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| FEBRUARY 7, 2020 |



Celebrating Catholic education


JOYFUL WITNESS Several hundred pilgrims from the archdiocese attend the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. PAGES 2, 4 and 5

ON THE UPSWING Interest in the consecrated life is growing among young women – and the Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk are reaping the benefits. PAGES 8 and 9


Archbishop George J. Lucas greets students and others following the annual eighth grade Mass Jan. 30 at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. Pictured from left are Kamarra Howard-Foster, teacher Rebecca Hartman, DeAndre Harper and TaNiya McClinton, all from Sacred Heart School in Omaha. The Mass was one of the highlights of Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1.

Relationship maven gets real with middle schoolers By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice

Smart phones. Social media. Texting. Healthy relationships. What the opposite sex wants. Commiting to virtue. Putting God first. Those were just some of the topics a dynamic and insightful Sarah Swafford came ready to address for about 400 seventhand eighth-graders from four Omaha area schools, who noisily filed into the gym at St. Patrick School in Elkhorn Jan. 30. As they settled in and began to listen, their chattering turned to thoughtful silence, fidgeting, and even a few tears as they listened to Swafford talk about the challenges of growing up in today’s culture and their need for God to see them through. Swafford is founder of the Emotional Virtue apostolate and author of “Emotional Virtue: A


The Archbishop News

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Guide to Drama-Free Relationships.” A graduate of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, she went to work there as a residence hall director and learned about the quickly evolving relationship challenges young people face in a secularized and digital world. Her message is an important one, Swafford told the Catholic Voice, as children are being confronted at increasingly younger ages with choices about things like alcohol, drugs, sex and social media. But it also is a hopeful one as she encourages young people to always think of what kind of person God wants them to be. She also talked about the positive qualities that both males and females look for in the opposite sex as a foundation for healthy relationships. “I think it’s really import-

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ant to know what guys are looking for, that it’s not always about looks,” said St. Patrick student Gracie Lambert after the talk. “Being yourself and not worrying about looks is going to take you far.” In her presentation, Swafford also talked about the “cycle of use” present in many relationships, and asked students to close their eyes, reflect on times they may have been used or used others in various ways, and pledge to do otherwise in the future. Powerful speakers such as Swafford supplement the school’s chastity program and enhance what teachers convey in the classroom, said Kami Landenberger, school principal. “It’s important for them (students) to gain an understanding of chastity in the Catholic context,” she said. Following Swafford’s presen-

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tation, students were excited, milling around her for selfies and hugs. St. Patrick student Keaton Broz related to Swafford’s words about how God sees each person. “I care more about what God thinks of me than everybody else and caring about what he has in mind for me,” he said. In addition to students from St. Patrick School, students from St. Cecilia School in Omaha, St. Columbkille in Papillion, and St. Gerald in Ralston also attended. Swafford also spoke that evening to parish teens and other guests, and middle schoolers in the parish’s religious formation program. That afternoon, she sat down with the Catholic Voice to talk about her apostolate, it’s goals and the kinds of difficulties young people face today. See PAGES 6 and 7.

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2 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020


Respect for life accentuates archbishop’s pilgrimages In this week’s interview, Archbishop George J. Lucas speaks with communication manager David Hazen about his two January pilgrimages. The first was his ad limina trip to Rome, where he met with Pope Francis and visited the tombs and martyrdom sites of Ss. Peter and Paul and the other basilicas in the city. The second was his trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 47th annual March for Life.


When last we spoke, you were preparing for your visit ad limina apostolorum. Now that you have returned, could you tell us about the experience?

I’m happy to share more about what was really a very beautiful and positive pilgrimage experience for me in January. It’s a longstanding custom in the church for bishops from around the world to go every six or seven years to have a face-to-face meeting with the Holy Father, and to visit the tombs and martyrdom sites of Ss. Peter and Paul and the other basilicas in Rome. As you can imagine, the highlight of the visit was meeting with Pope Francis. He is very much as people understand him to be from seeing him in pictures or videos: very down to earth and very warm and welcoming. We met with him for an extended time, over two and a half hours. He began the meeting by stressing that he wanted the visit to be spontaneous.

He was not looking for formal presentations from us, nor was he going to give one to us. But as a brother bishop, he wanted simply to hear about our experiences as diocesan bishops and then to respond to any questions that we might have. He was very open to addressing questions on complicated issues, and to giving us some reflections on his own life and ministry, his own life of prayer and how he keeps his faith and joy in the Lord in the midst of very serious responsibilities. I was amazed at his energy. He is 83 years old, and though I felt like I was worn out after the meeting – I was sitting there for most of it, listening, taking it all in – the Holy Father was still very much filled with energy and joy at the end of it.


You mentioned previously that the conversations between the pope and the bishops are for the most part private, but is there a word or phrase from that encounter with Pope Francis that you could share with us?

The word would be encouragement. I came away very, very encouraged by the breadth of the Holy Father’s knowledge and experience. I already knew that about him, but to experience it personally makes me very confident in offering our people the encouragement to really pay attention to the pope and to what he says. We know in our faith that we should do that anyway, but the office is held by a human being, of course, and therefore some popes appeal to some people more than others because of their personality or style. One of my takeaways is that we are very blessed to have Francis as our pope. We are asked not to discuss in detail our conversations. That makes it easier for the Holy Father and the bishops to just speak frankly to one another. It has already been reported, and not surprisingly, that we discussed issues affecting human life

and dignity. He gave a great deal of support to us bishops to keep up the good work that we are trying to do here in the United States to uphold the dignity of each human person with a special emphasis on the life of the unborn, who have the least ability to defend themselves. He just encouraged us to be in solidarity with our priests, and to reassure and accompany them in what is often a difficult time for priests in our country and throughout the church. I was able to share with him my appreciation for the priests with whom I work, and my confidence in them and their desire to be faithful to the Lord and generous in serving our people. All in all, the pope clearly desired to inspire us and to help us all to realize that we are together in the work of the apostolic ministry that the Lord has called us to, and he very much wants to be a brother and a father to us.



Shortly after you returned home from Rome, you accompanied a number of our young people to the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., an event you have attended a number of times. How was it different this year?

I have gone to the March for Life many times over the years, but my own perspective was different this year, having received the very direct and specific motivation from the pope to remain steadfast in defending the lives of the unborn. We had a great turnout from Nebraska. People from across the state travel a long distance to get to Washington by bus. We had hundreds from the Archdiocese of Omaha and hundreds from the Diocese of Lincoln. I had the chance to spend time with both groups before the march. I was also able to celebrate Mass with some students from Creighton University and from UNO along with other people who were part of that group.

We then joined as many as we could gather out of the crowd to walk together in the March for Life. That day really has become a gathering of young people from around the country as much as anything else. One of the things I was able to do was to tell all of the Nebraskans present that I had visited with the Holy Father, and that he had encouraged us bishops to stay focused on these issues and that I wanted to share that reassurance with them. I try to do my part as a pastor and bishop to influence law and policy, but also to change our culture into a civilization of love and respect for all people. That is something that we all have to participate in together.


How do you see the annual March for Life helping these young people to build that “civilization of love”?

It’s a big investment of time and energy to participate in the March for Life. I hear from those who are now adults who participated in the March in years past that it was an important moment for them. Many say it solidified their own understanding of human dignity and their commitment to work for an increased respect for life within our culture. As I was speaking with one of the groups of high school students, I encouraged them to realize there are people close to them who are wrestling with the issue of abortion. It may be someone who is in an unplanned pregnancy, or somebody who has already chosen an abortion, or who knows somebody in their family who has chosen it and now suffers from the fallout of that. We are called by the Lord to love one another and to be patient with and accompany our neighbors who are struggling. I think it is important for all of us to know that there are people close to us who may be hurting because of this issue. They may be afraid because they are in a situation that by its nature can be isolating, and shame isolates

them even further. So there are opportunities already for young people to have an influence very close to home in their circle of friends or in their families. We hope that they will become more influential in society as they mature, but already the Lord is looking to use them as instruments to help deepen respect for human life and to enrich this civilization of love, which is God’s desire for the human family. And so I am very happy to bring back from Pope Francis a word of encouragement. He continues to embolden the church to look outward and to think of the mission that we all have from Jesus Christ. It is nothing new, but it is a fresh challenge for us now. There are the demands of every day that we all have to deal with, of course, but it is just as important that we continue to look outward and remember that we have been sent by the Lord into the world in some way. Each of us has been sent, no matter who we are – not just pastors, but all the baptized. Pope Francis continues to remind us of that part of our nature as members of the Body of Christ.

OFFICIAL SCHEDULE Archbishop George J. Lucas’ scheduled activities: FEB. 9 » Joy and Hope anniversary Mass – Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln » Confirmation, Sacred Heart Parish, Norfolk; St. Leonard Parish, Madison – St. Mary Church, Norfolk FEB. 10 » Meeting with superiors of major religious congregations – Servite Center, Omaha » Mass, dinner and discussion with Jesuit community – Creighton University campus, Omaha FEB. 11 » Senior staff meeting – Chancery, Lincoln » Meeting with representatives of St. Joseph Villa of David City – Chancery, Lincoln » Meeting with Lincoln pastors – Chancery, Lincoln FEB. 12 » Nebraska Catholic Conference board meeting – John XXIII Diocesan Center, Lincoln » Confirmation, Mary Our Queen Parish – St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha FEB. 13 » Ordination and installation of Bishop Donald DeGrood – Cathedral of St. Joseph, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

OFFICIAL SCHEDULE Archbishop Emeritus Elden F. Curtiss’ scheduled activities:

DEC. 23-APR. 3 » Family winter home – Nevada

ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA Archbishop George J. Lucas 2222 N. 111th St., Omaha, NE 68164 402-558-3100 • 888-303-2484 Fax: 402-551-4212 Chancellor Deacon Tim McNeil 402-558-3100, ext. 3029 Vicar for Clergy and Judicial Vicar Father Scott A. Hastings 402-558-3100, ext. 3030 Director of Pastoral Services Father Jeffrey P. Lorig 402-551-9003, ext. 1300

| NEWS |

FEBRUARY 7, 2020


Not alone anymore: School choice gains support By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

When State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan introduced a scholarship tax credit bill three years ago, she wasn’t surrounded by fellow senators supporting the measure. She felt alone, she said. Three years later and now on a third attempt to get a scholarship tax credit bill passed, the senator from Elkhorn is not so lonely. When she talked about Legislative Bill 1202 at a Jan. 29 press conference and a National School Choice Week Rally in Lincoln, about 10 senators stood with her in support of the bill. Hundreds of people were in attendance. “I have a lot of help,” Linehan said in a telephone interview. “That’s a huge difference in three years,” she said, and it shows the growing support for school choice legislation. That increased support is coming from fellow senators, from citizens across the state and from school choice advocates locally and nationally, said Linehan, who chairs the Legislature’s Revenue Committee and is making LB1202, the “Opportunity Scholarships Act,” her priority bill. About 200 private and parochial school students – including some from Holy Name, All Saints and Sacred Heart Schools in Omaha and Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue – attended the school choice rally, said Lauren Garcia, communications and out-

reach specialist for the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC), which helped organize the event. The students wore bright yellow scarves and were spurred on by cheerleaders, a choir and speakers, including Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and students like them who’ve benefited from an education at a private or parochial school. “Every year, I am inspired by the hundreds of school children from across Nebraska who come to our Capitol to celebrate National School Choice Week,” Linehan said in a press release after the event. “So many students in our state wish to count themselves among those fortunate enough to choose the school that’s best for them. We rally together to celebrate those families that have that choice, and to give a voice to those who don’t.” Nebraska is one of only three states in the country with no school choice policies, Linehan said. LB1202 would allow state income tax credit for donations to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to students who want to attend private or parochial elementary and secondary schools. “LB1202 will transform the lives of so many children and families across the state of Nebraska by giving educational freedom to those who have none,” said Tom Venzor, executive director of the NCC, in the press release. “It will give children the freedom to attain their life goals, such as going to college and landing a dream job. It will

Catholic leaders disappointed by immigrant aid ruling By CAROL ZIMMERMANN Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, known as CLINIC, expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court’s Jan. 27 order allowing the Trump administration to go forward with a new rule meant to limit immigrants’ use of government benefit programs. The court’s “unprecedented ruling” in favor of the administration’s revisions to government policy “harms families, targets lawful immigrants, and could prevent families from receiving vital nutrition and housing assistance,” said a Catholic Charities USA statement. Dominican Sister Donna Markam, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, urged the Trump administration “to reconsider this harsh and unnecessary policy and rescind it in its entirety.” She said it will impose “a chilling effect on access to basic services, creating fear among eligible individuals threatening family unity and stability.” She also said the decision in favor of this policy “signals a watershed change of course from the best moments of our American heritage of welcoming immigrants and refugees.” A USCCB statement described the ruling as “very concerning, as it will have an immediate and

negative impact upon immigrant and newcomer families.” The statement was issued Jan. 29 by two USCCB committee chairmen: Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the Committee on Migration. The bishops said the ruling will have “devastating consequences for immigrant communities, as those impacted are cast into the shadows because they fear deportation and family separation for seeking critical support.” In its 5-4 ruling, the court gave the Trump administration the go-ahead with its “public charge” rule allowing the administration to deny green cards to legal immigrants based on their reliance on public assistance such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers. The rule was challenged by immigration groups and states, including California, Illinois, Maryland and Washington. It was put on hold by a nationwide injunction from a federal district court in New York. The Supreme Court’s order reversed this injunction while legal challenges continue in several federal courts. A separate injunction still blocks the rule from being implemented in Illinois.


State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn talks about a scholarship tax credit bill she introduced in the Legislature as part of a Jan. 29 School Choice Rally and press conference at the State Capitol in Lincoln. Behind Linehan are Nyarok Tot, left, a freshman journalism major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who graduated from All Saints School in Omaha and Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue; and State Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston, a supporter of the bill. give parents the freedom to choose what’s best for their family, regardless of income or zip code.” The bill could face a tough fight in the Legislature. Last year, a similar bill introduced by Linehan was unable to survive a filibuster. This year’s proposal is slightly different, though, and she’s hoping senators will have fewer objections to it. The new bill, introduced in the Legislature on Jan. 23, has a tougher standard of poverty for students to qualify for scholarships. Under last year’s bill, students

who qualified for free or reducedprice lunches, whose families had incomes of up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, would be eligible to receive the scholarships. Under the new bill, a student’s family income would have to be low enough for them to qualify for benefits from the government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which means being at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level, for the student to be eligible for a scholarship. “So it’s a pretty big reduction in income levels,” Linehan said.

But 64,000 children in Nebraska – roughly 20 percent of the kindergarten-through-12th-grade age group – would still qualify, she said. Last year’s measure would have capped tax credits at a total of $10 million and that number could have increased in following years. The new proposal does not include the option for future increases. Any increases would have to be approved later by lawmakers. Linehan said she hopes that the changes will “take away some talking points … that I didn’t think were very fair….” Opponents “won’t be able to say it’s going to cost $100 million when it was only $10 million.” Linehan’s own children have attended public and private schools. She said she wants all parents to be able to choose what’s best for their children. The senator, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Elkhorn, said Nebraskans have become more knowledgeable and vocal on school choice issues. “I think they’re braver now than they were three years ago because they’re not alone, right?” she said. “None of us are as lonely as we were. It’s the tipping point. You just keep pushing, and then all of a sudden you reach it, which is exactly what’s happened in other states.” Linehan urges people to continue their efforts by calling their senators – and by praying. “Prayer is important here,” she said, “and we can use some help.”

Trump administration announces steps to enforce federal conscience law Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration announced Jan. 24 it is taking steps to enforce the Weldon Amendment, a federal law that prohibits discrimination by states against health insurance plans that do not cover abortion. The move “is extraordinarily good news for the right to life, conscientious objection, religious freedom and the rule of law,” said a statement from the chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee and their religious liberty committee. In their statement, they noted that since 2014, the California Department of Managed Health Care has forced all employers – even churches – to “fund and facilitate” elective abortions in their health plans “in direct violation” of the Weldon Amendment. The committee chairs are Arch-

CORRECTION In the Jan. 24 issue of the Catholic Voice, a page 4 article about the hiring of Jeremy Ekeler as associate director for education policy with the Nebraska Catholic Conference stated he was only the second person to fill a position dedicated exclusively to education policy for the organization. He actually will be the fourth.

bishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on ProLife Activities, and Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty. The Trump administration’s announcement came on the day tens of thousands of pro-lifers from across the country gathered in Washington for the annual March for Life on the National Mall. Calling the “coercive” California policy “abhorrent, unjust and

illegal,” Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Murry said: “We strongly commend the Trump administration for taking this critical action to enforce federal law and correct this supreme injustice to the people and employers of California.” “Sadly, violations of federal conscience laws are on the rise,” the prelates said. “We hope that this enforcement action, and subsequent actions by the Administration, will stop further unlawful discrimination against people who reject abortion as a violation of the most basic human and civil rights.”


