THE ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA
| DECEMBER 20, 2019 |
International Christmas celebration
COLORFUL CHRISTMAS Winning entries of Catholic Voice art contest on display. PAGES 8-12
ACCOUNT RENDERED Archdiocese provides annual financial report to its members. PAGES 13-16
Father Volker Futter, subprior at the Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, views a Magi figurine from a Christmas crèche, one of over 100 displayed from all over the world at the Saint Benedict Center in Schuyler Dec. 1-16. The exhibit resumes Jan. 2 and runs through Jan. 6. Father Volker, exhibit attendees and Pope Francis discuss the meaning and importance of the Christmas crèche, PAGE 4.
Archbishop Lucas to temporarily lead Lincoln diocese By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop George J. Lucas to serve as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Lincoln while Lincoln Bishop James D. Conley is on a medical leave of absence. Bishop Conley formally requested the BISHOP temporary leave JAMES D. of absence from CONLEY the pope after being recently diagnosed with serious depression, anxiety, tinnitus and insomnia. The authority of an apostolic administrator is equivalent in
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canon law to the diocesan bishop. Archbishop Lucas’s appointment is effective immediately, during which time he will also remain archbishop of Omaha. He is expected to travel to Lincoln one day a week. When he is not in Lincoln, he’ll collaborate regularly with the diocese’s senior staff. It is not known how long Bishop Conley will be on leave. In a Dec. 13 letter to the faithful of the Lincoln diocese, Bishop Conley wrote: “For months, I’ve tried to work through these issues on my own through spiritual direction, counseling, and prayer. It has been difficult to accept that my mental health problems are real health problems, and not just
Colors of Christmas 8 Financial Report 13
a defect of my character, especially during a year of difficulty for our diocese.” Since July 2018, the Lincoln diocese has received reports of clergy misconduct and abuse, resulting in several priests being removed from ministry. “But the truth is that depression and anxiety are real psychological problems, with medical causes, requiring medical treatment,” the bishop said. “I also want to tell you about my health because I hope, in some small way, to help lift the stigma of mental health issues.” Bishop Conley will receive psychological and medical treatment at a diocesan retreat facility in the Diocese of Phoenix.
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“I offer my full support to Bishop Conley as he steps away from the Diocese of Lincoln to focus on his personal health and well-being,” Archbishop Lucas said. “As a brother bishop, I know the demands of being a diocesan pastor; as a friend, I want Bishop Conley to avail himself of the time and the setting that will help him to return to full health and strength. I look forward to welcoming him back when he is ready to return. “In the meantime, I am eager to work with the priests and lay faithful of the Diocese of Lincoln to further the mission of Jesus Christ in the parishes, schools and apostolates of the diocese. I hope that all will join me in praying for health and peace for Bishop Conley.”
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| ARCHBISHOP’S MESSAGE |
2 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
The Lord reveals himself in quiet ways at Christmas In this week’s interview, Archbishop George J. Lucas speaks with communication manager David Hazen about how the Lord reveals himself to us during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. The archbishop teaches that we should be open to encountering him in several ways, including in our liturgical celebrations, in our family and friends, and in the poor, lonely and outcast.
One of the basic themes of Advent is the truth that the Lord is near, but you are right that there are a lot of distractions. I think it’s our responsibility – our joy, really – to look for the Lord because he is close. He is not hiding from us. In our prayer, in our worship, and in our relationships with one another we try to recognize the places where he reveals his presence. He makes himself accessible to us and as we encounter him, we also encounter his proclamation of the kingdom of God. That is another way of saying that Jesus reveals our heavenly Father’s loving plan for us. The Father looks at us in our sin and instead of giving us what we deserve, he gives us his Son, Jesus. However, because of all the distractions and preoccupations, it is easy enough to miss the coming of the Lord in our time. The church talks about his coming in three aspects: his birth in Bethlehem, his coming in glory at the end of the time, and how he reveals himself to us now in and through the church, by the power of the Holy Spirit. But, like his first coming, this is often very quiet and may happen in an unexpected place. It is incumbent on us to be open to how the Son of God will be revealed to us in the way that he desires, not necessarily the way that we expect.
Many people make an effort to reach out to the poor during this season – there are many collections and gift drives and the like. Those are beautiful things, of course. But we want to make sure that those gestures are not just an exercise or simply meeting an expectation for the so-called giving season, and that instead we are looking for Jesus. He has promised to reveal himself to us now and we want to find him. As Pope Francis keeps reminding us, the poor have names, and faces, and stories and are not simply projects. I keep returning in my prayer to a Gospel passage that was presented to us earlier in the liturgical year, the story of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man was dining sumptuously every day and had the finest of things. And outside of his door was Lazarus, the poor beggar. It is a very powerful story because one of the principal characters ends up in hell at the end of it. That should shake us up a little bit because we realize that the rich man did not kick Lazarus when he walked by, he did not call him by a racial slur, or call the cops on him; rather, he simply did not notice the poor man. There was a revelation available to him right outside of his door, and the means for him to be drawn into the kingdom of God was right there. There was an action and an encounter that he was perfectly capable of. So, the rich man did not end up in hell because he did not save the world, or because of some abuse or act of aggression against the poor man or anyone else. It
There are so many distractions this time of year, but during the season of Advent, the church repeatedly draws our attention to Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God. How can we receive this announcement anew this Christmas?
The Gospel reading for Mass during Christmas day is from the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, in which the evangelist says, “And we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” How do we see his glory today?
We have to look for it. He does not knock us over, though he will do that at the end of time when he comes in great power and majestic glory. Today, we encounter the risen Jesus in a way that helps us understand what the kingdom of God is like. As we experience it in this world, the kingdom does not appear in power, or in riches, or the trappings of political authority. But, the Lord reveals himself to us in quiet ways. We experience them during this season in beautiful liturgical celebrations which give a foretaste of the glory of heaven. I think we experience it too, if we can be calm enough to take it in, in our warm interactions with family and friends. Moreover, the Lord was very clear in telling us that he reveals himself to us in the poor, the lonely, the outcast. That is where we are to look for him. If we are humble enough to meet him as he humbly reveals himself, we will experience something very powerful. Is it the same as worldly glory and pizazz? Not usually, but the revelation of the glory of God in our brothers and sisters is very profound, to be sure.
The Shepherd’s Voice ARCHBISHOP GEORGE J. LUCAS
How then can we take the next step in recognizing the poor in the way you describe?
was because he missed the invitation to encounter someone who needed something that he had to give. If he had been open, he would have found that Lazarus was able to give him something that he needed as well. That is not a Christmas or Advent story per se, but I find I’ve been using it in my preaching during this season. I think it offers us a challenge. The Lord is near. He is right outside the door, inviting us to encounter him in a way that we are perfectly capable of. Particularly, he invites us to encounter him in the person who needs something that I have to give. It may be somebody who is materially poor. It may be somebody in my family or somebody at work who needs something as simple as a kind word or a few minutes of my time, some encouragement, maybe somebody who needs my forgiveness. But we cannot forget those who are materially poor. I live in a pretty prosperous community in Omaha and I certainly have everything that I need, but I know that there are always people not too far from me who do not have enough to eat, or a decent, safe place to live. The Lord is inviting me to notice them and to notice them not as a project, but as people in whom he is revealing his presence and in the encounter will reveal his glory. Again, that is a different kind of glory than the world offers. In faith, we see that what is offered in that encounter is a glimpse of the glory of the Lord. He makes himself humble for our sake, so that he might enter into our poverty and lift us up.
It often seems we can ignore that fundamental poverty in ourselves. For instance, we can observe Christmas as just a nice celebration and a break from work.
Yes, Christmas is nothing but tinsel and lights if there is no possibility of real glory. The key to this season and of the feast of Christmas is the recognition that we are in need of a savior, and that the Lord does enter into our weakness. He wants to come close to us where we are needy. He comes to us not because we are attractive or because we have something he needs, but because we need something that he is ready to give. Jesus offers us his friendship, a personal relationship with him. That is what it means to be his disciple. If we stay close to him, he rubs off on us and we start to speak and act like him – we start to notice the people that he noticed. And so he
takes flesh in us, the living members of his body, the church. The church herself, as an agent of mercy, becomes a revelation of the glory of Jesus. As Pope Francis has said, the church is a field hospital. We are meant to be continually going out to those in need to proclaim the good news in practical ways. We do not simply tell people about Jesus, but we look at them with love as Jesus looks at each of us, to see where and how we can meet them. That is how we share the glory of the Lord in a practical, humble way. We have confidence that powerful things will happen when we do this, even if we may not see them in this world.
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OFFICIAL SCHEDULE Archbishop George J. Lucas’ scheduled activities: DEC. 21-22 » Seminarian retreat – Columban Retreat Center, Bellevue DEC. 22 » Mass – Omaha Correctional Center, Omaha DEC. 25 » Christmas Midnight Mass – St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha DEC. 27 » Priests Christmas gathering – St. John Paul II Newman Center, Omaha DEC. 29 » Mass – Holy Family Shrine, Gretna DEC. 31-JAN. 2 » Fellowship of Catholic University Students summit – Phoenix, Arizona JAN. 4-9 » Region IX Bishops retreat – Oceanside, California
OFFICIAL SCHEDULE Archbishop Emeritus Elden F. Curtiss’ scheduled activities:
DEC. 23-APR. 3 » Family winter home – Nevada
| NEWS |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
Catholic schools superintendent resigns Catholic Voice
Momentum has been a key word for Michael Ashton during his 2½ years as superintendent of the Omaha archdiocese’s Catholic schools. When Ashton began as superintendent in 2017, he saw a lot of initiatives that were taking off across the archdiocese. They included blending traditional teaching with online methods, helping more Hispanic families enroll students in Catholic schools, enhancing faith formation for educators, expanding opportunities for education at the earliest levels and supporting legislation that would increase scholarship opportunities and make tuition more affordable for families. Giving those initiatives momentum has been key to his service, Ashton said after the archdiocese announced his resignation, effective July 1. He said he resigned to return to the East Coast to be near family. The archdiocese began a search for his replacement immediately after the Dec. 12 announcement. As superintendent of Catholic schools, Ashton guides and provides consultation to 71 elementary and secondary schools across 23 counties in northeast Nebraska. Archbishop George J. Lucas appointed him to the post in July 2017. “Working for Archbishop George Lucas and serving the state of Nebraska and Catholic school communities has been a privilege and an honor,” Ashton said. “The individuals leading our schools and parishes are some of the most impressive educators I have ever known.” Under Ashton’s leadership, the Catholic Schools office helped to advance Catholic education on several fronts:
– In 2018 a Dual Language Academy was opened in Omaha to immerse students in English and Spanish and help integrate families from different cultures. Latino enrollment in Catholic elementary schools has continued to climb and is now increasing in the high schools, he said. – A blended learning initiative, which brings students into online virtual classrooms, has expanded from a pilot of five schools to more than 30. – The Catholic Schools office has been able to maximize federal funding, to help especially underserved populations, Ashton said. – The Evangelium Institute has supplanted the School of Faith in providing faith formation for school teachers and staff. – The schools office has continued to support scholarship legislation that ultimately would help make tuition more affordable for families. “I am grateful to Dr. Ashton for the faith-filled leadership that he has given to Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Omaha,” Archbishop Lucas said. “The next superintendent will have the benefit of building on the good work Dr. Ashton has done for educators, students and families.”
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Archbishop George J. Lucas blesses a new choir classroom Dec. 5 at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha as Jeremy Moore, school president, looks on. The school’s recent renovation and expansion also included two art rooms and rooms for media and biotechnology classes, as well as a new main entrance and new carpets, lighting and ceilings throughout the school. The improvements were funded by a $5.1 million capital campaign that also earmarked 5% of monies raised for an endowment fund to provide financial assistance to families in need.
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From the chancery Father John Andrews, in residence at Holy Cross Parish in Omaha, has been released for temporary service in the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut, effective Dec. 26.
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4 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
Mary Ann Deak, center, and Michaela Johnson, both members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha, view a display of Christmas crèches at Saint Benedict Center in Schuyler Dec. 13. Father Volker Futter, subprior of the Christ the King Priory and organizer of the display, is looking on in the background.
Christmas Nativity scenes reveal universality of Christmas By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice
Making God approachable. That’s what Michaela Johnson, a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha, enjoys about Christmas crèches. As a crèche enthusiast, along with her roommate, Mary Ann Deak, also a member of St. Vincent de Paul, she can speak from experience. They have some 25 such displays in their home. Johnson and Deak spoke to the Catholic Voice Dec. 13 while viewing more than 100 crèches THIS IS YOUR PROOF FOR AN UPCOMING ISSUE – PLEASE REPLY ASAP (nativity scenes), displayed at the Please proofread very carefully. Once you okay this proof, your job goes Saint Benedict Center in Schuyinto production, and we are not responsible for any errors in typesetting ler from Dec. 1-16 and resumor layout. CatholiC VoiCe ing Jan. 2-6. Please advise us of any errors, corrections or changes in the copy or layout. It is your responsibility to do the final proofing. – Advertising “I’ve seen displays before, but I Please e-mail your approval or corrections to: email@example.com. haven’t seen one that has so many tremendously beautiful nativity If you are unable to e-mail, please check one of the boxes below and fax to: 402-558-6614. NO CHANGES MAY BE TAKEN OVER THE PHONE scenes,” Johnson said. O.K. to print a Date: / / To: a (Signature) “I’m always intrigued by NOT O.K. to print From: a the expressions on the faces,” as indicated. said Deak. The exhibit, in its 20th year, is arranged by Benedictine Father Volker Futter, subprior of the Christ the King Priory in Schuyler. “Christmas is the most important celebration after Easter,” he said. “We’re now in the time of shopping and buying, so we can forget the most important happening at Christmas – the miracle of Christ’s birth – and so we have to put the focus on what is the real meaning of Christmas, and that’s why we put up the nativity scenes,” he said. Pope Francis also points to the significance of the crèche in his apostolic letter “Admirabile Signum” (“On the Meaning and Importance of the Nativity Scene”), issued Dec. 1, the First Sunday of Advent. “Wherever it is, and whatever form it takes, the Christmas crèche speaks to us of the love of God, the God who became a child in order to make us know how The Archdiocese of omAhA
WANT TO GO? What: Christmas crèche exhibit Where: Saint Benedict Center, 1126 Road I, Schuyler, Nebraska When: Jan. 2-6, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cost: Free close he is to every man, woman and child, regardless of their condition,” he wrote. The pope encourages the faithful to continue “the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas.” “As children, we learn from our parents and grandparents to carry on this joyful tradition, which encapsulates a wealth of popular piety. It is my hope that this custom will never be lost and that, wherever it has fallen into disuse, it can be rediscovered and revived,” he said in his letter. Johnson enjoys carrying on that tradition for her young cousins, who like to handle and play with the figurines when they visit. “When they play with it, it makes God approachable. It isn’t just over there on an altar, they can play with it and look at it. “I think, for kids, it instills that sense that … God wants to be close to us,” Johnson said. Viewing the exhibit at the Saint Benedict Center, Johnson noted the diversity of the crèches on display. “I like being able to see the different countries and how they represent it (the birth of Christ),” she said. “I just love seeing this story told in different ways.”
