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Across the Diocese


by Tonie Watson

Children making their first reconciliation at All Souls Church are: Jessera Aguilar, Yamilex Estrada, Leighton Freeze, Samantha Hadden, Alex Lamas, Saige Montelongo and Gibraham Rosas.

Sacred Heart Church hosted a pre-Lenten retreat Feb. 21. The topic for the retreat was "Jesus I Trust in You."

The LIMEX group that meets at All Souls Parish Center donated a new television to the parish. It is a larger screen and is VCR/DVD equipped.

All Souls Council of Catholic Women has been active serving funeral dinners. Members will put care packages together to mail for Easter.

Youth groups from Bridgeport met Feb. 15.

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) meets at St. Mary's Church in Dalton.

Recent baptisms at All Souls Church were: Saige Montelongo, child of Fotrtino and Chris Montelongo; and Natalie Renae Kennan Vergil, daughter of Kristie Keenan and Mike Vergil.

The Men's Prayer Breakfast met Feb. 5 with Father Dave Rykwalder leading the Scripture and Gene Schmeekle serving breakfast. Dick Stull served at the last meeting.

Confirmation candidates from the three parishes at Bridgeport, Dalton and Bayard met with Father Dave Rykwalder Feb. 1 at All Souls Parish Center.

Another meeting was planned for the youth of St. Mary's Church in Dalton on Feb. 13.

A surprise birthday party, card shower and money tree was held for Father Rykwalder on Feb. 1. All Souls Council of Catholic Women met Feb. 2. On the agenda were All Souls hosting World Day of Prayer, the DCCW retreat in Bayard on Feb. 20 and members bringing military care packages to send to Iraq.

All Souls made pretzels and cheese for the Chamber of Commerce Food Expo at the Prairie Wind Community Center. Chairwomen were Oneva Lummel and Madeline Schmeeckle.

All Souls Council of Catholic Women held a rummage and bake sale Jan. 24. Garage sale chairwomen were Jan Rehling, Schmeekle and Lummel. Gladys Wiggins chaired the bake sale. Proceeds helped pay for the parish center debt.

The annual diocesan appeal meeting in Alliance with Bishop Lawrence McNamara was attended by Mike O'Neil and Nellene Mailander of Sacred Heart Church in Bayard, Charlotte Landrigan and Gene Schmeekle of Bridgeport and Rollie Waite and Carman Draper of Dalton.

Tonie Watson installed new officers for All Souls Council of Catholic Women for 2004. They are: Gladys Wiggins, president; Rose Nelson, vice president; Peggy Backer, treasurer; and Kathy Rice, secretary.

St. Francis to offer Spanish childbirth class

GRAND ISLAND--St. Francis Medical Center will offer a free Spanish Prepared Childbirth Class from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 8, in Conference Rooms 4A and B, St. Francis Medical Center (use east entrance).

Please call (308) 398-5888 for more information or to register.

North Platte/St. Patrick's

by Carolyn Foran

Recently baptized was Sydney Michaela Parsons, infant daughter of James and Angela Parsons of Auburn.

The Sacrament of Anointing Mass is held the first Wednesday of each month at St. Patrick's. Lunch is served in the parish hall afterward.

The 30th Irish Fest will be held March 28.

A parish Lenten Retreat will be held March 5-6 at St. Pat's. All ages are welcome.

Youth attended a Teens Encounter Christ in Gering Feb. 20-22.

A Valentine Brunch was held Feb. 15.

St. Patrick's Church was one of many in North Platte making donations for the purchase of property for the Lincoln Connection, a homeless shelter.

New members of St. Patrick's Church are Thomas, Merry, Amanda, Alexis and Beau Sedlacek; Mark, Mary and Maddison Lister; Robert "Bob" Kelley; Maria Soverania and children, Marcos and Leslie; and Marian Barraclough.


by Rose Fox

St. Ann's held a Latin American Dinner on Feb. 15 at the church. More than 700 people attended.

Albin Cruz Montoya and Andrea Janelle Torrez were baptized at St. Ann's.

A retreat with the focus on domestic violence was held on Jan. 17 and 18 for the ninth and 10th grades at the parish center.


by Lovella Miles

Neil Kreutner and Marie Arendt are the newly elected members of the parish council.

The Knights of Columbus served breakfast Feb. 15 in cooperation with the Bull Bash held that weekend in Valentine.