CATHOLIC VOICE Volume 117, Number 13



DAN ROSSINI Editor / general manager

THE CATHOLIC VOICE P.O. Box 641250 Omaha, NE 68164-3817


MIKE MAY Assistant editor SUSAN SZALEWSKI Feature writer JOHN DONAHUE Advertising representative MELISSA MESTL Communications administrative assistant GRANT RAMM ENTERPRISE MEDIA GROUP Graphic design LINDA STEHNO Business / circulation specialist

Copyright 2020 - All Rights Reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

EMAIL tcvomaha@archomaha.org PHONE 402-558-6611 FAX 402-558-6614 WEBSITE catholicvoiceomaha.com The Catholic Voice (ISN 07744-9585) is published 21 times a year – monthly in June, July and August, and twice-monthly September through May – by the Catholic Voice, 2222 N. 111th St., Omaha, NE 68164. Periodical postage is paid at Omaha, NE 68108. Subscription price: $26 per year outside the Archdiocese of Omaha and $19 per year within the archdiocese. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Catholic Voice, P.O. Box 641250, Omaha, NE 68164-3817.


| NEWS |

4 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020


Participants from the Archdiocese of Omaha march toward the U.S. Capitol during the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24.


Grace Wozniak, a seventh-grader at St. Columbkille School in Papillion, holds a handmade sign during the march.

Students travel to D.C. to pray, march and rally for life By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

About 450 high schoolers and their chaperones from archdiocesan parishes and schools traveled by bus to Washington, D.C., to lend their voices, ears, feet and hearts to witness to the value and dignity of all human life. Other groups – such as a contingent from the St. John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha – went separately, and some traveled by plane for the annual January pilgrimage. The archdiocese pilgrims knelt and prayed inside ornate churches and outside an abortion clinic.

They were inspired at rallies by pro-life musicians and speakers. Then they took to the streets with thousands and thousands of like-minded people for the 47th annual March for Life on Jan. 24, carrying signs and praying together as they walked, showing D.C. lawmakers and an entire nation that they stand for life. Despite the somber occasion – the 47-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states – the march was joyful, said Father Kevin Vogel, chaplain for the archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate.

“It’s a celebration of life and a peaceful protest,” he said, where participants have “joy and confidence in God being able to overcome evil.” Joy comes from doing something that is not for oneself but for someone else, which gives people their greatest purpose and meaning, said Father Vogel, who also is associate pastor of six rural parishes and a teacher at St. Boniface School and Pope John XXIII Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School, both in Elgin. A light breeze and temperatures near 50 degrees were a contrast to last year’s cold and snow



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8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Check-in 9:30 a.m. Overview of legislative bills 9:50 a.m. Talking to your State Senator 10:20 a.m. Breaking into Legislative District groups 10:45 a.m. Rotunda to lobby State Senators 11:30 a.m. Lunch (on your own) 1:00 p.m. Arrive Judiciary Committee Hearing, Rm. 1113 Judiciary Committee Hearing on LB 814 starts at 1:30 p.m., but arrive at 1:00 to get a seat.

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and helped lift spirits, said Breanna Bartak, a senior at Pope John XXIII. The youthful crowd – which included high schoolers, college students, young adults and parents pushing toddlers in strollers – also was uplifting, said Bartak, who was among the 25 students at her high school (more than two-thirds of the student body) to go on the pilgrimage. She and other students carried signs that said: “I am the pro-life generation.” Her classmate, Conor Ramold, said the reason they were there was simple: to “defend life at all stages.” March for Life participants faced tighter security at a rally just before the march, where President Donald Trump spoke. Trump was the first U.S. president to speak in person at the march. Anastasia Cervantes, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Elkhorn and part of a youth group at St. Peter Parish in Omaha, said she loved the prayerful, pro-life solidarity at the march and at events throughout the pilgrimage. Her group prayed the rosary while marching, and to her delight, many others started joining in. “People we’ve never met,” she said. “It was a really cool experience.” Some events on the pilgrimage were solemn, especially the prayer gathering outside the abortion clinic. That event also seemed to be one of the most impactful, Father Vogel said, based on what students said on the bus ride home. The 50 or so students who were with him saw a young woman crying as she left the abortion clinic. A man who entered the clinic with a woman made a vulgar ges-

ture at them. Watching people going in and out of the clinic was difficult, Ramold said. “Just really sad.” What the students witnessed, Father Vogel said, gave them a hint of “the reality of what happens there.” The pro-lifers gathered for Mass at places like the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, where Archbishop George J. Lucas presided; and even at their hotel. They attended a Life is Very Good rally with thousands of other young people from across the country at EagleBank Arena on the campus of George Mason University, sponsored by the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. Bishop Michael F. Burbridge of Arlington headlined the event, which included eucharistic adoration and opportunities for confession. Immaculée Ilibagiza, who survived genocide in Rwanda, was one of the featured speakers with her simple message of forgiveness and trust in God. Her talk was a highlight for Bartak and Cervantes. “Just listening to her was so powerful,” Cervantes said. Ramold said he liked the music provided by an Irish group, We Are Messengers. Cervantes, a home-school student who is a junior in high school, said she was grateful to “spend a whole week with people so passionate about the pro-life movement and to be in prayer with them.” The students on her bus talked about ways they could be more involved at home, including praying outside abortion clinics, volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or commiting to praying the rosary for an end to abortion.

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FEBRUARY 7, 2020

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March for Life participants from the Archdiocese of Omaha gather to pray before a Planned Parenthood facility in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23.

AVAILABLE ISSUES: Feb. 21, March 6 and March 20 SPACE RESERVATION: 10 days before issue AD MATERIALS DUE: 8 days before issue GET HOOKED! Contact John Donahue 402-558-6611 • tcvads@archomaha.org THE ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA


Maria Pinkerton, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and resident at the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha, displays a prolife message.


University of Nebraska at Omaha students and St. John Paul II Newman Center residents Emily Zach, left, and Maria Consbruck, right, join nationallyknown pro-life leader Abby Johnson at the National Pro-life Summit Jan. 24.

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Delaney O’Keefe, a homeschooled student from Immaculate Conception Parish in Omaha, and Mark Anderson, from St. Peter Parish and a student at the Regina Caeli Academy, both in Omaha, enjoying the Life is Very Good rally Jan. 23.


Alanna Huenniger, left, and Haley Schuler, students at Archbishop Bergan Catholic School and members of St. Patrick Parish, both in Fremont, join others gathering near the Washington Monument before the march.


More information? Contact our research staff at 402.280.BONE (2663) or 800.368.5097.


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6 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020

God the key to healthy relationships for young people Q: WANT MORE? Tell me about your apostolate, Emotional Virtue, what it is and how it got started.

About 12 years ago, I was an RD, a dorm director at Benedictine College. It was one of my first jobs out of college, and I was the dorm mom for 142 18-year-old women. That gave me a front row seat to that transition from high school to college. And also, there’s a male dorm right next door. So I actually got thrown into, how do people navigate relationships and friendships. It was also the year that social media really took off – it was 2007, 2008, when Facebook really took off. I think texting has been definitely a major player as well. So it was a very interesting time to have gone through college without a phone. We had the Razr flip phone, but to go through college like that, to get married, to find my spouse, to navigate relationships, and then very quickly after that to be thrown back into a front row seat watching people navigate relationships with a (smart)phone, with social media. I remember one night I came back from hanging out with the girls and guys in the dorm, and I remember telling my husband, this is going to change the way they communicate forever. I joke that I’m a prophet, but I just remember thinking how hard that would have been on me to navigate that. And so, what I started doing was, in my apartment, we just would have a bunch of people standing around, just talking about life. And then my apartment got too small, so we took it out to the lobby and then my lobby got too small. And so, one night a bunch of girls just told me, you need to give a talk on this. Because it’s not just the freshman girls and guys. And so that was kind of the beginning. It was just like, man, if just standing around my island talking helps, how much more could it help if we drew everybody together and had this conversation? So that’s really where Emotional Virtue was born. Sometimes chastity isn’t just physical. It’s not just the sexual .... Save yourself for marriage, yes, but there’s all of that, to be honest, drama and emotions that go with it. And then the social media, the texting, the phones just add another layer. What I was watching is them trying to navigate that without any help. And so I (thought), what would I have done and what would I do as an older sister, like a big sister? So I became a big sister ... And my husband became a big brother and that’s where it was born, right there in the dorm. And then I started getting calls from KU (University of Kansas), K-State, UNL. And then I started doing Steubenville conferences and FOCUS conferences and I did the Chosen Ascension Press Confirmation Program. And so I started doing things because people were all needing that help, and I absolutely love it.

For the full interview with Sarah Swafford, including her thoughts on the seven steps in a healthy male/ female relationship, and how chastity before marriage can lead to better communication and stronger relationships, visit catholicvoiceomaha.com.


How is today’s hookup culture hurting the emotional and faith lives of young people that you’ve seen?


Sarah Swafford, founder of Emotional Virtue, speaks at St. Patrick School in Elkhorn Jan. 30 to seventh- and eighth-graders about healthy relationships in today’s social media-saturated culture.


Emotional Virtue – How do you advise young people to put those two aspects of their lives together?

I think virtue is kind of a lost word sometimes. If you sat down 100 high schoolers and said, “What’s virtue?” I think you’d probably get a few blank stares. And it’s not that they don’t know what it is, it’s just that they’ve never put it in that context before. And so if I had to describe Emotional Virtue, it would be to rise above those emotions, passions, sexual desires in the moment, to set that aside and to choose the true, the good and the beautiful for yourself and for your beloved. And that’s really hard in an instant-gratification world. So for a junior high student or high school student,

or a college student, to be able to step back and say, “Is this what’s best for me?” “Is this what’s best and healthy and true and good for my future marriage?” It’s so hard for them to see that, because it seems so far away. And we don’t address the emotions very often. I think back in the day there was just a little more direction for what do you do with this kind of stuff. And I was just seeing a lot of people very lost with, “What do I do with my emotions, my passions?” … Emotions and passions, they’re neutral, they’re like money. It’s how you use them. It’s how you spend them that counts.


Describe what you refer to as the cycle of use that often occurs in relationships.

It’s really painful. I don’t think I came up with the term, but I’ve been using (it) for a long time, and one of the things that I saw – a lot of women and men, especially college age, using each other, whether it was emotionally or physically, and I think it’s just really easy to not call it out, because a lot of times in our world it’s seen as not use but love. It’s like, “Well if you really loved me then you’d prove it to me, show me.” People can see it physically a little bit more when there’s sexual abuse going on, but I wanted everyone to take even another step backwards and say, “Can you use someone emotionally? And can you use them to affirm yourself or fill yourself up in a way that isn’t healthy? Or are you so obsessed

with a person?” Even if you’re not sleeping together, there’s a level of use. Even in friendships, unfortunately, sometimes people will use people just to get ahead. I think C.S. Lewis would say it’s the whole utilitarian pleasure (versus) virtue friendship. That’s one thing I pride myself (on) in my ministry – if I got up there and said that today, at any high school, I think everyone would understand. But trying to put real world scenarios and real world examples to what “pleasure friendship,” what “utilitarian friendship” and what “virtuous friendship” looks like. I think that’s really important for them, because sometimes it’s not easy to connect all those dots and real world settings.

I think that the hookup culture is real. It’s sad because we’re seeing it take many forms. So you have Tinder, you have dating apps, where in the name of dating, it’s really become just like a hookup app. And so you got that whole mess and then you also have sexting, and the whole idea of very emotionally saturated, sexually saturated texts and Snapchats and things like that, where I think a lot of teens and young adults don’t realize the damage that it either does to them or can do to them. It’s the hookup culture, it’s some forms of social media, it’s some forms of texting, it’s just like this monster. And it’s really leaving people very wounded and very broken and it’s starting at very early ages. And so I’ve been counseling and helping 12-, 13-, 14-yearolds who are … maybe they’re not headlong into the hookup culture, but they’re dabbling in things that are hurting them just the same. What I’ve been seeing is, there’s a lot of loneliness, there’s a lot of insecurity, there’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of

isolation, and that worries me. And, one of the things that is very hard for them to see is that – I talk about it in all my talks – you are a beloved son or daughter of God. That is your identity. And I think they see their identity as their physical appearance, their accolades, their successes, their grades, their sports achievements. But more than anything, they see their identity as who they’re with – “Who am I dating? Who’s interested in me? How many guys are interested in me? How many girls?” So it’s very hard when you are struggling with your identity. It’s very easy to have that identity filled up with the opposite sex. And I think it snuffs out the faith life because it’s looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s emotionally draining and so I see a lot of them, they’re almost too exhausted to even care. And that’s probably the thing that breaks my heart more than anything. God is the last-ditch effort instead of the first option. And so inviting them into a relationship with our Lord – it’s something I do in every talk.


Do you feel there’s something in their faith in God that can help them to meet these challenges?

The two things I see, more than anything, is hurt and hunger. Radical amounts of hurt, and a hunger for something more. The things that I say on stage are not easy truths. But what I think is so beautiful, though, is when I encourage them, when I tell them they’re beloved, when I tell them their identity is in Christ and that he’s pursuing them and he loves them no matter what, and that you can take everything into the confessional and drop it off. I can physically see the students:

It’s that hunger. It’s like, “I want that.” And so I think that we as the church need to whet that appetite. We need to feed that. The world is feeding them a constant assault of lies. So where can they go to hear the truth about their identity, about our Lord, about his love for them? We get drowned out. And so I always say, we just have to be louder, and not obnoxious. I think most of them walk away going, “Wow, I don’t have to play the games of the world.”


So, you see a sense of relief?

Oh, total relief. Yeah. Which is so powerful. I think a lot of the world, and maybe even people in general think that, well they (young people) don’t want it, they don’t care, so why would we waste our time? But, I wouldn’t be so fast to say that. That’s what gives me a lot of hope. And today, you could tell they were so jazzed afterwards, they were excited about another way.

They’re so lonely and they’re hurting and they’re like, “I’ll do anything.” What’s sad is, those were seventh- and eighthgraders. And so a lot of them don’t carry quite the experiences of the high schoolers. To be honest, it just gets heavier and heavier. But I love giving junior high talks, because they’re the ones that you can catch before they walk into that storm.

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FEBRUARY 7, 2020



How is social media fundamentally changing the way people, particularly boys and girls, relate to each other, and how does it manifest itself in unhealthy choices?

