At annual women's conference, speakers reflect on mercy and forgiveness

By Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick
Exclusively for SoonerCatholic.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- More than 700 women continued their Lenten pilgrimage by attending the seventh annual Oklahoma Catholic Women’s Conference on Saturday, March 2.  The day of prayer, thoughtful words and happy meetings provided attendees with the chance to reflect on God’s mercy and love.

The day opened with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Coakley, who offered his homiletic reflections on the story of the prodigal son from Luke’s Gospel, and extended the parable’s message of a loving father: “We have to open our hearts to be stung, broken, that we might be brought to genuine repentance so that we might experience anew what it means to be loved, to be received back into His loving arms. Only this experience of mercy can be the foundation of our Christian lives.”

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Catholic Foundation offers OLOG scholarships

The Catholic Foundation will award summer camp scholarships to six Catholic youth in the Archdiocese.

The Robert A. Streets Family Endowment for Our Lady of Guadalupe Youth Camp was established in 2000 for the benefit of the Catholic Youth Camp. This is the third year that the fund will award a scholarship to a camper. Mr. Streets was enthusiastic about helping to make sure all Catholic youth in the Archdiocese had the camping experience.

The Jacob Meier Memorial Endowment Fund was established by family and friends in memory of Jake Meier, a former camper and counselor at the Youth Summer Camp, who passed away in 2009. Jake began attending camp while in junior high school when the Catholic Youth Camp was located at Lake Murray. The next summer when he was 15 years old, he applied for the camp staff and was hired as a kitchen assistant. In his application for a camp counselor position the next summer, Jake stated, “Since my first summer at Lake Murray I have learned more and more about my faith while having more and more fun each year as well. The more I go to camp, the more my eyes are opened to Christ’s light of the world.”

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Saint Ann’s Nursing Home staffers garner praise, gratitude for response to helicopter crash

By Tina Korbe Dzurisin
The Sooner Catholic

The predawn morning of Feb. 22 was cold and clear in Oklahoma City. The day before had been frigid and foggy, the grass laced with a light snow, but, for that Friday, weather forecasters predicted sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures.
On Archdiocesan property between Britton and Rockwell, most of the residents of Saint Ann's Nursing Home and Saint Ann's Retirement Center still slept. The staff -- awake and alert -- performed routine tasks and prepared for the shift change that was to take place at about 7 a.m.
Then, around 5:45 a.m., a medical helicopter crashed into the street between the nursing home and retirement center. With that initial explosion, the quiet, cold and dark morning became raucous, scorching and bright.

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Helicopter crash prompts ongoing outreach to those affected

By Tina Korbe Dzurisin
The Sooner Catholic

The professional and personal response to a Feb. 22 crash of an EagleMed helicopter on Archdiocesan property continues, as helicopter crew member Billy Wynne recovers in a Dallas hospital, friends and family mourn the losses of pilot Mark Montgomery and nurse Chris Denning, and counselors assist the Saint Ann's Nursing Home staff and residents who witnessed the crash.
Wynne, the lone crew member to survive the crash, was transferred from OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City to Parkland Hospital in Dallas in the late afternoon Feb. 22. As of the afternoon of March 4, the hospital listed his condition as critical.

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Starting over was a ‘Beginning Experience’

By Marka Acton
For the Sooner Catholic

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Psalm 40: 1-3
I was standing in a furniture store leaning against a cabinet of some sort while looking at a couch. I had not taken our couch with me when I had moved out after acknowledging my marriage of 25 years had reached an end. I had gone into the store thinking that I needed something to sit on so I could watch TV.
But I found myself confused and wondering how could I possibly pick out a sofa? To choose an expensive piece of furniture, you needed to have an idea of your future and the life that you would be leading. I had no idea what a life lived alone looked like.

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Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting expands reach with addition of powerful KKNG

By Ray Dyer
Sooner Catholic

“You are to deliver my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are a tribe of rebels.”
                                                                                                                            Ezekiel 2:7

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jeff Finnell said it was about six years ago when Deacon Bill Bawden told the 900 or so men attending the annual Catholic Men’s Conference that  some fellows were working to create a Catholic radio station in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Deacon Bawden said the men had an information booth set up along with the other vendors at the conference and anyone interested in learning more about their idea could stop and visit with them.
“I think a few guys came by to wish us luck and said they would pray for us,” Finnell said. “One man gave us a $20 bill.”
If you need proof of what the Lord can do with $20 and some prayers, look no further than Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting.

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Archbishop Coakley celebrates Mass, dedicates new Holy Innocents Chapel

By Ray Dyer
Sooner Catholic

WARR ACRES — Archbishop Paul S. Coakley celebrated Mass and blessed and dedicated the new Holy Innocents Chapel Feb. 22.
The chapel, located at 6114 NW 63rd St., is nestled in an office area and sits about 20 feet from the only abortion clinic in Oklahoma County.
The Mass and dedication was attended by more than 60 people, not a huge turnout, but overflowing considering Holy Innocents is designed to hold about 40.

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Saint Katharine Drexel opens new memory unit

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley blessed and dedicated the new Cottages at Saint Katharine’s in a visit to El Reno last week. He was assisted by Father Mark Mason, pastor of Sacred Heart Church.
The 16-unit memory care center was added to Saint Katharine’s Assisted Living Center, a 59-person retirement home that was opened in 2007 by Sacred Heart Catholic Church in partnership with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

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‘Rock It Old School’ theme for Irish dinner, auction

Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School recently celebrated its 27th annual dinner and auction.
The “Rockin’ It Old School” vintage rock-and-roll-themed event was held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  More than 450 guests were in attendance.
Guests viewed more than 400 auction items at four separate silent auctions as well as big board displays, fixed price events, Sweet Shoppe and dutch auction items.
The audience participation events “Lady Luck” and “Heads or Tails” were once again crowd favorites. In Lady Luck, guests purchase a card for $100 out of a deck of 52 cards, vying to win a trip to Las Vegas, staying

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Archbishop Emeritus Beltran honored by Knights of Columbus with Excalibur Award for service

By Patrick B. McGuigan
For the Sooner Catholic

OKLAHOMA CITY — Archbishop Emeritus Eusebius J. Beltran was honored at the anniversary awards dinner of the Chief Justice Kane Assembly, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus.
With worldwide attention focused on a papal vacancy, it seemed appropriate that this year’s dinner fell on what is designated the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.
Paul Weigl, a regional leader of  the Knights, presented Archbishop Emeritus Beltran the Excalibur Award for his service to the Catholic Church and to Oklahoma.
In an introspective address, Archbishop Beltran said, “I have had a happy life. I have felt blessed, always feeling close to God, thanks to my parents.”

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