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T H E HO LY S P I R I T H A S N OT G R O W N TIRED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, AND N E I T HE R H A S T H E B O DY O F T H E R I SE N JE S U S , T H E C H U R C H.” —Archbishop George J. Lucas ArchOmaha Unite, June 8, 2019


THE CATHOLIC VOICE  |  U-2 Archbishop George J. Lucas processes into the CHI Health Center arena during the Great Gathering | Photo: Brandon McKenna

Thousands of Catholics come together in unity Beatriz Arellanes was driving her son, Irving, to school one cold, winter morning when he saw something distressing that tugged at his heart—a man sleeping on a bus stop bench. But Irving knew what to do. Stopping at a convenience store, they bought a hot chocolate and brought it to him. And, seeing that the man was cold, he even gave him his coat. The man’s response: “God does exist!” That was one of many inspiring stories shared with thousands of Catholics from all reaches of the Archdiocese of Omaha who came together June 8 to celebrate their common faith. ArchOmaha Unite, in planning for more than two years, drew the faithful to CHI Health Center in Omaha on the eve of Pentecost to call down a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church of Northeast Nebraska and inspire attendees to live out the archdiocese’s pastoral vision—one church: encountering Jesus, equipping disciples and living mercy.

B Y M I K E M AY

The Great Gathering

The daylong event began with the Great Gathering, which featured a video highlighting the archdiocese’s history, including Nebraska’s original native population, the immigration of people from other countries, and the arrival of members of religious orders to serve their needs. Then, representatives of these groups— native Americans, the religious orders, and descendants of German, Irish, Eastern European, Italian, African, Asian, and Central and South American immigrants—some carrying flags and banners and dressed in colorful ethnic garb, entered the arena in solemn procession. Representatives of rural and urban parishes, members of the Anglo-Catholic tradition from St. Barnabas Parish in Omaha, and people who joined the church at Easter also followed in procession. Janice Jochum, a member of St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, noted the sense of unity the procession created.

“It doesn’t matter who we are … where we are from, whether we’re rural or the metro, we’re all one family,” she said. “We have one common theme, and that is Jesus.” As emcees for the day, Father Scott Hastings, vicar for clergy for the archdiocese,

and Calvin Mueller, coordinator of rural evangelization and catechesis, brought abundant energy to the stage, firing up the crowd and welcoming attendees from each region of the archdiocese, as cheers from each group filled the air. “This is incredible,” Mueller said. “People from 138 different parishes, different ethnicities, different backgrounds, here on the vigil of Pentecost celebrating together.” Father Hastings set the stage for the day within the context of the archdiocese’s pastoral vision promoting unity. “Part of living out that one church is coming together today in this expression of unity, of all of us from all these counties, all gathered together … on this feast of the birth of the church on Pentecost, to call on the Holy Spirit to draw us together today,” he said. C O N T I N U E D O N PAG E U - 8 →


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by the Numbers PRIESTS

120 300

VOLUNTEERS

150 CHORISTERS

CIBORIA FOR HOLY COMMUNION

100

↑Archbishop Emeritus Elden Francis Curtiss, Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt (Grand Island), Archbishop George J. Lucas

BISHOPS Photos: Bob Ervin & Brandon McKenna

3


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I CAN ENCOU NT ER J ES U S ON A PILG R IMAG E OR A R ET R EAT, BU T T H E BEAU T Y OF OU R CAT H OLIC FAIT H IS T H AT IT’S U NIVER S AL.”

ENCOUNTERING JESUS

—Mara Fosdick

MARA FOSDICK | Photo: Samantha Worthing


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Meeting Jesus in the ordinary B Y DA N I K A L A N G

When first asked to speak at ArchOmaha Unite, Mara Fosdick had no idea what she would say. “I had heard the diocesan mission statement before,” said Fosdick, a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Gretna, who was asked to witness to what it means to encounter Jesus. “And I think I fell into the temptation to either write it off as cliché or hear ‘encountering Jesus’ as this daunting phrase.” “As I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on what it really means to encounter Jesus, now I hear it in a completely new way,” Fosdick continued.