I think social media and phones are kind of like emotions and money. They’re neutral. It’s what you do with them that counts. So I don’t ever want to throw social media completely under the bus, because I think about how much good it’s done. On the other hand, I always say that I have a love-hate (perspective), because it’s also the devil’s playground. So I just feel like social media has changed the way we communicate. I think the thing I’ve seen the most is the inability for people to just be. So you’re standing in line, you’re on your phone. You’re at an airport, you’re on your phone. You’ve got a bunch of teens sitting around waiting for the bus, they’re on their phones. You have a bunch of adults in the line of the DMV, they’re on their phones. I’m concerned that, when it comes to the younger crowd, they struggle with casual conversation. They struggle with just being. One example I give is, I was flying to an event and I was at the airport and I was working and I was talking on the phone and there was a guy sitting really close and he was younger. He ended up telling (me) he’s 27 and he was like, “What do you do for a living?” Because he was trying to figure me out ... and he’s like, it’s really interesting. And he looked at me and he said, “My entire divorce went down over text messages.” And I was just blown away. This was like, five years ago, so this isn’t even the Snapchat generation that’s coming. And I said, “Wow.” And he goes, “Yeah, the lawyers had to go through all of our text messages as when we were arguing for all this stuff.” And I just couldn’t believe it. And he looked at me and said, “She just never felt comfortable telling me in person how she really felt.” And I just was blown away by that. What are we going to do in a world where we can’t look at each other and share our heart and share our problems? So I say social media has a place, but I worry about

conflict resolution. I worry about vulnerability. The other thing I would say for all the parents out there with young kids or high schoolers, there is no accountability with this. Even myself, who’s going to stop me from being on it for an hour and just wasting time on Pinterest? No one’s going to. And so, if your teen comes home and just takes his phone or her phone and goes to their room for six hours, you have no idea. And it’s not that they’re even doing anything wrong, you don’t know. But you also don’t know who they’re talking to, what they’re talking about. I know that it’s not popular to say, “Keep your phone downstairs or let’s keep the phones charging where I can see them.” I have one family I stole this from, I really liked it. They had what they called the nest. And so she (the mother) had a basket that sat in the kitchen and all the chargers were there. And so, when you come home, your phone goes in the basket and it doesn’t leave the charger. And she’s like, “They can go over there and they can text their friends and they can talk on the phone. It’s not like I’m taking it away, but I can see you, and I see you standing there and you’re not going to pull up anything inappropriate because you’re standing in my kitchen. There’s that little added element of, if you’ve been standing by the basket for an hour, it’s like, get away from the basket, let’s go do something else.” A lot of teens will be like, “My parents are on their phones all the time. They never pay attention to me.” And it used to be that the parents would come to me and say, “My teen is always on their phone, I can’t get their attention.” It was like that my first five years of ministry. But these last five years of ministry, the parents don’t come to me anymore. They’ve given up. Now I have teens come to me and say, “My parents are always on their phone. How do I get their attention?” Total flip.


Students from St. Patrick School in Elkhorn, St. Columbkille School in Papillion, St. Gerald School in Ralston and St. Cecilia School in Omaha enjoy Sarah Swafford’s lively presentation Jan. 30 at St. Patrick.


If you could tell young people only one thing about how to have happy, healthy relationships, what would that be?

I gave a whole talk just on this at the FOCUS conference, at the SEEK conference. I spoke to the women and the men separately. And one of the things that I said in both of those talks is, you cannot make anyone your savior. If you try to make someone your God, you will crush them under the weight of that, because they cannot be that for you. So I don’t care if they’re the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you, you will always end up disappointed because you have to put our Lord first and you have to build that relationship with him. I see it all the time. I lived it. But when you put the Lord first, all those other relationships fall into place because they’re ordered. And this is very hard in our day and age to not look for someone to fill you up, to affirm you, to be your everything. And that’s the way I see a lot of marriages fail, because they walk into it thinking, “This person’s going to heal me,

To find out more about Sarah Swafford’s apostolate, visit www.emotionalvirtue.com.

put me back together. This person is my everything, I feel great when I’m with them.” There’s a lot of emotion, but that stuff is all shifting sand. I always say that one of the greatest gifts my husband ever gave me was, when we got engaged, he sat me down and he said, “I love you but I’m going to fail you because I’m not perfect

and I can’t be your everything. But I’m always going to point you to the one that is your everything. I’m always going to point you to the Lord and I want to run to heaven together, not run at each other but run with each other.” And man, if I could just have five minutes with anybody, that’s always what I say, once you sort that out, everything else falls into place.


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Sisters take leap of faith Road of life steers Humphrey St. Francis grad Laura Ann Haschke on path to God By KATHRYN HARRIS Norfolk Daily News

This story along with its sidebar is the first in a two-part series published last November by the Norfolk Daily News on the millennial sisters at Immaculata Monastery in Norfolk and the increasing interest among young Catholic women to consider consecrated life. The second story will be reprinted in the next issue of the Catholic Voice. Laura Ann Haschke remembers worrying about how her “very Catholic” family would react to her news. On the way home one evening a few years ago, the Humphrey St. Francis graduate picked up an application that would alter the course of her life and steer her down a road that differed greatly from the traditional path her older siblings had chosen. The rural Madison native made her first profession of monastic vows in early September 2019. At 24 years old, Sister Laura Ann is one of two millennial sisters at Immaculata Monastery in Norfolk. She and Sister Sarah Elizabeth McMahon, a native of Hartford, South Dakota, are among those their age who have eschewed the traditional paths of marriage and children to live a life of religious vocation. “Now, looking back at this, I realize God had been giving us the graces this whole time,” Sister Laura Ann said of telling her mother about her decision to join the monastery. “If I had told my mom months earlier, it probably wouldn’t have gone well. But God was giving me the grace to learn to accept I was being called to this, and he was giving my mom the

grace, as well.” Sister Laura Ann said her mom reacted in a way that suggested she already knew her daughter’s life would be different from that of her siblings. But the desire to join the monastery took Sister Laura Ann somewhat by surprise, and her choice to live a life of religious vocation was not one she took lightly. In fact, she thought she had her life mapped out in high school: She planned to study wildlife biology with the hope of someday working as a ranger or botanist for the U.S. National Park Service, and then she would eventually “meet a nice Catholic guy, settle down close to home and have a lot of kids.” But a speech she heard at one of the Steubenville Youth Conferences – Catholic faith-based gatherings that draw thousands of youths to various venues around the United States each summer – began pulling her toward a life of religious vocation. “There was a sister who spoke about vocations, religious life and discerning, in general, and asked the couple thousand students if they’ve ever felt anything like this ‘call’ to stand up so we can pray for you,” she said. Sister Laura Ann said she gasped as several of her friends stood; she had no idea any of them had contemplated the idea of religious life. Over time, her own decision not to stand began to weigh heavily upon her and prompted her to attend another Steubenville conference so she could be among the counted. “It left something unfulfilled in me,” she said of her initial decision not to stand. SOMETHING MISSING After high school, Sister Laura

Ann stayed true to her original course and began attending college. But for the first time in her life, the longtime Catholic school girl found herself attending an institution where faith didn’t play a major role in her day-to-day activities. “I always took it for granted and never fostered my Catholic faith until it was missing,” she said. “I didn’t know how to act: Why is something I never thought about before, now that it’s gone, something I can’t stop thinking about?” Her search for an answer led her back to Sister Inviolata and Sister Fidelis Marie, two Missionary Benedictine Sisters whom she had met on the way to the Steubenville conferences. “I showed up awkwardly at the front door (of Immaculata Monastery) and said, ‘Hi. Do you have a Bible study or a youth group? What do you have that I can join?’” The sisters invited her to take part in Lectio Divina, a traditional Catholic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s word. Through that, she began forming friendships with the sisters and becoming immersed into their lifestyle. CHALLENGED BY THE SAINTS As her course work at Northeast Community College drew to a close, Sister Laura Ann said she knew she needed to make a decision about her future, but something seemed to be missing from whatever plans she tried to make. Then a series of circumstances – beginning with a blog post about contemporary sainthood and a challenge by her nephews to learn more about the lives of traditional saints – helped make clear the path she felt


Sister Rosann Ocken, left, prioress of Immaculata Monastery in Norfolk, and Sister Sara Elizabeth McMahon, right, show off butternut squash planted by Sister Laura Ann Haschke, center. Sisters Sara Elizabeth and Laura Ann are two millennial sisters at the monastery. God was calling her to take. The idea to join the Missionary Benedictine Sisters first flittered into her mind while attending Mass with her parents – on All Saints Day, no less. “It was so subtle. It was just a thought, and I had the freedom to do with that thought what I wanted to do,” she said. “I thought, ‘OK, I didn’t hear that. I’m just going to let that thought pass right on by.’” But as Mass continued, the connection between her recent focus on saints and the fact that the thought came to her during a Mass to celebrate All Saints Day became too heavy to ignore. “It was a Sunday. All Saints Day doesn’t always fall on a Sunday. The fact that this all lined up really per-

fectly. ... The fact that I was there at Mass, and it was All Saints Day, and (the saints) had been the ones walking with me on rediscovering my Catholic faith – when that happened, it was like a two-by-four to the face.” TENFOLD RETURN “I have a tendency to just jump into situations and regret them later.” Sister Laura Ann admitted after finishing her application, she began to dread the decision she had made. She feared joining the monastery would mean giving up activities about which she was passionate. “I was a very active person. I Continued on Page 9 >>


Thirteen out of 100. That’s how many American Catholic women born after 1982 reported an interest in becoming a religious sister. The numbers – the result of a 2017 survey conducted by the Georgetown University-affiliated Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate – are a 5% increase over those who were born between 1961 and 1981. As a vocations directress for Immaculata Monastery in Norfolk, Sister Fidelis Marie Lanowich of Holy Cross Convent in Sioux City, Iowa, encounters these women on a regular basis. “I think people want to live for something important,” she said. “... There’s so much going on. There are more youth who are really feeling lost in this culture, and things aren’t satisfying them. So when they find it, they’re like, ‘All right. I’m in.’” Among the 38 sisters and formation members who are part

of Immaculata Priory in Norfolk, only eight are younger than 60 years old. But Sister Fidelis Marie said she is seeing a growing interest in religious vocations among young people. Sister Fidelis Marie made her first profession nine years ago when she was in her mid-20s. At that time, vocational discernment wasn’t talked about as openly as it is now, she said. “I think it’s this time period in the Catholic culture,” she said. “People are really aware of discerning their vocation. I think young adults are really attuned to the responsibility of knowing there are options, so what is the Lord calling me to?” With a focus on spiritual direction, as well as youth and college ministries, she works with anyone who is discerning religious life. Her role is not to recruit more women to a life of religious vocation but to invest in and form relationships with people to encourage them in their faith. “The Lord is the one who calls

them,” she said. She often answers questions about discerning what God’s will is and how someone will know if they are being called to a life of religious vocation. For those who express interest in knowing more about what choosing a life of religious vocation is about, she might suggest taking part in one of the “Come and See” visits hosted regularly by Immaculata Monastery. Many of the women who take part in the “Come and See” weekend visits are in their mid-20s, she said. The events are often helpful for those considering a religious life because they provide a contextual experience that goes beyond what one can read about, Sister Fidelis Marie said. But ultimately, she added, the decision on what one does with the experience is out of her hands. “It’s really between them and the Lord,” she said. “I don’t want to get in the way of that.”


Sister Fidelis Marie of Holy Cross Convent in Sioux City, Iowa, who serves as vocation director for the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, talks to a group of first grade students in Sioux City.


FEBRUARY 7, 2020


Crisis led Oregon woman to consecrated virginity

>> Continued from Page 8

traveled so much – whether it was missionary work or to see my siblings or just for fun, packing a kayak in the back of my car ... I did a lot of long-distance biking, and I realized these things weren’t going to be part of my life anymore,” she said. “But the funny thing is, I gave those up and God gave back tenfold.” And she didn’t necessarily give them up, either. Sister Laura Ann said the amount of traveling she did during her first year at the monastery was “insane.” She planned to go pheasant hunting sometime around Thanksgiving. “You can fit it in and make it work,” she said. “It’s really like normal life. With jobs and kids and stuff, there will always be (obligations) to work with.” SOMETHING MORE While going from jeans and a flannel shirt to the dress novices wear in the early part of their discernment process was tough, Sister Laura Ann said, putting on the habit of a religious sister felt normal. “They asked me why the veil doesn’t bother me, but I think it’s because I wore a baseball cap so much,” she said with a laugh. The habit draws attention from passersby and, in Sister Laura Ann’s experience, has had the tendency to make strangers open up to her when she’s out in public. She volunteers with second graders at Sacred Heart Elementary School and is an adviser for the Hawks Catholic Club at Northeast Community College, where she encourages young adults who are seeking faith while navigating their own paths through life. It’s a role Sister Laura Ann finds fulfilling. “There’s something I feel happening in America. The faith is coming back,” she said. “I firmly believe the youth of today are actually looking for something more. Not all of them are finding it, but once they do find it, they realize that truth is in the faith.”


Catholic News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. – This coming May, Miriam Marston will wear a white dress, receive a ring and stand in front of the altar at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. There will be no tux-clad groom by her side. In one of the oldest rites of the church, Marston, 38, will be consecrated to God – “mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the church,” according to the Code of Canon Law. She’ll join approximately 250 women in the United States and 5,000 worldwide who are known as “consecrated virgins living in the world.” This was not the path she long envisioned. Although she was raised Catholic, she wasn’t particularly engaged with her faith. “For a long stretch, I was probably fairly agnostic,” she said. In her sophomore year at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, two successive tragedies shook the faith she had: a cousin’s suicide and the 9/11 attacks that left her questioning everything she thought she knew about life. “It got me wondering, genuinely for the first time, if there was a God and if this was a good God,” she told the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, adding that she was “trying to make sense out of suffering.” During this spiritual crisis, her mother gave her a copy of “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis’ logical defense of God’s existence. While she was reading it, she felt an “infused knowledge that God was real and that he loved me.” “I’d fallen into love with this God,” she said, adding that she cried happy tears for two weeks. She didn’t go right back to church though. For several months, she studied Buddhism and Hinduism. In the end, she felt nothing answered the question of suffering better than Christianity. “I needed a religion with a cross,” she said. “I can’t go anywhere in my aches and sufferings and in those questions that Jesus hasn’t already gone.”


Miriam Marston, 38, prays Nov. 14, 2019, in the chapel at the pastoral center in Portland, Oregon, where she helps coordinate lay ministry formation programs. This spring Marston will participate in one of the oldest rites of the church. She will be consecrated to God, "mystically espoused to Christ and dedicated to the service of the church," according to the Code of Canon Law. After graduating, Marston was unsure where God was calling her. She discerned for a time with the Daughters of St. Paul and lived in England for several years. “I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Lord was calling me to be his own in this more exclusive way,” she said. While living in Boston, she met a woman preparing to be a consecrated virgin. It was something she’d never heard of and it caught her attention. Although the vocation sounded “like home” to her, she didn’t pursue it immediately. Consecrated virgins living in the world existed in the early church, but the vocation essentially disappeared in the 11th century as monastic communities of women religious formed. A restored rite was issued following the Second Vatican Council. To become a “bride of Christ,” a woman must have never married and must demonstrate a life of chastity and devotion to the church. Marston said the word “virginity” can make some people uncomfortable because it calls to mind human sexuality. But consecrated virginity is “the idea of giving that gift of virginity back to God,” she said, that “God has all of me, body and soul.” Several years after learning of the vocation, Marston was out to din-

ner with a friend who said she was considering becoming a consecrated virgin. When the friend got up to use the restroom, Marston looked down at her own phone. The woman who’d introduced her to consecrated virginity years prior had just written on her Facebook page that she was praying for those discerning God’s will. “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘Yes’,” she wrote. “That was just my sign,” said Marston. At home that night, Marston emailed the delegate for religious life in the Archdiocese of Boston and asked to meet. She began formation soon after. In 2014, to be near her sister and her family, Marston took her formation journey to the West Coast. She

now also serves as coordinator for the Portland Archdiocese’s Institute for Catholic Life and Leadership, which oversees lay ministry formation programs. As part of the formation process, she’s had regular meetings with another local woman in formation and two of the four consecrated virgins in the Archdiocese of Portland. On May 24, Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample will consecrate the two women to God. Marston is often asked about her unique vocation, including why she didn’t choose to be a religious sister. Her short answer is that God didn’t call her to that. “But part of it was that I had this desire to live in the world and be a witness in the heart of everyday life,” she said, adding with a smile that she calls it “being a secret agent for Jesus.” Unlike religious, consecrated virgins do not live in community, wear distinguishing garb or take a title like “sister.” They support themselves financially and pursue careers, many in the secular world. Marston knows one consecrated virgin who is an emergency room nurse. The vocation points toward the reality that Christ is the ultimate fulfillment, she said. Marston said there is a lot of unhappiness in modern culture and she wants to be part of that remedy, to say there is another alternative. “We have a path set out before us,” she said. “And it’s one that leads to the very heart of God.” Scott is special projects reporter at the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland.

