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OUT IN FRONT Archbishop Lucas talks about cultivating leadership in the Catholic Church after the Global Leadership Summit. PAGE 2


BATTLE FOR LIFE Greg Schleppenbach discusses crucial prolife initiatives he is tackling in his new job with the USCCB. PAGE 8

LIFE Runners kneel for prayer outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Overland Park, Kansas, before finishing the A-Cross America Relay Aug. 11. The 5,359-mile relay kicked off July 4 at four starting points – New York City, San Antonio, San Francisco and Grand Forks, North Dakota – and culminated in Overland Park with about 50 LIFE Runners representing the four arms of the relay coming together to walk across the finish line. Read more about the national event of the Omaha-based group on PAGE 4.

New school year a time for spiritual growth Catholic Voice

From a kindergartner’s trepidation about the first day on their own in a new environment to a college freshman’s mix of anxiety and anticipation as they move into their dorm room, back-to-school season is an exciting time. It’s also an opportunity to consider how Catholic schools in the archdiocese are helping children and their families grow, and the opportunities college students are afforded to develop not only academically, but morally and spiritually. Each year in its early-September issue the Catholic Voice explores these topics in its Back to School and College Guide sections. This issue, for example, reports on an exciting initiative at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School where students


The Archbishop News

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are meeting once a week for an hour in small groups to learn, share, discuss and grow in their faith as they strive to become disciples of Jesus. From studying the saints to exploring new forms of prayer or cracking open the Bible, participating students often find that hour to be the best part of their week. See PAGE 5. Another story highlights how members of the Rodriquez and Baxter families’ lives were changed forever through young Nico Rodriquez’s attendance at St. Bernadette School in Bellevue. Through his eager embrace and sharing of what he learned in religion class each day, he evangelized his parents, sister, maternal grandparents and uncle. Along with Nico, they all have now joined the Catholic Church. Their story is

Back to School College Guide

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on PAGE 6. At Holy Name School in Omaha, students welcomed back music teacher Michele Michaelis following her almost year-long battle with ovarian cancer. Read on PAGE 7 how the prayers and support of her students and others helped her meet her challenges, and the joy, enthusiasm and love of music she’s been sharing with her students upon her return to work. In our annual College Guide section, you’ll read about some of the many young people from the archdiocese who have become Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) missionaries and how their own faith journeys prompted them to share their faith with other young people. These missionaries serve on

Spiritual Life Calendar

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both Catholic and non-Catholic college and university campuses to help students grow in relationship with Jesus through divine intimacy, authentic friendship and a commitment to spiritual multiplication. PAGE 10. A story on PAGE 12 highlights the factors that can cause Catholic students to abandon their faith during college, and recommendations for ensuring that doesn’t happen – chief among these, the need to find a supportive community for one’s faith. Prominent among these communities are Newman Centers, which are residences and Catholic ministry centers at non-Catholic universities, such as those at Wayne State College in Wayne and the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha.

Resurrection Joy 17 Classifieds 19

Commentary Local Briefing

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Global Leadership Summit equips leaders to realize pastoral vision Early in August, I joined over 300 clergy and lay leaders from around the archdiocese to participate in The Global Leadership Summit (GLS). While we were gathered in Omaha, we joined well over 100,000 people at dozens of sites across the country for a two-day program of simulcast presentations on leadership. We listened together to excellent talks by leaders in the fields of business, education, not-for-profit, religion and other areas of our culture. We had time to reflect with our local parish or diocesan groups about what we were hearing and how it might apply to Catholic life here. I am grateful to Father Jeff Lorig and members of our pastoral services team for coordinating this positive and inspirational experience for us locally. As you know, about three years ago we articulated a pastoral vision for the Archdiocese of Omaha – One church: encountering Jesus, equipping disciples, living mercy. We have begun to direct significant amounts of time and resources to the greater realization of this vision of ourselves as a local church, in line with the particular priorities and goals that have been established. For example, after several years of planning, much hard work and the support of generous donors, thousands of us participated in ArchOmaha Unite on the vigil of Pentecost. This event was designed to foster one of our main pastoral goals: to create a culture of unity in our archdiocese. We gathered as disciples of the Lord, across generations, geography and cultures to celebrate our unity in Jesus Christ. We asked the Holy Spirit to equip us to move together into the future. In some of our parishes, groups who participated in Unite have been meeting to discern what this experience can mean for their parish. In October I’ll gather a representative group from across the archdiocese to reflect on ArchOmaha Unite and to ask what it is providing for the realization of our pastoral vision.