Winners of the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Contest from the local area are: Allie Millard, 9-year-old girls; Jeff Borer, 11-year-old boys; Kristin Millard, 13-year-old girls; Adam Dredge, 13-year-old boys; and Heather Lutter, 14-year-old girls.

District KC free throw champions from Jan. 18 were Allie Millard, 9-year-old girls; Jeff Borer, 11-year-old boys, Kristin Millard, 13-year-old girls; Adam Dredge, 13-year-old boys; and Heather Lutter, 14-year-old girls.

Competitors came from Bassett, Ainsworth and Valentine.

The theme for the 60th annual Valentine's Day Coronation held Feb. 8 was "Remember the Times." The following members of the Royal Court are St. Nicholas members: king, Brogan Arendt, son of Greg and Marie Arendt; queen, Crystal Ramm, daughter of Tom and Deb Ramm; duchess, Lyn Ausdemore; court, Richard Froning; countess, Jordan Hanson; page, Alena Arendt.

St. Nicholas religious education classes prepared care packages for young adults from the parish away at college or those in the service.

A confirmation retreat was held Jan. 18 at St. Nicholas with prayer, Mass and activities.


by Imelda Gressley

Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Mary's in Rockville and St. Mary's in Pleasanton celebrated World Marriage Day on Feb. 7 beginning with a 5 p.m. Mass, then a wine and cheese reception following at the parish center. A decorated cake was also served. Couples married more than 50 years were honored with corsages and reserved seating. A special song was sung after the congregation of married couples renewed their marriage vows. At the reception following Mass, photos of their weddings were on display.

Weekend liturgies on Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 held the blessing of candles for household prayers throughout the year. This was to honor Presentation of the Lord on Monday, Feb. 2.

Our Lady of Lourdes Pictorial Directory photos were taken the week of Jan. 20-27.

First Communion enrollment was held at the Sunday morning liturgy Jan. 25.

Ron Schuller, director of religious education, is conducting an adult education class during Lent with classes held after the 9:30 a.m. Sunday liturgy.


by Isabel Gruntorad

Holy Rosary Altar Society held its annual Valentine's Breakfast on Feb. 14.

Guests came from various churches in Overton and surrounding areas.

Entertainment was a group of eight who call themselves the Flash Ladies.

Flash means friends, laughing and sharing hugs.

Father Mark Maresh baptized Maximiliano Francisco Serrano, son of Enrique and Crystal Serrano, at Holy Rosary Feb. 7. Godparents are Denver and Gloria Campbell.

The religious education confirmation class visited several of the parish shut-ins at assisted living and care homes in Kearney on Jan. 28. They left cookies for them. The class enjoyed a meal at Valentino's.

Randy and Shirley Ryan are grandparents to twin daughters born Feb. 2 to Andy and Sandy Ryan of Lincoln. Their names are Tayah Joan and Jaydah Kay.

Father Walter Phelan celebrated Mass for Holy Rosary on Valentine's Day for Father Maresh.

Marine Corps Pvt. Cody Christen, son of Christy and Andrew Christen of Holy Rosary, recently completed 12 weeks of basic training in San Diego. The training is designed to challenge new recruits physically and mentally.

Christen joined the Marine Corps in October 2003. The religious education class wrote letters to Christen.

Nick Ryan, son of Randy and Shirley Ryan, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Dec. 20. He is employed at the University of Illinois at Champagne as an assistant strength coach.

Jody Ryan of Holy Spirit was on the Deans List from Central Community College in Hastings.


by Dorothy Kunzman

The renovation of Holy Rosary Church will begin March 1, with a scheduled completion date of May 1. The project will include new heating and air conditioning plan as well as redecoration of the interior of the church.

Masses will be celebrated at the parish center while the work is being done.

Sister Sarah Manchester will conduct a book study during Lent on The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. The group will meet on Tuesday evenings.

Men have begun meeting on Monday evenings for faith sharing.

Ben and Dorothy Nason, who were married February 13, 1954, at Holy Rosary, have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Their children hosted an open house at the Lyceum.

Young people of the parish and community will participate in a "30-hour famine" the last weekend in February. This is an event designed to raise awareness and fund to combat hunger throughout the world.

The annual Valentine bake sale brought in a net profit of nearly $800.

Father Bryan Ernest will be the speaker for the first ecumenical Lenten luncheon at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church on Feb. 26. Holy Rosary will host the luncheon the following Thursday, March 5.