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6:00 p.m. Social Hour • 7:00 p.m. Dinner & Program Table of 10: $800 • Individual Ticket: $80 For all sponsorship or ticket information, please contact Lauren Piller at lpiller@thomasmoresociety.org or call 312-782-1680


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10 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020

Church must recognize gifts of older Catholics: pope By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Old age “is not a disease, it’s a privilege,” and Catholic dioceses and parishes miss a huge and growing resource if they ignore their senior members, Pope Francis said. “We must change our pastoral routines to respond to the presence of so many older people in our families and communities,” the pope told Catholic seniors and pastoral workers from around the world. Pope Francis addressed the group Jan. 31 near the end of a three-day conference on the pastoral care of the elderly sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life. The Catholic Church at every level, he said, must respond to the longer life expectancies and changing demographics evident around the world. While some people see retirement as marking the time when productivity and strength decline, the 83-yearold pope said, for others it is a time when they are still physically fit and mentally sharp but have much more freedom than they had when they were working and raising a family. In both situations, he said, the church must be there to offer a helping hand if needed, benefit from the gifts of the elderly and work to counter social attitudes that see the old as use-

less burdens on a community. When speaking with and about older Catholics, the church cannot act as if their lives only had a past, “a musty archive,” he said. “No. The Lord also can and wants to write new pages with them, pages of holiness, service and prayer.” “Today I want to tell you that the elderly are the present and tomorrow of the church,” he said. “Yes, they are also the future of a church, which, together with young people, prophesies and dreams. That is why it is so important that the old and the young talk to each other. It is so important.” “In the Bible, longevity is a blessing,” the pope noted. It is a time to face one’s fragility and to recognize how reciprocal love and care within a family really are. “Giving long life, God the Father gives time to deepen one’s awareness of him and to deepen intimacy with him, to draw closer to his heart and abandon oneself to him,” the pope said. “It is a time to prepare to consign our spirit into his hands, definitively, with the trust of children. But it also is a time of renewed fruitfulness.” In fact, the Vatican conference, “The Richness of Many Years of Life,” spent almost as much time discussing the gifts older Catholics bring to the church as it did talking about their special needs. The conference discussion, the

Jeremy Borchers, FICF

West Point, NE Call or text 402-750-4775 jeremy.borchers@kofc.org Serving West Point, South Sioux City, Tekamah, Emerson, Pender and Lyons councils.

pope said, cannot be an “isolated initiative” but must continue at the national, diocesan and parish levels. The church, he said, is supposed to be the place “where the different generations are called to share God’s loving plan.” Just a few days before the feast of the Presentation of the Lord Feb. 2, Pope Francis pointed to the story of the elderly Simeon and Anna who are in the Temple, take the 40-day-old Jesus into their arms, recognize him as the Messiah and “proclaim the revolution of tenderness.” One message of that story is that the good news of salvation in Christ is meant for all people of all ages, he said. “So, I ask you, spare no effort in proclaiming the Gospel to grandparents and the elderly. Go out to meet them with a smile on your face and the Gospel in your hands. Leave your parishes and go seek out the elderly who live alone.” While aging is not a disease, “solitude can be an illness,” he said. “But with charity, closeness and spiritual comfort, we can cure it.” Pope Francis also asked pastors to keep in mind that while many parents today do not have the religious formation, education or drive to teach their children the Catholic faith, many grandparents do. “They are an indispensable link in educating little ones and young people in the faith.”


An elderly woman participates in the 47th annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 24. Pope Francis told told Catholic seniors and pastoral workers from around the world Jan. 31 that old age “is not a disease, it’s a privilege,” and Catholic dioceses and parishes miss a huge and growing resource if they ignore their senior members.


Troy Foecking, FICF

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To The Largest Catholic Brotherhood

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ASSISTANT GENERAL AGENT Craig Pfeifer, FICF, FSCP, CLU Madison, NE Call or text 402-992-1156 craig.pfeifer@kofc.org Serving Wayne, Ponca, Hartington, Randolph, Madison, Bloomfield, Pierce and Crofton councils.

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FEBRUARY 7, 2020

» 11

Catholicism influenced moviemaking from early days childhood Baltimore home and he eagerly awaited the Legion of Decency newsletter to arrive in the mail telling him about the movies ready for wide release. Admittedly, Father Meehan said he did frequently look for the movies condemned by the legion, figuring that if the church saw fit to be outraged by the content, the film was probably racy enough to satisfy an adolescent’s salacious appetite. Despite his youthful indiscretion of mind, Father Meehan did answer the call of God and during his summer break from seminary studies, he took a job at the New York office of NCOMP in the early 1970s as a movie reviewer. “This was a dream come true for me,” he told CNS. “I was allowed to blend my calling with my love of the movies and of writing.” He would use his movie reviewer experience after he was ordained a priest, teaching in Catholic schools throughout the mid-Atlantic states during the next several decades, frequently in classes dedicated to film studies.


Catholic News Service

NEW YORK – Motion pictures have enchanted the public since the late 19th century, providing audiences with vivid storytelling on a host of topics and imaginatively transporting them to distant places. The art form was able to merge literature, theater and even biblical accounts and project it all onto accessible screens for the masses to take in. However, as the film industry grew in the early 20th century, Catholic Church leaders became concerned about some of the content that had become so readily available to their flocks. Priests in the United States began to discuss films they deemed objectionable during Mass and to instruct the faithful to stay away from “sinful” content. Catholic groups throughout the U.S. began to organize in an effort to influence filmmakers into creating content that reflected moral standards and wouldn’t lead viewers to sin. In 1915, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio decision that free speech didn’t extend to motion pictures, and states throughout the country began to introduce censorship legislation. Faced with mounting political pressure and the possibility of having to comply with hundreds of decency laws throughout the U.S., movie studio heads worked with Jesuit Father Daniel A. Lord to develop the 1930 production code of standards for wide-release films, basically as a way of self-regulating. “But, at first the code was really not being enforced,” said John Mulderig, assistant director for media reviews for Catholic News Service. LEGION OF DECENCY In response, the U.S. bishops established the National Legion of Decency in 1933 to directly address the morality of films being produced by the motion picture industry. “The hope was that if the legion were present and were able to say, ‘You’re going to lose a significant portion of your patronage, that is the Catholic population are going to obey their bishops and stay away from not only bad movies but perhaps boycott theaters that show movies that violate the code, then you’re going to take a hit at the box office,’” Mulderig said. “That indeed is exactly what happened ... the bishops managed to show in a very short time that they had command of the faithful. The faithful would obey them and not go to certain movies or not even go to a movie theater for six months that had shown a film that contravened the production code. “As soon as that happened, then Hollywood sat up and took notice,” he said, “and this brought on the enforcement of the production code ... in a serious way.” That financial incentive provided the Motion Picture Pro-


Pedestrians walk by two iconic movie theaters along New York’s 42nd Street – the Regal and the AMC Empire – Sept. 15, 2019. Since the 1930s the National Legion of Decency – which became the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures and eventually the Media Review Office of Catholic News Service – has been providing ratings to help the Catholic audience understand the moral content of films. duction Code – better known as the Hays Code after Will H. Hays, who was the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America at the time – with more authority. In 1934 – under the direction of prominent public relations professional and pious Catholic Joseph I. Breen – the MPPDA established the Production Code Administration, requiring all movies to receive a certificate of approval before release. Hollywood studios adopted the code – which was not enforced by federal, state or local governments – to avoid governmental censorship and that code actually led to the disbanding of many local censorship boards. OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT It gave Breen the power to change scripts before shooting actually began and he’d frequently tell producers what they needed to alter in their films to avoid a “C (Condemned) Rating” by the Legion of Decency, whose reviewers were given an advance screening before its release, said Bernard F. Dick, a renowned film scholar, author and movie reviewer for the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures, or NCOMP, as the legion was renamed in December 1965. NCOMP was the successor of the Legion of Decency. “No exhibitor would want to release a C-rated movie,” Dick told Catholic News Service during an interview last September at his home in Teaneck, New Jersey. “Breen would get the script and look at it and say, ‘These lines are sex suggestive.’ That was one of his famous phrases.” The Legion of Decency wasn’t just concerned about the depiction of sexually explicit content. It was also troubled by profan-

ity, violence, criminal activity and how religion was sometimes depicted, said Frank Frost, a founder of the U.S. membership affiliate of the International Catholic Organization for Cinema, now called Signis, and a movie critic for NCOMP from 1964 to 1971. Gangster films that came out during Prohibition sometimes depicted murderous criminals as heroes, scenarios that could easily prompt a “C-rating,” Mulderig said. Gritty subject matters were not always condemned, however. Leaders at the Legion of Decency realized there were benefits to having movie plots depict the seamier part of life where there were elements of promiscuity, crime and immorality, as long as the storyline had a redemptive quality to it or provided a price paid for sinful lifestyles, he said, and those films didn’t necessarily receive a condemned rating. The Legion of Decency would send out a team of reviewers and consultants to a preview screening of each wide-release film and they would write their impressions of the movie. Some would gather at the Manhattan headquarters of the legion to discuss the content before a classification was assigned. A synopsis of the movie, its classification and sometimes the reasons why it was given would then be distributed in a newsletter to subscribers and to the National Catholic Welfare Council news service (the precursor to Catholic News Service), which would distribute it to its subscribing Catholic newspapers throughout the world. NEW RATINGS Films were initially rated by the Legion of Decency as A:

Morally unobjectionable; B: Morally objectionable in part; and C: Condemned. The A ratings were later divvied up to A-I: Suitable for all audiences, A-II: Suitable for adults and adolescents, A-III: Suitable for adults only, and A-IV: For adults with reservations. Over the years, the B and C ratings were merged into a new O rating to reflect a morally offensive classification. “I grew up really with the Legion of Decency, because on the first Sunday after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the priest would ask us all to stand and take the Legion of Decency Pledge,” Dick said. The following is a version of that pledge. “I condemn all indecent and immoral motion pictures, and those which glorify crime or criminals. I promise to do all that I can to strengthen public opinion against the production of indecent and immoral films, and to unite with all who protest against them. I acknowledge my obligation to form a right conscience about pictures that are dangerous to my moral life. I pledge myself to remain away from them. I promise, further, to stay away altogether from places of amusement which show them as a matter of policy.” Though the pledge was voluntary and didn’t carry penalties from the church to violators, people at Mass did feel an obligation to recite the oath, Mulderig said. “I presume that if you refused to do that, you would be somewhat conspicuous.” DREAM JOB As a boy in the 1950s, Jesuit Father Kenneth Meehan was an enthusiastic movie patron who had three movie theaters near his

CHANGING STANDARDS During the middle of the 20th century, the church grappled with changes in taste and public morality and its impact on the film industry changed. In the 1960s came the Legion of Decency’s name change to NCOMP. This was meant to reflect that the organization’s mission had evolved, that some of its moral standard requirements had become less stringent and that it had begun to publish reviews that evaluated the artistic qualities of a given film. The name changed again in the 1970s to the Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting, which merged with the National Catholic Office for Radio and Television in 1980. In 2010, it became the Media Review Office of Catholic News Service, which is owned by the U.S. bishops but is editorially independent. This move allowed the film reviews and classifications to continue being a part of the content CNS offered, Mulderig said. By the 1980s, the Catholic film office lost negotiating power with movie producers and eventually discontinued producing its newsletter. But its classifications and movie reviews continue to be one of the most popular features among CNS subscribers and still grace the pages of Catholic publications and websites. “I certainly believe our reviews are relevant today,” Mulderig said, “I think primarily for two groups of people. “One would be the parents of underage kids who want guidance about exactly what their child will see if they go to this movie,” he said. “The other area is adult Catholics who specifically want to avoid certain things. “I think it’s helpful that we’re engaging with the film in the overall assessment of ‘is this film one that upholds Gospel values or contradicts Gospel values?’”


12 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020

We become salt and light through works of mercy


ou are the salt of the earth.” “You are the light of the world.” “A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” All three of these simple metaphors have something in common. None of them exists for itself. Salt exists to season and preserve things. Light exists to illuminate the world around it. The city set on a hill is built to be a point of orientation for the surrounding region. Jesus used these verbal illustrations so that his audience could easily conjure mental images that would help them understand the point he was trying to make. He was subtly preparing his disciples for the task they would soon be given: evangelization. To accomplish this challenging task, they would need to learn how to be in the world but not of the world. Jesus assigned his disciples the task of working to prevent and cure spiritual corruption in the world by enlightening minds and seasoning hearts with examples of faithfulness that would inspire others to follow them along the path of holiness. Even today, when we speak of a really good person whose life is exemplary, we might say that he or she is the “salt of the earth.” This colloquial expression is directly connected to Jesus’ charge for vibrant discipleship. The disciple who simply blends in with the world neglects the mission to preserve and ele-

Scripture Reflections FATHER WALTER NOLTE vate the presence of God in the world. The prophet Isaiah teaches us some tangible ways that we can be salt and light for the world around us. Today, we recognize his examples as corporal works of mercy. These include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, vis-

What will your legacy be?

iting those in prison, visiting the sick and burying the dead. When we intentionally strive to be salt and light through these works, we stand on the rock of our faith and guide others to an encounter with the healing love of Jesus. I challenge you to perform one of these works of mercy each week between now and Easter and thus fulfill our Savior’s mandate. Father Walter Nolte is pastor of St. Patrick Parish and president of Archbishop Bergan Catholic Schools in Fremont.

SCRIPTURE READINGS OF THE DAY FEBRUARY 10 Monday: 1 Kgs 8:1-7, 9-13; Ps 132:6-10; Mk 6:53-56 11 Tuesday: 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30; Ps 84:3-5, 10-11; Mk 7:1-13 12 Wednesday: 1 Kgs 10:1-10; Ps 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40; Mk 7:14-23 13 Thursday: 1 Kgs 11:4-13; Ps 106:3-4, 35-37, 40; Mk 7:24-30 14 Friday: 1 Kgs 11:29-32, 12:19; Ps 81:10-15; Mk 7:31-37 15 Saturday: 1 Kgs 12:26-32, 13:33-34; Ps 106:6-7, 19-22; Mk 8:1-10 16 Sunday: Sir 15:15-20; Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34; 1 Cor 2:6-10; Mt 5:17-37 or 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37 17 Monday: Jas 1:1-11; Ps 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76; Mk 8:11-13 18 Tuesday: Jas 1:12-18; Ps 94:12-15, 18-19; Mk 8:14-21 19 Wednesday: Jas 1:19-27; Ps 15:2-5; Mk 8:22-26 20 Thursday: Jas 2:1-9; Ps 34:2-7; Mk 8:27-33 21 Friday: Jas 2:14-24, 26; Ps 112:1-6; Mk 8:34–9:1 22 Saturday: 1 Pt 5:1-4; Ps 23:1-6; Mt 16:13-19

Christian prayer is a great gift


ast time, we began exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on prayer. We saw that prayer involves both the mind and the heart. Today we delve into what it means to say that prayer is a gift. The Catechism begins the section “Prayer as God’s gift” with this quote from St. John Damascene: “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God” (no. 2559). As we saw previously, prayer begins below the surface. “Humility is the foundation of prayer” (ibid.). We cannot raise our hearts and minds to God unless we acknowledge that he is infinitely above us. Some new forms of prayer, like the Eastern meditation techniques that they resemble, lead to the idea that we are already one with God; we only have to become aware of it. Instead of conversion, they focus on consciousness. Teachers of these methods reject the idea that we can be separated from God, even though the Catechism speaks of this separation: “The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs” (no. 1035). Separation from God comes about through sin (see no. 1263). Truly Christian prayer has humility as its very foundation. We must recognize that we are not divine. Far from being in union with God, we are born with original sin, separated from God until baptism. Following baptism, we must live in God’s grace or risk the

When it came time to make an estate plan, Tricia and Mark Weber of Omaha reflected on what they valued most in their lives. Those values became the foundation for their plan for their legacy. “Legacy to us is two fold,” said Mark. “Our first legacy is to leave good citizens, so we hope we have done a good job of passing our values on to our children. Our second legacy is to our community.” The couple have been involved with a variety of non-profit organizations in Omaha that have made an impact on their lives and those of their children, and in particular, Catholic education. That’s why it was important for them to include the Archdiocese of Omaha in their estate plan. “We raised five children together,” said Tricia. “We are very proud of the adults they have become. We attribute much of that success to Catholic schools. Our hope, our bequest, is that we can help other children obtain a Catholic education that they might not have gotten otherwise.” Mark said that clarifying your priorities is a good start to planning your legacy. “If I were to talk to someone about why it’s important for them to give back, first I’d ask who is important during their lifetime. I would encourage people to think back to those who have been instrumental to their own success and how they might give back when they die to say, ‘thank you.’”