For example, a crèche from Korea includes two women dancing, she said. “It’s also evoking the culture in which they’re showing the birth of Christ. It lives out how those people take the story and view it.” Even with the cultural differences, Johnson was impressed with the way the scene of Christ’s birth “binds us all together.” “Although we may see it differently, we know the importance of it and it helps to connect you with the rest of the world, celebrating at the same time,” she said. “It’s like when I went to ArchOmaha Unite (the archdiocese-wide celebration of unity in Omaha last June 8) and saw all the different parishes represented and how each one is different,” she said. “It gives you that same sense of how there’s this connectedness with everybody.” Father Volker said the priory has acquired a wide variety of crèches over the years from many of the 23 countries where his order has missions, such as Peru, Tanzania, Korea, China, Malawi and others. As a mission procurator for 17 years, he was in contact with other missions, and acquired most of the crèches in the collection. “Altogether we have about 300 creches,” he said. “I try to every year get out a few. We want to show that the nativity scenes are important, not only in America, but all over the world.” He also noted the different crafts represented – wood carvings in olive wood from the Holy Land and in ebony, alabaster, ceramics, tapestries, and many other forms, ranging in size from tiny to 4 feet tall. Father Volker enjoys the variety represented by the extensive collection, “to see that Christmas is ... for everybody all over the world – that Christ is born for each one of us.”
| NEWS |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
Siena Francis House opens new emergency shelter By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice
Joy Bass escaped the abuse of a boyfriend, thanks to the Siena Francis House in Omaha. She didn’t have nearby family or friends to turn to, but the homeless shelter provided safety, a place to sleep, food and other help, she said. Still, her situation has been far from ideal. Without a home or transportation, keeping a job has been tough, she said. And until recently, because of space constraints at Siena Francis, the 42-year-old had been sleeping on a mat on the floor. The tight quarters in the women’s area sometimes made personality conflicts flare, she said. But a new emergency shelter building at Siena Francis is helping to ease those problems for Bass and others at the shelter. The $18 million facility, at 1117 N. 17th St., officially opened Dec. 11, and guests began moving in Dec. 12. Heritage Services, a nonprofit philanthropic organization raised most of the funds for the building. The City of Omaha also contributed. With more available beds, a larger dining room and other improvements, the shelter is better able to “serve people with the respect and dignity they deserve,” said Tim Sully, development director at Siena Francis. Previously the shelter had 262 beds and guests often had to
sleep on the mats, especially during extreme cold. Now Siena Francis has beds for 450 people and should be able to more comfortably accommodate all those who seek shelter, he said. The old dining room at Siena Francis could seat 84, while the new one seats 150, Sully said. Case managers who help people out of homelessness now have offices in the emergency shelter, providing easier access for the guests. Siena Francis employs 63 people, and more than 3,000 people volunteer there over the course of a year, Sully said. Last year Siena Francis served 431,533 meals and gave emergency shelter to 3,435 people without a home, said Linda Twomey, executive director. About 5,600 people experienced homelessness in the Omaha metropolitan area, she said, and more than 60 percent received help from Siena Francis. Bass said she packed up her clothes and left everything else behind when she fled from her Omaha apartment to the shelter a year and a half ago. She said she hopes to be able to leave Siena Francis, find her own place to live again, work and “get back on my feet.” “Being in a shelter is something very difficult to deal with,” Bass said, but having more space, beds and better living conditions in the new emergency shelter will help.
The Shepherd’s Voice This twice-monthly podcast brings you conversations with Archbishop George J. Lucas as he shares his pastoral vision. Find each episode online at archomaha. fireside.fm or subscribe on iTunes to get each episode sent to your phone.
Siena Francis House officially opened an $18 million, 43,000-square-foot emergency shelter in Omaha on Dec. 11, easing overcrowding. Kay Moore and Harold Patsios unload kitchen supplies at the new emergency shelter at the Siena Francis House in Omaha. Moore is a volunteer at the homeless shelter; Patsios is kitchen manager. SUSAN SZALEWSKI/STAFF
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6 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
Training prepares, unites Hispanic leaders By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice
For years, Hispanics have had the opportunity to participate in numerous Catholic organizations and movements in the Archdiocese of Omaha. But amid the many blessings there were problems. Sometimes the groups competed for membership, lacked organization or experienced conflicts, two archdiocese officials said. So the leaders of the groups, which involve thousands of Catholics, started getting together at quarterly meetings and their differences began to disappear, said Father Scott Hastings, vicar for clergy and judicial vicar for the archdiocese, who helped coordinate those meetings. But soon the leaders of the Hispanic organizations wanted more. They wanted formation as Catholic leaders. The archdiocese responded with Hispanic leadership training that was spread over three years and ended this fall, with about 108 people participating, including 18 who completed all three years. The classes were two-hour sessions held on Monday evenings for six weeks each year and open to anyone who was interested, Father Hastings said. Topics included leadership topics such as conflict resolution, communication and community development, as well as theology, catechesis and evangelization. The archdiocese is already see-
Archbishop Lucas poses for a photo with graduates of the archdiocese’s Hispanic leadership training and other participants Nov. 18 at El Centro Pastoral Tepeyac in Omaha. ing the fruits of the training, said Father Hastings and Deacon Gregorio Elizalde, manager of the Hispanic Ministry Office for the archdiocese and El Centro Pastoral Tepeyac in Omaha. Deacon Elizalde said he is grateful to the archdiocese for the unity that the leadership training fostered. “We can work together to serve
the people of God without any feeling of competition,” he said. There are about a dozen groups or movements that serve Hispanics in the archdiocese. The training helped the leaders to increasingly feel part of the archdiocese, he said, forming them into a “bridge” connecting Hispanic Catholics with the rest of the archdiocese.
Having a team of Latino leaders in place is important as the archdiocese makes pastoral plans in southeast Omaha, Father Hastings said. The Catholic Hispanic community has been strengthened, he said, becoming more organized and involving more people, he said. “We have a committed, active group of Spanish-speak-
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ing leaders.” “There’s a real eagerness there that’s easy to capitalize on,” Father Hastings said. The formation was a response to a request and not something that was created “hoping someone will come.” Latinos are well aware of a larger Catholic Church problem of declining membership. For every person that enters the Church, six leave, Father Hastings said. “They see the problem,” he said of the Latino leaders, and ask, “How can we become part of the solution?” The training sessions, held each year in the fall, were first at St. Peter Parish in Omaha but moved to El Centro Pastoral Tepeyac in Omaha after it opened this year. Presenters included Father Hastings; Deacon Elizalde; Father Jairo Enrique Congote, associate pastor of Divine Mercy Parish in Schuyler; Father Rafael Majano, associate pastor of Assumption-Guadalupe Parish in Omaha; Deacon Luis Valadez of Assumption-Guadalupe; Deacon Alberto Martinez of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont; and Bart Zavaletta, theology teacher at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha. A total of 160 volunteers made the training possible, Deacon Elizalde said. The archdiocese likely will offer the training again, Father Hastings said, but the format might change. Officials are discussing how to best present the classes again, he said.
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DECEMBER 20, 2019
Shrines of France Pilgrimage Fr. Nicholas Mishek
April 13 - 22, 2020
- 10 Days
$4,049 from Omaha
Lori Zadina holds infant son Milo, Dec. 8, in the renovated cry room during Mass at St. Bernadette Church in Bellevue.
Parish looks to needs of young families as a way to evangelize By LISA SPELLMAN For the Catholic Voice
How can a soft leather chair become a way to evangelize? Providing such comforts and conveniences for families attending Mass with young children is one way St. Bernadette Parish is reaching out. As Lori Zadina sat in that chair nuzzling her infant son, Milo, in what was once a closet in the former choir loft at the Bellevue church, she enjoys the improvements. The young mother of three small children, ages 6, 5 and six-weeks, said the recent renovations that transformed the old choir loft used by families as a cry room into a much more family friendly space are appreciated. Creating a more welcoming environment for young families and supporting their faith is exactly what the parish aims to do, said Father Harry Buse, pastor. “We see a lot of young families in the neighborhood surrounding our parish and we want to draw them in,” he said. Renovating the cry room is just one way the parish is evangelizing to young families, he said. Parishioners Jim and Kim Jansen helped lead a task force formed after a survey of parishioners a year and a half ago revealed an older demographic. “We knew we needed to take steps to engage young families and the renovations to our church is one way to convey the message that we welcome them to our parish,” said Jim Jansen, who also is the director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Omaha. Jansen said those renovations included cleaning the carpet, painting the walls and hanging bookshelves, one with resources for parents and another with children’s books (provided in Spanish and English), out of reach of little hands. Sound absorbing boards were also hung to help deflect noise, he said. Pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary adorn one wall, as well as other pictures of Jesus in different settings with small children on another. A large, lacquered piece of wood painted with the inscription “Let the little children come to me” (Mt 19:14) hangs prominently on the back wall. And the former choir loft closet that
once was home to vestments and a vacuum cleaner, was opened up to reveal a beautiful stained glass window and enough space for a full-size changing table and comfy leather armchair. A simple black and white drawing of Jesus holding an infant hangs on the wall above it. “I really like the mother’s nook where I can sit quietly with my son if I need to feed him,” Zadina said. The emergency baby supplies, she said, are also a thoughtful addition. The idea to provide diapers in a variety of sizes, along with wipes, came from another young mother, Susan Ely, who finds the renovations to the cry room long overdue. While attending a family baptism at a church in Lincoln, she discovered she was out of diapers when she went to change her daughter. “To my relief, the parish had stocked extra diapers in their cry room and I knew we needed to do the same in ours,” Ely said. A lifelong parishioner of St. Bernadette, Ely said she remembers her own parents taking her into the choir loft during Mass when she was a child. That was more than 30 years ago, and the environment is much more pleasant now when she takes her own children, ranging in age from 7 months to 10, to the cry room. Zadina agrees, saying, “You definitely feel more welcome.” “We want to build their faith and help them to feel like they have a place in our parish and not worry about if their children are noisy or cry during Mass, but that it is a good sign of a strong, vibrant parish,” Father Buse said. The parish also reaches out to young adults and families by offering the Christ Life program after Sunday Masses, partnering with the school to welcome new families and invite them to Mass and encouraging students to invite their parents to Sunday Mass. It has also started small Lectio Divina prayer groups for moms and one for dads during the Lenten season to build faith and encourage community. “In the end we want our church to be a place young families can call home and become part of building a stronger community of faith that will carry them throughout their lives,” Jansen said.
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| COLORS OF CHRISTMAS |
8 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
Artistic skill, imagination on display in annual Christmas contest By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice
Excellent craftsmanship and imagination. That’s how art teacher Dawn Burton described the work of this year’s winners in the Catholic Voice’s Colors of Christmas art contest. Burton, one of this year’s judges and a teacher at Roncalli Catholic High School in Omaha, said, “I’m really impressed with the technical skills that the students have, especially at such a young age.” And those skills were on full display in the work produced by grand prize winner Katelyn Schmitz, age 8, a second-grader at St. Bernard School in Omaha. She portrayed this year’s subject – Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus KATELYN and the angel’s announcement SCHMITZ of his birth to the shepherds (Lk 2:1-20) – in oil paints and glitter. “Her craftsmanship is amazing,” said judge Christine Koehn, art teacher at St. Cecilia School in Omaha. “She has good attention to detail, and her angel really tells the story. “It’s neat to see the different kids’ perspectives, like when they hear the same Bible verse, how they interpret that,” Koehn said. Schmitz said she made the angel such a prominent part of her artwork because “she is special” in spreading the message “about baby Jesus coming into the world.” Judge Mary Jo Kampschneider, art teacher at Guardian Angels Central Catholic Schools in West Point, praised the creativity of all the entries and the variety of materials used, which included paint, water colors, crayons, colored pencils, glitter, fabric, yarn and wood. In its ninth year, the contest drew over 1,500 entries from students in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs, and Catholic homeschool students in families registered in archdiocesan parishes. The contest’s underwriting sponsor, Catholic Mutual Group in Omaha, provided funds to cover its costs and promotion. Students competed in three grade categories – K-1, 2-3 and 4-6 – with first, second and third place winners in each cate-
KATELYN SCHMITZ 1st place, 2nd-3rd grade, and OVERALL WINNER, Grade 2, St. Bernard Parish and School, Omaha gory receiving gift cards from participating sponsors, The Cosgrave Company and Gloria Deo Catholic Books and Gifts, both in Omaha,
and Divine Truth Christian Store in La Vista. Prizes were: $40 for first place winners, $30 for second place and
$20 for third place. The grand prize winner received an additional $30 in gift cards. In addition, the winners have
their artwork published on the following pages of this issue and on the newspaper’s website (catholicvoiceomaha.com).
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| COLORS OF CHRISTMAS |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
St. Mary Magdalene Church
K – 1ST GRADE
19th & Dodge
Christmas Mass Schedule TUESDAY, DEC. 24, CHRISTMAS EVE 5:15 p.m. & Midnight sharp Mullberry Lane sings from 11p.m.-midnight
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 25, CHRISTMAS DAY 7:30, 9, 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. CONFESSIONS: heard before all Masses except Midnight Mass. No 5:15 p.m. Mass Wednesday, Dec. 25
Come celebrate with us! St. Adalbert Christmas Mass Christmas Mass Schedule: Schedule: New NewYear’s Year’s Christmas ChristmasEve Eve– Dec. Dec. 24 24, 2019 Mass Schedule: Mass Schedule: 4:30 4:00 p.m. pm St. St. Adalbert Adalbert New 31,312019 NewYears Year’sEve Eve Dec. – Dec. 54:30 p.m.pm Our Lady of Lourdes Our Lady of Lourdes 5:00 pm Our 5 p.m. OurLady LadyofofLourdes Lourdes 7 p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes 5:30pm p.m.St.St.Adalbert Adalbert 7:00 pm Our Lady of Lourdes 5:30 8 p.m. Korean – St. Andrew Kim 7 p.m. OurLady LadyofofLourdes Lourdes Midnight Our Our Lady LadyofofLourdes Lourdes 7:00 pm Our Midnight Christmas Day Dec. 25, 2019
1st place, Grade 1, St. Bernadette Parish and School, Bellevue
New NewYears Year’sDay Day Jan. – Jan.1,1,2020 2015 Christmas Day – Dec. 25 8:30 am Our Lady of Lourdes 8:30 am Our Lady ofofLourdes 8:30 a.m. Our Lady Lourdes 8:30 a.m. Our Lady of Lourdes 9:30 am St. Adalbert 9:30 9:30am a.m.St.St.Adalbert Adalbert 9:30 a.m. St. Adalbert 10:30 am Our Lady of Lourdes 10:30 am Our 10:30 a.m. OurLady LadyofofLourdes Lourdes 10:30 a.m. Our Lady of Lourdes 5:00 pm Korean Our Lady ofAndrew LourdesKim 5:00 pm Our 11 a.m. – St. 5 p.m. OurLady LadyofofLourdes Lourdes
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CALEB RIHA 2nd place, Grade 1, St. Boniface Parish, Stuart Public School, Stuart
TRAVIS HEITHOLD 3rd place, Kindergarten, St. Mary Parish and School, Wayne
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Christmas Eve Mass Times
IRENA JONES Honorable Mention, Grade 1, St. Bernadette Parish and School, Bellevue
ELLIE RIDDER Honorable Mention, Grade 1, St. Mary Parish and Guardian Angels Central Catholic School, West Point
5:00pm–Main Church 5:05pm–Great Room 7:00pm–Main Church Midnight–Main Church
Christmas Day Mass Times 8:00am & 10:00am Main Church
| COLORS OF CHRISTMAS |
10 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
2ND – 3RD GRADE
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JULIA MCNAMARA 2nd place, Grade 2, St. Matthew the Evangelist Parish, Bellevue, Bellevue Elementary School
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3rd place, Grade 3, St. Robert Bellarmine Parish CatholiC VoiCe and School, Omaha The Archdiocese of omAhA
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And peace in the embrace of family and friends. KIERSTEN HANS Honorable Mention, Grade 3, St. Andrew Parish and Bloomfield Public School, Bloomfield
402-731-1234 5108 “F” Street • Omaha, NE 68117
CHARLIE OLECHOSKI Honorable Mention, Grade 3, St. Robert Bellarmine Parish and School, Omaha
| COLORS OF CHRISTMAS |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
4TH – 6TH GRADE
BELLA HUTCHINSON MIKE KRIENKE 1st place, Grade 6, St. Anthony Parish and School, Columbus
2nd place, Grade 4, St. Anthony Parish and School, Columbus
Kevin Weber, FICF
J.G. Krawczyk, FICF, ChFC
Omaha, NE Call or text 402-216-9520 firstname.lastname@example.org Serving Papillion, Holy Cross, Mary Our Queen and Bellevue/ St. Matthew the Evangelist councils.