Carlena Ensign and Robert Arrag were married at Holy Rosary in January with Fr. Bryan Ernest officiating. Parents of the couple are Randy and Olivia Ensign and Robert and Penny Arrag. Honor attendants were Brian Whited and Olivia Ensign.

CDA News/Court Our Lady of the Plains

by Patricia Fagan

Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court Our Lady of the Plains met Feb. 9.

Regent Judy Schiltz called the meeting to order after a presentation on Lent by Father Todd Philipsen.

Eyeglasses that were collected over the past year were taken to the Broken Bow Lions Club.

Schiltz presented Brenda Stupka of Broken Bow Early Head Start with a check for supplies to make literacy boxes.

Everyone was reminded about the Education Contest. For more information, contact coordinator Lisa McMillan.

Hostesses were Lois Schmid, Darlene Dunkel, Marilyn Driscoll and Barbara Jensen.

The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. March 8. For more information about the Catholic Daughters, call Schiltz at (308) 872-5061.


by Shelley Lammers

Alex Perlinger participated in the Festival Choir at the University of Nebraska at Kearney on Jan. 26. Paxton student Ashley Meyer also participated. They were among a group of 400 singers to be in the choir.

They had to submit applications along with audition tapes, which were required. Perlinger is the daughter of Barry and Jo Perlinger. They are members of St. Patrick's Church.

Matthew ElderMatthew James Elder was in the Senior Spotlight Feb. 2-7 at Paxton Consolidated School. The son of Kim and Betsy Elder has been active in Letter Club, Future Problem Solvers, Quiz Bowl, basketball, football, track, Students in Action, one-act plays, scholastic contests, Ag Explorers, band and chorus.

Elder has received many honors: National Honor Society, homecoming king, on the "A" Honor Roll, Academic All-State in football, basketball and track and other sports honors.

Elder is involved with church bazaars, Easter sunrise services, Giving Tree, altar server, Eucharistic Minister and he has umpired youth baseball games.

Elder has also volunteered for several community projects like the clean-up at Swede's Pond, the moving project of the Paxton Public Library, Relay for Life cancer walk and Paxton Optimist's Tri-Star basketball program.

He will continue his education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he is considering careers of physical education, coaching or criminal justice.

Scottsbluff/St. Agnes Church

by Peggy Olsen

St. Agnes School staff and parents are busy planning and preparing for the school's annual penny carnival, which will be held in the school gym Sunday, March 7.

Several students from St. Agnes School will be participating in a special choir made up of many schools from around the panhandle. On Feb. 21 the"Sing Around Nebraska" festival will take place at 4 p.m. at Scottsbluff High School with 147 fourth- through sixth-graders participating. The students will be working with a guest conductor. St.Agnes students who will sing with the choir are: Megan Brown, Allie Brisco, Rachel Clemens, Makena White, Ellie Nash, Madelin Parsley, Jessie Ramirez, Karin Shedd, McKenna Pieper and Mick Skiles. Kira Winters is an alternate.

St. Agnes held its annual roller skating party on Feb. 4. All members of the parish were invited to the indoor skating party, which included music and food.

CDA News/Court Sacred Heart

by Geri Wardyn

Court Sacred Heart met Feb. 17 with four officers and 13 members present.

Regent Char Schmidt led the meeting.

Barb McIntyre spoke on the home that is being built for Habitat for Humanity in St. Paul. Dana Jelinek contacted McIntyre asking for local organizations to volunteer. The home will be built beginning in March.

Members voted to volunteer June 26. A money donation will be decided at a later date.

Members of the court volunteered on various committees to help with the Annual Spring Luncheon set for March 22. Schmid reminded members to bring door prizes and bake sale items.

Adelina Starkey gave a talk on her trip to Manila to see her family.

Hostesses were Margaret Hinze, Kay Yax, Adelina Starkey and Martha Havlick.

A prayer for fallen firefighters in Wood River closed the meeting.

Knights of Columbus News/Kearney Council 1728

by Jeff Dummer

Knights of Columbus will honor all area priests and religious, as well as the Catholic Daughters, with a special appreciation dinner at the KC Hall on Feb. 29.

The Council 1728 scholarship program for 2004 is under way with Clint Witte as chairman.

Family fish fries will begin Feb. 27.

Knights of Columbus St. James Council 1728 welcomed four new members at an exemplification on Jan. 26--Bryan and Brandon Bohn, Cliff Jarecke and Rob Downey.