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 • ajlamar@archomaha.org

Conversation with God CONNIE ROSSINI eternal separation of hell. A gulf exists between God and humanity. Only Jesus, as both God and Man, can bridge that gulf. Through his death and resurrection, we can come back into union with God. We dare to address God in prayer, not by trying to assume his level, but by accepting the fact that he came down to our level. He took on a human nature for our sake. Without Jesus, prayer would be fruitless. Salvation is a pure gift. We can do nothing to achieve it on our own. We must, however, receive it, welcome it. Likewise, prayer is a gift. The Catechism quotes St. Paul, who taught that we do not even know how to pray properly without the aid of the Holy Spirit (no. 2560, citing Rom 8:26). We rely on God to give us the words to talk to him! And what does the Holy Spirit teach us? He teaches us to call God our Father (Rom 8:15-17). So also, Jesus taught us. As we shall see in a future column, Jesus’ prayer and teaching about prayer focused on our filial relationship with God. Through faith in Jesus, we share in his Sonship. We become God’s children. As children, we are required to listen, to be obedient, to respect and honor God, and to be grateful for all that he has done and will do for us. We recognize also that God is not obligated to answer our prayers in the way we think is best. He “knows what you need before you ask him” (Mt 6:8). He answers prayer out of love and care for us. Christian prayer is a great gift. God enables sinful humans to return to an intimate relationship with him, helping us every step of the way. He gives us the gift of prayer and teaches us how to practice it. May we humbly accept his teaching and his love. Connie Rossini is a member of St. Peter Parish in Omaha. She is co-author of “The Contemplative Rosary” released by EWTN Publishing and author of four other books on Catholic spirituality.

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FEBRUARY 7, 2020

» 13

St. Jerome Emiliani served God by serving the poor By DEACON OMAR GUTIÉRREZ


For the Catholic Voice

In 1481, a boy was born to the noble family of Angelo and Eleanor Emiliani. They named him Jerome, and their child would grow to be an example of how Christ’s mercy for us can compel us to live mercy for others. Jerome Emiliani was in many ways the typical child of a noble family of the time. He was well educated, a patriot of his hometown of Venice, and irreligious. That is, until 1508 when he was captured and taken prisoner during one the many Italian territorial wars of the 16th century. While in custody, he reconsidered his life and experienced God’s mercy. So it was that when, by some miracle, he escaped from his dungeon, he fled straight to the main church in Treviso pledging never to wage war again and to reform his ways. The people of the town were impressed with the dedication of this young nobleman, and so they elected him mayor. Jerome accepted, but felt drawn to make a deeper commitment to Christ. So he left Treviso after a short time and returned to Venice to care for his nephews while he studied for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1518. When a plague broke out in that region in 1528, Jerome dedicated himself and his wealth to the care of others, but particularly to the care of orphans. He contracted the plague and recovered in 1531. And instead of cutting back his work, he expanded it. With the help of

devout laity, he founded orphanages for boys and girls in Brescia, Bergamo, Milan and Como. He established a shelter for women, and in Verona he founded a hospital. In 1532, with two other priests, he founded a religious community in the town of Somascha (present day Somasca, part of the town of Vercurago). They were known as the Clerks Regular of Somascha or the Somaschi. While they housed and fed orphan children, they also instructed them in the faith. In fact, Jerome is credited as being the first to instruct children with a catechism that employed a question-and-answer format. In 1537, he fell ill and died on Feb. 8 of that year. He was canonized in 1767, and today we celebrate his feast on the date he died. The life of St. Jerome Emiliani may seem too familiar. The details certainly seem to match the stories of so many other saints and blesseds. But the various accounts of Jerome’s life all agree that he was a man drawn to the simplicity of the poor in a particular way. When he was ordained, before he started work with orphans, he would spend his free time with the sick and the poor in Venice laughing and joking and sharing with them his faith. When he wasn’t instructing new priests for his order or caring for orphans in the home in Somascha, he would be


“St. Jerome Emiliani,” by Giovanni Domenic Tiepolo (1724-1804), 1759, oil on canvas, housed at the Ca’Rezzonico (Museum of 18th century Venice), Venice. out in the fields with the peasant farmers working by their side and telling them of the glories of God. Jerome was drawn to his life of virtue because he was drawn first to Christ Jesus. He had no plan for

his life or his work. His life was a response, always a response, to whatever the Lord placed before him and he could not help but to share the mercies of God with everyone, particularly the poor.

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14 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020


‘The Two Popes’: baloney, brilliantly acted

first met Pope Emeritus Benedict in June 1988; over the next three decades, I’ve enjoyed many lengthy conversations and interviews with him, including a bracing discussion covering many topics last Oct. 19. I first met Pope Francis in Buenos Aires in May 1982, and have had three private audiences with him since his election as Successor of Peter. Before, during and after the conclaves of 2005 and 2013, I was deeply engaged in Rome, where my work included extensive discussions with cardinal-electors before each conclave was immured and after the white smoke went up. On both occasions, I correctly predicted to my NBC colleagues the man who would be elected and, in 2013, the day the election would occur. Thus credentialed, I take up the movie critic’s mantle and say without hesitation that, as history, the Netflix film, “The Two Popes,” is baloney on steroids. It’s brilliantly acted, sometimes amusing, and occasionally moving. But despite its claim to be “based on actual events,” “The Two Popes” no more reflects history through which I lived and men I’ve personally known than does “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The script offers several coruscating moments, perhaps more


The Catholic Difference GEORGE WEIGEL revealing of the two key personalities than screenwriter Anthony McCarten or director Fernando Meirelles realize. Thus Anthony Hopkins nicely captures Joseph Ratzinger’s dry sense of humor when the cinematic Benedict XVI remarks to Jonathan Pryce/Cardinal Bergoglio, “It’s a German joke; it’s not supposed to be funny.” And then there’s Pryce/Bergoglio’s smiling riposte to a grumpy Benedict XVI who accuses the archbishop of Buenos Aires of egotism: “Do you know how an Argentinian commits suicide? He climbs to the top of his ego and jumps off!” In the main, however, scriptwriter and director trade in stick-figures, however fetching the portrayal of those cartoons by two actors of genius. Alas, one-dimensional portrayals of popes have been the journalistic and pop-cultural standard ever since the pseudonymous “Xavier Rynne,” writing in the New Yorker, created the liberal/conservative template for Everything Catholic during the Second Vatican Council. Thus it’s even more to the credit of Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce that they bring a cartoon Benedict XVI and a cartoon Francis to vibrant life in “The Two Popes.” What ought not

go unremarked, however, are the film’s grave misrepresentations of the dynamics at work in the conclaves of 2005 and 2013. The script suggests that Joseph Ratzinger wanted to be pope in 2005 and maneuvered before and during the conclave to achieve his ambition. That is rubbish. As I thought I had demonstrated in “God’s Choice,” my book on the papal transition of 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger actively resisted the efforts of his many admirers to promote his candidacy during the interregnum, saying, “I am not a man of governo (governance).” His friends responded that he should leave matters to the Holy Spirit, and Ratzinger – who had tried to retire three times under John Paul II and who wanted nothing more than to return to Bavaria and pick up the threads of his scholarly life – acceded to their wishes, and to what he believed was God’s will. There was no ambition in all this. On the contrary, there was a touching display of self-knowledge, spiritual detachment and churchmanship. As for 2013, “The Two Popes” suggests that a “reformist” current, frustrated at the conclave of 2005, persuaded the cardinal-electors of 2013 that the church needed a decisive shift from the magisterium of John Paul II and Benedict XVI in order to catch up with “the world.” That, too, is rubbish. There was no such consensus among the cardinal-elec-


Jonathan Pryce portrays Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins portrays retired Pope Benedict XVI in a scene from the movie "The Two Popes." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. tors in 2013. There was, however, broad agreement that the New Evangelization was being seriously impeded by financial and other corruptions in the Vatican, which had to be vigorously addressed in a new pontificate. And the proponents of Cardinal Bergoglio’s candidacy presented him in precisely those terms — as a tough-minded, no-nonsense reformer who would quickly and decisively clean house. That presentation, reinforced by the Argentine prelate’s Christocentric and

evangelically-oriented intervention in the General Congregation of cardinals prior to the conclave’s immurement, was the key to Pope Francis’s election. The notion that Francis was elected to upend the magisterium of John Paul II and Benedict XVI is sheer invention, at least to those who knew what was actually afoot in 2013. Is there motive here, in advancing this fake-news account of Conclave-2013? Some will undoubtedly find one. I’m content to clarify the historical record.

Two new legislative initiatives require our attention

hen it comes to public policy efforts, the month of January makes the ol’ adage, “When it rains, it pours,” sound like an understatement. Nebraska’s legislative session begins, hundreds of new legislative bills need to be read and analyzed, and committee hearings start, along with National Migration Week, National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Religious Freedom Day, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Pro-Life Mass, the Nebraska Walk for Life, the National March for Life, National

Faithful, Watchful Citizens TOM VENZOR

pursue as a civil society. In the midst of all this busyness, there are two legislative initiatives to which I particularly want to draw our attention. INTRODUCTION OF LB1202

School Choice Week, Catholic Schools Week, U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments, and other activities. These diverse activities remind us of the beauty of Catholicism: Christ came to redeem every aspect of our humanity. Everything under the sun belongs to the kingship of Jesus Christ. These events and activities are to be celebrated and memorialized because they are intended to serve the common good, which Christ would have us

The Unicameral has again seen the introduction of school choice legislation. Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha, chairwoman of the Revenue Committee and an ardent school choice advocate, has re-introduced scholarship tax credit legislation with LB1202, the Opportunity Scholarships Act. LB1202 continues last year’s school choice efforts with LB670. LB1202 would provide more scholarship opportunities to low-income students to pursue an education at

parochial or private schools that are best for them. It does this by providing tax credits to donors to direct some of their state income tax liability to scholarship-granting organizations. Scholarship tax credit policies exist in 18 states across the country. It cannot be repeated enough times: These programs transform lives. Children experience greater educational outcomes. Low-income families are truly able to exercise real educational choice. And the state’s taxpayers save millions of dollars because of their initial investments in education. Be on the lookout for LB1202 and its progress. Visit www. InvestInKidsNebraska.org to learn more. ‘CHANGING’ YOUR SEX Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue and Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha both introduced legislation – LB754 and LB873, respectively – that would make it extremely easy for a person to change their sex on a birth certificate. Sen. Blood withdrew her legislation, noting that Sen. Hunt had also introduced a bill on the subject and did not want the Legislature to duplicate efforts by having a committee hearing on two similar bills. In short, these legislative proposals would allow a person – and this includes a child – to change the sex on their birth certificate with a simple doctor’s note that the change is “warranted” or, after providing the reason for the change, with a court order directing a change in the certificate.

Pope Francis has made it clear: We must always lovingly accompany people in their difficulties and struggles. He has also vehemently opposed the “ideology of gender.” In “Laudato Si’” (“On Care for Our Common Home”), the Holy Father stated: “Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.” Our sexuality is a gift to be received from God, not something to manipulate. Among the various concerns of the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC), we opposed the legislation for its detrimental effect on girls’ high school athletics. The Nebraska School Activities Association currently requires a biological male, who has not had their sex changed on their birth certificate, to undergo hormone therapy treatment if they want to compete in girls’ athletics. While we objected to this problematic policy, which forces children to medically manipulate and damage their body, we noted that it was adopted to achieve safety and fairness for female athletes. Rather than providing a level playing field for female athletes, by allowing boys to compete against girls LB754 and LB873 would undermine equality and fairness for girls striving to train hard, gain an edge against their female competitors, and strive for excellence. As always, follow our work more closely by joining the Catholic Advocacy Network of Nebraska at www.necatholic.org and visit the NCC on Facebook for regular updates.


Pope Francis: The church is missionary by nature

write these words from the Eternal City of Rome, whither I’ve come with my brother bishops from Region 11 (California, Nevada and Hawaii) for our “ad limina” visit. This is a regular and canonically required trip to pray at the “limina apostolorum” (“threshold of the Apostles”), the tombs of Ss. Peter and Paul, and to meet with the Successor of Peter.

BISHOP ROBERT BARRON and to our priests. But then he emphasized that all of these are grounded in the most important kind of vicinanza – namely, the intimacy with the Lord that comes through prayer. I will confess that these words of his have already burned their way into my mind and heart: “The first task of the bishop is to pray.” A second theme the pope articulated with particular clarity and passion was that of gender ideology. As he has often in the past, he bemoaned the “ideological colonization” that takes place when Western notions of gender fluidity and self-invention make their way aggressively into parts of the developing world, often through a kind of blackmail: Unless and until you adopt Western values in this regard, we will refuse you material and medical assistance. The pope’s fundamental argument was biblical. The book of Genesis tells us that God made the genders distinct and that this difference is key to human flourishing. Whatever seeks to eliminate difference in this arena of life, therefore, is contrary to God’s will. But by far the dominant theme in our lengthy conversation, expressed both in the questions of the bishops and the substantive responses of the pope, was evangelization. When one bishop made reference to “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) Francis’s seminal encyclical on the topic, the pope wryly commented that that text was largely “plagiarized” from St. Paul VI’s 1975 encyclical “Evangelii Nuntiandi” (“Evangelization in the Modern World”) and the document that emerged from the meeting of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference at Aparacida in 2007. All three statements are, in fact, landmarks of the New Evangelization, and all three operate out of the assumption that the church is missionary by its very nature. When I had a chance to speak, I asked the Pope to elaborate on the theme of the via pulchritudinis (“the way of beauty”), which is central to “Evangelii Gaudium.” He spoke of the recovery of beauty in the work of contemporary theologians and philosophers, and he urged us not to den-

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igrate the beautiful as it is found in the popular culture – film, books, sports, etc. – which often appeal to the young more than some expressions of beauty in the high culture. The most clarifying moment regarding evangelization occurred when a bishop asked the pope to address what appeared to the bishop as something of a tension in the pope’s teaching. On the one hand, he said, Francis seemed very strong in his recommendation that we announce the faith publicly and draw people to Christ, but on the other hand, the Holy Father frequently inveighs against what he calls “proselytizing.” I will confess that I have often wondered at some of Francis’ rhetoric here and have longed for something like his definition of the term. The Holy Father clarified that he, of course, advocates the spreading of the faith, but he is opposed to an aggressive, divisive, numbers-oriented approach to the task. Evangelization, he joked, is not like getting people to join your football club! As he often has in the past, he emphasized with us the centrality of personal witness to the joy of living a life of faith. Whatever teaching we do, he said, must take place within the context of that way of life. In this, of course, he was simply echoing St. Pope Paul VI, who said that people today listen to teachers precisely in the measure that those teachers are also witnesses. I was particularly gratified to hear him on this point, for there have been some in the commentariat who have suggested that engaging in apologetics or theological clarification is tantamount to “proselytizing.” Not according to Pope Francis. Before I posed my question, I told the pope that we were all grateful to him for giving us the opportunity to be with him as a true spiritual father. And that indeed is what the experience was like: our father speaking to us from the heart and with great affection. It was an encounter that I will not soon forget.


ecently, I heard the story from a friend who had been having some trouble with his cell phone carrier. He went to the store to get it fixed and found only one employee, a young lady, behind the counter serving a refugee family, another customer clearly irate, and some random fellow eating Taco Bell. Having a sense this would take a while, my friend left and came back hours later only to find the same one employee, the same refugee family, and someone else being served. The young lady was apologetic as he entered the second time. “I’m sorry sir. I’ll be with you in just a moment.” He noticed the that she was clearly stressed. When his turn came up, she apologized again. My friend noted just how stressed she was, and then said, “I’m going to pray for you. I’m going to pray a prayer for workers for you.” Her whole demeanor changed, he told me. Her shoulders relaxed. She shifted slightly in her stance. She was more at ease in that moment. The simple offer to pray let her know that he noticed her, that he cared for her, and that he would do something so that her life would be better. The story reminded me of my own experience years ago while working on the sainthood cause for Servant of God Father Flanagan. I had traveled to Canada, and when I arrived at customs, the agent asked me the reason for my visit. “Business,” I told him. “What kind of business?” he asked. Cherishing my privacy, I said only that I worked for the Catholic Church. He pressed further, “So what work are you doing here?” I hesitated to say, but truthfully answered that “I’m investigating an alleged miracle.”