Photo: Bob Ervin

In her reflection, she thinks back to her first encounter with Jesus at baptism, she said. “Although I had no recollection of the sacrament, the saving act still came to me as a complete, unmerited gift.” “(This) first encounter with my Savior is my constant reminder today as a wife and mother that it’s not I who initiate my encounter with Christ every day, but he who begins life within me and continues it until the day I’m finally his,” she said. Fosdick spoke about experiencing Christ in her vocations as wife and mother during the ‘Encountering Jesus’ panel discussion of ArchOmaha Unite’s Main Event June 8 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha. She and her family were also featured in the accompanying video opening the session. She and her husband, Blake, have five children with twins on the way. She homeschools the kids during the day, takes them to daily Mass at St. Charles and ends the day with night prayer, Blake said. The seven of them also pray a family rosary together once a week.

Mara said she encounters Jesus in the most ordinary tasks of her day, and especially in the moments she feels most frustrated and inadequate. “The duties of my vocation, instead of them being obstacles to holiness, they become the very path of encountering him every day,” she said. The same is true for Blake as a working father and husband. The opportunity to encounter Christ in the service of others is constantly present in the needs of his family, he said. “The best way, as Christ has told us, to be his disciple is to take up your cross daily,” Blake said. “The beauty of the family is that it’s built in for you. Not that the people you’re living with are a cross, but that your opportunity to serve is ample.” For Mara, being vulnerable with Christ about her own limitations allows her to encounter him all the more. “In that vulnerability, I have to create a space for him,” she said. “I tell him I feel inadequate as a mother. I don’t know how to love my kids. I don’t know how to form them and I feel overwhelmed.” One of her struggles as a parent is monitoring the amount of screen time and the types of messages her kids absorb each day, she said. “I want their purity but I don’t know how to do it. This then becomes the very place that I hear him and sometimes it takes a day or two or a month to actually know that I’ve encountered God’s care, but it reminds me again that I’m not the one in control. I have to wait and create that space to encounter him,” Mara said. By inviting Christ into her daily life, Mara has been able to experience him in all things, even routines as simple as making breakfast or doing the laundry. She has realized that it does not take something grandiose for her to see God, she said. “The temptation to think that my encounter with Jesus has to be dramatic or that I have to go somewhere to find him is just that, a temptation,” Mara said. “I can encounter Jesus on a pilgrimage or a retreat, but the beauty of our Catholic faith is that it’s universal. Christ gives himself to us in the Eucharist every day. To encounter him, I can go to the sacraments, then through the reality of my relationship with him I can learn to encounter him in the mundane and the ordinary.” “These encounters are what then become dramatic because, as I do the laundry with joy and love, I know that it is not me who lives but Christ who lives within me,” she said. Watch Mara’s full testimony from ArchOmaha Unite at unite.archomaha.org

Photo: Bob Ervin


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How friendship can save souls

The Doernemans are part of an evangelization team at St. Isidore and are halfway through a two-year archdiocesan mentorship program that is helping them learn to equip others as disciples.

BY SUSAN SZALEWSKI

Michael Doerneman knew a co-worker was in need after that person reached out to him. “He was depressed and wasn’t finding answers in things of this world,” he said. “He was feeling like he had hit rock bottom. He wanted the peace and joy he saw in others. One day I asked him to breakfast or lunch, along with another mutual friend, and we’ve been meeting weekly ever since.” Those meetings eventually developed into a Bible study. Leading people toward an encounter with Jesus is an amazing thing—but it’s just a beginning, said Michael and his wife, Sarah. The Doernemans have learned that firsthand by experience, and especially through their work as lay leaders at St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, where they help lead people to Christ through several programs aimed at both youths and adults. Disciples need ongoing formation and frequent encounters with Jesus. And they need to be equipped to bring others to God, to make even more disciples, the Doernemans say. It’s a process that requires sticking with people, they said, loving them, especially in difficult times, with the goal of getting them to heaven; constantly praying for them and relying on the Holy Spirit for help and guidance. All of that starts with the mindset that everyone is called to be holy and a disciple, not just priests, and not just a handful of people in parishes, Michael said. The couple, who have been married 13 years and have five children ranging in age from 9 months to 11 years, talked about equipping disciples in a video for ArchOmaha Unite, held June 8 at the CHI Health Center arena in Omaha.