Pro-life activities dominated the week of Jan. 19 with the council participating in a Mass for Life at St. James on Jan. 22. The KC men's choir led the music and members and family of the council covered all of the Mass ministries. The Council also held its annual One Rose, One Life campaign at all masses Jan. 24-25, raising $575 in donations and handing out 1,300 prayer cards.

The Squires Circle and Council held a vocations breakfast at St. James Church after the 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Masses Jan. 11, presenting Fr. José Chavez with $500 for vocations support at St. James.

Council 1728 held its annual local free throw championship along with Prince of Peace Council on Jan. 11. Twenty-one kids participated, with winners moving on to districts in Minden on Feb. 1. The Knights donated the use of the hall and helped with a spaghetti feed Jan. 29 for Cathy Keough Lewis, who is recovering from cancer and will soon be receiving a bone marrow transplant. More than 400 people attended and more than $4,000 was raised.

Renovations on the Knights Hall continued with a day of kitchen cleaning on Jan. 23 and a complete floor clean and wax on the 24th.

The KC choir sang the National Anthem and Fourth Degree Color Guard presented colors at the UNK-Ft. Hays men's basketball game Feb. 17.

Special guest speaker for the Feb. 23 regular meeting was Dave Glover from the Kearney Jubilee Center.

St. Mary's to host 'Lenten Talks' on Wednesdays

GRAND ISLAND--St. Mary's Cathedral will host a series of "Lenten Talks" from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays during Lent. Sessions will be held at St. Mary's Cathedral Square.

The schedule is this:

March 3--"Tour of the Cathedral Square" by Father Tom Ryan, pastor of St. Mary's.

March 10--"Choice: To Will or not to Will" by Cathleen H. Allen, attorney from Leininger Smith Law Firm.

March 17--"Wherever You Are, Be There!" by Father Jim Schmitt, retired priest of the diocese

March 24--"Divorced and Still Catholic" by Father Phil Flott, associate pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral.

March 31--"Saints of the Catholic Church" presented by St. Mary's "living saints."

Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch. Beverages will be provided. For more information, call Sister Rita Kolbet at 384-2523.

Creighton U. to present Vatican II symposium

OMAHA--A symposium titled "The Second Vatican Council: Retrospective and Prospective," will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at Creighton University in Omaha.

Featured speakers for the event will be Joseph Komonchak of Catholic University of America; Susan Wood of Saint John's University; and Michael G. Lawler of Creighton University.

The symposium is one of many celebrating Creighton University's 125th anniversary. It is sponsored by the annual Michael G. Lawler Lecture in Theology, the Jesuit Community at Creighton University and the Graff Chair in Catholic Theological Studies.

It is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary lunch. Those who plan to attend the symposium are asked to register by calling (402) 280-2908 or sending an e-mail to

Flores, Garth advance in contest

Adriana FloresDanny GarthNORTH PLATTE--Seventh- and eighth-grade students at St. Patrick's Junior High recently participated in the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge sponsored by the Campbell's Soup Company.

Students answered oral and written questions on vocabulary at the school-level competition. It was the first round in the second annual Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge.

Adriana Flores was the seventh-grade winner, and Danny Garth was the eighth-grade winner. Both have taken written vocabulary tests which have been sent in to be scored.

Up to 100 top scoring students from Nebraska will advance to the state level of competition. State winners advance to the national championship in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., in March and have a chance to win $50,000 in college scholarships.

Flores is a member of Holy Spirit Parish and the daughter of Jerry and Esther Flores of North Platte. Garth is a member of St. Patrick Parish and the son of Mike and Teresa Garth of North Platte.

Farm, ranch clinics to be held in March

Farmers and Ranchers are invited to attend free clinics across the state.

The clinics will give those attending a chance to meet with an experienced ag law attorney and ag financial counselor.

Clinics will be held at Grand Island on Tuesday, March 2; Alliance on Thursday, March 4; and North Platte on Monday, March 8. Clinics are one-on-one and confidential. For more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at (800) 464-0258.

Seitz presents check to families of firefighters

WOOD RIVER--Superintendent Jerry Seitz of Grand Island Central Catholic presented a check for more than $1,300 to the Wood River Fire Department at the GICC vs. Wood River boys basketball game Feb. 20. CCHS students and faculty raised the money to aid the families of the two volunteer firefighters--Bob Heminger and Kenny Woitalewicz--who lost their lives as a result of rescue efforts during a fire in Wood River. Woitalewicz's family--wife Melissa and sons Matthew and Ryan--are members of St. Mary's Church in Wood River.