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Charity in Truth DEACON OMAR GUTIÉRREZ It was an awkward sentence, and it came out awkwardly. I supposed I expected a roll of the eyes or a scrunch of the face or a cringe of some sort, but none of that happened. Like the young lady, his shoulders relaxed slightly. He then shared with me that he had gotten divorced recently and that his wife, who lived in Winnipeg with his sons, wanted help paying for hockey. He wanted to support them, and wanted to be closer to his sons. He started to bare his heart, which was in clear pain. “I’ll pray for you,” I said. And I did. I don’t know if he was a religious man or if the young lady was either. But both stories remind me of an important point regarding the social teaching of the church. We often hear about the need to care for the physical goods of our neighbor, particularly through institutional changes and/or public policy. But these stories remind us that we are not just material beings. Many of our neighbors are in spiritual pain and so are open to expressions of faith. The Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann wrote once that secularism is the effort to deny that the human person is a “worshipping being.” Our culture has convinced us somehow that worship ought to be private and is a sign of weakness, when the truth is that to worship God and so to pray is to be more ourselves. When we pray for those who do not or cannot pray for themselves, we share our spiritual wealth. So, to live the social teaching of the church means to pray and to offer prayer and to worship God well. In fact, to worship God is to fulfill part of the virtue of justice. Pray, then, in generosity and worship faithfully and openly so as to bring about an authentic social justice.

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Yesterday (Jan. 27) was the first official day of the pilgrimage, and it was extraordinary indeed. We gathered early in the morning for Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the presence of the tomb of the Galilean fisherman to whom Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven. And then, just about a half-hour later, we were ushered into the Apostolic Palace, and after traversing a number of elaborately decorated corridors and receiving a few salutes from Swiss Guards (I’ll confess that I rather like the salutes!), we lined up to meet the pope. Pope Francis was in remarkably good form, especially considering that he is a man of 83 years. He was friendly, warm and energetic, and he engaged with each bishop as we entered the room. Once settled into elegant but rather uncomfortable chairs (One of my brother bishops said he thought they had last been used during the Spanish Inquisition!), we commenced an extremely lively conversation with the Bishop of Rome. Francis spoke exclusively in Italian, while about two-thirds of us spoke to him in Spanish and about a third in English. It would be impossible to summarize what turned out to be a three-hour dialogue in the scope of this brief article, but I can mention a few major motifs. First, Pope Francis was extremely interested in prayer. He spoke with real feeling about the importance of initiating our young people into the practice of eucharistic adoration. Several times he repeated the word “adoration,” urging us to teach our people this most fundamental form of communing with God. And in regard to bishops, he indicated several forms of vicinanza (“closeness”) that ought to characterize our lives: closeness to our people, to our brother bishops

Word on Fire

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Living the social teaching of the church means praying

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16 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020 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. ABTS-Ronald Lee, 84. Funeral service Jan. 21 at West Center Chapel. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Dr. Arthur W. Abts and Frances E. Abts (Rienhart). Survived by brothers and sisters-in-law, Arthur W. “Bill” Jr. and Mary Kay Abts, Gerald L. “Jerry” and Maryann Abts, Colorado, and James T. “Jim” and Lynn Abts, Massachusetts. Memorials to Hillcrest Hospice, 1820 Hillcrest Drive, Bellevue, NE 68005 or World-Herald Goodfellows. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER BRAUCKMAN-Mary Ann, 82. Funeral Mass Jan. 18 at Mary Our Queen Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Dennis Sr.; sister, Judy Menke. Survived by children, Lucinda Carroll, Catherine Brauckman, Richard and Myriam Brauckman, Cummings, Georgia, Dennis Jr. and Alice Brauckman, John’s Creek, Georgia, Steven Brauckman, and Michael and Heather Brauckman, Chicago; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sisters, Betty Jo Christiansen and Constance Sucre; nieces; nephews; relatives; friends. Memorials to Siena Francis House or Alzheimer’s Association (act.alz.org). CROSBY BURKET SWANSON GOLDEN BROGHAMMER-Robert J., 93. Funeral Mass Jan. 18 at Holy Cross Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by infant daughter, Mary Elizabeth; son, Matthew. Survived by wife, Dorothy A. Broghammer; children and spouse, Stephen Broghammer, Anne Marie O’Brien, Joseph Broghammer, and John and Teresa Broghammer; grandchildren; siblings and spouses, Steve and Judy Broghammer, JoAnne Carpenter, Mary and Stan Votek, Clare Fink, and Georgia and Bob Race; sisters-in-law, Linda Broghammer and Patricia Broghammer. Memorials to Poor Clare Sisters, to the church or Masses. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER BURGOS-Lydia E., 77. Funeral Mass Jan. 18 at St. James Church. Inurnment Resurrection Mausoleum. Preceded in death by parents, Guillermo and Olga Burgos; sisters, Judith Meiners and Carmie Burgos. Survived by siblings and spouses, Winston G. and Gladys Burgos, Yolanda E. Burgos, Olga and Lee Kordash, Martha Burgos, and William E. and Philomena Burgos; brother-in-law, Deacon Louis Meiners; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. James Church Religious Education Program or to the church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

BURKHARDT-Joseph A., 84. Funeral service Jan. 18 at St. Bernadette Church, Bellevue. Interment St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Lynnette; parents, Edward and Anna; sister, Bernadine Benak. Survived by wife, Peggy; children, Timothy (Lisa) Burkhardt, David (Debbie) Newberg, Connie (Allen) Woodworth, Darla (Randy) Bleicher, Tracy Burkhardt (Scott McDaniel), and Kelly (Mike) Sheard; 19 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Mary Ann Burkhardt and Betty Pestal. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME COSTANZO-Vincent M., 81. Funeral Mass Jan. 29 at New Cassel Retirement Center. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Judy; daughter, Lorie Lasher; sister, Gloria Arp. Survived by children and spouses, Gina Costanzo, Steve and Nancy Costanzo, and Katherine and Cory Ray; 11 grandchildren; great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-inlaw, Ralph and Nancy Costanzo, and Sam and Susie Costanzo; nieces; nephews. Memorials to New Cassel. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER DYER-Richard E. Sr., 92. Funeral Mass Jan. 24 at Holy Cross Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Mary. Survived by children and spouses, Richard Dyer Jr., Michael and Peggy Dyer, Jeff and Charmaine Dyer, Kathy Muckey, Carol and Dennis Heath, and Marianne and Don Manion; 17 grandchildren; great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren. Memorials to Henry Doorly Zoo. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER EWING-Jeanette M., 85. Memorial service Jan. 20 at Holy Name Church. Inurnment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Dr. Benjamin F. Ewing Jr. Survived by children, Patricia (Joe) Ewing Grimes, and Benjamin Ewing III; three grandchildren; great-granddaughter. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN GANNETT-Rita J., 88. Funeral service Jan. 28 at the L Street Chapel, Ralston. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Jerry and Irene Volcek; second husband, Milton Allen; third husband, Charles Gannett. Survived by children, Mark McCoy, Mary McCoy Shapiro, Bernard (Jaye) McCoy, and Theresa (Ed) McMorrow; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN GEIGER-James R., 74. Funeral Mass Jan. 27 at St. Stephen the Martyr Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Raymond and Magdalene Geiger; siblings, Jerome and Judy. Survived by wife, Carolyn; children and spouses, Jennifer and Chris Angland, Greg and Danielle Geiger, and Stephanie and Matthew McKenna; nine grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER HARRISON-James P. “Jim”, 83. Funeral Mass Feb. 1 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. Preceded in death by daughter, Laurie Hartz; parents, William and Elvira; brother, Richard. Survived by wife, Bernadette; children and spouse, Steve Harrison, and Catherine and David Sedlacek; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister and brother-in-law, Charlene and Gerald Steffes; family; friends. Memorials to Alzheimer’s Association. ROEDER MORTUARY

Over a Century of Service…

HOWICK-Allan Ray, 70. Funeral service Jan. 28 at St. John Church on Creighton University campus. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Edna and Max Howick; niece, Michelle Evangeline. Survived by wife, Mary Alice Howick; children and spouses, Matthew and Vicky Howick, Michael and Katie Howick, and Karen and Ray Nesvold; eight grandchildren; Larry Anderson. Memorials to Campus Life Ministry at St. John Church. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN JADLOWSKI-Genevieve Francis, 87. Funeral Mass Feb. 1 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Anton “Toby” Jadlowski; siblings, John Revers, Al Revers, Joanne Revers, Regina Jamrozy, Sister Joella Revers, OMPH, and Sister Regina Revers, OMPH. Survived by children and spouses, Joseph “Mick” and Diane Jadlowski, Jean Jadlowski, Jim and Kim Jadlowski, John and Karen Jadlowski, Janice Jadlowski, Jay and Cindy Jadlowski, and Joan Jadlowski; Jen Buck; sister, Virginia Green; sisters-in-law, Marguerite Revers and Sister Madona Jadlowski, OSFH; five grandchildren. Memorials to the Visiting Nurses Association. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME KAMINSKI-Richard J., 87. Funeral service Jan. 24 at Holy Ghost Church. Preceded in death by parents, Joseph and Anna Kaminski. Survived by sister and brother-in-law, Dolores and Jan Desmet; nieces. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME KAPLAN-Carolyn S., 81. Funeral Mass Jan. 28 at St. Stephen the Martyr Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents; five brothers, sisters. Survived by husband, William; children and spouse, William Kaplan Jr., Stacia Kaplan, and Timothy and Tamatha Kaplan; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; Steve Graeve. Memorials to Siena Francis House. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KEEFOVER-Rose M., 99. Funeral Mass Jan. 18 at St. Thomas More Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Harold “Dale”; parents, Anthony and Minnie Maida; siblings, Louis Maida, Joseph Maida, Victoria Pillege and Theresa Sturek. Survived by daughter, Carol Keefover; nieces; nephews; cousins. Memorials to Mercy High School or to the church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KENNEY-Helen Claire Hall, 86. Funeral Mass Jan. 25 at St. Margaret Mary Church. Inurnment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, N. Patrick Kenney; sister, Mary Jo Hall. Survived by children and spouses, JoEllen Kenney, Kathy and Jeff Cohn, Patty Kenney, Steve and Julie Kenney, and John and Cecilia Kenney; 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; siblings and spouses, Harold Hall, Eleanor and Mike Hogan, Jim and Nancy Hall, and Tom and Pam Hall; nieces; nephews. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN KESSLER-Rita Marie, 88. Funeral Mass Jan. 25 at St. Bernard Church. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Marie and Royal Kessler; siblings, Joseph Kessler, Eileen Petersen and Loras Kessler. Survived by 15 nieces and nephews; family; friends. Memorials to the church. KREMER FUNERAL HOME KIELTY-Bridget H., 30. Funeral Mass Jan. 28 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by father, David; grandparents, Lou and Arlene Kielty, and Bill Sr. and Bernice Kulper; uncles, Bill Kulper Jr., Terry Ruch and Mike Kielty. Survived by mother, Margie; brother, Bryan; aunts; uncles; cousins; friends. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME


Greg Podkovich


KOCH-Anne Marie (Melia), 96. Funeral service Jan. 22 at St. Patrick Church, Gretna. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Leonard; parents, Charles and Mayme (Dillon) Melia. Survived by children, Mary Len Maw, Kathy (Garry) Mazur, Bill Koch (Tina), Jim (JoAnn) Koch, and Mike (Kay) Koch; 11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; nephew; cousins; neighbors; friends. Memorials to the church, Sarpy County Museum or one’s choice. ROEDER MORTUARY


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KRAMOLISCH-Mary Ann, 87. Funeral Mass Jan. 25 at St. Thomas More Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Joseph William Kramolisch; parents, Mary and Egon Kleine; siblings, Phillip, George, Donald, Edward and Sister Bernedette Kleine. Survived by children and spouses, John and Becky Kramolisch, Ann Marie and Joe Benes, and Valerie and Dr. Michael Siggers; nine grandchildren; sisters, Barbara Jean Kingston and Frances Skryja; sister-in-law, Dorene Kleine; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. Thomas More Endowment or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

LESAC-Clara S., 87. Funeral service Jan. 21 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, John Sr.; daughter, Mary Ann Torres; grandson, Frank Rodriguez Jr. Survived by children, John Jr. and Diane Davis; six grandchildren; great-grandchildren; great-great grandchildren. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME MARR-Bridget L., 44. Funeral service Jan. 18 at St. Wenceslaus Church. Preceded in death by grandmother, Arlene Bird; grandfather, Bruce Marr; uncles, David Marr and Rick Marr; aunt, Sandy (Marr) Rose; nieces; nephews. Survived by daughter, Jasmine Marr; mother, Roxanne Ellis (Brian); father, Jim Marr (Twyla); sister, Hiedi Marr-Kesting (Josh); stepsiblings, Kali Crane (Mark), and Nick Kenny (Shawntel); grandfather, Fredie Bird; grandmother, Joan Marr-Becker; nieces; nephews. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER MARTIN-Lois Ann (Nan), 94. Funeral service Jan. 18 at Christ the King Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Margaret and Walt Martin; sisters and brothers-in-law, Peg and Dick Herman, Mary Jane and Floyd Richardson, and Joan and Howard Mueller. Survived by nieces; nephews; great-nieces; great-nephews. Memorials to the Carmelite Monastery in Sioux City, Iowa, or the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN MENDENHALL-Mary A., 76. Funeral Mass Jan. 23 at St. Adalbert Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Michael; parents, Edward and Genevieve Guziec; brothers-in-laws, Bernie Costello, Tom Mendenhall and Steve Mendenhall. Survived by children and spouses, Matt and Jenny Mendenhall, Marcie and Tim Roddy, Mark and Bridget Mendenhall, and Miki and Andy Flanagan; 11 grandchildren; sisters, Barb Costello and Sister Pat Guziec; friends. Memorials to Nebraska Humane Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER MORRISON-Timothy Michael, 50. Funeral service Jan. 27 at West Center Chapel. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by stepfather, Richard Menard. Survived by parents, John Morrison and Patricia Menard; wife, Jennifer Distefano; daughters, Grace and Josephine; brothers and sisters-in-law, Steve Morrison, Brian and Sherri Morrison, Jeff Morrison, Greg and Jennifer Morrison, and Chris and Joellyn Morrison; nieces; nephews; aunts; uncles; father-in-law and mother-inlaw, Carl “Bob” and Elace Distefano; brotherin-law, Carl N. Distefano; friends. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER MULLANEY-Ann A., 102. Funeral service Jan. 23 at New Cassel Retirement Center. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, James B. Mullaney; daughter, Maureen Eischeid. Survived by children and spouses, James Michael and Jackie Mullaney, and Patricia Ann and Bill Lauer; son-in-law, Daniel J. Eischeid; three grandchildren; nieces; nephews; great-nieces; great-nephews; greatgreat-nieces; great-great-nephews. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER NUFFER-Jerry Thomas., 84. Funeral Mass Jan. 17 at St. Bernadette Church, Bellevue. Interment Calvary Mausoleum. Preceded in death by parents, Albert and Margaret Nuffer; son, Michael Nuffer; son-in-law, Marvin Faux; sister, Pamela Deuser. Survived by wife, Muriel Nuffer; children and spouse, Debbie Faux, and Pat and Lynne Nuffer; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sister, Nancy Bevilacqua. Memorials to Josie Harper Hospice House. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER O’DOHERTY-Jean A., 92. Funeral Mass Jan. 27 at St. Margaret Mary Church. Private interment. Preceded in death by husband, Bernard; granddaughter, Christine. Survived by children and spouses, Burt and Kathy O’Doherty, Craig O’Doherty, Corinne and Gary Spraklin, Ryan O’Doherty, and Rick and Diane O’Doherty; four grandchildren. Memorials to Nebraska Humane Society HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER O’HARE-Terrence D., 73. Funeral Mass Jan. 25 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Preceded in death by parents, John and Pauline O’Hare. Survived by wife, Linda Losch O’Hare; sons and daughters-in-law, Jeffrey and Nancy O’Hare, Saginaw, Michigan, Michael and Stacey O’Hare, Valley, and Patrick and Deana O’Hare, Omaha; 10 grandchildren; sister and brother-in-law, Patricia O’Hare and Ron Durand; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the church, Creighton University School of Law or Josie Harper Hospice House. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