The Shepherd’s Voice ARCHBISHOP GEORGE J. LUCAS In a similar way, the recent Global Leadership Summit has given us new energy to move ahead together. Our primary objective for hosting the GLS has been to equip a community of disciples to lead a change in culture toward the pastoral vision and priorities. We have come to see that leadership is one of the key factors in the realization of our pastoral vision. Having a vision of where we want to go implies that we are not wandering aimlessly, nor are we refusing to budge from a place that is comfortable. So that we keep moving in the direction of the vision, we need leaders who are equipped to take us there. The concept of leadership is not foreign to us Christians. Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with good and bad examples of leadership that had an impact on the story of salvation. We could say that Jesus’ three years with the apostles – with even more attention given to Peter, James and John – was an example of leadership development. The public ministry of Jesus was limited to just several years. Only a few witnessed his death or saw him after the resurrection. However, his mission to reconcile humanity to God extends around the world and down through the ages. So that more people all the time could be invited to make a free response to God’s love in Jesus Christ, it was necessary for him to equip others to carry out his mission. As disciples of Jesus, we understand that leadership in carrying out the mission of Jesus is not something that only people in positions of authority have to worry about. Simply put, leadership is influence, and every one of us has influence. As Christians we need to be

good stewards of our influence, using it to further the mission of Jesus Christ. This is the responsibility and privilege that Jesus gives to everyone whom he calls, to use our influence to lead others to the Kingdom of God. The Global Leadership Summit provided great tools for pastors who have particular roles of leadership in our parishes. But I was happy to see that pastors were accompanied by parishioners who were able to grow in awareness and empowerment in their vocation as members of the laity. As the Second Vatican Council has taught, the lay faithful are to be “led by the spirit of the gospel … to work for the sanctification of the world from within, as a leaven.” (“Lumen Gentium,” no. 31) Really, this is what we mean when we say that an essential aspect of our vision for the future is “equipping disciples.” Each one of us who is called by Jesus is asked by him to be a person of influence. Formed by the Gospel, we are expected to take the lead in influencing our families, our friends, our schools, the places where we work and the community at large. We must do this humbly, as Jesus himself has done, but we must do it surely. Unfortunately, we Catholics have not always learned that living our faith is not a private matter. Jesus sends us out daily and asks us to have an influence on others. This is an important opportunity that our vision for the future presents, to grow in our ability and our desire to be sent out on mission. Be alert for how to take advantage of this opportunity in your life and in your community. We will be working to identify leaders in parishes and schools with whom our diocesan staff can work to move our pastoral vision forward in those contexts. We will work with pastors to encourage growth in their skills and capacity for leadership among missionary disciples. Always we will be looking to activate and equip lay leaders in families, in the workplace and in the community to be heralds of the Gospel, to lead others to Jesus Christ.

OFFICIAL SCHEDULE Archbishop George J. Lucas’ scheduled activities:

SEPT. 7 » Seeking Truth 10th Anniversary Conference – La Vista Conference Center SEPT. 7-8 » Parish visit – St. Francis Borgia Parish, Blair SEPT. 9

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Priorities and Plans Committee meeting – Washington, D.C.