School News/Grand Island Central Catholic

by Cheri Schmidt

Central Catholic qualified seven wrestlers for the Class C Nebraska High School State Wrestling Tournament: Michael Eden, Ryan Zavala, Corey Nurnburg, Brady Harrington, Nate Hartman, Adam O'Callaghan and Tyler Wortman. Coach Jeremy Moore was selected as the C-3 District Coach of the Year. Wrestler Corey Nurnberg earned his 100th victory on Jan. 31 at the Hastings St. Cecilia Invite. Michael Eden broke the school career record of 105 wins at the same meet.

The Central Catholic boys basketball team made history on Feb. 20 as they downed Wood River to finish the regular season with a 23-0 mark. It is the first-ever unbeaten regular season.

Crusader Blues High School Jazz Ensemble and the Mini Blues Middle School Jazz Ensemble participated in the Islander Jazz Festival on Feb. 16 with both groups receiving an "excellent" rating. Guitarist Alex Martinez won the jazz soloist award.

Anna Govier, Dani Jo Dobbins and Eric Frandsen were selected to perform in the University of Nebraska at Omaha Honor Band Jan. 30 and 31.

Govier was in the first clarinet section and clarinet choir at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Honor Band held Jan. 23-25.

Four GICC students made it into the University of Nebraska at Kearney Honor Band Jan. 26: Govier, Dobbins, Leslie Cunningham and John Cote.

The Crystal Blue Show Choir received the highest award possible, the Gold Award, at the Nebraska Choral Directors Association Choir competition Feb.

16. Brandon Nordhues and Jonathan Rouse sang in the Hastings College Honor Choir on Feb. 6 and 7. They also sang in the Wesleyan Honor Choir Feb. 12-14. In addition, they were selected to perform the duet, "In Lilly's Eyes," from The Secret Garden on Feb. 21 as part of the Heartland Events Center Telethon held at the Conestoga Mall. Nordhues also sang in the UNO Honor Choir and Chelsea Hitchcock sang in the UNO Women's Honor Choir.

Sing Around Nebraska was held in Hastings on Feb. 21 with several GICC students participating: Jared Bombeck, Maegan Kellogg, Paige Strehle, Sophie Foster, Abby Peterson, Riley Meyer, Tara Morita and Mikayla Northup.

Twelve Central Catholic speech team members were recently recognized after school Mass for their assistance at the Girl Scout Getaway Jan. 24. The GICC students presented mini-workshops so that the Girl Scouts could earn their theater badges. The 12 included John Cote, Eric Frandsen, Jenna Huffman, Jennifer Jones, James Pfeifer, Lyndie Pfeifer, Kaeleigh Post, Arane'a Spencer, Jeralynn Stanton, Nicole Starkey, Valerie Sweley and Sarah Wirth.

GICC speech team medalists at the Sandy Creek Cougar Speech Invitational Tournament Feb. 14 were: Valerie Sweley, first, informative public address; James Pfeifer, first, entertainment; John Cote and Sarah Wirth, second, duet acting; Jeralynn Stanton, second, persuasive speaking; Nicole Starkey, third, extemporaneous speaking; Valerie Sweley, third, poetry, Nicole Starkey, fourth, persuasive speaking; Lyndie Pfeifer, fifth, persuasive speaking; Will Rehovsky, fifth, extemporaneous speaking; Jennifer Towey, fifth, informative speaking; Jenna Huffman, sixth, persuasive speaking; and Eric Frandsen, sixth, humorous interpretation of prose. The team will compete from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Centennial Conference Tournament.

Central Catholic seniors Tyler Wortman and Todd Peterson have qualified to receive the Nebraska University Regents Scholarships. Only 1 percent of seniors statewide are selected to receive these.

Superintendent Jerry Seitz announced that plans are still in place to put in a new central air and heating system during the summer of 2004. A few summer school options will be offered in the newer section of the building. Plans include an "integrated" middle school offering, a remedial high school math class and possibly a language arts or reading class. Supporters are reminded to begin planning for the new gym space and theater of the building projects. Seitz extended a thank you to Carol Ostdiek for volunteering time researching relevant grants that may be available to assist the school.