O’KEEFE-Thomas Patrick, M.D., 84. Funeral Mass Jan. 30 at St. Leo the Great Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Thomas Francis and Marjorie O’ Keefe; sister, Kathy Matulevicz; fatherin-law and mother-in-law, John and Agnes Orcutt; sister-in-law, Jean Follrath. Survived by wife, Joan Orcutt O’Keefe; children and spouses, Theresa and Myles Gart, Colleen and Michael Thakor, Joseph O’Keefe, and Daniel and Shannon O’Keefe; 15 grandchildren; sister, Judy Kelly; nieces; nephews; cousins. Memorials and Mass requests to the church or Mount Michael Abbey, Elkhorn. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER PADILLA-Thelma L., 92. Funeral Mass Jan. 27 at Holy Ghost Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Richard; three sisters. Survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Anita and Gary Krysl, and Mary and Kurt Matis; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME PASCHANG-Marie A., 98. Funeral Mass Jan. 17 at Christ the King Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Joseph R. Paschang. Survived by children, William J. (Pam), Steve, Patricia, Teresa, and Jeanne; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren. Memorials to V.N.A. Hospice, to the church or Nebraska Humane Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER PASKA-Louis A. “Bud”, 80. Funeral Mass Jan. 20 at St. Bernadette Church, Bellevue. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, Louis and Ann. Survived by wife, Virginia; sons, Jim and John; siblings and spouses, Tom and Mary Paska, and Rita and Gary Hodges; brothers-in-law and spouses, Rich and Jackie Kmiecik, Ron and Diane Kmiecik, Bill Gradoville, and Brother Jerome Kmiecik, OSB; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME PETERSON-John J. “Jack”, 96. Private funeral Mass and interment. Preceded in death by wife, Bernie Peterson; son, Matt Peterson; parents; brother; sister. Survived by children and spouses, Cathy Thompson, Mark Peterson, Mike and Leslie Peterson, Chris and Laurie Peterson, and Ken and Kelley Peterson; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. Memorials to St. Pius X/St. Leo Grade School. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER REYNOLDS-Charles Glen, 80. Funeral Mass Jan. 20 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Preceded in death by parents, Albert Glen Reynolds and Kathyrn “Kattie” Reynolds; siblings, Wayne Reynolds and Alma Gene Neubauer; son-in-law, William “Bill” Rasmussen. Survived by wife, Judith Reynolds; children, Ann Rasmussen, Michael Reynolds (Shawn), and Patrick Reynolds (Cecilia); seven grandchildren. Memorials to Ft. Atkinson Foundation or to the church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER REZNICEK-Donna B., 88. Funeral Mass Jan. 17 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, John and Emma Tomingas; siblings, Art Tomingas, Arnold Tomingas, Henry Tomingas, Rob Tomingas, Anne Barone, Paula Donner and Sadie Gourley. Survived by husband, Ed Reznicek; children and spouses, Joni and Neale Whitmore, John Reznicek, Jane and Larry Totusek, Jacqueline Hrabik, and Jennifer and Frank Colabello; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren. Memorials to the family. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME SCALETTA-Antonietta B., 102. Funeral service Jan. 30 at West Center Chapel. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Survived by three children, nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SCHNEIDER-Richard F. “Dick”, 89. Funeral service Jan. 17 at St. James Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by wife, Mary Schneider; children and spouses, Annie and Bill Badalucco, Karen and Steve Miller, and Jim and Mary Schneider; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; nieces; nephew. Memorials to Madonna School or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN SHEEHAN-Sarah Ann, 81, Arvada, Colorado. Funeral Mass Jan. 23 at St. Joan of Arc Church, Arvada, Colorado. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Philip I. Sheehan; parents, Marjorie and Clarence Ortner; brothers, John Ortner and Larry Ortner. Survived by children and spouses, Steve and Nohemi Sheehan, Kevin and Cheryl Sheehan, John Sheehan, David and Melanie Sheehan, Joan and Ralph Brighton, and Jeff and Jessica Sheehan; 12 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; siblings, Suzy Hahn and Michael Ortner. Memorials to American Heart Association for Stroke. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

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| RESURRECTION JOY | >> Continued from Page 16 STIMSON-Carlos, 66. Funeral service Jan. 29 at St. Stephen the Martyr Church. Preceded in death by parents, Enzy G. and Madeline (Hyde) Stimson; son, Jeffrey S. Stimson. Survived by wife, Jean Marie (Grinolds) Stimson; sons and daughters-in-law, Christopher and Sally Stimson, and Nathan and Sarah Stimson; sisters and brothers-in-law, Joette and Larry Louks, and Rita and Jay Lundin; four grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to University of Nebraska Foundation, Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, or Research Fund for Advancement of Pancreatic Cancer. ROEDER MORTUARY STREMLAU-Evelyn (Clifford), 80. Funeral Mass Jan. 25 at Sacred Heart Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by son, Darin Clifford; parents, Charles and Dorotha Smith; brother, Richard Smith. Survived by husband, Bernie; children and spouses, David and Sue Clifford, and Deborah and Paul Hoagbin; stepchildren and spouses, Cindy and Bill Zimmerman, Jodi and Terry Ross, Tony and Gracie Stremlau, Vince and Jackie Stremlau, Trish and David Dorr, Bobbi and Jess Randall, Lyn and David Belitz, Jacqui and David Molina, John and Kathleen Stremlau, and Matt and Jen Stremlau; 36 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren. Memorials to the church or CUES. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WICHERT-Gerald L. “Jerry”, 80. Funeral Mass Jan. 28 at Holy Cross Church. Entombment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Leo and Melodia Wichert. Survived by wife, Andrea; daughters and son-in-law, Susan and Mark Hopping, and Julie Wichert; two grandchildren; siblings and spouses, Jack and Lexie Wichert, Leo and Barb Wichert, Marilyn and Leo Selk, and Mo Phelps; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the church or Alzheimer’s Association. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WILLIAMS-Donald K., 87. Funeral Mass Jan. 25 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by children and spouses, Debra and Dan Stoney, Sherry and Chris Jensen, Randy and Jackie Williams, and Richard “Rick” Williams; former wife, Jean Williams; grandchildren; great-grandchildren. Memorials to one’s choice. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WOERMAN-Margaret Mary, 101. Funeral Mass Jan. 20 at St. Mary Church, West Point. Interment St. Michael Cemetery, West Point. Preceded in death by husband, Donald Woerman; parents, Herman and Mary (Schlecht) Reeson; siblings, George Reeson, Bill Reeson, Sally (Clete) Kaup, and Jane Anne Reeson. Survived by daughter, Judy (Vic) Bracht, West Point;  three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. Memorials to the family. STOKELY FUNERAL HOME ZIELINSKI-Cecile-Marie, M.D., 79. Funeral Mass Jan. 27 at St. John Church on Creighton University campus. Preceded in death by parents; siblings, Kathleen and Edward. Survived by sister, Sister Joanne Zielinski, D.W.; nephews; Dorothy Vosberg. Memorials to the church or Creighton University. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

Servant of Mary Sister Ann Moran, who spent 52 years teaching in Omaha Catholic schools, died Jan. 18 in Omaha. She was 75. A funeral Mass was held Jan. 22 at Our Lady of Sorrows Convent’s chapel with interment in the conSISTER vent cemetery. An Omaha ANN native, she entered MORAN the Servants of Mary in 1962, professing first vows in 1964 and final vows in 1969. Sister Ann earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the former Duchesne College in Omaha and a master’s degree in special education/reading from the Univer-

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Kobe Bryant relied on his Catholic faith to see him through tough personal times Catholic News Service

CALABASAS, Calif. – As the world mourned the loss of basketball great Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a tragic helicopter crash Jan. 26, many recalled how Bryant gave much credit to his Catholic faith for seeing him through the bad times and strengthening his marriage and family. A shooting guard, Bryant was drafted into the NBA at age 17 and played his entire 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. He retired at the end of the 2015-2016 season. News of Bryant’s death quickly prompted tributes on social media. On Twitter, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said “he was sad to hear the news” and offered prayers for him and his family. In Rome for his region’s “ad limina” visit with Pope Francis, Archbishop Gomez told Catholic News Service (CNS) Jan. 27 that Bryant “was a very good Catholic, a faithful Catholic” and recalled meeting the famed basketball player on several occasions. “I remember one time going to the Lakers’ practice, and I had a good conversation with him,” Archbishop Gomez told CNS. “We are praying for the eternal repose of his soul, his daughter who also died and for the family. It must be a very challenging time for his family. So, let’s pray for him and pray for his family.” Born in Philadelphia Aug. 23, 1978, Bryant was raised a Catholic and as a youth lived for a while in Italy. He and his wife, Vanessa, married at St. Edward Catholic Church in Dana Point, California, and raised their children Catholic. Bryant is survived by his wife and three other

Sister Ann Moran taught in Omaha Catholic schools Catholic Voice

FEBRUARY 7, 2020

sity of Nebraska at Omaha. She began her teaching career at then-St. Pius X School in Omaha from 1965 to 1967. The next school year, she taught at St. Juliana School in Detroit. In 1968 she returned to Omaha to teach at St. James School, where she served until 1974. She spent the next 10 years at St. Pius/St. Leo School, then finished her career teaching at St. Wenceslaus School from 1985 to 2018. She retired in January 2019. Sister Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Rosella and James Moran, and a brother, Michael Moran, M.D. She is survived by siblings and spouses, Mary and Irvin Wheeldon; John and Mary Moran, Seattle; Thomas Moran, Kansas City, Missouri; and Rick Moran; and a sister-in-law, Diane Moran.


Retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine people killed Jan. 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. The two Catholics are pictured during a recent game in Las Vegas. daughters. Gianna, also known as “GiGi,” was the couple’s second oldest daughter. One of the darkest periods in his personal life happened in 2003 when he was accused of raping a young woman while he was staying at a mountain resort hotel in Colorado; he was in the state for knee surgery and was staying near Vail in Eagle, Colorado. He was arrested on a rape charge. He denied he had raped her but admitted that the two had consensual sex. The charges were eventually dropped. In 2004, his accuser filed a civil suit against him and in 2005 Bryant settled with her out of court for an undisclosed sum. His marriage almost ended over it. In a GQ interview in 2015, he said he relied on his Catholic faith to get him through – and talking to a priest was “the turning point.” “The one thing that really helped me during that process – I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic – was talking

to a priest. It was actually kind of funny: He looks at me and says, ‘Did you do it?’ And I say, ‘Of course not.’ Then he asks, ‘Do you have a good lawyer?’ And I’m like, ‘Uh, yeah, he’s phenomenal.’ So then he just said, ‘Let it go. Move on. God’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle, and it’s in his hands now. This is something you can’t control. So let it go.’ And that was the turning point.” Law enforcement officials identified the other passengers on the helicopter, who also perished: the pilot, Ara Zobayan; John Altobelli, head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, California, where Gianna Kobe attended school; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, who was of middle school age. USA Today reported the group was traveling in Bryant’s private helicopter to the Mamba Sports

Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for a girls basketball game. Bryant was expected to coach and Gianna was expected to play. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time; law enforcement officials said there were foggy conditions in the hills overlooking Calabasas, which is in Los Angeles County. Among tributes to Bryant flooding the internet was a remembrance by Instagram user Cristina Ballestero, who described seeing Bryant at a weekday Mass at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, California. She recalled looking up to see the basketball star sitting in her pew, but she managed to “stay focused on Jesus, not this insanely talented basketball player my whole family has looked up to and watched our whole lives.” “As we went up to Communion, he waited for me to go,” she recalled, adding that he complimented her on having a “beautiful voice” in singing the Mass hymns. “His most inspiring trait was his decision to turn to his faith in God and receive God’s mercy and to be a better man after a regretful decision,” Ballestero wrote, referring to the GQ article. “I am heartbroken at the news of his death alongside his daughter Gianna. My prayers go out to his family, friends and loved ones.” She also noted all the good works Kobe and his wife have done through their foundation and several other charities they are involved in and donate money to. A tweet from Tommy Tighe at @theghissilent remembered seeing Bryant and his family at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church during Mass “and it’s something I’ve never forgotten.” “May the crucified Christ and His sorrowful mother be with Kobe’s wife, daughters, and family,” Tighe tweeted.

SPEND A DAY AT MARIAN See what it’s like to be a Marian girl we’ll match you with a current student. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Director of Admissions Molly Adams Woodman at 402.571.2618 ext. 1161 or mwoodman@omahamarian.org.


Please pray for our priests



18 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020 SCHOOLS St. Philip Neri – Kindergarten/Allday Preschool Registration: Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m. at 8202 N. 31st St., Omaha. Limited seats in fall classes. New families welcome. Contact 402-315-3500 or spndev@spnschoolomaha.org for more information.

EVENTS Embrace Grace: Mondays through 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 bcostello31@ icloud.com.

CATHOLIC COMMUNITY CALENDAR Your guide to activities & events around the archdiocese 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

Music in Catholic Schools Benefit Dance: Feb. 7, 7:30-10:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Center, 5419 N. 114th St., Omaha. Free swing dance instruction from 6:15-7:15 p.m. Silent auction and bake sale. Tickets $15, students and seniors $10. Call 402-557-5600 for more information.

Young Catholic Professionals – Holy Hour: Sundays through Feb. 23, 7-8 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 654 S. 86th St., Omaha, 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.

Omaha Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (OACCW) – Executive and Council Meetings: Feb. 11 at St. Edward Parish Hall, 805 Washington St., St. Edward. Registration for executive meeting, 9 a.m.; executive meeting, 9:30 a.m.; Mass, 11 a.m. followed by lunch and council meeting. Contact Deanna Reardon at 402-678-2567 with questions.

Blood Drive: Feb. 29, 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc school cafeteria, 7430 Hascall St., Omaha. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to RedCrossBlood.org and enter “StJoanofArc” to schedule an appointment.

His Global Love Prayer Community Healing Mass: Feb. 12, 7-8:30 p.m. at St. Bernard Parish, 3601 N. 65th St. Mass with Father Kevin Joyce. All are welcome. Contact Marie Peri at 402-451-1974 for more information. LIFE Runners Banquet – “All In Christ for Pro-Life”: Feb. 20 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Center, 5419 N. 114th St., Omaha. VIP reception at 5:30 p.m.; cash bar and silent auction, 6 p.m.; dinner and speaker, 7 p.m. Featured speaker is Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, USCCB Pro-Life Committee chairman. Tickets $50 (half tax-deductible). Tickets and sponsorship information at www. liferunners.org/banquet. 45th Annual Melodrama and Musical Variety Show: Feb. 21, 22, 23 and Feb. 27, 28, 29 at Sokol Auditorium, 13th and Martha streets, Omaha. All performances at 7:30 p.m. except Sunday’s at 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by St. James and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes. Includes refreshments. Cost $23. Round trip bus ride from St. James Church, 9025 Larimore Ave. an additional $10. For tickets and more information contact Lil Chatfield at 402493-3326 or www.sjseamelodramaolio.org.

Hooley – An Irish Celebration for the Whole Family: March 1, noon to 6 p.m. at Omaha Firefighters Hall, 6005 Grover St., Omaha. Join the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians for food, friends, fun and entertainment. Cost $10 Adults, $5 Kids, $30 Family. Go to www.laohomaha.com for more information. Couple to Couple League – Natural Family Planning: The series of three virtual, online classes begins March 1 with subsequent classes on April 5 and May 3, 7-9 p.m. Teaching couple is Craig and Amy Dyke. Go to www.ccli.org for more information and to register. Women’s Lenten Reflection Morning – “Walking the Via Dolorosa with Mother Mary”: March 7, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish Center, 508 W. Angus St., Gretna. Join noted Ignatian retreat speaker and award-winning author Liz Kelly for this free event. Continental breakfast, 8:30 a.m. No registration required. Call Kathleen Krantz at 402-850-4610 for more information. Magnificat-Omaha Brunch: March 7, 9:30 a.m. at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish’s Mainelli Center, 11802 Pacific St., Omaha. All area women are invited to brunch featuring speaker Teresa Tomeo, bestselling author and host of “The Catholic View for Women” on EWTN. Go to www. MagnificatOmaha.org to register. Call Karen Dwyer at 402-616-7328 or 402-333-7704 for more information. Caregivers’ Solution Group: Second Tuesday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church, St. Vincent Room, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha. Call Nancy Flaherty at 402-312-9324 or Nicole Florez at 402-496-7988, ext. 221.