Photos: Bob Ervin

Sarah said that a Christians Encounter Christ weekend or a Steubenville Youth Conference might lead people to a profound, personal experience of God, an encounter where one’s “heart is stirred by the Holy Spirit” and one senses “that Jesus is real … and he loves you.” But “equipping is then inviting them to more ... helping to know ‘where do I go from here?’ after having that encounter.” Equipping disciples, she said, is helping them to further grow in love with God and “raising them up to be sent on mission and do the work of evangelization.” Evangelization often requires developing a friendship with just one or two people, modeling prayer and “just living life with Jesus at the center,” she said. Sarah said she has been evangelized that way by keeping in contact with three women she befriended at a Christians Encounter Christ weekend seven years ago. For Michael, evangelizing and equipping disciples is as simple as caring about someone and hopefully creating an atmosphere where that person is comfortable and can let his guard down enough for Jesus to meet him in that moment. He said that when attempting to lead someone closer to God, he sees a “soul hanging in the balance.” He feels compelled to act, praying to the Holy Spirit for courage and guidance, he said.

He eventually asked his coworker with depression: “Where is Jesus in your life?” The co-worker replied that God was a small part of his life, but that he wanted him to be at the center of it. Michael began helping his co-worker that day to make a deliberate choice for God and by praying with him. Sarah said prayer is vital in bringing people into discipleship and it also involves sharing one’s own struggles, making oneself vulnerable before others can open themselves up. The ultimate goal, she said, is to get souls to heaven, and she acknowledges her need as a disciple to have “Jesus by my side every step of the way.” Watch the Doernemans’ full testimony from ArchOmaha Unite at unite.archomaha.org


EQUIPPING DISCIPLES

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MICHAEL & SARAH DOERNEMAN | Photo: Samantha Worthing

L E A D ING PEOPLE TOWAR D AN E NCOU NT ER WIT H J ES U S IS AN AMAZ ING T H ING —BU T IT ’S J U ST A BEG INNING.” —Michael Doerneman


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C O N T I N U E D F R O M PAG E U - 2 ↓

Thousands of Catholics come together in unity Photo: Brandon McKenna

The Main Event

The morning session, called the Main Event, featured panel discussions with ordinary Catholics, led by Mueller and Father Hastings. The presentations illustrated how each and every Catholic can encounter Jesus, become his disciples and share his love and mercy—one-on-one—with the people they encounter in their daily lives. Arellanes, who is coordinator of Latino school enrollment for the Catholic Schools Office, was one of 11 Catholics giving testimonials during the program. Father Hastings concluded the panel presentations, inviting attendees to take note of the arena’s video screens where numerous simple ways to live mercy in their daily lives were displayed. He said, “Which one of these things can I do? Ask yourself, what can I do before I go to bed tonight?”

“Our Heavenly Father gives each of us unique gifts, unique talents, and he prompts us in different ways,” he said. “I would ask that all of us make a firm commitment to live mercy in a different way after this morning.”

Photo: Brandon McKenna

Work of the Holy Spirit

As he concluded the morning’s program, Archbishop George J. Lucas recalled the consultations that led to the archdiocese’s pastoral vision and ArchOmaha Unite—the listening sessions held around the archdiocese in 2016.