Seitz also reported that 34 K-5 grade students attended the Crusader Kids Club "Fun Event" on Feb. 12. Student Council members led games and activities for members followed by entertainment by the GICC Speech students in Variety Nite Acts in the Little Theatre. Marketing Committee parents were also available to visit with parents and aid in the event. Refreshments were enjoyed by all and six T-shirts were given away.

Crusader Kids of the Month January winners were Derek Lux, Jordan Chohon, Rachel Wells and Mitch Maginnis from Resurrection Parish; Elizabeth Fairbanks, Katie Rayburn, Jamie Bigby and Marissa Merithew from St. Mary's parish; Alexa Stauffer, Chelsea Woestman, Max Ayoub and Suzanne Cimino from St. Leo's; and Colin Ward, Brooke Porter, Secilia Schlick and Samantha Moravec from Blessed Sacrament.

The Athletic Booster Club met Feb. 9 and discussed the upcoming Third City Steak Feed June 4. The Rockin' Fossils will be the entertainment. The next ABC meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 8 at the school.

The Art Department at Central Catholic is planning to celebrate Youth Art Month in March. All are invited to attend Central Catholic's Open House Art Exhibition 2004 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m March 16 in the lobby. In honor of Youth Art Month, students' artwork from the whole year will be on display in the lobby and throughout the school during the entire month.

The next seventh/eighth grade Variety Nite will also be held at 7 p.m. March 16 in the Little Theatre. "A Faith-Filled Future" was the theme of this year's National Catholic Schools Week Jan. 25 to Feb. 1. Central Catholic celebrated with many events, including an informational day for prospective students, musical, instrumental and drama performances by various students and fine arts groups, school tours, a parents meeting, a faculty appreciation luncheon, and an all-school Liturgy concelebrated by Father Tom Ryan and other area priests. A video tribute to the late Father Frank Hoelck was also shown.

Winter Ball festivities were held at Blessed Sacrament on Feb. 7. King candidates were Jacob Ambroz, Bill Buck, Carmel Martinez, Jorge Ornelas and Todd Peterson. Queen candidates were Klare Bellamy, Keely O'Donnell, Lindsey Price, Amanda Walter and Katie Willey. Price and Martinez were chosen as the Winter Ball royalty.

The Central Catholic Fine Arts Guild met Jan. 12. A report on the Walking Taco night was given and a thank-you was noted to Jim and Barb Miller for donating the hamburger. Parents night for the band was set for Feb. 13. The Crusader Blues and Mini Blues planned to participate in the Islander Jazz Festival on Feb. 16. A choral project, "Choices Count," will be performed at a special event later this semester. Crystal Blue Show Choir will compete Feb. 16 at the Nebraska Choral Directors Assoc. show.

An Ash Wednesday Liturgy was celebrated at Central Catholic on Feb. 25.


by Lois Bristol

The Broken Bow District of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women spring board meeting was held in Ansley Feb. 16 with 10 members present. President Cecilia Stallbaumer of Oconto conducted the meeting and Julie Dush was appointed vice president. Refreshments were served after the meeting by the Ansley parish ladies.

The spring meeting will be held May 1 at Callaway as the host parish and Mason City and Anselmo-Merna parishes will assist.

Legislative Day will be March 22 at Lincoln and the Halsey Spring Assembly, "Catch the Spirit," will be April 26-27.

The Ansley Altar Society served lunch for the family of Harold "Gene" Mott after his funeral on Feb. 18.

Thome wins Greeley Co. Spelling Bee

SPALDING--Corey Thome, an eighth-grader at Spalding Academy, won the Greeley County Spelling Bee held in Spalding on Feb. 17.

Competing in this year's Greeley County Spelling Bee were 37 students from Greeley Public School, Greeley Sacred Heart, North Loup-Scotia, Wolbach, Spalding Public School and Spalding Academy. Thome will now compete at the state Spelling Bee contest, which will be held in Omaha on March 20.

He is the son of Bill and Maureen Thome of Spalding.

N.P. board approves budget

NORTH PLATTE--The North Platte Catholic Schools Board of Education gave final approval to the 2004-2005 school budget totaling $1,602,000, which represents a 2.1 percent increase over the current budget.

The board met Feb. 17 for its regular monthly session. Major business of the evening was the 2004-2005 school budget and faculty contracts.

The board accepted the resignation of Kerri Sheldon as high school English and speech teacher.

Contracts were approved for all members of the faculty and administration.

A review of the school improvement goals resulted in the addition of a goal addressing reading across the curriculum. The board also OK'd the combining of two goals dealing with enrollment and public relations into one goal.