FAX » 402-558-6614 EMAIL » tcvomaha@archomaha.org Notices cannot be taken by phone. DEADLINES » Deadline for the Feb. 21 issue is noon Tuesday, Feb 11. 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.

Pater Noster Fraternity – Secular Franciscans: Secular men, women, married, single, diocesan priests. Formation classes third Sunday of every month, 11:30 a.m., potluck 1 p.m. and Fraternity gathering, all at St. Stephen the Martyr Parish’s Gonderinger Center, 16701 S St., Omaha. Contact Luis at 402-594-0710 or lalvarez62@yahoo.com or Kent at 402-339-6826 or kkriesberg@ gmail.com. St. Clare Secular Franciscan Fraternity: Third Sunday of the month, 1 p.m. at Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 22625 Edgewater Road, Omaha. Call Ann or Larry at 402-493-6730. Pro Sanctity Adoration: Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pro Sanctity Center, 11002 N. 204th St., near Elkhorn. 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. 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 are welcome. Call Rose at 402-896-4693 or Elaine at 402-378-6252. 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. LaSalle Club – Single Catholic archdiocesan young adult group. For more information, see faceboook.com/ lasalleo, lasalleomaha.webs.com or email lasalleo@aol.com. Be Not Afraid Family Hour: Sundays, 6-7 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 654 S. 86th St., Omaha. • Feb. 9: Healing from the Loss of a Child • Feb. 16: The Church, Defender of Life

Flowers for All Occasions 509 W. Mission – 402-291-2889

• Feb. 23: The Church, Life and Government • March 1: Supporting Life • March 8: Our Mission is Mercy • March 15: Trust in God

PARISHES 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. For more information, call 402-346-3584. St. Bernadette Parish Mission – “The Kingdom of God is at Hand”: March 1-3, 7 p.m. nightly in the church at 7600 S. 42nd St., Bellevue. Father Scott Hastings, judicial vicar and vicar for clergy for the Archdiocese of Omaha will be the presenter. Babysitting provided. Contact Juan Jesus at 402-731-4694 or juanj@stbernadetteparish.org for more information. St. Charles Borromeo Annual Women’s Retreat – “Growing in Christ”: Feb. 15, 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 7790 S. 192nd St., Gretna. Speaker is Deacon James Keating. Cost $20, includes lunch. Register and pay online at www. stcharlesomaha.org by Feb. 10. Call 402380-3405 for more information. St. Wenceslaus – Parish Fun Fest: Feb. 23 at the city auditorium, 238 Park St., Dodge. Roast beef and dumpling dinner served 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities include children’s games, snack bar, silent auction and raffles. Auction at 1:30 p.m. Cost $10 adults, $5 children 10 and under. Call Nancy Dvorak at 402380-0291 or go to www.stwenc.org for more information. St. Joan of Arc – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Perpetual Adoration: at 74th and Grover, Omaha. Open 24 hours. St. Joan of Arc – Well-Read Mom Small Group: Second Sunday of each month, 2 p.m. at 74th and Grover streets, Omaha. Includes great books, spiritual classics, worthy reads, poetry and selected essays from the Catholic and Western traditions. $39.95 annual membership includes materials. Call 402740-0004 for more information. St. Peter – Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2706 Leavenworth St., Omaha. Use west wheelchair door. St. Philip Neri/Blessed Sacrament – Mardi Gras: Feb. 22, 6 p.m. at St. Philip Neri School activity center, 8202 N. 31st St., Omaha. Social hour, dinner, dancing, silent auction, raffle and live auction. Tickets available at the parish and school offices. Cost $50 ($25 tax deductible).

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. St. Rose of Lima – “Champions of Faith” Unity Supper and Auction: Feb. 8 at the parish hall, Crofton. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. for silent auction bidding; 5 p.m. Mass; 6:30 p.m. supper; 7 p.m. grand auction. Door prizes, games and raffles. Cost $30/person in advance, $35 at the door. Tickets available at St. Rose School, parish office, 402-3884814, Crofton Farm Supply, Farmers and Merchant State Bank or Uptown Style. St. Stanislaus – Eucharistic Adoration: Saturdays, 4-5 p.m. before evening Mass at 4002 J St., Omaha. St. Vincent de Paul – Hour of Adoration: Third Sunday of each month, 3 p.m. at 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha. Call Kathy at 402-496-7988 or Mary at 402-496-0075. St. Wenceslaus Parish Mission – “Living and Loving Lent”: March 1 and 2, 7-8:30 p.m. at 15353 Pacific St., Omaha. Mike Patin, well-known speaker, “faith horticulturist” and author, will inspire your Lenten journey and fire up your relationships with God, family and community. All ages welcome. Free will offerings accepted. Call Christine at 402991-3425 for more information.

SPIRITUALITY CENTERS Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha. To register, call 402-951-3026, email scc@osms.org or visit osms.org. • St. Peregrine Liturgy: Feb. 15, 11 a.m. in the chapel. For those and their loved ones dealing with cancer or other lifethreatening illnesses. No cost. St. Benedict Center, three miles north of Schuyler. Call 402-352-8819, email retreats@stbenedictcenter.com or register online at stbenedictcenter.com. • Discover the Joy of Forgiveness: Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. to Feb 15, 4 p.m. Identify and process the stages of forgiveness and healing. $118.03 (Single), $110.43 (Double). • Valentine’s Day Dinner: Feb. 16, 5-8 p.m. Married couples are invited for Mass and a four-course dinner. $65 per couple. • Silent Retreat – A Taste of Contemplative Prayer: Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. to Feb. 23, 1 p.m. Fr. Thomas Leitner, OSB, guides beginners in the practice of opening one’s mind and heart to God through contemplative prayer. $216.56 (Single), $201.36 (Double). • Ignatian Silent Retreat – Listening in the Gardens: Feb. 27, 6 p.m. to March 1, 1 p.m. Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ, guides retreatants through the three gardens of redemptive history. $315.59 (Single), $292.79 (Double). • Astronomy and Seeking God: March 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Science is not the opposite of faith. Fr. Christoph Gerhard details connecting points between the universe and its physics and God the Creator. $46.02 per person. • Silent Directed Retreat: March 8, 6 p.m. to March 13, 1 p.m. Margie M. Walker and Marisa B. Gilbert guide these five days of Lenten quiet and reflection. Spiritual direction provided. $532.65 (Single).

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FEBRUARY 7, 2020

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News from around the archdiocese SCHOOLS

Father Bauwens honored by education association Father Thomas Bauwens, pastor of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, was selected to receive the 2020 Lead, Learn, Proclaim award from the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) in recognition of his leadership and contributions to Catholic education. “Father Bauwens is a true champion of Catholic education,” said Michael Ashton, superintendent of Catholic Schools. “He knows what it takes to shepherd and integrate a vibrant parish and school community.” Having been associated with several schools during his 33 years of priesthood, Father Bauwens has led St. Wenceslaus parish and school since 2011. With 877 students, the school is the largest elementary school in the Omaha archdiocese. “It is an honor and privilege to be a part of a faculty and staff that helps shape and mold future leaders of the church, community and our nation in the spirit of Jesus,” he said. “To receive this award is humbling, knowing many others have given their time, talent and treasure to make Catholic education in northeast Nebraska not only possible, but a reality.” He will receive the award at NCEA’s annual convention in Baltimore in April.

Pope John XXIII students raise $13,870 for school Students at Pope John XXIII Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Elgin recently

practiced their best sales skills to support their school as part of the annual Committee for Continuation of Pope John fund drive. Selling certificates to several area grocery stores to support their school, they raised $13,870 for the school’s operating budget. Purchasers of the certificates paid $105 for every $100 certificate, with $5 each going to the school. Top sales person was seventh-grader Kaitey Schumacher and the top-selling family included seventh-grader Natalie and junior Alyssa Burenheide. Between the three, they sold $21,000 in certificates. Participating area grocers were Dean’s Market, Clearwater Market, Ewing Family Foods, Rae Valley Market and Thriftway Market. Other donors and patrons also contributed to the fund drive.


Rwandan genocide survivor to lead retreat A woman who survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994 will lead a retreat April 3-4 at Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington. Immaculée Ilibagiza, author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Genocide,” hid for 91 days with seven other women in a small bathroom as members of the Hutu tribe slaughtered 800,000 of her fellow Tutsi tribe members. Despite the murder of her family, she was able, through prayer and the power of faith, to turn from anger and resentment to forgive the perpatrators. Tickets are on sale now at the church for $57 per person or $76 for two people. The retreat, on Palm Sunday weekend, runs from 5-9 p.m. April 3 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 4. Contact Susan Kathol at 402-


Time capsule

Members of the 2000 class of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Omaha, including from left, Meg (Latka) Peters, Matt Neneman and Ashley (Schramm) Suponchick, returned to the school Jan. 31 – the last school day of Catholic Schools Week – to take a trip down memory lane. With Father John Pietramale, pastor, at their side, they opened a “time capsule” they put together 20 years earlier and reviewed the contents before an all-school assembly. Items included Beanie Babies, Pokeman cards, stuffed animals, school papers, personal profiles they had filled out and letters they had written to their future selves. “Looking back on some of this stuff from 20 years ago was pretty funny,” said alum Kelly (Conley) Novotny. 841-2079 or skahtol@hartel.net, or Jan Arens at 402-841-7292 or jan.arens@restorixhealth.com for tickets or more information.


Polish Heritage Society essay contest underway Students of Polish descent graduating this spring from Omaha-area grade schools and planning to attend a Catholic high school have an opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship in the annual Pope Saint John Paul II scholarship essay contest. Sponsored by the Polish Heritage Society, the contest invites students to write about how their Polish heritage and Catholic faith have helped form them. For more details, contest rules and application forms, parents should contact polishheritagesocietyne@gmail.com, with the word “scholarship” in the subject line. The scholarships are supported by donors, as well as proceeds from the society’s annual

“Bigos and Beer” fundraiser, which raised more than $3,000 last November.

KC ultrasounds change women’s minds More than 84% of abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable women who viewed an ultrasound image of their babies through ultrasound machines provided by the Nebraska Knights of Columbus were convinced to choose life. Through its Culture of Life Foundation, the Nebraska Knights have purchased and

placed 10 ultrasound machines in qualifying women’s resource centers throughout Nebraska since 2009. In 2018, eight of those centers reported that, of the 2,558 women given an ultrasound, 2,157 chose not to abort. The Knights “Ultrasound Initiative” is funded mainly through the One Rose-One Life campaign conducted in parishes throughout the archdiocese on or near the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and matching funds from the Supreme Council. Nationally, the effort has placed more than 1,000 ultrasound machines since 2009.

St. Patrick Elkhorn Fish Fry Fridays, February 28 – April 3rd • 5 – 8 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Church - Aspen Lane Activity Center, 20500 W. Maple Rd, Elkhorn

• Fried Fish • Baked Fish • Fried Shrimp Appetizers • French Fries • Mac & Cheese • Desserts • Sam & Louis Cheese Pizza • Bread • Green Beans • Coleslaw • Meat Wheel • Drive-Thru Available • Craft Beer • Entertainment for the Kids

Friends and Family Sales Event Deepest discount of the season on windows, garage doors, siding, sunrooms and every entry door, storm and patio door.

‘Wax Museum of the Saints’


Fourth- through sixth-graders at St. Anthony School in Columbus created a “Wax Museum of the Saints” Jan. 26 to kick off Catholic Schools Week. Each student portrayed a saint they had researched and shared facts and interesting stories about them with visitors during an open house. Pictured are, from left, Tyson Cielocha (St. Ambrose), Grace Brehm-Schmid (St. Cecilia), Brooke Krienke (St. Lucy), Michael Klaassen (St. Patrick), and Parker Boesch (St. John of the Cross).

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20 « FEBRUARY 7, 2020

Parishes’ School of Mission brings people to Christ By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

Father Owen Korte sees new signs of hope at the two parishes where he is pastor, Holy Trinity in Hartington and St. Michael in Coleridge. Fallen away Catholics are coming back to the church. The parishes are becoming more welcoming, positive and focused on what’s most important: “the sacraments, worship, Jesus and Mary.” It’s all part of a new cycle of evangelization at the parishes. Parishioners step forward to be formed as disciples, getting to know Jesus more deeply, praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance, and forming new disciples in small intimate gatherings. That formation process then repeats – and multiplies – as the new disciples get to know Jesus better through the small faith-sharing groups, pray and lead others to him by creating new small groups. That cycle is what Archbishop George J. Lucas has been calling for in the archdiocese’s pastoral vision of “One church: encountering Jesus, equipping disciples, living mercy.” At the two parishes, that cycle is called “School of Mission.” The archbishop visited the parishes last fall, talked to participants and saw what the groups were doing. “It was a beautiful song in my ear as I drove back to Omaha,” he said. Father Korte said he, too, is impressed with the formation – provided by Calvin Mueller, coordinator of rural parish evangelization for the archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization and Catechesis – and its results. “There’s an excitement on my part to keep it going,” Father Korte said. The faith isn’t meant


A group of women meet at Cedar Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Hartington on a recent Wednesday evening to study the Book of Ruth. Leading them are Audrey Freeman, second from left, and Lori Christensen, wearing white. That faith-sharing group is one of several developed under School of Mission at Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington and St. Michael Parish in Coleridge. to be maintained, but built, he said. And parishioners are out doing that. Participants are reaching out to people they know, including those going through rough times or who have fallen away from the church, evangelizing “slowly and deliberately,” he said, “a little at a time, very naturally.” People don’t stay in one particular small group for long, because they are then encouraged to reach out and form more groups, drawing others more deeply into a relationship with Christ. The evangelization initiative started about a year ago with about 35 people participating in the training Mueller offered. Those leaders were encouraged to form small groups that would gather to learn, pray and share. They created about 18 groups, drawing in a

total of about 100 people. The group leaders get together in “Upper Room” meetings, where they discern and plan what’s next on their mission, inspired by each others’ experiences. The small groups they’ve formed have been diverse, including those for couples, men, women, young mothers, fathers and sons, and parents who have suffered the death of a child. One was designed with a farmer’s schedule in mind, which would meet between the busy harvest and planting seasons. “The variety is out there,” Father Korte said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all.” The disciples pray to the Holy Spirit about what type of group to form, whom to invite and how to invite them. Group sizes have ranged from 3 to 10 people.

Lorraine Pinkelman, a group leader, said she might have a certain person in mind to invite, but as she’s praying, she might sense that “God is steering me to someone else.” Pinkelman has helped lead the group that is mostly farmers, but she’s considering forming a group for people who have suffered through the death of a spouse, like her. She is also part of a group of five women who are studying several Old Testament heroines. Some teachers who went through the training formed a group for women, who range in age from 20 to 50-something. They’re participating in a Wednesday evening Bible study on the Book of Ruth. The women pray in interces-


sion for the people in their lives, said Lori Christensen, one of the group leaders and a theology teacher for freshmen and juniors at Cedar Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Hartington. Women often feel so busy, Christensen said, and think “Oh, no. Another thing. Do I want to do another thing?” But her small group uses its time wisely and uses good resources, she said. “I never felt like I was wasting my time.” It was good for the teachers to reach out to women from other walks of life, Christensen said. “We’ve developed relationships that never would have happened with the Bible study.” Christensen said she occasionally takes what she learns to her students, including a method of Lectio Divina, a way of reading and praying with Scripture. For Lent, Father Korte has asked his parishioners, including the small groups, to read, pray and have discussions based on the book “Called: Becoming an Everyday Disciple in a Post-Christian World – A FiveWeek Guide” by Kevin Cotter. The book uses examples from Scripture and saints on sharing the faith. Pinkelman said she and many others at Holy Trinity had been waiting for something like School of Mission. “I had been looking for more of a role in the church, something to get me back in and involved,” she said. Pinkelman said she would encourage others to go through the archdiocesan training or become a member of one of the small groups. “God has guided people in many directions,” she said. “It’s been quite a ride.”



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Catholic Voice - Feb. 7, 2020  

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