Doug Kelly, FICF
Omaha, NE Call or text 402-578-5563 email@example.com Serving Bellevue/Columban, Millard/St. John Vianney and St. Robert Bellarmine councils.
Craig Pfeifer, FICF, FSCP, CLU
Madison, NE Call or text 402-992-1156 firstname.lastname@example.org Serving Wayne, Ponca, Hartington, Randolph, Madison, Bloomfield, Pierce and Crofton councils.
Stewart Havranek, FA Omaha, NE Call or text 402-690-2568 email@example.com Serving St. Stephen the Martyr (M-Z), St. Bernard, St. Philip Neri, #3019 Archbishop Ryan, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Margaret Mary, and Springfield councils.
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Ryan Mascarello, FIC
Omaha, NE, 402-203-0208 email@example.com Serving UNO, St. Thomas More, Plattsmouth, St. Charles, St. Joan of Arc, St. Stephen the Martyr (A-L), Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Peter, and Immaculate Conception councils.
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David City, NE Call or text 402-367-8132 firstname.lastname@example.org Columbus/ St. Isidore and St Bonaventure (M-Z), David City, Bellwood, Shelby, and Osceola.
Norfolk, NE Call or text 402-369-0489 email@example.com Serving Norfolk (A-K), Albion, Humphrey, Cedar Rapids, Genoa, Clarkson, Leigh, Lindsay and St. Edward councils.
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Jeremy Borchers, FICF
West Point, NE Call or text 402-750-4775 firstname.lastname@example.org Serving West Point, South Sioux City, Tekamah, Emerson, Pender and Lyons councils.
Marcus Bell, FA
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Troy Foecking, FICF Norfolk, NE Call or text 402-860-9166 email@example.com Serving Norfolk (L-Z), Battle Creek, Elgin, Neligh, Wisner and Stanton councils.
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| COLORS OF CHRISTMAS |
12 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
4TH – 6TH GRADE (Cont.)
Honorable Mention, Grade 6, St. Columbkille Parish, Papillion, homeschooled
Honorable Mention, Grade 5, St. Anthony Parish and School, Columbus
3rd place, Grade 5, St. Isidore Parish and School, Columbus
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The Reason for the Season
Merry Christmas from all of us at the Catholic Voice!
As we celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior, may the miraculous spirit of the season fill you with joy.
“...For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
—St. Luke 2:11
Merry Christmas from our family to yours.
From our family to yours, best wishes for a blessed and joyous Christmas.
402-551-8765 • 800-228-6108 • catholicmutual.org • Omaha,NE
Christmas Eve Masses 5:30 pm Midnight (with Archbishop Lucas)
Christmas Day Masses 7:30 am 9:30 am 11:30 am
Saint Cecilia Catholic Cathedral 701 N 40th St I Omaha NE 402-551-2313 stceciliacathedral. org
DECEMBER 20, 2019
Annual Financial Report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is my privilege to present the financial report for the central administration of the Archdiocese of Omaha for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. I remain grateful to God and to all of you for the spiritual and material blessings we share in our mission to make Jesus Christ known. Your continued support of the Archbishopâ€™s Annual Appeal and of your own parish communities helps to fund essential services and apostolates which touch the lives of thousands throughout northeast Nebraska. The regular and active oversight of our financial operations by the Archdiocesan Finance Council is an essential aspect of good stewardship. Our annual audit performed by the independent accounting firm Lutz & Company has once again found no material problems with our financial practices and procedures. Please join me in thanking God for His many gifts, and in humbly asking Him for the graces to be faithful to our archdiocesan vision: One Church, encountering Jesus, equipping disciples, and living mercy. Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend George J. Lucas Archbishop of Omaha
14 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
Archdiocesan Administration Fund (AAF) $7,597,870
SOURCES OF REVENUE
Archbishop’s Annual Appeal $4,257,909
Donations, Fees, and Other Revenue $3,889,464
25% Stewardship (ACD, Archbishop’s Dinner for Education)
St. John Vianney Residence
The Catholic Voice
Music in Catholic Schools
Family Life Ministries Fees
Other Revenue (Refunds, Interest Income, Rents)
Priest Support Donations*
Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center
Facilities (Rent, Maintenance Services)
Evangelization, Catechesis Program, and Event Fees
Hispanic Ministry Program Fees
Rice Bowl / CCHD Special Collections
Young Adult Ministry (Fees for Totus Tuus, Conferences, and Activities)
Communications Special Collection
Black Catholic Ministry Grant
Office of the Archbishop
St. Cecilia Institute Fees
Archbishop’s Annual Appeal The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal funds many ministries—religious education programs, youth ministry, sacramental preparation, food pantries, Catholic schools, and more—which serve people across the 23 counties of our archdiocese.
TOTAL REVENUE $15,745,243
*Donations for Priest Support provide for priests on sabbatical, disability, or for continuing education. **Includes fees for parish background checks for Safe Environment compliance as well as fees for the Circle of Grace program.
Archdiocesan Administration Fund (AAF) The AAF is an assessment paid by every parish in the archdiocese. It is calculated as a percentage of a rolling average of the previous six fiscal years’ Sunday collections revenues.
DECEMBER 20, 2019
Support Services Expenses
OFFICE OF EVANGELIZATION & CATECHESIS
Chancery Operations (Utilities, Maintenance, and Insurance)
Office Supplies, Legal Fees, and Other Administrative Costs
Nebraska Catholic Conference Assessment
Evangelization and Catechesis programs
Catholic Schools Office
Music in Catholic Schools
THE CATHOLIC VOICE
CENTER FOR FAMILY LIFE FORMATION
Grants to External Apostolates
Marriage and Family Life Programs
Respect Life Apostolate
Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center
STEWARDSHIP & DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
Events and Programs
Facilities and Sheehan Campus
ARCHBISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL See Next Page
St. John Vianney Residence
OFFICE OF THE ARCHBISHOP
VICAR FOR CLERGY
Support for Priests (Sabbatical, Disability, or Continuing Education)
OFFICE OF VOCATIONS
VICTIM OUTREACH & PREVENTION OFFICE
Safe Environment Programs
Office of Missions & Justice
Vocations Staff, Events, and Promotions
Seminarian Tuition, Stipends, and Benefits
Permanent Diaconate Formation
MAV Catholic, Young Adult, Totus Tuus
Wayne Campus Ministry
OFFICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
Salaries, Musicians, and Training
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICE
Personnel, Software, and Hardware
Support Services Total Expenses $6,999,218
44% Programs Total Expenses $9,019,099
DISTRIBUTION OF EXPENSES
TOTAL EXPENSES $16,018,317
16 Â« DECEMBER 20, 2019
Ignite the Faith Distributions, Fiscal Year 2018-19
Annual Appeal Distributions Catholic Charities
Excellence Fund Grants
Catholic High School Scholarships
Catholic School Consortium
General Assistance Grants: Consortium
All Saints School
School Emergency Funding
General Assistance Grants: CUES
School of Faith
Youth Ministry Grants
St. Augustine Indian Mission
Rural Parish Rebates
Pope Paul VI Institute
Urban Parish Rebates
$3,023,638 of the Annual Appeal funds archdiocesan programs and support services.
Archdiocesan Finance Council Most Rev. George J. Lucas
Mr. James Stolze
Mr. Brett Frevert
ARCHBISHOP OF OMAHA
CFO, ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA
MANAGING DIRECTOR, CFO SYSTEMS
Rev. Michael Grewe
Mr. Richard Witt
Mr. Lawrence Kritenbrink
VICAR GENERAL, ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA PASTOR, ST. CECILIA CATHEDRAL PARISH
RETIRED CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, MUTUAL OF OMAHA
PARTNER, BAIRD HOLM LLP
Rev. Damian Zuerlein
Mr. Patrick Lacy
PASTOR, ST. FRANCES CABRINI PARISH
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
RETIRED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TENASKA, INC.
Deacon Timothy McNeil
Mr. James Czyz
Rev. Gregory P. Baxter
CHANCELLOR, ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA
RETIRED BUSINESS OWNER
PASTOR, ST. PATRICK PARISH IN GRETNA
Mr. Michael Lawler
SEE THE FULL AUDIT REPORT AT ARCHOMAHA.ORG
| NEWS |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
Beatification for Archbishop Sheen postponed Catholic News Service
PEORIA, Ill. – Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria said Dec. 3 Vatican officials have told him that the upcoming beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen has been postponed. A news release from the Diocese of Peoria said it was informed Dec. 2 that the Vatican had decided to postpone the Dec. 21 ceremony “at the request of a few members” of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The diocese added, “In our current climate it is important for the faithful to know that there has never been, nor is there now, any allegation against (Archbishop) Sheen involving the abuse of a minor.” However, a Dec. 5 statement from the Diocese of Rochester, New York, said it had “expressed concern about advancing the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen at this time without a further review of his role in priests’ assignments.” The statement said the Rochester diocese, prior to the Vatican announcement Nov. 18 that Pope Francis approved the beatification, had provided documentation expressing its concern to the Diocese of Peoria and the Congregation for Saints’ Causes via the apostolic nunciature in Washington. Archbishop Sheen was bishop of Rochester from October 1966 until his retirement in October 1969. He received the title of archbishop at retirement. The statement from the Rochester diocese said, “Other prelates shared these concerns and expressed them,” adding that “there are no complaints against Archbishop Sheen engaging in any personal inappropriate conduct nor were any insinuations made in this regard.” “The Diocese of Rochester did its due diligence in this matter and believed that, while not casting suspicion, it was prudent that Archbishop Sheen’s cause receive further study and deliberation, while also acknowledging the competency of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to render its decision. The Holy See ultimately decided to postpone the beatification,” the statement continued. The Rochester diocese added it would have no other comment.
ANNIVERSARIES Celebrating the sacrament of marriage Chuck and Cecile (CeCe) Carlson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 8 with an open house for family and friends, and renewed their marriage vows at a Mass Dec. 9 at their parish church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Omaha. The couple were married Dec. 27, 1969, at St. Joseph Church in Ellinwood, Kansas. They have three married sons and seven grandchildren.
‘MANY MIRACLES’ Calling the delay “unfortunate,” the Peoria diocese’s Dec. 3 release outlined some of the activities for which Archbishop Sheen was especially known, including “his personal dedication” to a Holy Hour of daily prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and “courage in confronting the challenges in our society.” “Drawing strength from his personal prayer life and deep devotion to Our Lord, Fulton Sheen consistently demonstrated tremendous courage in confronting the challenges in our society,” the statement said. “He was well known for his boldness in preaching the Gospel on radio and on television in the face of our secular culture. This same spirit of courage and boldness guided him as a bishop to preach the truth, to defend the faith and to safeguard the church.” The Peoria diocese also said “there continue to be many miracles reported” through the archbishop’s intercession. The diocese said there have been “several” miracles reported since the pope’s announcement of the beatification ceremony. “The Diocese of Peoria remains confident that Archbishop Sheen’s
“The Diocese of Peoria has no doubt that Fulton Sheen, who brought so many souls to Jesus Christ in his lifetime, will be recognized as a model of holiness and virtue,” the statement added. STILL CONFIDENT
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the famed media evangelist, is pictured in an undated photo. The Diocese of Peoria, Ill., announced Dec. 3 it was informed Dec. 2 the Vatican has decided to postpone his Dec. 21 beatification. virtuous conduct will only be further demonstrated,” the statement said. “Bishop Jenky has every confidence that any additional examinations will only further prove Fulton Sheen’s worthiness of beatification and canonization.
What will your legacy be?
The diocese said Bishop Jenky was “deeply saddened” by the Vatican’s decision. “In particular, Bishop Jenky is even more concerned for the many faithful who are devoted to Sheen and who will be affected by this news,” the diocese said. “He is firmly convinced of the great holiness of the venerable servant of God and remains confident that Sheen will be beatified. Bishop Jenky has every intention of continuing the cause, but no further date for beatification has been discussed.” The Diocese of Peoria said it will offer no further comment “at this time.” Fulton J. Sheen, a native of El Paso, Illinois, was ordained Sept. 20, 1919, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. He went on to teach at The Catholic University of America in Washington and lead the Society of the Propaga-
tion of the Faith. Perhaps he is best remembered for his popular television show, “Life Is Worth Living.” He died in 1979 at age 84. His sainthood cause was officially opened in 2003. The church declared his heroic virtues and he was given the title “Venerable” in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. In July, Bishop Jenky announced Pope Francis had approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Sheen, which led the way to the announcement he would be beatified. The miracle concerns the healing of James Fulton Engstrom of Washington, Illinois, who was considered stillborn when he was delivered during a planned home birth Sept. 16, 2010. His parents, Bonnie and Travis Engstrom, immediately invoked the prayers of Archbishop Sheen and encouraged others to seek his intercession after the baby was taken to OSF HealthCare St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria for emergency treatment. In general, two miracles must be accepted by the church as having occurred through the intercession of a prospective saint, one before beatification and the other before canonization.
Nancy Abboud is an organized person. She isn’t one to leave things to chance. Many years ago, when her family was young and her husband, David, traveled frequently, she worried about him and how it would impact her family if he were hurt or became sick. “Something bad could happen and where would we be?” Nancy thought. To alleviate some of her concern, she made sure that the couple met with their attorney to set up an estate plan that was right for their family. Providing for their children was an obvious priority. Providing for the parish that she loves and has been a part of for most of her life was also essential. Nancy’s strong faith was fostered and grown through her parish, Christ the King in Omaha. While she knows that it is ultimately Christ’s Church, she also recognizes that our priests and parishioners are responsible for its care. Nancy feels very strongly that she needs to be engaged in her parish and wants to encourage her fellow Catholics to do the same. “My faith is very important to me for starters, but Christ the King Parish is a very special place. The Church is (our) church… (it also belongs to) the people who belong there. It’s their church.” David passed away in 2014 but Nancy continues to provide in her estate plan for the people and organizations that mean the most to her. “I believe that if you belong to something and you care about something then you automatically are inclined to give,” said Nancy. “Some people give of their time, some give of their talent and some give of their treasure. Some can do all of those things. If you have the means to plan ahead and help an organization or your church or archdiocese, I would encourage you to prepare in your estate planning for that.” Learn more about how your legacy can make a difference right here in the Archdiocese of Omaha, by contacting: Tony LaMar Legacy Planning Officer, Archdiocese of Omaha Office of Stewardship & Development 402-557-5650 • firstname.lastname@example.org
| NEWS |
18 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
Religious freedom is a basic human right, says Little Sisters lawyer By LINDA PETERSEN Catholic News Service
SALT LAKE CITY – As an attorney with Becket, a religious liberty law firm, Luke Goodrich is proud to be able to make a difference while earning a livelihood. He sees his work as a calling from God. It entails representing religious groups or individuals who fall afoul of the federal government simply by trying to follow the dictates of their conscience. Perhaps the most well-known of his clients are the Little Sisters of the Poor, who operate a number of homes for the elderly poor across the nation. The sisters continue to fight the Obama-era contraceptive mandate in the courts. “I’m very grateful and very thankful that my life’s work lines up with what I see as a fundamental issue of justice in Scripture,” he said. “It’s a great joy because I do think religious freedom is a basic human right and a basic issue of biblical justice.” Goodrich is a member of Misseo Dei Community, a nondenominational Protestant church in Salt Lake City. Originally from Florida, Goodrich has for the past seven years lived in Utah with his wife, Sarah, who grew up in Utah, and their seven children.