“Among other things, I heard a deep desire to belong, to understand that we’re part of this church which Jesus himself has established.” he said. “I believe it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to bring us together in one church.” “One of the things I’m looking for in this experience today, and one of the things I’m praying for, is that the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will reveal his personal presence to each of us, that the Holy Spirit will help us recognize how close Jesus is to each of us in our own circumstances,” the archbishop said. He then led the gathered faithful in consecrating themselves to Mary, the mother of God, whom he described as Jesus’ “first and best disciple, the one closest to him and also willing to share him with others and to accompany us as we fulfill the mission that Jesus has given us.” After the morning session, Jackie Schuler, part of a group of 300 attending from St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Gretna, said she felt inspired and empowered. “By growing in faith and just feeling I am empowered to do something … I can go out, and just by changing one little thing, that I would be able to do his work,” she said. C O N T I N U E D O N PAG E U - 1 4 →

Photo: Bob Ervin


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O NE O F T H E T H ING S I’M LO O K I N G F OR IN T H IS E X P E R I ENCE TODAY, AND O NE O F T H E T H ING S I’M P R AYI N G F OR , IS T H AT T H E LO R D, T H R OU G H T H E POWER O F T H E H OLY S PIR IT, WILL R E V E AL H IS PER S ONAL P R E S E N CE TO EACH OF U S.” —Archbishop George J. Lucas

Archbishop George J. Lucas in conversation with Calvin Mueller during the Main Event portion of the day | Photo: Brandon McKenna


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She made the choice

KIERSTENE FRYE | Photo: Samantha Worthing

B Y DA N I K A L A N G

It was her decision. Her mother had been baptized Catholic but was no longer practicing. Her father had not been around as she was growing up. Kierstene Frye was never baptized. Her mother wanted her to make an informed decision about her faith when she was old enough. An experience she had in eighth grade began to pave the way. When she visited V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha as a prospective student, “shadowing” an upperclassman as they went about their school day, something gave her the feeling she was meant to be there.

I FELT L IK E S OMEBO DY WAS JU ST WATCH ING OV E R ME.” —Kierstene Frye

“When I was there it felt like, ‘Kierstene you need to be there, Kierstene you have to go!’ So I chose Skutt after the day I shadowed,” she said. A member of the Youth Leadership Team for ArchOmaha Unite, Frye shared her conversion story for the theme video at the Teen Unite youth track event. Soon after enrolling at Skutt in the fall of 2015, she found the faith community she didn’t realize she’d been longing for. “Freshmen year I went on the March for Life with a bunch of friends and we went to the ‘Life is Very Good’ rally, she said. “It was at this arena with thousands of people.” At the rally, Frye had an encounter different from anything she’d ever experienced before. “I felt like somebody was just watching over me, like somebody was hugging me, and I just started crying,” she said. “I talked to my youth minister about it. She said that that was God. And that was something I’ve never experienced before, so I kept praying about it and I started joining prayer groups at school,” she said. Frye also attended Mass whenever possible. “Then my senior year, I was in three prayer groups and I really enjoyed going to Mass, so I felt that it was time that I fully received the sacraments,” Frye said. As a catechumen, she would receive the sacraments of baptism, Eucharist and confirmation at the Easter vigil to enter into full communion with the church.

During the March for Life her junior year of high school, Frye had first asked Skutt’s campus minister, Christine French, about joining a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. French connected her with the youth minister at St. Wenceslaus Parish, who happened to be at the march with Skutt students at the time. Soon after, Frye officially enrolled for RCIA with French as her sponsor. French has tried to help Frye feel more a part of a faith community at Skutt. “A lot of the kids knew each other from grade school or they’d done things at their parish together and she didn’t really know people,” said French. Her efforts bore fruit, as some 30 Skutt students witnessed Kierstene’s baptism at the Easter Vigil April 20 at St. Wenceslaus. “It was pretty impressive: All of these teenagers who could do a million other things were all there. I thought that was a really beautiful moment,” French said. As a new Catholic, Frye is already helping others encounter Jesus. Throughout her faith journey, she has been inviting her younger brother to join her at Mass and annual trips to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life. “I just felt that it was important to open it up for discussion with him,” Frye said. “A few weeks ago he told me he was going to sign up for RCIA and he asked me to be his sponsor,” she said.


