Friday Focus

February 12, 2016

Lent: Day 3

From Bishop Robert Barron:

The Church speaks the deepest truth about sin. It refuses to explain it away or make excuses for it or call it by another name. This is one reason for the Church’s deep unpopularity throughout the ages.

Do you remember that terrible story from the fall of 2006 in which a mad man made his way into an Amish school house in Pennsylvania and killed, in cold blood, five little girls and then himself? It would be hard to imagine a more heinous crime.

Yet, in the immediate wake of that terrible event, the families of the slain children went to visit the family of the man who had killed their little girls—and they pronounced their forgiveness of him. Their wounds, psychological and emotional, must have been as evident as the physical wounds on their kids.

And yet, they pronounced forgiveness. Mind you, it was not so much their own peace that they were offering; it was Christ’s peace, the peace beyond all understanding. But they were vehicles of it, the means by which it rushed into the world.

Can I suggest a reading of Christ’s words to the disciples that might be a tad surprising? “If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound” (John 20:23). This does indeed have a juridical sense; Christ is indeed commissioning his priests to be the instruments of sacramental forgiveness.

But I think that there is a broader sense here as well, a sense in which these words apply to all Christians, priests and laity alike. Jesus is giving his Church the enormous privilege and responsibility of bearing the divine forgiveness to a fallen world.

And see how the words of the Lord apply precisely: if you (my followers) forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven; and if you don’t, they are still held bound by them.

The Church’s great mission is the pronouncement of the forgiveness of sins, the letting-free of a sin-bound world.

Have you accepted that mission?

Monday's PD Extravaganza!

The principals have shared with you all of the events that are happening on Monday: staff meetings, School of Faith, a short Stewardship/School budget talk by me, then an afternoon with Katie Morrow from ESU 8.

One thing we will talk about at the HS staff meeting is how to grow our Campus Ministry position into something that we can be proud of. As many of you know from Fr. Andrews' blog (Click to read it), Sr. Fidelis Maria has been hired as the new Teen Ministry Leader.

HS Staff: I'd like your input on these questions at the 8:00AM staff meeting:

1. What are the roadblocks that prevent our Campus Ministry program from getting to that "next level?"

2. What can we (teachers, administration, students) do to help Sr. Fidelis navigate around these roadblocks. How can we help make this program the focal point of our school?

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Grandparents Day Success

It's already been a week since Grandparents Day, (pictured above) but I am still hearing wonderful comments from people who have attended (or wished they'd attended) our event.

We served over 800 sack lunches, had great music and conversations, and concluded with Mass. Thanks goes to everyone who helped in the planning and execution of this event. Special shout out to our cooks for getting all of those sack lunches done. Also, it was awesome to see our teachers serving desserts, pouring water, and visiting with grandparents.

Thank you for going the extra mile for Norfolk Catholic!

Colton Lyons is Noon Kiwanis Student of the Month for February!

Congratulations, Colton!

Dress Code Meeting

Reminder to anyone interested in providing input on our dress code. We will meet at 7:30am on Thursday, Feb. 18 to start our discussion. What we like, what we don't like, what we'd like to see in the future. We will have administration, teachers, and parents at this first meeting, which will be held in the Parish Center. I have confirmation from three teachers who'd like to attend, but we could use a few more!

Show Choir Wins Back-to-Back Titles at UNO

Congratulations to Jamie Sehi and our Shining Knights on winning the UNO Show Choir competition for the second year in a row! Check out the 8-second video below of our students' reactions!

Stewards of the Week

Our girls basketball team and coaches received thanks from the O'Neill Schools a couple of weeks ago for cleaning up the O'Neill bleachers while waiting for our boys team to shower. What a great way to show our spirit of service to others!

The team has not stopped there. In the picture below, the girls and coaches were at it again, this time after a home game.

Thank you to our girls basketball team and coaches for leading by example!

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