Prior to that, he attended the University of Chicago law school and afterward clerked for Judge Michael McConnell, one of the nation’s leading scholars on religious freedom cases. He then worked for the U.S. State Department in the human trafficking division, followed by time at a private law firm in Washington. When a position opened up at Becket in 2008, “I jumped at the opportunity,” Goodrich told the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Becket was founded in 1994 by Kevin “Seamus” Hasson, a Catholic. It is “the nation’s only law firm dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty and to doing so for people of all faiths,” said Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel. Becket’s main headquarters are in Washington. CRITICALLY IMPORTANT With regard to the legal battle being waged by the Little Sisters of the Poor, Goodrich called their case critically important for the defense of religious liberty. “If the government can reach inside us and force us to violate our conscience, there’s very little that the government can’t do,” he said. “Every human being is born with
a religious impulse, a desire for transcendent truth and by its very nature we can’t act on that impulse under coercion. “If the government coerces us in matters of transcendent truth, it’s going against our fundamental nature as human beings and therefore violating our human rights,” he added. President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2013 added FDA-approved contraceptives to a list of preventive services, mandating all employer health care plans cover all forms of these methods. It included a very narrowly drawn exemption for churches. This exemption did not cover religious employers such as the Little Sisters, Catholic dioceses and many other faith-based organizations, all of whom opposed the mandate on moral grounds, because some of the approved contraceptives are considered abortion-inducing. More than 100 lawsuits have been filed over the Obama-era regulation by religious organizations. EXEMPT OR NOT?
NEBRASKA WALK FOR LIFE Saturday, January 18, 2020
“It’s one of the only times in our nation’s history where the federal government has attempted, on such a large scale, to force so many religious organizations to vioLINCOLN, State Capitol & UN-L Student Union late their conscience, particularly around issue of abortion,” The Walk begins at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol. Fromthe there, Goodrich said. we will walk to the UN-L Student Union, where our Keynote When the Little Sisters sued, Speakers, Jennifer and Jeff Christie, will speak at noon. claiming a religious exemption, their case made it to the 10th But what about cases of rape? This is often asked by abortion advocates. Jennifer Christie Circuit Court Appeals, was raped on a business trip, learning she was pregnantU.S. as she recovered from of the attack. which torejected argument. Against the advice of doctors, friends and society, she decided keep her their child. Her story Becket intothe case on reminds us that God brings healing from pain, and children are partintervened of the journey recovery, their behalf.baby,’” Jennifer said. “I not an obstacle for mothers to overcome. “I am not raising a ‘rapist’s am raising my baby. He is the love that I pour into him. He isInthe2016, love of the my husband whoCourt is Supreme raising him, siblings who play with him and grandparentsgranted who dotethe on him. He is all of these Little Sisters of the Keynote Speakers: that women can beexemption stronger than JENNIFER CHRISTIE with things and more.” Is he a reminder? Yes, he’s a reminder Poor a religious from her husband, JEFF their circumstances. He’s also a reminder that beauty can come from darkness. the mandate. Then, one year later, they were Sponsored Nebraska given further protection by an by: Join the largest, longest-running executive to order issued by PresRight Life First Amendment demonstration ident Donald Trump requiring State Affiliate to the National Right to Life Committee HHS to write a comprehensive against abortion in the State! from the contraceptive 701 P St., Ste. 305 • P.O.exemption Box 80410 • Lincoln, NE 68501 402-438-4802 • email@example.com • www.nebraskarighttolife.org mandate for the Little Sisters and other religious ministries. HHS provided this exemption in 2018, but several states chal-
NEBRASKA WALK FOR LIFE Saturday, January 18, 2020 LINCOLN, State Capitol & UN-L Student Union The Walk begins at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol. From there, we will walk to the UN-L Student Union, where our Keynote Speakers, Jennifer and Jeff Christie, will speak at noon.
Keynote Speakers: JENNIFER CHRISTIE with her husband, JEFF
But what about cases of rape? This is often asked by abortion advocates. Jennifer Christie was raped on a business trip, learning she was pregnant as she recovered from the attack. Against the advice of doctors, friends and society, she decided to keep her child. Her story reminds us that God brings healing from pain, and children are part of the journey to recovery, not an obstacle for mothers to overcome. “I am not raising a ‘rapist’s baby,’” Jennifer said. “I am raising my baby. He is the love that I pour into him. He is the love of my husband who is raising him, siblings who play with him and grandparents who dote on him. He is all of these things and more.” Is he a reminder? Yes, he’s a reminder that women can be stronger than their circumstances. He’s also a reminder that beauty can come from darkness.
Join the largest, longest-running First Amendment demonstration against abortion in the State!
Nebraska Right to Life
State Affiliate to the National Right to Life Committee
701 P St., Ste. 305 • P.O. Box 80410 • Lincoln, NE 68501 402-438-4802 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.nebraskarighttolife.org
Luke Goodrich, an attorney who represents the Little Sisters of the Poor in their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the contraceptive mandate, has written a book, "Free To Believe," about the importance of religious liberty. He is pictured in an undated photo. lenged it, including California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, saying HHS didn’t have the power to give this exemption. STATE CHALLENGES In May, HHS introduced the “conscience rule” that protects individuals and health care entities from discrimination on the basis of their exercise of conscience in HHS-funded programs. Several state attorneys general subsequently filed suit against HHS and the administration, arguing that the new rule is unlawful. The attorneys general cases “exploit essentially a loophole because the Supreme Court’s decision did not issue a definitive ruling that the Obama-era regulation was unlawful,” Goodrich said. “Instead, it urged the parties to figure out a solution that would respect the religious freedom of the sisters and also accomplish the government’s goal of distributing contraception.” So far, the 3rd and 9th circuit courts, based in Philadelphia and San Francisco, respectively, have found against the Little Sisters and other religious organizations. Becket has appealed to the Supreme Court to rehear the Little Sisters case and give a definitive ruling. The Supreme Court is expected to decide by June 2020 whether it
will hear the case, which Goodrich said is likely. NEED FOR HOPE He believes that ultimately the Little Sisters will prevail. Still, there are a number of significant religious freedom challenges on the horizon in the United States that Christians are ill-prepared to deal with, he said. “Long-standing Christian beliefs about life, marriage and absolute truth, which used to be uncontroversial, are now viewed in many quarters as a threat to the prevailing culture,” he said. Goodrich has published his first book, “Free to Believe,” examining the principle of religious freedom, threats to it and how to protect it. He offers three arguments why everyone should care about religious freedom: It benefits society, is the foundation of all of our other rights and is a fundamental human right. Nevertheless, Goodrich believes all Christians should have hope. “As Christians, our hope doesn’t rest primarily in the results of an election or the composition of the Supreme Court. If we are Christians, our hope rests in the person of Jesus Christ,” he said. Petersen is a reporter for the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
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| CALENDAR | EVENTS
DECEMBER 20, 2019
CATHOLIC COMMUNITY CALENDAR Your guide to activities & events around the archdiocese
Catholic Business Group Omaha – “After Hours” Social/Mixer: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 4:30-6:00 p.m. at Ellerbrock-Norris Insurance meeting room, 4331 N. 156th St., Omaha. Join us for a beverage, appetizer, networking, fun and sharing of our Catholic faith. For details, visit CPBCOmaha.org or email CatholicBusinessClub@gmail.com. Embrace Grace: Mondays, Jan. 13-March 30 (except March 16), 6:30-8 p.m. at St. Gerald Church, 9602 Q St., Omaha. A small-group ministry to provide emotional, practical and spiritual support for single, young pregnant women with an unplanned pregnancy. Contact Bernadette Costello at 402-960-3259 or email@example.com. The Omaha Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (OACCW) – 2020 OACCW College Scholarship: The OACCW and its deaneries are accepting scholarship applications from high school senior, Catholic girls planning to attend college/university. Contact Kim Estes at 402-340-2866 or 402-924-3125 for details. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 15, 2020. Nebraska Walk For Life: Jan. 18, 10 a.m. at the State Capitol, 1445 K St., Lincoln. Walk from the capitol to the UNL student union to support the unborn. Keynote speakers Jennifer and Jeff Christie at noon. Sponsored by Nebraska Right to Life. Mass at 9 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 14th & K streets. Fiesta Señor 2020: Jan. 19, 11:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. All are invited to this celebration honoring Señor Santo Niño de Cebu. Includes Mass, a traditional procession and authentic Filipino cuisine, as well as colorful performances and dances. For more information about Señor Santo Niño de Cebu visit https:// santoninodecebubasilica.org/ or contact Stephen at 402-558-2218 or Ben at 402213-1420. Couple to Couple League – Natural Family Planning: The series of three classes begins Jan. 19 with subsequent classes on Feb. 16 and March 15, 2-4:30 p.m. at St. Stephen the Martyr Church, 16701 ‘S’ St., Omaha. Teaching couple are Jason and Lynnette Oberg. Go to www.ccli.org for more information and to register. Young Catholic Professionals – Holy Hour: Sundays through Feb. 23, 7-8 p.m. at Christ the King Church, in the Adoration Chapel on northeast side of church. No entry codes needed. All professionals in their 20s and 30s from every industry are invited. Be Not Afraid Family Hour: Sundays, 6-7 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 654 S. 86th St., Omaha. • Dec. 22: The Miraculous Medal • Dec. 29: Living Our Consecration • Jan. 5: Mary’s Life Giving Role • Jan. 12: Let it Be Done to Me (reception following) • Jan. 19: Mary’s Charity • Jan. 26: Mother of God and Motherhood Pro-life Prayer Vigil: Saturdays, 9-10 a.m. and Monday – Friday, 8-11 a.m. at Bert Murphy Boulevard and Mission Avenue, Bellevue. Call Steve Zach at 402-558-2218.
Catholic Community Calendar is a listing of events from the parishes, schools, institutions and organizations in the Archdiocese of Omaha. SUBMIT » Include date, start and end times, street addresses, description of event and contact information. Items published up to two times as space allows. Notices may be sent three ways: MAIL » Catholic Community Calendar, Catholic Voice, P.O. Box 641250, Omaha, NE 68164-3817
Pro Sanctity Adoration: Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pro Sanctity Center, 11002 N. 204th St., near Elkhorn. Parish Mental Health Support Group: Meets first and third Thursday of each month, 1 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, 508 W. Angus St., Gretna. All welcome. Call Rose at 402-896-4693 or Elaine at 402-378-6252. First Friday Evening Adoration at Holy Family Shrine: Every First Friday of the month, 6-9 p.m. at 23132 Pflug Road, Gretna. Adoration with the Blessed Sacrament. World Apostolate of Fatima – The Blue Army: Mass first Saturday of the month, 7 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, Dowd Chapel, Boys Town, and Immaculate Conception Church, Omaha; 7:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Cathedral; 8 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church; 8:15 a.m. at Mary Our Queen Church, all in Omaha; 8:15 a.m. at St. Gerald Church (Lakeview Chapel), Ralston, and St. Columbkille Church, Papillion (Communion service). Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites – The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Carmel Study Group: Second Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. to noon at St. John Vianney Church, 5801 Oak Hills Drive, Omaha. This group is composed of practicing members of the Catholic Church from many walks of life. Call Molly Anderson 402-676-6221 or Theresa Kottwitz at 402-440-2617.
FAX » 402-558-6614 EMAIL » firstname.lastname@example.org Notices cannot be taken by phone. DEADLINES » Deadline for the Jan. 10, 2020 issue is noon Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. ON THE WEB » Want to know what’s going on in the Archdiocese of Omaha? Visit Catholic Voice Online – catholicvoiceomaha.com – for more details and an updated list of archdiocesan activities.
St. Joan of Arc – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Perpetual Adoration: at 74th and Grover streets, Omaha. Open 24 hours.
St. Margaret Mary – Prayer and Praise Group: Mondays, 9:30-11 a.m. at the Suneg Center, 6116 Dodge St., Omaha. St. Peter – Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2706 Leavenworth St., Omaha. Use west wheelchair door. St. Peter – Chanted Vespers: Saturdays, 6:15 p.m. in Spanish; Sundays, 5 p.m. in English at 2706 Leavenworth St., Omaha. St. Robert Bellarmine – Daily Rosary and Mass for the Homebound: Monday through Saturday, 8:05 a.m. rosary, 8:30 a.m. Mass, Sunday 11 a.m. Mass. All available on demand online at stroberts.com.
Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha. To register, call 402-951-3026, email email@example.com or visit osms.org. • World Religions Study Group: First Wednesday of each month, September
to May, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cost: $45. Using the book “World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery” by Jeffrey Brodd. Participants are responsible for obtaining the book. Facilitator is Margaret Stratman, OSM. • Family Caregiver Solutions Group: First Thursday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m. Facilitator is Nancy Flaherty, MS, CDP. Discover knowledge, skills and support in dealing with dementia in loved ones. No cost. • St. Peregrine Liturgy: Third Saturday of each month, 11 a.m. in the chapel. No cost and no registration needed. • Advent Day Away: Gift yourself with a “day away” during Advent, two or more hours to read, reflect, pray during this holy season. Contact 402-951-3026, email scc@ osms.org or visit osms.org to schedule a day/time. Suggested cost $25 for full day with lunch. St. Benedict Center, three miles north of Schuyler. Call 402-352-8819, email retreats@ stbenedictcenter.com or register online at stbenedictcenter.com. Rooms $45 single, $37 double, meals are $27.65 per day; tax on rooms and meals. • Visit Nativity Scenes: Jan. 2-6, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Benedict Center. Make a pilgrimage to St. Benedict Center, view God’s love made visible in nativity scenes from the Holy Land, Africa, Asia, South and North America, and Europe. No cost. • The Spiritual Path: Setting Your Goals with God: Jan. 24-25. A retreat using Ignatian spirituality to review the past year and articulate goals for the coming year. • Men’s Retreat – Your Word is a Light for My Path (cf. Psalm 119:112): Jan. 31Feb. 2. Saint Benedict and other spiritual masters show how to put first things first, living a life of balance directed toward God.
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Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Adalbert – Holy Hour for Priests and Vocations: Tuesdays, 8:45 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel (perpetual exposition) at 2110 S. 32nd Ave., Omaha. Enter in the northwest door by the ramp. More information, call 402-346-3584. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – Holy Hour for Vocations: Thursdays, 6-7 p.m. at 5419 N. 114th St., Omaha. More information, call Shelly at 402-493-3006.