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The sacrifice that saved a little boy B Y DA N I K A L A N G

Young Andy Aranda’s life was at stake. The boy needed a kidney donor. The doctors had exhausted all other options. Both parents had considered becoming donors, but they had other children to provide for. Transplant surgery is risky. How could they take the chance? Jesús Aranda and his wife, Maria, members of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Omaha, were panelists at the Latino Unite portion of ArchOmaha Unite. They shared their story of overcoming adversity through faith when their son Andy, the youngest of their six children, was born with kidney failure in September 2011.

was that this man, whom they called their “angel from God,” had a wife and three children of his own. Later, the donor told Jesús and Maria that as he was making his way to Omaha, his parents expressed concerns about his decision because they didn’t want anything to happen to him if there were complications with the surgery. He went ahead with it anyway. For the Arandas, this donor gave them a personal encounter with Christ. Both had wanted to be tested to see if they were a match to donate a kidney to their son, but both had the same concerns as the donor’s family: If something happened to them, who would care for their five other children? With everything he gave and was willing to give, this man presented an example of faith, Jesús said. Faith is believing in things not seen. He had his own family to take care of, but he made the sacrifice anyway, he said. “He put his life at risk just to help somebody else,” said Jesús.

For the first two months of his life, Andy was in a coma and depended on a feeding tube as a means of life support, Maria said. During that time, the hospital staff had asked the Arandas if they wanted to disconnect the life support or continue efforts to keep him alive, because it didn’t seem likely that Andy would survive, said Jesús. Maria said she felt depressed and frustrated when told that Andy might not live. She was desperate for him to have a chance at survival and told the doctors she wanted them to do everything they could, she said. It was at that point that Maria called upon members of her parish to pray for her son. Knowing that he could easily die, Jesús and Maria asked for an emergency baptism at the hospital. Father William Sanderson, then-pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Omaha, where the Arandas were members at the time, came to administer the sacrament. From that point on, things got much better, Jesús said. Andy’s condition steadily improved over the next four months. While other health complications due to his kidney failure required frequent hospital visits, he was placed on the kidney transplant waiting list. When Andy was five years old, an organ donor whose kidney was a match was found. The Arandas were informed that the donor lived about four hours outside of Omaha and was willing to make the trip for the transplant. What they didn’t initially know

JESÚS ARANDA | Photos: Bob Ervin

H E P UT H IS LIF E AT R IS K J UST TO H ELP S O M EB O DY ELS E.” —Jesús Aranda


LIVING MERCY

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DANA WASHINGTON | Photo: Samantha Worthing

Love is a doing word B Y M I K E M AY

Christine Ikeh was a refugee from rural Nigeria, who had fled the violence and havoc caused by Boko Haram militants, when Dana Washington noticed her attending Mass at her church, St. Benedict the Moor in Omaha. Over several weeks, the women became acquainted and Washington realized Ikeh needed help. Ikeh, who was living temporarily with a distant cousin in Omaha, moved in with Washington’s family for about six months while she found a job, a place to live and adjusted to life in the United States. For Washington, living mercy often means welcoming the stranger. But in Ikeh’s case, she offered more than a friendly word or a warm handshake. Washington believes in serving her neighbor—and that’s anyone God places in her

path, she told the audience in her testimonial during ArchOmaha Unite’s Main Event June 8 at CHI Health Center in Omaha. “Oftentimes, because of where we associate, our neighbors may be a lot like us,” Washington said. “Sometimes our neighbors are very different, they may be people from various backgrounds with very different value systems, but if God has seen fit to throw us together in some kind of way, then I really believe that is our neighbor.” Washington said she likes to help young women, especially those interested in furthering their educations. So as she and Ikeh became acquainted, Washington noticed her ambition and motivation to continue her education and was moved to support her. Washington often sees opportunities to live mercy at her church, welcoming strangers, some of whom may be immigrants such as Ikeh. “When I see someone I haven’t seen before, just making an extra effort after Mass, to get over and talk to them and welcome them and find out their story, and oftentimes I will become aware of a need that they have,” Washington said.