Public Relations Director Lori Aschoff gave the board a report on the progress of new enrollments for the 2004-2005 school year. Kindergarten information night for next year's kindergarten parents will be Monday, March 8. Aschoff intends to have the majority of new kindergarten students registered by that date.

Legislative Day in Lincoln set for March 22

DCCW Ladies! Mark this day on your calendar and join other Council of Catholic Women members from across the state learning about and viewing the Unicameral in session on Monday, March 22.

The Grand Island DCCW is hosting Legislative Day this year, so we encourage you to invite your friends and bring a carload for this informative, enjoyable day. We look forward to seeing you.

Plan to meet at 9 a.m. at St. Mary's Church at 14th and K Streets for registration and coffee and rolls. Jim Cunningham will speak to us at 9:30 a.m. with a legislative update. After the short walk to the capitol we meet with senators at 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. when we will observe the legislature in session.

Mass at St. Mary's Church will be at 12:10 p.m. followed by lunch at the governor's mansion. The cost of the luncheon is $8.50. It is necessary to make and pay for reservations by March 15.

Please make checks payable to me and send to me, Shirley Chramosta, 19700 Navaho Rd., Gibbon, NE 68840. Phone (308) 452-3323.

Once again, I look forward to seeing you.

Shirley Chramosta is Legislative Chairwoman of the Grand Island Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

St. Patrick's Dobesh named finalist in Merit Program

Dan DobeshNORTH PLATTE--St. Patrick's High School senior Dan Dobesh has been named a finalist in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

To become a finalist, students must have an outstanding high school academic record, be endorsed and recommended by their school principal, and submit SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test performance.

Dobesh is a member of St. Patrick's parish and the son of Don and Becky Dobesh of North Platte. He is Student Council treasurer and National Honor Society secretary.

Dobesh has been on the "A" Honor Role throughout high school and is a member of the football team.

He participates in Youth Group, Spanish Club, was a recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Science Award, and is a Principal's Leadership Award nominee.

He also participated in American Legion Boys State and has been involved in several other activities throughout his high school career.

Dobesh plans to study engineering.


by Helen Tiensvold

Second-graders from Immaculate Conception made their first reconciliation recently. They are Nathan Hein, Char Strong, Cristen Hinn and Caleb Puncoehan.

Father Dave Rykwalder led a Lenten Retreat for both men and women on Saturday, Feb. 21, at Sacred Heart Church in Bayard. The day was intended to help participants prepare and contemplate before the Lord before Easter.


by Beth Cullan

Our Lady of Guadalupe religious education students had their Ash Wednesday service during class time. Sister Chris Meyer conducted the service.

Delta Elsasser, the daughter of Rick and Donna Elsasser of Hershey, was formally adopted on Feb. 10. Delta is a second-grader at Hershey Public Schools and attends religious education classes at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Several youth were recently inducted into the Hershey National Honor Society. New members from the church are Brandon Stickley, Amber Garza, Bobbi Arnett, Brett Waite and Greg Steffes.

Arnett and Rebecca Coulter were selected to the University of Nebraska at Kearney Honor Choir clinic.

Greg Steffes and John Younghans won their respective weight divisions at the district wrestling competition in Gothenburg Feb. 14 and they competed in the state competition on Feb. 19-21.

Several adults from Hershey and North Platte are currently taking an apologetics class titled "How to Read the Bible," a Catholic introduction to interpreting and defending sacred scripture. The class meets on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe and it is facilitated by Janet Winder.

Altar Society recently hosted the annual dinner for the landholders of the Platte Valley Irrigation District. Sixty people enjoyed the meal and were entertained afterward by Hershey Harmony and the junior high swing choir, which are both directed by Teresa Rotert.

The monthly supper for February was held Feb. 21 following Mass in Sutherland.

Pro-life walk in Lincoln

Pro-Lifers from Grand Island pose with bannerMembers of the Grand Island Right to Life participated in the Right to Life Walk Jan. 17 in Lincoln. They are pictured with Gov. Mike Johanns. From left are: Johanns, Barb Jones, Rogene Feldman, Diana Johnson and Carol Grimminger. Grand Island Right to Life meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. at St. Francis Memorial Health Care Center, Conference Room C. For more information, call Grimminger at (308) 384-5138 or Jones at (308) 384-8032.