SEPT. 10-11 » U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee meetings – Washington, D.C. SEPT. 12 » Archbishop’s Dinner for Education – Embassy Suites, La Vista SEPT. 14 » Pro-life Vigil for Life Mass and procession – St. Mary Church, Bellevue SEPT. 15 » 100th Anniversary Mass and celebration – St. Stanislaus Church, Omaha » Celebration of Marriage Anniversaries Mass – St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha SEPT. 16 » Omaha Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention Mass – St. Rose of Lima Church, Crofton » Review Board meeting – Chancery, Omaha SEPT. 17 » Dedication of Haddix Academic Center and Chapel Marian High School, Omaha » Father Flanagan League benefactors gathering – St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha SEPT. 18 » Leadership Team meeting – Chancery, Omaha » Omaha Archdiocesan Educational Foundation meeting – Chancery, Omaha SEPT. 19 » Mass, 60th Anniversary of St. Gerald School – St. Gerald Lakeview Church, Ralston


At top, attendees of the Global Leadership Summit 2019 listen as Paula Faris, senior national correspondent for ABC News, interviews Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator and CEO and founder of The Black Swan Group, Aug. 9 at the Willow Creek main campus and broadcast center in South Barrington, Illinois. At left is a close-up of the two. The Archdiocese of Omaha hosted a local telecast site of the twoday summit at Creighton University, where about 300 people attended.

SEPT. 20 » Nebraska Catholic Conference Bishops’ Pro-life Banquet – Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln

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

SEPT. 7-17 » European travel

| NEWS |

Father Conley was pastor and teacher Catholic Voice

Father Martin Conley, a retired priest of the archdiocese whose 62 years of priesthood included 45 years of service to both rural and urban parishes and schools, died Aug. 6. He was 87. A funeral Mass was held Aug. 12 at St. Cecilia Cathedral with interment at Calvary Cemetery, FATHER both in Omaha. MARTIN Born in Omaha CONLEY in 1931, Father Conley was ordained in 1957 by the late Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. He attended St. Lawrence Seminary in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, and Saint Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master’s degree in divinity from Omaha’s Creighton University in 1975. “Father Conley was good with people,” said Msgr. William Whelan, homilist at his funeral Mass. “He loved music and he was very dedicated to the church.” He was capable of administering large parishes and was a good preacher, Msgr. Whelen said. Father Conley first served in Omaha as associate pastor at St. Cecilia Parish from 1957 to 1963 and St. Bernard Parish from 1963 to 1965.

He became a pastor in 1965, serving at St. Peter Parish in Newcastle until 1972. He then became pastor of St. Patrick Parish in O’Neill, and the former Church of the Epiphany in Emmet and St. Joseph in Amelia, both missions of O’Neill, from 1972 to 1977. He was pastor of Sacred Heart in Norfolk from 1977 to 1983. Returning to Omaha, he served as pastor at St. Cecilia from 1983 to 1986 and Holy Ghost Parish from 1986 to 1992. He then served 10 years as pastor at St. Patrick in Tekamah and Holy Family in Decatur until his retirement in 2002. Father Conley also taught at elementary schools and high schools at several parishes where he served, and was a member of the boards of the archdiocese’s Catholic schools and diaconate program, and the priests’ senate. He was honored with a City of Omaha Award of Merit in 1962 and the Girls and Boys Town Distinguished Service Award in 2002. Father Conley was preceded in death by parents, Martin and Rose Anne Burke Conley; sisters and brother-in-law, Mary and George Arens, Rose Ann Conley, and Margaret Grace Conley. He is survived by nieces and nephews; one grandniece; four grandnephews; retired priests, staff and other residents at St. John Vianney Residence; caregiver Paul Kini and staff; friend, Larry Dwyer; parishioners; other friends.

ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA Archbishop George J. Lucas 100 N. 62nd St., Omaha, NE 68132 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


CATHOLIC VOICE Volume 117, Number 3



DAN ROSSINI Editor / general manager

THE CATHOLIC VOICE P.O. Box 4010 Omaha, NE 68104-0010


MIKE MAY Assistant editor SUSAN SZALEWSKI Feature Writer JOHN DONAHUE Advertising representative GRANT RAMM ENTERPRISE MEDIA GROUP MAGNIFY MEDIA Graphic design LINDA STEHNO Business / circulation specialist

Copyright 2019 - All Rights Reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

EMAIL PHONE 402-558-6611 FAX 402-558-6614 WEBSITE 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, Mercy Hall, 3300 N. 60th St., Omaha, NE 68104. Periodical postage is paid at Omaha, NE 68108. Subscription price: $25 per year outside the Archdiocese of Omaha and $18 per year within the archdiocese. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Catholic Voice, P.O. Box 4010, Omaha, NE 68104-0010.