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| SPIRITUAL LIFE |
20 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
How will we respond to God’s plan for our salvation?
he plan of God is everancient and yet evernew, and it cannot be thwarted. In the beginning, God established our first parents in an earthly paradise. Adam and Eve enjoyed a privileged relationship with God and each other. Sin had not yet entered the world, and all was as God intended. In the midst of the garden stood the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve were not to eat of its fruit lest they learn of evil and be subject to its most catastrophic effect, death. Nevertheless, the proud woman, Eve, took it upon herself to eat of the fruit. Further, in her pride, she could not bear to be alone in sin, and so she offered it to her husband, leading him to sin as well. Adam, the disobedient man, did not protect his wife from temptation and collaborated in that first sin by his own free choice. Together, they tasted evil and suffered its effects. The plan of God, which included
Scripture Reflections FATHER JEFFERY LOSEKE Man, Woman, Tree and Fruit, seemed foiled. But God’s will cannot be thwarted, and his plan is undefeatable. In the fullness of time, he offered a remedy for the sin of Adam and Eve through a plan that once again included Man, Woman, Tree and Fruit. This time, Jesus, the New Adam, fulfilled God’s will by being obedient, even unto death. Mary, the New Eve, became the humble woman who submitted to the will of God and quietly brought the Son of God into the world. So quiet was she about this miracle that even Joseph, her betrothed, was unaware of what was happening! Through the message of an angel, however, he learned God’s plan and courageously took Mary into his home (Mt 1:18-24). The Cross of Christ became the Tree of Life, and, rather than being forbidden to eat of its fruit, we are invited to do so. The fruit
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hanging on the tree of the Cross is nothing other than the very Body of Christ, which, when eaten worthily, gives us eternal life. St. Paul reminds us that Jesus took on our human flesh to bestow the grace of holiness and the obedience of faith upon all God’s people through his death and resurrection (Rom 1:1-7). Thus God’s plan is fulfilled! In every age, God’s people are invited to participate in his mysterious plan for salvation: “Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory!” (Ps 24:7c, 10b). This Sunday’s readings reveal two different responses to the invitation: the proud Ahaz and the humble Joseph. When King Ahaz is invited to make his request to God for a sign, he feigns humility, ironically, by loudly proclaiming his reticence to ask anything of God (Is 7:10-12). God is not amused with his proud show and through the prophet Isaiah declares, “Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God?” (Is 7:13). Joseph, on the other hand, when invited to participate in God’s plan for salvation, neither protests nor questions. He simply does as the angel of the Lord commands (Mt 1:20-24). God’s plan for our salvation is unfolding in our midst – with or without our participation. As we hear the invitation, how will we respond? Like Adam, Eve and Ahaz, will we be disobedient and proud? Or like Jesus, Mary and Joseph, obedient and humble of heart?
e continue our discussion of the Spanish bishops’ document, “My Soul Thirsts for God, for the Living God,” with an examination of the goal of prayer. Why do we pray? What do we hope to gain? Prayer “is an act of trust in God” (“My Soul Thirsts,” no. 29). When trouble and anxiety hit us, we turn to God for help. Sometimes we see an immediate answer.
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DECEMBER 23 Monday: Mal 3:1-4, 23-24; Ps 25:4bc-5ab, 8-10, 14; Lk 1:57-66 24 Tuesday: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29; Lk 1:67-79 Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord: Is 62:1-5; Ps 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25 25 Wednesday –The Nativity of the Lord – Christmas: Night: Is 9:1-6; Ps 96:1-3, 11-13; Ti: 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14 Dawn: Is 62:11-12; Ps 97:1, 6, 11-12; Ti 3:4-7; Lk 2:15-20 Day: Is 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14 26 Thursday: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59; Ps 31:3cd-4, 6, 8ab, 16bc-17; Mt 10:17-22 27 Friday: 1 Jn 1:1-4; Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12; Jn 20:1a, 2-8 28 Saturday: 1 Jn 1:5–2:2; Ps 124:2-5, 7c-8; Mt 2:13-18 29 Sunday – Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-5; Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17; Mt 2:13-15, 19-23 30 Monday: 1 Jn 2:12-17; Ps 96:7-10; Lk 2:36-40 31 Tuesday: 1 Jn 2:18-21; Ps 96:1-2, 11-13; Jn 1:1-18
JANUARY 1 Wednesday – Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God: Nm 6:22-27; Ps 67:2-3, 5-6, 8; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21 2 Thursday: 1 Jn 2:22-28; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 1:19-28 3 Friday: 1 Jn 2:29–3:6; Ps 98:1, 3-6; Jn 1:29-34 4 Saturday: 1 Jn 3:7-10; Ps 98:1, 7-9; Jn 1:35-42 5 Sunday – The Epiphany of the Lord: Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12 6 Monday: 1 Jn 3:22–4:6; Ps 2:7-8, 10-12a; Mt 4:12-17, 23-25 7 Tuesday: 1 Jn 4:7-10; Ps 72:1-4, 7-8; Mk 6:34-44 8 Wednesday: 1 Jn 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2, 10, 12-13; Mk 6:45-52 9 Thursday: 1 Jn 4:19–5:4; Ps 72:1-2, 14, 15bc, 17; Lk 4:14-22a 10 Friday: 1 Jn 5:5-13; Ps 147:12-15, 19-20; Lk 5:12-16 11 Saturday: 1 Jn 5:14-21; Ps 149:1-6a, 9b; Jn 3:22-30
What is the goal of prayer?
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Conversation with God CONNIE ROSSINI Other times, God keeps us waiting, or does not answer in the way we desired. Perseverance in prayer at such times shows that we are learning to surrender ourselves into the hands of God. “Conversely, the abandonment of prayer is evidence of a weak and inconstant faith” (ibid.). We pray not only for a relief from anxiety, but for an increase of faith and the grace to persevere. Prayer also increases our hope (no. 30). Only a relationship with God through Christ can fulfill our deepest desires. Again, in difficult times, “prayer gives us the certainty that we are not alone, that we are heard, that there is an absolute Hope, although many of the concrete and partial hopes that characterize our life have not been fulfilled” (ibid.). It helps us to move from desiring good things from God to desiring God himself. In doing so, prayer prepares us for a greater union with him. Finally, prayer is an act of love and helps our love to deepen. The Holy Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts, enabling us to pray when we do not know how to address God. “He guides us inwardly so that we may enter the deepest part of the same life of
the Trinitarian God that is love” (no. 31). God is a personal being, not a mere life force nor a state of mind. In prayer we come to know him as three Persons. We begin to love the Father with the Son’s love, through the Holy Spirit. Faith, hope and love are the three theological virtues. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, the theological virtues relate directly to God. They are infused by him through the sacraments and through deep prayer. All the other virtues stem from these three. Without them, we cannot truly serve God or act in accordance with his will (nos. 1812-13). The bishops of Spain write, “When it is authentic, Christian prayer carries inseparably with it the love of God and love of neighbor. A genuine relationship with God must be verified in our lives” (“My Soul Thirsts,” no. 32). If our spiritual practices cause us to feel contempt for others, disregarding the poor, for example, those practices are suspect. Authentic Christian prayer is validated in love of neighbor, most particularly in our eagerness to share the Gospel with others. The goal of Christian prayer, then, is intimacy with the Holy Trinity through grace. God is always at the center of prayer (no. 28). The encounter with him changes every relationship in our lives. It makes us children of God who resemble our Father.
| SPIRITUAL LIFE |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
People listened to St. Peter Canisius because he served the poor By DEACON OMAR GUTIÉRREZ
SAINT OF THE MONTH
For the Catholic Voice
On Dec. 21 we celebrate the Commemoration of St. Peter Canisius. In his life we find that, while times can be tough for the Catholic Church, the Spirit raises heroes and heroines who can inspire us all. Born in 1521 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, Canisius was attracted right away to the study of theology. The Protestant Reformation had already begun, and there were many theological debates at the time. But he did not neglect his spiritual life, and during a retreat he met St. Peter Favre (or Faber), the first disciple of St. Ignatius Loyola, who convinced him to join the Jesuits. Duke William IV of Bavaria asked Ignatius to send some of his already-famed Jesuits to Ingolstadt to reform the Catholic schools there. Canisius was sent and, with two brother Jesuits, not only managed to counteract the heresies of the region, but to revive in the people of the town a true devotion to the faith. With Ingolstadt stable, in 1552 the now well-reputed Canisius was asked to travel to the heart of the Austrian Empire, to Vienna, which had become a Catholic wasteland. The majority of the parishes in the city had no priest. This was
because there hadn’t been an ordination in the Archdiocese of Vienna in 20 years. Entire monasteries had been abandoned. People yelled at the few religious who dared to appear in public. And the few Catholics who did attend Mass were not that much better. Many refused to attend Father Canisius’ Mass because his Dutch accent annoyed them. This was the Vienna where Canisius found himself. But in response he did not preach more, or threaten his detractors with the fear of hell, nor work out some programmatic scheme for winning back his co-religionists. No, he simply remained faithful to the Lord and responded to the circumstances around him with the love that drew him to the priestly life in the first place, the love of Christ Jesus. Then a plague descended on Vienna, and the people were overcome with awe and respect for how this Dutch priest with the strange accent would sacrifice himself for the sake of the poor, the ill and the dying. For instance, after lecturing at the local college on theology, he would visit the elderly. He then paid regular attention to the
imprisoned and then finally to plague victims. Canisius worked his way into the hearts of the people of Vienna by answering the call of Christ in the suffering and the poor. It was then and only then that they began to listen to him. Canisius wrote several catechisms – each simpler than the previous one – which is in great part why he was named a doctor of the church in 1925. He also founded the College – now University – of Fribourg and also founded what would later become the University of Innsbruck. This was where Servant of God Father Edward Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, would finally complete his seminary training and be ordained a priest. About apologetics, Canisius encourages us not to start with the most controversial topics, but with the little matters about which we agree, so as to lead the willing to the teachings of the church. But more than anything, Canisius teaches us that, despite the many scandals and difficulties in the church today, our one, holy, catholic and apostolic church will always be known for its adherence to apostolic faith, works of charity and regular prayer. Let us pray for more like St. Peter Canisius in our own times.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/PUBLIC DOMAIN
Petrus Canisius (1521-97), clergyman and writer from Nijmegen, anonymous, 1699, Paintings from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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| COMMENTARY |
22 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
DACA youth deserve our prayers, support
hen I was a youth minister in Schuyler, I frequently encountered teenagers who went from living without a care in the world to carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. At first glance, the reason for this emotional and behavioral shift was rarely evident to me. Usually with some conversation, the reason became evident. There was the teenage romance gone awry. Or the classic feud among friends. And, of course, the all-too-typical dispute with mom and dad. These were the usual suspects. As I continued working in youth ministry, another reason emerged for some teenagers – one that took more time to discern. This particular shift often occurred during the teenager’s senior year. I first assumed the underlying reason was the routine concern and anxiety of nearly every high school senior: college. After all, questions like, “Will I go to college? If so, where? What will I study? And will I succeed?” are nothing to sneeze at. For a teenager, they are complex questions that often strike at the core of one’s identity and mission in life. After extensive conversations with these teenagers and more discernment, it became clear that college wasn’t the only reason for the shift. In fact, it was among the least of
Faithful, Watchful Citizens TOM VENZOR their concerns. They were experiencing a deeper life crisis. This crisis dealt with fundamental questions about the future: What can I make of life after high school? Whether I pursue college or not, how will I live? Will I be able to work? And if I can’t work, how will I provide for basic needs like a roof over my head and food? Will I have financial stability, let alone security? Where will I call home, and will I continue to find one in this community? Does the future have any guarantees? These questions – questions I don’t believe any 17- or 18-year-old should have to confront, let alone be unable to answer – were on the minds of numerous teenagers. They were questions, concerns and anxieties that had no end in sight, and which trapped them day and night with seemingly no escape. And the reason for these burdensome questions was this: Through no fault of their own, as children they were brought into the United States as undocumented immigrants. Ever since that entry, they have been in a legal quandary, without relief. As many of them came of age – began to graduate from high school, attend college and sought to enter the workforce to assist their
families and contribute to society – some light appeared on the horizon. In 2012, President Obama created a program that allowed certain qualified undocumented youth to apply for deferred action. This “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (“DACA”) program meant that the U.S. government would not undertake deportation proceedings against participants for a renewable two-year period. Upon entry into the program, the Department of Homeland Security would grant “lawful presence” and employment authorization to the DACA youth. In short, they were granted some stability about their future, access to work and, with that, the income to meet basic human needs. From the moment of its implementation, the DACA program was recognized as a temporary fix – a Band-Aid of sorts – to a larger political problem. The program also immediately came under legal scrutiny as an overreach of executive authority. In September 2017, President Trump announced he would end the DACA program. This generated several lawsuits, which led one federal court to issue a nationwide preliminary injunction against the president’s decision, keeping the program intact until a final ruling could be reached. Several of these lawsuits, which have been consolidated, were appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court heard oral arguments on the cases Nov. 12. Most court watchers predict the Supreme
Court will rule in favor of President Trump’s decision to terminate the program, concluding it was a valid exercise of his executive authority. As this likely outcome approaches, DACA youth – many of whom are now in their 20s and 30s, earning degrees and income through good, honest work – will return to those same old questions they faced in high school, questions they likely never escaped. The daunting feeling of uncertainty will return with greater intensity. And it will return after these DACA youth have already enjoyed a foretaste of the peace, stability and justice they deserve. The political question for DACA youth is whether Congress will have the courage to permanently address their tragic situation by passing something like the DREAM Act, which the U.S Bishops have supported, or whether they will continue to be treated as a political football by a dysfunctional Congress unable to achieve even the slightest degree of immigration reform. As we await the outcome, Catholics have the opportunity to be resolved in our solidarity with Nebraska’s DREAMers, the 6,500 young women and men who have been and will continue to be important members of our local communities, neighbors and friends we walk with, worship with and work beside. Let us resolve to seek justice on their behalf. May Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast we recently celebrated, come to their aid and unite us as Americans.
Rudolph to the rescue: the triumph of an under-deer
obert May was painfully aware of the distance between his dreams and his reality.
The 34-year-old Dartmouth graduate had long fantasized about writing the great American novel. Instead, he was working a mediocre job as an ad man for Montgomery Ward, cranking out forgettable copy about silk sheets and white shirts. He lived in a tiny apartment with his ill wife and young daughter. One day in 1939, May’s boss tapped him for an unexpected assignment. For years Montgomery Ward had bought coloring books and distributed them at stores as a Christmas giveaway. This time around executives decided to save money by creating their own booklet – and asked May to write it. His thoughts turned to the Lincoln Park Zoo. When he took his 4-year-old, Barbara, she was drawn to the deer. He also channeled his own childhood insecurities that remained poignant; he’d been teased as a small, shy boy. An underdog story like the Ugly Duckling appealed to him.