(Photo courtesy of Barb Jones)

Making an Eagle out of Father Mark

Priest and presenters poseHoly Rosary religious education students presented Father Mark Maresh with an Overton sweatshirt as a birthday/Christmas gift. Father Maresh wants others to know that the young people of Holy Rosary do nice things for their priest. Pictured left to right are Jared Shafer, Joel Shafer, Father Maresh, Shalee Ryan and Jessica Shafer.

(Photo by Isabel Gruntorad)

KCHS blood drive

Seniors donating blood poseFor a senior class service project, seniors at Kearney Catholic High School for Catholic Schools Week hosted and organized a blood drive for the American Red Cross. All seniors were asked to solicit a donor to reach the goal of 55 units. Parents donated food and students assisted throughout the day. A total of 67 units was collected.

(Photo courtesy of KCHS)

First reconciliation in Spalding

Children pose with Fathers Hannappel and MurphyEleven children from St. Michael's Church in Spalding made their first reconciliation on Feb. 11 with Fathers Joe Hannappel and Jim Murphy. In front from left are: Justine Leslie, Megan Berger, Kelsie Leslie and Cain Haschke. Middle row from left: Alliegh Glaser, Kyle Hendrickson-Wagner and Tori Valasek. Third row from left: Anna Glaser, Shane Slevin, Makenzie Miller and Emily Bauer. In back from left: instructor Janelle Pritchard, Father Murphy, Father Hannappel and instructor Sister Charlene Vogel. Parents led the children to the sacrament and renewed their commitment to their baptismal promises through the pinning of a white cloth, blessing with water and lighting of a candle. Prayers centered around the parable of the good shepherd.

(Photo courtesy of Susan Schmeits)

Ord first reconciliation

Children pose with Father HeithoffChildren at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Ord received the sacrament of reconciliation for the first time. Pictured in front from left are: Alex Fahey, Gage Smedra, Claire Bredthauer, Grant Gydesen, William David, Macon Petska, Eva Malolepszy and Alex Pinell. In back from left: Father Jim Heithoff, Ashley Bruha, Chantel Bruha, Brian Nielson, Hannah Wadas and Alex Maresh. Not pictured in Danielle Horner.

(Photo by Sister Lee Ann Danczak)

Confirmed from Ravenna, Rockville

Confirmands pose with Bp. McNamara and Fr. PrussBishop Lawrence McNamara confirmed youth from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Ravenna and St. Mary's Church in Rockville. Pictured in front from left are: Bishop McNamara, Sonya Hervert, Alyssa Reicks, Amber Macek and Paul Janulewicz. In back from left: Shirley Schuller, Damon Farris, Bridgett Besse, Larry Janulewicz and Father Rod Pruss.

(Photo by Farris Photography)

Tons of food

KCHS student poses with foodOrganized by the theology department and in celebration of Catholic Schools Week, students at Kearney Catholic High School collected donations for the Kearney Jubilee Center and the Regional Food Bank. Michael Bowman is pictured with one of three trailers used to distribute the food. The students collected a whopping 10,130 pounds, or more than five tons of food.

(Photo by Kathie Hranac)

Sharing a culture

Juan and Antonio Barraza pose with sombrero and flagDuring Catholic Schools Week, Juan Barraza, left, brought his sombrero and flag from Mexico. His son, Antonio (at right), is a kindergarten student with Julie Kunzman's class at St. Agnes School in Alliance. The class is learning Spanish to help Antonio learn English.

(Photo courtesy of St. Agnes)

All Souls officers

Officers poseAll Souls officers for the Council of Catholic women in Bridgeport for 2004 are pictured. From left are: Peggy Backer, treasurer; Cathy Rice, secretary; Rose Nelson, vice president; and Gladys Wiggins, president. Installation officer Tonie Watson also presented past officers with certificates and gifts of appreciation. They are: Oneva Lummel, president; Madeline Schmeeckle, vice president; Debbie Wise, secretary; and Jan Rehling, treasurer.

(Photo by Tonie Watson)

Words from a serviceman

Ken Ramirez speaks to CCHS studentsKen Ramirez, a former graduate of Grand Island Central Catholic High School, was back to talk to students in Mary Wiles' religious studies class. Ramirez, a member of the U.S. Navy, shared his war experiences with eighth-graders. From left are Zach Schroder, Gerianne Farrell, Megan Mulligan, Kelly Zimmerman, Thomas Olsen, Jessica Bender and Michelle Johnston. (Photo by Cathy Howard)

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