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Those needs may be for clothing or food, or simply for companionship—someone to accompany them “so that they’re not just in it alone and they make some friends or understand some things about how things are going to work, so they’re just not on their own navigating their new world. Those are some of the ways that I try to welcome immigrants.” And sharing daily life with Ikeh has been rewarding for the Washington family. “It’s been a gift to me, my kids love her and she’s still a part of our extended family,” said Washington, who stays in contact with Ikeh and occasionally helps her with gas money or groceries. Ikeh, who now holds two jobs and attends Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, is grateful for the Washingtons’ support. “I pray that God will bless them.” Washington, who now is senior vice president and general counsel with Boys Town in Omaha, served as a teacher before beginning her law career and has since maintained her interest in helping young people grow. She has served as a mentor through Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Midlands and informally with people she meets through her parish and in other ways.

She extends an invitation to talk about anything they wish—their education, family concerns, career directions, faith. “I just make myself accessible. Here’s my number, if you need anything I’m happy to help, call any time,” Washington said. “It’s just a matter of opening yourself up to people and letting them know that you’re a resource, that you’re there for them, that you care about their well-being, you care about their success, that you’re invested in them and that it matters,” she said. Washington said mercy also means showing patience and extending forgiveness, especially toward family members, including husband, Darryl, and their four children. “I think being quick to forgive is another way to show mercy … when somebody hurts you that’s close to you. It’s easy to hold on to anger and resentment,” she said, “so being quick to forgive is big.” “I think that’s what God does with us all the time,” Washington said. “We mess up, we fail, we deserve condemnation and instead he just gives us love and mercy. I think there’s a lot of little ways in how we live our lives that we can extend that same love and mercy to other people.” Washington said being close to Jesus helps her reach out and serve others.

I TH IN K T H AT’S W H AT G O D DOES W I T H U S AL L T H E T I ME . W E M ES S U P, W E FAI L , W E DES ERV E CO ND E M NAT I O N A N D IN ST E AD H E J U ST G I V E S US LOV E AND ME R CY.”

“I’m aware of how weak and broken I am and how much I am absolutely and totally dependent on God and his mercy and his grace,” she said. “When you become really aware of that, it’s easier to not be judgmental and to just try to love and serve rather than judge. “You find that God just gives you the graces to help in ways that maybe you never imagined that you could, and he gives you the energy and the time to do it as well.” Watch Dana’s full testimony from ArchOmaha Unite at unite.archomaha.org Photo: Bob Ervin


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C O N T I N U E D F R O M PAG E U - 8 ↓

Thousands of Catholics come together in unity

Options for all

Young people were invited to age-appropriate and high-energy Wee, Junior and Teen Unite breakout sessions, featuring inspirational talks, music and activities. Elizabeth Olson, entering seventh grade this fall at Mary Our Queen School in Omaha, attended the teen session and learned about opening herself to God. “You can take down your walls and give yourself to God,” she said. “You don’t need to be separated, you don’t need to be different. You can be yourself and God will take care of you.” And Spanish-speaking attendees enjoyed presentations and songs in their native tongue.


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Adriana Castro, from St. Joseph Parish in Omaha, appreciated the effort to make Latinos feel welcome. “I learned a lot, and it’s beautiful to come together as one, to be one in the church,” she said. “I was really happy that we had Spanish material and translations. I’m very well pleased.” Attendees also had ample opportunities to walk the Parish Path, a series of displays highlighting the parishes of the archdiocese. Rooms also were set aside for confessions and eucharistic adoration, both of which attracted large numbers of people. In the afternoon, the general session featured comedian Jim Gaffigan, a Catholic husband and father of five who kept the mood light with stories of everyday family life and growing up in Indiana. Mary Townley, a member of Holy Ghost Parish in Omaha who attended with her daughter, said she enjoyed Gaffigan’s comedy and has followed his career, “… and the fact that he’s Catholic, that just seals the deal. He talked about a lot of things that we can relate to.”