Twenty Something CHRISTINA CAPECCHI Then, looking out onto the flickering street lights one foggy winter night, came the inspiration: “A nose! A bright red nose that would shine through fog like a floodlight,” he said. May wanted an alliterative name for his reindeer and considered Reginald – too British – and Rollo, which sounded too jolly for a misfit. Rudolph was still colorful but more sympathetic. The tale had a decidedly plaintive, Depression-era tone, describing an outcast who “wept” at his peers’ taunting. May delved into the psychology of his characters, penning a more dramatic narrative arc than we find in the famous 1949 song recorded by Gene Autry and the beloved 1964 stop-action TV special narrated by Burl Ives. Readers see Santa’s fog-induced struggles: “He tangled in tree-tops again and again …”
We also see his diplomacy, recruiting Rudolph by praising his “wonderful forehead” and proving “extra-polite.” The sweetness of Rudolph’s redemption is spooned out so liberally it reveals May’s lingering boyhood wounds. “It was his opinion of himself that gave rise to Rudolph,” his daughter, Barbara, later said. Where Autry simply sings, “Then all the reindeer loved him,” May offers more detail: “The funny-faced fellow they always called names and practically never allowed in their games was now to be envied by all, far and near. For no greater honor can come to a deer …” If that’s not enough, he lets Rudolph land his Christmas-night flight right in front of “his handsomer playmates,” noting that “those bad deer who used to do nothing but tease him would now have done anything … only to please him!” Even more: “They felt even sorrier they had been bad when Santa said: ‘Rudolph, I never have had a deer quite so brave or so brilliant as you …’” He is promptly declared “Commander-In-Chief,” a title May types in capi-
tal letters. May took great care with each stanza, running them by Barbara. When his wife died in July, his boss told him to stop working on the booklet. May refused to quit. “I needed Rudolph more than ever,” he wrote. In late August, he finished the story. Ward seized it as a lesson for his clerks, celebrating in an in-house memo Rudolph’s “service, the right attitude and a desire to do his best.” The book was a huge hit, and the retailer printed more than 2 million copies that Christmas season 80 years ago. May was eventually given all rights to Rudolph, which provided a good livelihood. He experienced a dramatic arc of his own with profound spiritual underpinnings: remarrying a devout Catholic, converting to Catholicism and having five more children, one of whom became a nun. His biography can encourage anyone who feels crippled by the gap between hopes and reality. It reminds us to trust in the bigger picture, in the One who isn’t done writing your story.
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DECEMBER 20, 2019
The reformed liturgy, 50 years later
ifty years ago, on Nov. 30, 1969, the Catholic Church marked the First Sunday of Advent with the universal implementation of the revised Roman Rite of the Mass, approved by Pope Paul VI in response to the Second Vatican Council’s “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” (“Sacrosanctum Concilium”). And the liturgy wars broke out in earnest. They have not abated since. If anything, they’ve intensified in recent years. As these debates continue, it will be helpful to remember that the Liturgical Movement of the mid-20th century, which led to “the changes” approved by Pope Pius XII before it led to “the changes” approved by Pope Paul VI, believed that the renewal of the church’s worship would foster both sanctity and mission, including the church’s social witness.
The Catholic Difference GEORGE WEIGEL For leading liturgical reformers like Father Virgil Michel, OSB, of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, liturgical renewal, evangelical zeal and a commitment to living Catholic social doctrine went hand-in-hand. The bishops of Vatican II (who adopted the “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” by a vote of 2,174 to 4) agreed. If I may quote myself in a passage from my new book, “The Irony of Modern Catholic History”: “The Council, building on and developing the teaching of Pius XII’s encyclical, ‘Mediator Dei,’ sought to recover an understanding of the liturgy as the entire Church’s participation in the mystery of God’s presence through the sacraments, after a period in which ‘liturgy’ meant, primarily, the performance of rites at which the laity were spectators
who attend because of legal obligation. That participation, both the Liturgical Movement and the Council fathers hoped, would be an energizer of mission, for at the center of the liturgy is Christ, and it is Christ who sends his people out as heralds of the Gospel. Or, as the Council fathers began (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), ‘the sacred Council has set out to impart an ever-increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful ... (and) to strengthen whatever can help call mankind into the Church’s fold.’” That was the intention; the results, to date, have been decidedly mixed. It’s a basic error of logic to think that everything that happened after Vatican II happened because of Vatican II. But even proponents of the reformed liturgy, among whom I count myself, must posit some sort of connection between what happened 50 years ago and two disturbing phenomena: decreasing weekly Mass attendance, and a lack of conviction that, in the Eucharist, Catholics encounter the Real Presence
of the Lord Jesus Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity. Perhaps it was inevitable that the cultural acids of late modernity would cause too many 21st-century Catholics to think of Sunday Mass as a weekend recreational option rather than a privileged moment of encounter with the Lord, in which worship equips us spiritually for mission. But even if that’s true, proponents of the reformed liturgy must concede that “the changes” did not stem the Catholic exodus from Sunday worship. Nor did they mitigate Catholic ignorance of the reality of the Eucharist. But then there’s the other side of the coin. I grew up with the pre-conciliar liturgy. It was not a Mozart “Missa Brevis” and sonorous Latin every Sunday; it was more often badly pronounced (and often mumbled) Latin, and execrable, pietistic music (when there was any). Of course, there were dignified, beautiful celebrations of what we now know as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and living in a cathedral parish,
I was privileged to participate in them as an altar boy and choirboy. But they were hardly the norm in American Catholicism. Nostalgia for an imaginary past is not a reliable guide to the future. A few weeks ago, I was discussing the latest twists and turns in the liturgy wars with a wise observer of Christian affairs in the United States, a convert to Catholicism from confessional Lutheranism. When I asked her what she thought millennial traditionalists were seeking in the “old Mass,” she immediately replied, “the awe.” That’s likely true. It’s also true that the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite can be celebrated so that the awe and wonder of the divine presence is palpable. For an example, go to smcgvl. org and click on “Mass Video” to experience the beauty of the reformed liturgy at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina: a parish that is also a thriving example of the New Evangelization, embodying the hope that the liturgical reform, reformed, can energize mission and empower missionary disciples.
Be fruitful and multiply
ast year, French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking at a Gates Foundation event in New York, suggested that no well-educated woman would have a large family. “Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children,” he said. Catherine Pakaluk, a professor at The Catholic University of America with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, responded by posting a picture of six of her eight children. It ignited a Twitter storm. Other smart women around the world with large families followed suit. There is this element of truth in President Macron’s comment: First World countries do have lower fertility rates. In the United States, the rate has been cut in half twice over the past two centuries, from seven or eight children in 1800, to 3.5 in 1900, to 1.7 today. More babies made economic sense when children worked in a family business and
Intellect and Virtue
supported aging parents. Today, people, and women in particular, have more job opportunities. Social Security and Medicare take care of old people. And the pill makes it possible to limit family size to whatever the desired number might be. The thing is, our incentives are now badly misaligned. Social Security and Medicare depend on a large number of young workers to support retirees. But because it doesn’t matter whose children provide the support, people are tempted to become free riders – let someone else have the children who will pay for the welfare state. Children are a public good. This makes the answer to President Macron’s question even more interesting. Why would educated women go to the trouble of bearing and raising the children who will support other people’s retirement? This is a question that Professor Pakaluk, an economist, has undertaken to explore. She is doing a study that interviews
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mothers with large families and asks them about their motives. She won’t finish her work for another year or so. But her contretemps with President Macron has got me wondering about the issue. It is widely known that there is a strong correlation between fertility and faith. Most educated women who have large families are seriously committed to some religious tradition: Judaism or Islam, Catholicism, evangelical Protestantism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That correlation suggests some possible lines of inquiry. One is that such women are more likely to follow religious injunctions about reproduction.
Genesis 1:28 tells Adam and Eve (and their offspring) to be fruitful and multiply. Traditional Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism encourage procreation, too. Many, perhaps most, traditional faiths condemn the practice of abortion. Some of them (most notably Catholicism) ban the practice of artificial contraception. But I find it hard to accept that well-educated women, particularly in Western cultures, would resolve to have large families simply because their faith directed them to. That would give new meaning to the scholastic notion of marital duties. However seriously they might consider the obligations their faith imposed, I would be surprised if such women
didn’t also find that their approach to family planning left them happy and fulfilled. And although women who have large families provide us all with a public good, the sense of fulfillment can’t be just the satisfaction one derives from making a civic contribution, like serving in the armed forces or in public office. If it were, the phenomenon would not be limited to religious women. I think the virtue that inspires such mothers is not obedience or even generosity, but hope. They see a future for themselves and their children, filled with the happiness that God has promised. If that’s your view of what life has in store, why not share it?
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24 « DECEMBER 20, 2019 The following mortuaries place notices for their Catholic services in the Catholic Voice: Bethany, La Vista; Korisko Larkin Staskiewicz, Crosby Burket Swanson Golden, John A. Gentleman, Heafey-HoffmannDworak-Cutler, Kremer, John E. Johnston and Son, Roeder, all in Omaha; Bellevue Memorial Chapel, Bellevue; Stokely, West Point and Dodge. If you would like to have your loved one included in Resurrection Joy, have your funeral home director contact the Catholic Voice, 402-5586611. There is a nominal charge. ANCONA-Michaela Ali, 68. Funeral Mass Nov. 26 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by mother, Dolores Ancona; brother, Charlie Ancona; granddaughter, Aviana May Stottle. Survived by daughter and son-in-law, Angel and Matt Stottle; son, Benjamin Joseph “Joey” Theisen; two grandchildren; father, Carl Ancona (Kathy Grandsaert); sisters and brothers-in-law, Carla and Randy Morin, Ginny Ancona, Cindi and Michael Mahoney, and Maria and Jeff Sauvageau; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. Vincent de Paul Parish. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER
CARROLL-Eleanor Morata “Ely”, 70. Funeral Mass Nov. 27 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Bellevue Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, David W. Carroll; father, Jesus Morata; grandson, Kevin M. Blocker; brothers; sisters. Survived by children and spouses, Raquel and Jeff Gustafson, Angel and Alisa Brooks, Michele Brooks, and Diana and Adam Stakes; mother, Antonia Morata; nine grandchildren; brothers; sisters; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL
KOLEY-Christine Marie, 66. Funeral Mass Dec. 7 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Robert C. Sr. and Marie F. Koley. Survived by daughter, Michaela Koley; siblings and spouses, Patricia and Thomas Walz, Bob and Nancy Koley, Judy and Mike Gittings, Bill and Marie Koley, Jerilynn and Pat Lampert, and Jackie and Randy Williams; nieces; nephews; family; friends. Memorials to Boys Town. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN
CAVANAUGH-John Patrick “Pat”, 86. Funeral Mass Dec. 6 at Mary Our Queen Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Grace and Mike Cavanaugh; three sisters; brother; daughter-in-law, Lucy Cavanaugh. Survived by wife, Teresa; children and spouse, John Cavanaugh, Mike Cavanaugh, Diane and David Millea, and Cyndi Pokorny; 10 grandchildren; 11 greatgrandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the Siena/Francis House, Methodist Hospital Foundation or Nebraska Humane Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER
KURTZ-Joseph T. Jr., 83. Funeral service Dec. 5 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Geraldine; sister, Janette Gilbert. Survived by children and spouses, Joseph III and Charlene Kurtz, and Jolene and Dave Sobczyk; seven grandchildren; siblings and spouses, John and Joyce Kurtz, and Jeanne and Richard Lininger; brother-in-law, Mike Gilbert. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED BARRY-Jeanette J. (O’ConnorRader), 83. Funeral Mass Dec. 13 at St. Margaret Mary Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by daughter, Anne O’Connor; parents, Alvin and Gertrude Rader; brother, Don Rader; infant siblings, Jerry and Barbara Rader. Survived by children and spouses, Barbara Graham, Colleen and Bruce Pfeifer, John and Deb O’Connor, Denise and Matt Kueny, and Kathy Tvrdik; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren. Memorials to Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nebraska Humane Society or to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER BEITENMAN-Margaret Therese (Neary), 91. Funeral Mass Nov. 30 at St. Margaret Mary Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by sons, Edward and Daniel; sonin-law, Jim Killips; grandson, George Killips. Survived by children and spouses, Katie and Joel Guenther, Mary and J. Derr, Liz Killips, Maggie and Mike Holloway; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brother and sisters-inlaw, Owen and Betty Neary, and Ellen Neary. Memorials to St. Vincent de Paul Society or Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER
Remembering Pray for those interred during November Sister Phyllis Marie Heble, ND Richard D. Ahlman Michaela Ali Ancona Catherine Elizabeth Anderson Frederick G. Barnard Sharon “Cher” Beacom Violet A. Beades Margaret (Neary) Beitenman Baby Bergren Murray G. Blandford Florene Boyer Wilma Elaine Brown James Michael Burson James C. Callahan Carmen C. Camerlinck Ralph Gregory Carrington Charles A. Centretto, Jr. CHI Health Infant Service Carolyn Coates Monica Augustine Cope Carol J. Coughlin Joan C. Dallan Loreta L. De Marco Gary DeLuna Josh T. Didulo Malcolm Christopher Domon, Sr. Paula Jean Dupuie Adrian Dziowgo Mary C. Engen Hector Daniel Espinoza Tos Everett Martin Evans Jude Lawrence Evans Mary Ann Everitt Ted J. Foster Kathleen J. Freyer Joyce E. Gibbs Jovine M. Graham Timothy K. Grant Paul Wiley Griffith Jeffrey J. Guinane Margaret “Peggy” Gurnett Patrick B. Hall Mary E. Henderson Francis L. Hengen Virginia Aileen Hennies Joseph William Hiykel, Sr. Jean L. Holcomb Lorene B. Homan Jacquelyn Odette Hooker Mariam K. Howell Sally A. Hughes Jane L. Hull Maxine Helen Jackson Johnny Lee Johnson Edward “Ed” L. Kaczmarek, Sr. Charles F. Kaipust Barbara J. Kenney Gerhard “Gary” E. Lenz Gary Michael “Mike” Lenz Rosemary C. (Kramolisch) Lenz William J. Leutzinger Christopher B. Lypaczewski, P.Eng.
