Thursday, May 28, 2009

News & Miscellany Roundup

Here at The Steeplechase, I try to present a few news items that may be of interest to readers. I've been occupied with a number of things lately, and have quite a backlog of articles. I still believe them to be newsworthy, even if a bit dated. So, here's a rundown of what's been going on the past several months.

Congress Bans Incandescent Light Bulbs

This happened back in December, but it went largely unnoticed by the general public. While I agree it's a smart idea to switch to CFLs, there are some applications where they are inappropriate, namely churches. Fluorescent bulbs make a building incredibly difficult to photograph, coupled with the fact that arguably, they do not produce the same quality of light as an incandescent bulb. What about historic lighting? What about fixtures that are too small for CFLs to fit? There are many unanswered questions. It seems there could have been a better way to promote energy efficient bulbs rather than outright banning them. For a closer look at this issue, read this article.

St. Alphonsus Rock Church in St. Louis Reopens

I reported earlier about the reconstruction of this church following a fire in August of 2007. Renovations were completed, and the church reopened on Palm Sunday of this year. See the video below for more.

West Point Community Theatre Featured in Fremont Tribune

The Fremont Tribune ran an excellent story on our efforts at the West Point Community Theatre. Read it here. This story has also been featured in a number of other newspapers throughout the state including Lincoln and Hastings.

Fire Destroys Rectory at St. Ludger Parish, Creighton, NE

An early April fire completely destroyed the rectory of St. Ludger Parish in Creighton, NE. Though badly injured, the pastor fortunately managed to escape. Until a new rectory can be built, the pastor and parish offices will reside in the former convent. The Catholic Voice reports (with photos) on the story here and here.

Charlie Bowman, Orville Redenbacher's business partner dies at 89.

As many of you know, I ran a popcorn business during my time in high school. I had the privilege of corresponding with this man and his family. While Orville became the figurehead of the company, Charlie was truly the brains behind the operation, developing the popcorn hybrid that made Orville Redenbacher so famous. A brief obituary can be found here.

Nebraska Benedictine Monasteries Undergo Renovation, Expansion

Immaculata Monastery, home of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, NE recently completed at $15 million renovation. Renovations were undertaken to make the 44-year-old building more accessible to both visitors and the sisters. Highlights of the renovation include larger guest rooms, a reconfigured chapel, and a Eucharistic chapel. The Catholic Voice reports on this story (with photos) here. A formal dedication Mass is scheduled for Saturday, May 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Likewise, Mt. Michael Abbey near Elkhorn just dedicated a new $4 million monastery. This replaces "temporary" housing that had been used by the monks since 1965. A new community room, dining room, kitchen, and rooms for 20 monks were all part of the project. A bell tower is also scheduled to be completed in early June.

St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha celebrates 20th Anniversary

The largest Catholic parish in the state of Nebraska will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a Mass and picnic on June 14 starting at noon. The parish was created by Archbishop Daniel Sheehan on June 15, 1989 and is now home to more than 3,000 families. The Catholic Voice has the full story here. See my earlier post and photos of St. Stephen the Martyr Church here.

Final Mass at St. Richard, Omaha set for June 7

The final Mass at St. Richard Catholic Church will take place June 7 at 1:00 p.m. According to The Catholic Voice "Parishioners and alumni will have a chance to take home memorabilia from the church and school, Father Baumert said. Many items from the buildings will be set up as a silent auction for people to bid on, with the highest bidder taking home the trophy, picture, or piece of furniture that is available." Read the full story here.

Kathleen Norris to Speak at St. Benedict Center in Schuyler

Kathleen Norris, author of many excellent books including Dakota and Cloister Walk will be giving a retreat June 5 & 6 at the St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, NE. This will certainly be a once in a lifetime opportunity! For more information about the retreat and to register online, visit this page.

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