The afternoon concluded with Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Lucas, with Archbishop Emeritus Elden Francis Curtiss and Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt of Grand Island concelebrating. Also present in the Mass’s opening procession were more than 70 deacons and 120 priests of the archdiocese and religious orders. The day’s finale was a dramatic, multi-media presentation, “Cross and Light,” a musical telling of the story of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Todd Christensen, a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha, appreciated the sense of unity the day’s events provided. “It sets us all on the same page,” he said. “It’s something that a lot of Catholics can have a shared experience of now. These little acts of unity can carry us and create a better sense of community moving forward.”

I L E A R N E D A LOT, A N D I T ’ S B E AU T I F U L TO COM E TOG E T HE R A S O N E , TO BE ON E I N T H E C H U R C H.” —Adriana Castro St. Joseph Parish, Omaha

Photo: Bob Ervin

Photo: Brandon McKenna

Photo: Bob Ervin


Pentecost is now

“When the Holy Spirit led the first disciples of Jesus into the streets of Jerusalem, they opened their hearts to witness their experience of Jesus and an amazing thing happened. Many hearts were touched, many were drawn to Jesus, many had the experience of meeting Him in the witness of the disciples. And when they met Him, they put their faith in Him. So much power in the witness of that handful of disciples. Imagine how the Holy Spirit can empower the thousands of us to influence our families, parishes and communities as friends of Jesus Christ. How do we hope that our influence will be experienced by those around us? If we are communicating Jesus, if we have his heart, then our witness will not be experienced as coercion or self-righteousness. We will witness the mercy that is God’s plan for all of us in Jesus. At the end of time, He will come to judge the earth. In this age, He draws close, not to judge or to punish us—rather, He comes with mercy. He wants us to experience His healing mercy and to witness that mercy to a broken world, to our hurting neighbors. I pray that this will be our experience of Jesus and our neighbors’ experience of us.

IF W E AS K T H E S P I R I T TO E NLI V E N U S , TO S E T O U R H E A RT S O N F I R E , T HAT P R AY E R W I LL

The Holy Spirit has not grown tired after all these years, and neither has the body of the risen Jesus, the Church. If we ask the Spirit to enliven us, to set our hearts on fire, that prayer will be answered.”

B E A N S W E R E D.”

—Archbishop George J. Lucas Pentecost Homily, Archomaha Unite

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE GENEROUS SPONSORS WHO MADE ARCHOMAHA UNITE POSSIBLE

Photo: Bob Ervin

CATHOLIC MUTUAL GROUP O U R S U N D AY V I S I T O R

K R I S TA AN D M I C K E Y AN D E R S O N

H E A F E Y- H O F F M A N N - D W O R A K -

ANONYMOUS (4)

  CUTLER MORTUARIES

PRENGER SOLUTIONS GROUP

NANCEE & RICK BERGER

M A R Y A N N E & D AV I D H O O V E R

TERI & RON QUINN

M ARY & PAT C O R R I G A N

JIM KINEEN

S I B B E R N S E N L AW F I R M

M ARY & J I M C Z Y Z

FRANK & JANE KREJCI

S T. F R A N C E S C A B R I N I P A R I S H

M ARY L O U & C H AR L I E D I E R S

S U Z I E & M I K E L AW L E R

THE STEIER GROUP

BRETT FREVERT

F R A N C I S P. M AT T H E W S

MARGIE & JIM TIMMERMAN

JOHN A. GENTLEMAN MORTUARIES

SIGRID & MIKE MOYLAN

W H E AT F I E L D S E AT E R Y &

OMAHA CAR CARE

  B AK E RY

C H E R I & T O M H A S S E N S TAB

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UNITED