CANOVA-Stanley J. Sr. “Papa”, 85. Funeral Mass Dec. 5 at Holy Cross Church. Preceded in death by daughter, Jean Willis; son, Stanley J. Canova, Jr. Survived by wife, Sally Canova; children and spouses, Terrie and Tony Martin, Angie and Tom Cogan, Sam and Kerri Canova; son-in-law, Mike Willis; 17 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Nick and Mildred Canova; nieces; nephews; friends. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME
KAMINS-Linda Marie (Mills), 73. Funeral Mass Dec. 2 at St. Pius X Church. Interment Kamins/Hickey family gravesite, St. Patrick Cemetery, Camp Grove, Illinois. Preceded in death by parents, Gordon “Jimmie” and Mildred Mills; sister, Peggy Grasso; brothersin-law, Richard Kamins, Patrick Kamins, Gerald Kamins, Michael Kamins, and Michael Goodrich; nephew, James “Jimmie” Grasso. Survived by husband, Donald Kamins; son, Jeffrey Kamins; grandson; siblings and spouses, Rick and Rosemary Mills, Diane and Larry Evans, Mary Goodrich, and Michael and Anne Mills; aunts; uncle; cousins; nieces; nephews; friends. Memorials to the Humane Society, American Cancer Society or St. Pius X Church. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN
Geri Anne Maguire Elizabeth Marie Manriquez Michell Lynn Martin Lorraine A. McManus Phillip H. McNeely, Jr. Seven Atticus Michaels-Thomas Ariyah L. Mitchell-Doss Gary D. Montgomery Mary A. Mumm Debra Murray Anh Kim Nguyen Robert E. Niver Raymond Nosal Richard S. Novak Yovany Nuñez Gomez Flora Mae O’Connell Mary E. O’Riley Richard Pettigrew Felicity Lawrence Poskochil Steven Matthew Propp Eugene R. Puterbaugh Frank Reyes Contreras, Sr. Frank “Frankie” Reyes Contreras, Jr. John Rockidge Jose Rojas Ryan D. Roseberry Betty J. Ruffino Theresa M. (Plog) Sabatini Gregory Juan Schiavo Paul V. Schwalm Therese J. (Whitbeck) Sell Mary Kay Servoss Dianna L. Shely William D. Shely Anne M. Sloup Rose M. Solo Virginia A. (Bouckhuyt) Spethman Ray Sprague Joseph L. Stavas Phyllis A. Stessman Fred Robert “Bud” Stranglen, Jr. Charles A. Strudl Adolph “Roy” Svoboda, Jr. Thomas G. Tejral Sally T. Theiler Robert Nelson Thurmond III Christine A. Trott Patrick A. Vaccaro Norlan D. Van Gorp Beulah Yvette Vanderberg Ronald Lee Vigus Ina Wallace Elizabeth “Betty” C. Weber Larry G. Weber Bonnie Wells Donna L. White Betty Lou Wieler Perry T. Williams, Jr. MD Robert L. Wilson Evelyn Marie (Vieregger) Yetts Thomas James Youell
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CLOUDT-Joel G., 48. Funeral service Dec. 12 at St. Elizabeth Ann Church. Interment Flower Hill Cemetery. Survived by parents, Gene and Jodene; siblings and spouses, Jason and Nicole Cloudt, Jared Cloudt, Janae and George Svagera; niece; nephews; family; friends. Memorials to the family. ROEDER MORTUARY DIDULO-Josh T., 24. Funeral service Nov. 25 at Citylight Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by grandfather, Tom Nastase, Jr.; uncles, Ray Nastase and Joseph Didulo; aunt, Theresa Didulo. Survived by parents, Iggy and Shari; sister, Megan; grandmothers, Mary C. Nastase and Agnes T. Didulo; aunts; uncles; cousins. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER GALDEANO-Refugio “Ralph”, 82. Funeral Mass Dec. 7 at St. Frances Cabrini Church. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Survived by wife, Penny; sons and daughters-inlaw, Michael, Mark and Paula, Marshall, and Matthew and Robbin; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; twin brother and sister-in-law, Jesse and Delores; sister, Sister Elsa Galdeano. Memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association or Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER GEIGER-Nola J. (Abels), 91. Funeral Mass Dec. 2 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Survived by husband, Raymond W. Geiger; daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Scott Taylor, and Kathy and Kent Taylor; five grandchildren; great-grandchild. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME HENG-Lucille Katherine (Roddy), 99. Funeral Mass Dec. 12 at Holy Cross Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Paul P. Heng; son, Mark S. Heng. Survived by children and spouses, Rod and Carol Heng, Larry and Jane Heng, Paul Jr. and Lula Heng, Tom and Sue Heng, Ellen and Larry Davis, and Mary Lou and Ronn Winquest; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren. Memorials to Holy Cross Educational Trust. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER IVERSON-Terrance L., 68. Family interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Helen and Leonard Iverson; sister, Connie Iverson. Survived by son, Eric N. Iverson. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER JOHNS-Pat, 78. Funeral service Dec. 12 at St. Margaret Mary Church. Inurnment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by cousins and spouses, Barbara O’Neil, Frederick, Maryland, Sean and Ghislaine O’Neil, Versailles, France, and Brian and Alice O’Neil, Seaforth, Ontario, Canada. Memorials to St. Margaret Mary School. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PRIESTS
MARTINEZ-Joseph C., 88. Funeral service Nov. 26 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by daughter, JoAnn Martinez. Survived by wife, Maria; sons and daughter-inlaw, Steven, and Joe and Jenny; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren. Memorials to the Wounded Warriors Fund. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME MCGARRY-Yvonne E., 78. Funeral Mass Nov. 27 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. Preceded in death by parents, Frank and Evelyn Schlautman; brother, Thomas Schlautman. Survived by husband, Fred McGarry; siblings, Duane Schlautman, Dallan Schlautman, Marilyn Spence, Linda Evans and Patricia Thalken; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. ROEDER MORTUARY MCLAUGHLIN-Robert R., 84. Funeral Mass Dec. 3 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Preceded in death by parents, John and Margaret; daughter, Teresa; siblings, Sonny, Maxine, Virginia and Sharon; sisters-in-law, Peg McLaughlin, Cathy McLaughlin and Kris McLaughlin; brothers-in-law, Mick Anderson and Ross Gorman. Survived by wife, Jan; sons and daughters-in-law, Bob and Gina, Lenexa, Kansas, Bill and Marla, Overland Park, Kansas, and Brad and Kim, Carter Lake, Iowa; siblings and spouses, Red McLaughlin, Ray McLaughlin, Arlene and Ed Andersen, Ed McLaughlin, Joe and Mary McLaughlin, and Marge and Wade Crow; brothers-in-law and spouses, Bill Cunningham, Mike and Jeri Cunningham, and Tom and Sue Cunningham; sister-in-law, Cheryl Gorman; eight grandchildren; great-grandson. Memorials to Douglas County Health Center Foundation, 4102 Woolworth Ave., Omaha, NE 68105. KREMER FUNERAL HOME MESENBRINK-Margaret Elaine, 82. Funeral service Dec. 7 at Bellevue Memorial Chapel. Interment St. Rose of Lima Cemetery, Denison, Iowa. Preceded in death by husband, James E. Survived by children and spouses, Steven, Cindy and Joseph Simonsen, Richard, Russell, Karen and James Schneider, and Julie Polonis. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL METZ-Maci Elizabeth, 5. Funeral Mass Nov. 30 at St. John Vianney Church. Interment Voss Mohr Cemetery. Survived by parents, Nathan and Jennifer; siblings, Noah, Maddie, Maya and Mila; John and Deborah Kennedy, Michael Metz; aunts and uncles, Elizabeth Kennedy, John and Angie Kennedy, Sean and Brooke Metz, Heather Metz, and Burke Raby. Memorials to Maci’s Memorial Fund. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER NIVER-Robert E., 92. Funeral service Nov. 24 at West Center Chapel. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Ruth Marie (Tigges) Niver. Survived by children and spouses, Terry and Kathy Niver, Jerri Niver, and Gary and Joan Niver; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren. Memorials to one’s choice. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER NOVAK-Richard Steven, 79. Funeral Mass Nov. 26 at Sacred Heart Church. Preceded in death by parents, Steve and Julia Novak; sister, Marie Murray; infant son, Anthony Novak. Survived by wife, Marilyn Novak; sons and daughters-in-law, Rick Novak, Rob and Debra Novak, and Jamie and Nicole Novak; sister, Judy Novak, Scottsdale, Arizona; five granddaughters. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER
OLECHOSKI-Dorothy K., 88. Funeral Mass Dec. 4 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Frank Olechoski; parents; son, Don Olechoski; two sisters. Survived by children and spouses, Ron and Patti Olechoski, Patti and Matt Willis, and Marylin and Dave Young; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME REARDON-Harumi, 84. Funeral Mass Dec. 6 at St. Matthew the Evangelist Church, Bellevue. Inurnment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Tetsudo and Momoe Monji. Survived by husband, Jim; two sisters, Japan; two brothers, Japan; step-daughter and spouse, Kerry and Tom McHugh; sister-inlaw and spouse, Maureen and Frank Moffett; three grandsons; great-granddaughter; niece; nephews; grand-nieces; grand-nephews in Japan and the United States. Memorials to the St. Matthew the Evangelist Building Fund. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL RIESCHL-Kathleen A., 59. Funeral service Dec. 6 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Interment St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, John and Frances Rieschl. Survived by siblings and spouses, Eileen and Doug Young, Mary Kay Capece, Mark Rieschl, Kris Rieschl, Ken and Mickie Rieschl, Jean Rieschl, Pat and Curt Frease, and Michael and Katie Rieschl; nieces; nephews; relatives. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER ROSEBERRY-Ryan D., 44. Funeral Mass Nov. 30 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by grandparents, Virgil and Lorena Roseberry, and Garth and Sally Smith; uncles, Kent Smith, Perry Roseberry and Clinton Roseberry; aunt, Linda Daly. Survived by wife, Connie (Pike); children, Addy and Jake; parents, Harvey and Vicky (Smith) Roseberry, St. Joseph, Missouri; sister and brother-in-law, Michele and Todd Euler, Bentonville, Arkansas; aunts and spouse, Judy Smith, and Debby and John Miljavac; siblingsin-law, Tina Pike, Sarah Pike and Matthew Pike; cousins; nieces; nephews; friends. Memorials to the Roseberry Children Education Fund. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER ROSSO-Margaret Marie “Peggy”, 65. Funeral service Dec. 9 at West Center Chapel. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Bill and Edie Rosso. Survived by siblings and spouses, Mike and Luanne Rosso, Pat Rosso, and Laura and Greg Clark; nephews; cousins. Memorials to Serene Care Hospice. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER RYBA-Betty L., 75. Funeral Mass Dec. 6 at St. Gerald Church. Survived by husband, Bob; children and spouses, Christie Ryba, Greg and Marissa Ryba, and Jeff and Brittney Ryba; four grandchildren; siblings and spouses, Ron and Janice Freking, Sister Marilyn Freking, Sister Carole Freking, and Roseann and Tom Harvat; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the Sister Water Project or Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER RYBA-Paul F., 79. Funeral service Nov. 25 at St. James Church. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Mary and Paul Ryba; sisters, Mary Ann Babb and Rose Svendsen. Survived by wife, Faye Ryba; children and spouses, Amy and Barry Pierce, and Andy and Teresa Ryba; nine grandchildren; great-grandchild; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Betty Ryba, and Richard and Linda Ryba; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. James Building Debt Reduction. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN SCALISE-Gabriele A. “George”, 89. Funeral Mass Dec. 6 at St. Joan of Arc Church. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Immacolata; brother and sisterin-law, Paul and Rita Scalise; brother-in-law, Antonio Leo. Survived by children and spouse, Frank, Maria Scalise Filippelli, Julie and Robert Rodriguez; Rose Salcedo; six grandchildren; sister-in-law, Anna Maria Leo; nieces; nephews; cousins; friends. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SCHADENDORF-Mary Ellen, 70. Funeral service Dec. 3 at 72nd Street Chapel. Inurnment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Paul and Edith Ackerson; brother, Tim Ackerson. Survived by husband, Michael Schadendorf; children, Jennifer (Jason) Valandra, and Steven Schadendorf (Atefeh Hosseini); three grandchildren; sisters, Elaine DeBoer and Betty Ackerson; nieces; nephews; family; friends. Memorials to the family. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN SEMINARA-Michelle T., 38. Funeral Mass Dec. 5 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by parents, Teresa and John Seminara; siblings and spouses, Lisa and Mike Kirke, Jennifer and Matt Hoffman, Angel and John Shuey, Andrea and Brandon McDaniel, and Nick Seminara. Memorials to Marian High School or Essential Pregnancy Services. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER
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| RESURRECTION JOY | >> Continued from Page 24 SERVOSS-Mary Kay, 76. Funeral Mass Nov. 25 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Clair and Catherine Servoss. Survived by siblings and spouses, Larry and Susan Servoss, Marc Servoss, Gerald Servoss, and Patricia and Pat Mategrano; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. Jude Hospital. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SHEA-Mallory M., 8. Private funeral Mass Dec. 5 at St. Patrick Church followed by private interment at Mount Calvary Cemetery, both in Elkhorn. Survived by parents, Mick and Maureen; siblings, Grace, Lily, Bailey, Delaney, Mickey, Gabriel; grandparents, Joe and Bonnie Shea, and Mike and Barb O’Malley; aunts; uncles; cousins. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SVACINA-Tim, 59. Funeral service Dec. 7 at Korisko Larkin Staskiewicz Chapel. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, Walter and Helen Svacina; brother, Walter Jr. Survived by siblings and spouses, Karen and Mark Walag, Margie and Fred Gargett, Jackie and Greg Schindler, Ron and Diana Svacina, and Randy Svacina; nieces; nephews. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME ULRICH-Edwina M. “Chick” (Krajicek), 86. Funeral Mass Dec. 4 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husbands, Edward J. Krajicek and Arthur P. Ulrich; parents, Edward and Annastasia Hazuka; siblings, Marcella, Joan, Anita, Catherine, James and Edward. Survived by children Stephen (Diane) Krajicek, Robert “Gus” (Debra) Krajicek, Barbara (Dennis) Kreifels, Paula (Earl) Whitney, Jerrine Krajicek (Roger Wobbenhorst), Julie (Kelly) Mitchel, and James (Theresa) Krajicek; 20 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; siblings, Ann Marie Hudecek, John Hazuka; sisters-in-law, Roxanne Hazuka, Hazel Wilson; family; friends. Memorials to the family. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME VASKE-Lyle C., 75. Funeral Mass Dec. 3 at St. Gerald Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Lorraine and Emil; siblings, Keith Bryant and Karen Bryant. Survived by wife, Rosie; children, Katie Rinkol (Dennis), Chris Murray, Mike Vaske (Beatriz Kruz), Ann Nissen (Mark), and Tim Vaske; Corey Rangel; 12 grandchildren; siblings, Richard (Cheryl), John, Doug (Louise), Carl, Mark, Steve, and Mary Coan (Scott); nieces; nephews; cousins; relatives; friends. Memorials to St. Gerald’s St. Vincent de Paul Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER VAUGHAN-Nancy J., 67. Funeral Mass Nov. 25 at St. Cecilia Cathedral. Preceded in death by sister, Susan Stotts. Survived by husband, Kevin D.; daughter and son-in-law, Dani D. and Stephen Hampton; granddaughter, Bridget; relatives; friends, including friends of Lois W. Memorials to St. Cecilia Education Endowment or Marian High School. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER VLASNIK-Anna M., 94. Private services. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Wesley J. Survived by daughter and son-in-law, Suzanne M. and John Barrientos Jr.; granddaughter; relatives; friends. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WAGMAN-Robert J., Sr., 100. Funeral services Dec. 6 at St. Thomas More Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Survived by wife, Bernyce; children and spouses, Rita and Jack Skinner, Robert Jr. and Annette Wagman, and Tim and Micki Wagman; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. Memorials to Creighton Preparatory School, Mercy High School or St. Thomas More. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME WASZGIS-Rose M., 88. Funeral Mass Nov. 25 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, James Sr.; parents, Stan and Frances Gorzelanski; siblings, John (Julie) Gorzelanski, and Wanda (Frank) Conklin. Survived by sons, James Jr. (Luann) Waszgis, Jeffrey (Theresa) Waszgis, and Gregory (Karen) Waszgis; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME WILSON-Richard T. “Dick”, 78. Funeral Mass Dec. 7 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Marjorie and Fred Wilson; sister, Mary Walsh. Survived by wife, Mary Claire; children and spouse, Eric R. Wilson, and Andrea E. and Dave Willman; grandchild. Memorials to the Nebraska Humane Society, Holy Name Men’s Club (Restore the Glory Field House Project) or the Stephen Center. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER
Deacon Simmonds loved visiting the sick Catholic Voice
Deacon Frank “Bud” Simmonds served St. Patrick Parish in Elkhorn in many ways: at daily Masses, in adult faith formation and taking care of grieving families who had loved ones buried at the parish cemetery. But his favorite outreach was DEACON ministering to BUD the sick, said SIMMONDS Father Thomas Fangman, pastor of St. Patrick. Deacon Simmonds made visits to homes and hospitals and brought holy Communion to the sick, often dropping whatever he was doing for the calls, Father Fangman said.
