more information.

Health Care Reform Act

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York voiced dismay in the Administration's handling of the Church as the White House and the Church seek to work out religious freedom problems found in a mandate in the new health care reform bill. The mandate drew church ire when it required that all employers, including religious ones, pay for contraceptives – including abortifacients – and sterilization for employees despite church teaching against them. He also promised to provide educational materials to parishes and to pursue legislative and judicial efforts to restore respect for religious freedom in the nation. The letter can be found here.

In his letter, Cardinal Dolan said, "The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers. . .We will continue to accept invitations to meet with and to voice our concerns to anyone of any party, for this is hardly partisan, who is willing to correct the infringements on religious freedom that we are now under. But as we do so, we cannot rely on off the record promises of fixes without deadlines and without assurances of proposals that will concretely address the concerns in a manner that does not conflict with our principles and teaching."

HHS Mandate Update

Click here for the latest set of facts on the White House's proposed accommodation from last week.

Response to HHS Mandate

The Department of Health and Human Services mandate that would force virtually all employers to pay for sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs to employees has "absurd consequences," Bishop William E. Lori said February 28. Bishop Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, chair of the US bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, made his comments in testimony about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. His written and oral testimony can be found here and here. Bishop Lori voiced concern for an "accommodation" President Obama described February 10, which suggested a way around moral concerns the church outlined in the health care reform act.

Parish Pro-Life Activities

Please click here for a memorandum from the Nebraska Catholic Conference regarding parish pro-life activities. It contains suggested activities for March, April, May and June.

Nebraska Catholic Conference

Action Alert! Urge legislators to reinstate access to prenatal care for unborn children. Click here for more information.

eVents

Daylight Savings Time

A reminder that daylight savings time begins this Sunday, March 11. Clocks are turned forward one hour at 2:00 a.m.

Celebrating Life's Transition to Adulthood

The Couple-to-Couple League is offering educational programs for mother/daughter, father/son that will explore God's gift of human fertility and growing up and becoming an adult, including other topics: changes in the adolescent body, functions of the human reproductive system, respect and reverence for our sexuality, and the virtue of chastity. Programs are open to girls age 10 to 12 and boys age 11 to 14. They are offered on various evenings February 27-March 26 at parishes in Omaha and Elkhorn. For more information or to register, click here or email Colleen at cclomaha@cox.net.

Lenten Retreat for the "Young at Heart"

Father Dave Korth, retreat director, will speak on Giving Voice to the Soul: Praying with Music -- March 22, 2012, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the St. Benedict Center, Schuyler, Nebraska. The retreat will consist of two talks, Mass and lunch. Father Korth will draw all into prayer using his Native American flute and will reflect on the role of music in helping open hearts to God during the season of Lent. The cost is $30 and includes lunch. For reservations, contact Mary Eileen Andreasen at 402.390.5339. Please click here for a flyer.

Dementia Care Conference

The Annual Regional Dementia Care Conference for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals will be held Friday, March 23, 2012 at the Tip Top Ballroom, 1502 Cuming Street, Omaha. The featured speaker will be Eric M. Reiman, MD. Click here for more information.

Adult Retreat for the Divorced, Widowed or Legally Separated

A Beginning Experience (BE) Weekend retreat for the widowed, separated and divorced is planned for March 23-25 at the Archdioceses Retreat Center, St. Joseph's Hall, 3330 North 60 Street, Omaha. The weekend begins Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. and ends Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The loss of a loved one through separation, divorce or death is one of life's most traumatic experiences. This weekend retreat is designed to be a time to heal and a time to turn the pain of loss into an adventure of grace. The weekend is open to individuals of all faiths. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $100.00 to $125 (semi-private or private sleeping room). Click here for more information and an application, or contact Pat Seier at the Family Life Office at 402.557.5514.

Advancing the New Evangelization

The Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization is scheduled for March 23-24 at Benedictine College. The event combines academics and professionals to discuss key issues related to advancing our faith in the modern age. The Friday night keynote will be given by Barbara Nicolosi, award winning screen writer from Hollywood who founded Act One Inc., a company committed to training actors and producers how to share their faith through film. Archbishop Naumann will give the Saturday night keynote on how the Church views the New Evangelization and the important role we play in it. Saturday will have sessions where over 30 papers will be presented from professors and professionals around the country that demonstrate how various disciplines and practices work to advance our Catholic faith.

One of the sessions on Saturday will be given by Bill Beckman, director of the Archdiocese of Omaha Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. Click here for more event information, and here for a list of the Saturday breakout sessions. Click here to register.

Madonnapalooza

A benefit for the students with special needs at Madonna School, Madonnapalooza, will be held Friday, April 13, 2012 at Anthony's Steakhouse. Please click here for more information and call 402.556.1883 for tickets and reservations.

Boys Basketball Tournament

St Pius X, 6905 Blondo, is hosting a 3 x 3 boys' basketball tournament, ages 13-18, Saturday, June 2, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Team entry fee is $100; entry deadline is May 10; limited number of teams being accepted. Click here for a team registration form and here for a player registration form. For more information, contact Nancy Lobsinger at 402.991.6479.

Save the date – World Youth Day

The Archdiocese of Omaha and the Pro Sanctity Movement will be sponsoring the World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The dates of World Youth Day are July 23-28, 2013. We are looking into a possible pre-trip July 18-23. The location of that is yet to be determined. The estimated cost is $3200-$4000. Those who will be 18 and will have graduated from high school by the date of the trip are encouraged to take part in this wonderful opportunity. The trip will be limited to 40 people. More information will be made available as the planning continues.

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