Purpose of Community Concerns Committee

The purpose of the Community Concerns Committee is
1.  To inform and help the people of St. James to become involved and aware of human problems and social justice issues
2.  To seek ways for the St. James community to assist in the areas of human needs and promote established parish service programs and projects giving support for the dignity of all peoples
3.  To encourage and offer opportunities for the people of St. James to volunteer and give support to charitable organizations along with other organizations and agencies which promote social justice

Contact Jackie Simmons

Christmas Family Angels

This program helps families in the Omaha area, and in our parish, who are less fortunate, and struggling financially, or who are unemployed.  Names are provided through Catholic Charities, the parish and our grade school.  Angel tags colored by SJ/Seton students and prepared by volunteers are placed on Christmas trees in the church narthex  with gifts being returned on a designated Sunday in December for delivery to Catholic Charities. This is a great way to give of your time and talent during the holiday seasons.   For the past few years, the wrapped presents have been displayed during each Mass at the foot of the St. Joseph Statue as a way of offering our gifts to God.   Parishioners are also asked to consider monetary donations so that families will also receive gift cards for food during the holidays.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the 2016 Christmas Angel Project.   You adopted more than 600 angels providing gifts for people from newborn to 82 years of age.   There will be many smiling faces on Christmas morning thanks to your generosity.   May your Christmas Season continue to be blessed with faith, family and friends.

Contact Community Concerns
Mary Losee

Giving Opportunity

The Holy Family Door Ministry accepts donations of hotel soaps shampoo, lotion, etc., to be distributed to the homeless as needed.   This is a year round need.   Please consider donating those little items you don't use during your hotel/motel stays.   For your convenience, there will always be a basket in the church library to collect these.  Thank you for this "one little thing" that helps so much.   -   Jackie Simmons, 402-571-1565


The Truck-a-thon is the annual grassroots collection project of canned goods and non-perishable food to help the St. Martin de Porres and St. Vincent de Paul food pantries.   Parishioners of all ages are invited to give food, to sign up to go door-to-door to collect food on their street or on a number of streets in their neighborhood, or to help load and unload the trucks for this yearly food collection.   Watch for notices in the weekly Good News! bulletin.

Sunday March 26 after Mass we handed out grocery bags for you to fill with non-perishable food items (preferably no glass).   Sunday April 2 please return your filled grocery bag to the Parish Center by 3 pm.   We also accept HOPE grocery store certificates (preferably small denominations.   Thank you for your continued support and to all who participated in this year's Truck-a-Thon.   A special thank you to those who help load and unload the truck!

Contact Lyle Simmons


The Community Concerns Committee supplies hand made crocheted or knitted afghans to children and adults in domestic violence shelters.  The afghans provide young mothers and children with some of the warmth and comfort they need during difficult family times.   However, our supply is depleted after delivering numerous Afghans this week.   We need several people to help make squares and assemble the squares into Afghans.  We are running low on yarn and could also use more help making or assembling.   Please place yarn donations in the blue bin marked CCC in the Church Library.

It’s fast and fun with each person knitting or crocheting at least one square.   We have a simple formula that will enable you to complete an attractive, full-size afghan measuring 49” by 63” or a baby quilt for EPS.   Knit or crochet any number of squares that measure 7” by 9” each, then we weave them together. We recommend using a worsted-weight yarn.   If you are working with a whole skein or ball, you can knit approximately four squares or crochet three squares from one 3 ½ oz. skein.  You can decide on a specific color scheme or use up leftover yarn from other projects.   Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, an afghan of many colors is a treasure. For more specific instructions go to www.WarmUpAmerica.org THANK YOU!

Political Duties

Petition letters to our Congress and legislature and Voter Guides are distributed as elections take place or legislation is pending.

Annual Lenten Soup Supper

Each Lent  the Community Concerns Committee has sponsored a Soup Supper.  Often the Soup Supper is held in conjunction with the Living Stations of the Cross at St. James.   Each year a speaker explains a service to the poor.   Every other year, our own Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, is represented.   Proceeds go to the service organization that is represented.   Other groups which have benefited are the Stephen Center, Siena/Francis House, Madonna School, St. Anthony's Shelter, Vincent House, St. Martin de Porres, The Shelter and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House.

A heartfelt thank you to all who attended and supported our Lenten Soup Supper.   We collected $714 for the SJ Chapter of St. Vincent de Paul.

Purple Ribbon and Information Drive for Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 out of 4 women and 1 out of 7 men will experience intimate partner violence annually.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42epVoH9Dag (One in Four Women) 1:00 minute

Being in an abusive relationship can be scary and confusing.  You may feel isolated, guilty and ashamed.   If you are being abused, please seek help. Call 911, the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799–SAFE (7233), a local Crisis Hotline or your church office.

There is HOPE. You do not need to remain in an abusive situation. Hear from women who have reclaimed their lives. You too can be someone who gets her life back. Reach out today.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn3YTMpOOAw&list=PLOKteHQ9LvE8mFgu4-xVM-yc4JSTe1XBA&index=2

It’s a Sign of Abuse if a Partner…   Courtesy USCCB Publishing Washington, D.C.

Calls names, insults and constantly criticizes or humiliates
Isolates her from family and friends
Monitors where she goes and how she spends her time
Controls finances, refuses to share money, or gives her an allowance
Threatens to have her deported or to report her to a welfare agency
Threatens to take her children away
Threatens to kill or hurt her, the children, other family members, or pets
Threatens her with a weapon
Destroys property, such as household furnishings
Pushes, slaps, hits, bites, kicks, or chokes her
Forces her to have sex or to perform sexual acts

Make Your Safety & the Safety of Your Children a Priority

No one has the right to hurt you or your children.

Did you know that 3-4 million children between the ages of 3-17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence each year? U.S. government statistics say that 95% of domestic violence cases involve women victims of male partners. The children of these women often witness the domestic violence.

Whether or not children are physically abused, they often suffer emotional and psychological trauma from living in homes where their fathers abuse their mothers. Children whose mothers are abused are denied the kind of home life that fosters healthy development.

Children who grow up observing their mothers being abused, especially by their fathers, grow up with a role model of intimate relationships in which one person uses intimidation and violence over the other person to get their way.

Are you a victim of domestic violence?

Trust your instincts
Know it is not your fault
Don’t be afraid to call for help
Value your freedom to choose, learn and grow

Helpful Numbers to Call:

1.800.799. SAFE (7233) National Domestic Violence Hotline
1.866.331.9474 National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

Share with anyone you suspect may be domestically abused. You may be saving a life. 

 Douglas Co WCA (402) 345-7273  Douglas Co The Shelter
 (402) 558-5700
 Nebraska State Wide DV Hotline 
 (800) 876-6238
 National Domestic Violence Hotline
 800-799-SAFE  (7233)
 TTY: 800-787-3224
 Domestic Violence Coordinating Council  
 Catholic Charities (402) 554-0520
 Heartland Family Service
 (402) 553-3000
 YWCA   (402) 345-6555
 www.ywcaomaha.orgOmaha Police DV Unit
 (402) 444-5825
 Victim Assistance (Douglas Co)
 (402) 444-4597
 Douglas County DV Attorney
 (402) 444-3808
 Nebraska Legal Aid
 (402) 348-1060
Family Justice Center of the Midlands
 (402) 398-9928