Sister Loretta served Native Americans
DECEMBER 20, 2019
Father Brown served youth Catholic Voice
Deacon Simmonds’ ministry to the sick was “his true love,” and he established strong relationships with those he served, his pastor said. Deacon Simmonds, 69, died Nov. 29. His funeral Mass was Dec. 3 at a packed St. Patrick Church. The large turnout was a testament to his service, Father Fangman said. “It was obvious how many lives he touched profoundly by his ministry,” he said. “He will be dearly missed by many.” Deacon Simmonds was ordained in 2008. Survivors include his children Nicole (Shane) McDonald of Broomfield, Colorado, Elizabeth (Nels Becker) Simmonds of Portland, Oregon, Julie (James) Hoff of Elkhorn, Margaret (Pedro) Linale of Omaha, Tyler Simmonds of Lincoln, Dillon Simmonds of Omaha, Daniel Sird of Lincoln and Matthew Sird of Omaha; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and sister Mary (Larry) Phillips of Omaha.
Augustinian Father James Brown, who was a leader in the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) movement nataionally and in Omaha, and who served in Omaha parishes, died Dec. 8 in FATHER Oxnard, California. JAMES BROWN He was 98. Father Brown’s religious order, the Augustinian Recollects, held a memorial Mass Dec. 18 at the order’s priory in Oxnard. In Omaha, a funeral Mass was held Dec. 20 St. James Church with interment Dec. 21 at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas. A native of Snyder, Father Brown was ordained in 1946 in Atchison, Kansas. He served in seminaries, parishes and various ministries around the country before coming to Omaha in 1974, where he served as spiritual director at Boys Town until 1977. Father Brown was spiritual director for the national TEC Conference and introduced TEC in
the Omaha archdiocese in 1975. He led efforts to refocus the program nationally and to develop a definitive TEC manual. Father Brown was the archdiocese’s first director of youth and young adult ministry from 1982 to 1995. In that position he was instrumental in helping develop youth ministry programs and youth minister training. He was pastor of Holy Ghost Parish from 1977 to 1982, and served as associate pastor of St. James Parish from 1984 to 2006. He then retired to his order’s priory, where he continued his work with TEC, including translation of the TEC manual into Spanish. Friend and TEC collaborator Greg Schwietz, a member of Omaha’s Sacred Heart Parish, called Father Brown a visionary and a leader. “He was really committed to youth and young adults,” Schwietz said. “There were two things he really loved the most – the Gospel and young people, and TEC and the youth office became instruments by which he could join those two in a meaningful and long lasting way.”
Sister of Mercy Loretta Sedlmayer, who taught in Omaha and served Native Americans in Montana, died Nov.30inOmaha. She was 87. A memorial Mass was held SISTER Dec. 6 at the LORETTA Mercy Villa SEDLMAYER chapel, with interment in Resurrection Cemetery, both in Omaha. A native of Denver, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1953, professing first vows in 1956 and final vows in 1959. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from College of Saint Mary in Omaha and a master’s in business education from the University of North Dakota. Sister Loretta (known until 1968 as Sister Mary Rosaire) taught at schools in Colorado and North Dakota before moving to Omaha in 1965 where, for the next three years, she taught business courses at Mercy High School. She served as assistant principal there from 1968 to 1972, and from 1972 to 1979 headed the business department at College of Saint Mary. The next year, she received pastoral ministry training at Seattle University, then served the next 10 years at Mercy hospitals in North Dakota. In 1987, Sister Loretta began a 27-year appointment as pastoral minister at St. Dennis Church in Poplar, Montana, on the Crow Indian Reservation. She returned to Omaha in 2014 and served as a community volunteer with the Sisters of Mercy community. Sister Loretta was preceded in death by her parents and eight siblings. She is survived by members of the Sisters of Mercy, her sisters, Gertrude Ricks, Eileen Burke and Dorothy Scott, and many nieces and nephews.
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Our Lady of the Presentation, a dynamic and growing parish located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, seeks a faithlled principal with proven leadership skills and a commitment to Catholic education for its K-8 grade school serving more than 470 students with approximately 50 staﬀ members. Our Lady of the Presentation is an accredited, nationally recognized Blue Ribbon elementary school that strives to educate the whole child. Qualied candidates must be a practicing Catholic with Administrative certication or the ability to become certied. Candidates must also have teaching and administration experience. Applications close on January 15, 2020. Applications may be made to the Catholic Schools Oﬃce on the website at: https://careers.hireology.com/ thecatholicdioceseofkansascitystjoseph/352738/description
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| MEDIA & CULTURE |
26 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
New book highlights 12 historic homilies delivered in times of crisis By GEORGE MATYSEK JR. Catholic News Service
We invite you to join us on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Since our youth we have been hearing the Gospel stories about Jesus walking and teaching in Jerusalem, Capernaum, and Galilee. He worked miracles around the Sea of Tiberius, Jericho and Cana. Our pilgrimage will give us an opportunity of walking in the footsteps of Jesus, our Blessed Mother and the first disciples. Each day we will celebrate Mass and reflect on the Gospel text appropriate to the place we visit. This will be a pilgrimage of a lifetime and it will forever change the way you read and understand the Scriptures.
For more information, please call: 1-866-261-7024 Fr. Korth
Merry Christmas from Creighton University
BALTIMORE – As the Nazi regime systematically killed those it deemed mentally ill or “unproductive,” a fearless bishop of the Diocese of Munster, Germany, took to the pulpit in 1941 to denounce and challenge what was happening. If the right has been given to kill “poor defenseless mentally ill,” Blessed Clemens von Galen said in his homily, then it has been given to murder all who are classified as unproductive – the incurably ill, “cripples unable to work,” those incapacitated because of work or war, the infirm elderly and others. “It is unthinkable what degeneration of morals, what universal mistrust will find its way even into the family,” Blessed von Galen said, “if this frightening doctrine is tolerated, taken up, and followed.” Woe to humanity and woe to the German people, he thundered, if the holy commandment of God, “Thou shalt not kill,” is not only broken, but tolerated and taken up as a regular practice without punishment. Blessed von Galen’s homily, copies of which spread throughout the Third Reich and around the world, is one of 12 inspiring sermons published in a new book by Father Paul D. Scalia, “Sermons in Times of Crisis: Twelve Homilies to Stir Your Soul” (Tan Books, 162 pp. $27.95). Spanning a time frame from the fourth century to the present, the carefully selected works show how some of the church’s greatest clergymen applied the word of God and the teachings of the church to moments of crisis. If there’s one thread that runs throughout the selected homilies, it’s courage. The courage needed to speak out against euthanasia in Nazi Germany is obvious. Similar courage was shown by St. John Paul II in a 1979 homily in Poland when the pope encouraged Poles to embrace God in the face of communist persecution.
Likewise, the soon-to-be martyred Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko asked his Polish countrymen in a 1983 homily to claim their right to God, to love, to freedom of conscience, to their culture and their national heritage. Yet Father Scalia, vicar for clergy in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, also brings to light preaching requiring a more subtle kind of courage. Father Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, includes an A.D. 404 homily by St. Augustine of Hippo, for example, that challenges his listeners to reject the temptation to adopt pagan practices to fit in with the larger society. In a 1576 homily, St. Charles Borromeo urges his brother priests to be unafraid of ministering to plague victims in Milan and of the martyrdom that might ensue. St. Charles himself modeled what he preached by working among those suffering from the plague. An A.D. 399 homily by St. John Chrysostom encourages people to show mercy instead of judgment against a fallen member of the imperial court who desperately sought sanctuary in the church even after he had advocated the abolition
of such asylum. In a telephone interview with the “Catholic Baltimore” radio show produced by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Father Scalia said courage is needed both to face down those who are threatening the church and to challenge the faithful by telling them what they need to hear rather than what they might want to hear. He believes three elements are present in a good homily: it is rooted in Scripture, it is intellectually engaging and it is applicable. Father Scalia said every speaker must be in union with the truth he conveys. The greater the union, the more convincing the words. The preacher must always try to interiorize the Gospel and the doctrine of the church so it “bubbles forth” in homilies, Father Scalia said. Throughout the church’s history, he argues, there have always been “good” and “bad” preachers. What’s happening in modern times, he said, is that clergymen are being tempted to be merely entertaining or self-revelatory. “We’ve gotten away from homilies that really teach doctrine,” he said, “and that’s a loss.” Whenever a priest or deacon preaches, he should be teaching or reinforcing a teaching of the church, Father Scalia said. In his book, Father Scalia provides commentary on each of the selected homilies. Not every sermon is preached in a time of crisis, he notes. “Indeed, we should desire that the word be proclaimed in an atmosphere of tranquility so that it can be interiorized more serenely and deeply,” he writes. “But just as the big game reveals an athlete’s talent, so the crises in the church’s history reveal the greatness of her preachers or, rather, the greatness of the Spirit speaking through them.” Matysek is digital editor for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
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| LOCAL BRIEFING |
DECEMBER 20, 2019
News from around the archdiocese OACCW accepting scholarship applications
As part of the honor, the school renamed a section of the school the “Servants of Mary Specials Wing.”
Catholic girls who are seniors in high school can apply for college scholarships from the Omaha Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (OACCW). Each deanery in the organization will award a scholarship, which varies in amount by deanery. Those scholarship winners will then compete for an additional $500 scholarship from the OACCW. Requirements, application information and deanery contacts are available from school guidance counselors. Application forms also can be found on the OACCW Facebook page, under photos. The applications must be submitted to deanery council contacts and postmarked by Jan. 15. For more information, contact Kim Estes at 402-340-2866 or 402-924-3125.
Restaurant owners dish out valuable lessons
St. James/Seton honors religious sisters St. James/Seton School in Omaha recently honored the Servants of Mary, who were among the first teachers at the school and whose influence can still be felt today, Principal William Kelly said. The school awarded the sisters its Spirit of SJS Award at its Nov. 23 SOAR Development Dinner. It gives the award annually to individuals or groups that have made significant contributions to its success. Members of the religious order attended the annual fundraising dinner. Sister Jackie Ryan, prioress of the Servants of Mary, accepted the award.
Buddy benches promote kindness Ben Keller, a junior at Mount Michael Benedictine School near Elkhorn and member of Boy Scout troop 494, helps second-grader Tatum Mann put handprints on one of two new “buddy benches” installed Nov. 6 on the playground of St. Stephen the Martyr School in Omaha. The benches promote kindness and inclusion by providing a place for students who are feeling low or left out to sit, encouraging other students to offer a friendly word or invitation to play.
What does chicken have to do with the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha? One Newman Center official saw a connection and decided to invite the owners of a nearby Chick-Fil-A restaurant to talk with staff, missionaries and student leaders about servant leadership and hospitality, things she saw evident at the restaurant. Rich and Laurel Ubele, owners of the Chick-Fil-A near 75th and Dodge streets, brought along lunch and other goodies when they met the Newman Center group Dec. 6 for a roundtable discussion. The Ubeles shared how small actions can speak the loudest, and how they try to make sure everyone who has contact with them leaves a little better than when they arrived, said Susan Gnann, director of advancement at the center. “They spoke of how they minister to the people they lead and always model the behavior they want, even on tough days,” she said. Father Dan Andrews, pastor and director of the center, said he found the discussion helpful. “We exist to share the transformative love of Jesus Christ with every college student in Omaha, and that’s what we intend to do,” Father Andrews said. “Laurel and Rich helped us see new ways to share this love with our visitors.”
Kellar and brother Christian, both St. Stephen alumni, worked with their scout troop to build the benches as an Eagle Scout project. Alyssa Schmitt, another alum and now a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, painted the benches. Several St. Stephen students added their handprints Aug. 13. The project was organized by the school’s Parent Association and its Be the Light Committee, with funding by an anonymous donor. COURTESY PHOTO
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28 « DECEMBER 20, 2019
| NEWS |
Omaha LIFE Runner helps teammate set world record By JOE FOREMAN
For the Catholic Voice
It wasn’t a difficult decision at all for Omaha LIFE Runner Matt Pohren. Two days before last month’s Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Pohren, a member of St. Cecilia Parish in Omaha and the fastest member of the nearly 14,000-member, national pro-life runners group, was asked to set the pace for teammate Julia Webb of Little Rock, Arkansas, as she attempted to break the world record for running a half-marathon while pushing a baby stroller. Having met at an earlier event in Des Moines, Iowa, Webb knew Pohren to be a fast runner. “She asked me if I wanted to pace her,” Pohren said. “I thought about it for about five seconds and said, ‘Sure.’ It was a no-brainer.” The 35-year-old Pohren knew he could complete the 13.1-mile course in a much faster time by “running his own race,” but the opportunity to help Webb set the world record and make a statement for LIFE Runners and their pro-life ministry was something he couldn’t pass up. “It was a great way to draw attention to the work we’re doing and we as a team are unashamed to say that life is important,” he said. “It was an opportunity to just be there. I give all the credit to Julia and her efforts – she was pushing a stroller. “My job was to be out there – flank her to the left and to the right and be out front to help her continue to push the pace.” Webb, 36, who was pushing her 10-monthold daughter Gabby in the stroller, not only earned her way into the Guinness Book of World Records with a time of 1:21.24, she was the overall female winner of the half-marathon. An accomplished runner who has qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in the
marathon, Webb expressed her gratitude to Pohren and other members of the LIFE Runners team for helping her set the record. “I don’t believe I could have run that fast without the other LIFE Runners, particularly Matt. It was great having someone to push me,” she said. “A little after 10 miles, it really started to get tough. I told Matt, don’t run next to me – get in front of me and keep me going. Don’t let me slow down.” At a LIFE Runners banquet the night before the race, Webb asked her teammates to pray for her. “I could feel the prayers (during the run),” she said. “I was thinking, ‘I just ran 6:05 for that mile – how am I doing this?’” she marveled. Webb and her teammates were wearing matching jerseys with the LIFE Runners’ slogan, “Remember the Unborn – Jer 1:5.” She admitted she hasn’t always felt comfortable sharing her pro-life views in a public setting. Growing up in a Catholic family she attended pro-life marches and events as a child with her mother, but has had many friends in her adult life who didn’t share her pro-life views. “I didn’t have the confidence I have now and my husband’s conversion to the Catholic faith (four years ago) is a big reason for that change,” she said. “I have my own family now and I believe the unborn need a voice.” LIFE Runners holds several local, regional and national events of its own throughout the year, but also makes it a point to participate in one secular race every fall, like the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. Last year, they ran in Long Beach, California, and will head to Indianapolis in 2020. LIFE Runners’ founder, Patrick Castle, a member of St. Matthew Parish in Bellevue and St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion,
PAT CASTLE/LIFE RUNNERS
LIFE Runner Julia Webb speaks with local media in front of her LIFE Runners team after setting a half-marathon world record in the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Nov. 24. She set the record for pushing her 10-month-old daughter, Gabby, whom she is holding, in a stroller. She was paced by fellow LIFE Runner Matt Pohren, a member of St. Cecilia Parish in Omaha. said the group receives both positive and negative feedback at the events, but encountered more resistance than usual in Tulsa. Castle said even some race officials wanted to keep the LIFE Runners confined to specific areas and didn’t want the group’s prolife “political” banner displayed near the start or finish lines. “I saw more resistance at that race
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than any of the previous races combined – more eye rolls, disgusted looks and comments,” he said. On the positive side, LIFE Runners signed up 62 new teammates in Tulsa. “We evangelized people to action,” Castle said. “They were inspired enough by LIFE Runners to say I’m going to wear one of those shirts.”
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