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Pew survey shows majority of Catholics don’t believe in Real Presence By MARK PATTINSON Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – A new study about the level of Catholic belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist showed that a majority of Catholics do not believe that the bread and wine used at Mass become the body and blood of Christ. The report drew a strong rebuke from Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles, who posted Aug. 6 on Twitter: “It’s hard to describe how angry I feel after reading what the latest @pewresearch study reveals about understanding of the Eucharist among Catholics. This should be a wake-up call to all of us in the Church.” In a video that accompanied the post, Bishop Barron’s anger is not directed at Pew, but inward. “I’m blaming myself, bishops, priests and anybody” responsible for transmitting the faith, he said. “We’re all guilty.” He added, “It’s been a massive failure of the church carrying on its own tradition.” The Pew study, issued Aug. 5, showed that 69% of all self-identified Catholics said they believed the bread and wine used at Mass are not Jesus, but instead “symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” The other 31% believed in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, known as transubstantiation. “Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs,” said Gregory A. Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center in Washington. “Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. “Still, one in five Catholics – 22% – reject the idea of tran-


In this 2014 file photo, Pope Francis elevates the Eucharist as he celebrates Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. substantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching,” Smith said. The numbers who believe in transubstantiation are higher among Catholics who go to Mass at least once a week, but are hardly overwhelming. About five of every eight churchgoing Catholics believe in the church’s teaching of transubstantiation. Split among the 37% who don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ are 23% who don’t know what the church’s teaching is, and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it, Smith said. According to Pew’s figures, a majority in all age groups believe the bread and wine used at Mass to be symbolic, and the majority grows larger as the age group grows younger. Catholics with a high school education or less are less likely to believe in transubstantiation, Hispanic Catholics believe in it less than whites, and women believe in it less than men. Bishop Barron sounded astounded by the findings. “Any

Catholic worth his or her salt knows this is a central teaching,” he said in the video. “It’s a basic tenet of Catholicism.” He said some are bound to react, “Oh, well, who cares? As long as they’re committed to the poor, or committed to social justice. Isn’t that important?” But Bishop Barron called that “a reduction of religion to morality, which is repugnant to Catholicism.” He cited a list of saints and holy people – among them Dorothy Day, St. Katharine Drexel, Jacques Maritain and St. Vincent de Paul – whom he said had “a profound understanding and love for the Eucharist, and said if someone asked them, “Isn’t the Eucharist a nice symbol of Jesus?”, “you’d have open rebellion.” “You take away the central teachings of our church at the doctrinal level, and trust me, you will take away our commitment to the poor,” Bishop Barron said. “It belongs together as a whole.” Editor’s Note: The full Pew study can be found online at https://pewrsr. ch/31sP7em.

Don’t miss this special event! Bishops’ Pro-Life Banquet & Conference

ABOUND in HOPE: The Next 50 Years

Celebrating 50 years of the Nebraska Catholic Conference

Featuring Keynote Speaker

Greg Schleppenbach Associate Director Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

VISIT NECATHOLIC.ORG TO REGISTER ONLINE! Nebraska Catholic Conference • 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 310, Lincoln, NE 68508 • 402.477.7517

| NEWS |

4 ÂŤ SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Invites you to celebrate the


100 birthday th

LIFE Runners pause to huddle and cheer near the finish line of the A-Cross America Relay Aug. 11 in Overland Park, Kansas.

of its late foundress Sister Mary Evangeline Randolph, RSM, with a Mass in her honor.

Nationwide run spreads pro-life message By JOE FOREMAN For the Catholic Voice

They run, they walk, they pray, they cheer. They embrace the gift of life. St. Pius X Catholic Church LIFE Runners, a global team of pro-life advocates with more Celebrant Archbishop George Lucas than 12,000 members, including 1,500 in the Omaha archdioHomilist Archbishop Emeritus Elden Curtiss cese, is conveying its message in a very public way. THE ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA Sharing the message “RememTHIS IS YOUR PROOF FOR AN UPCOMING ISSUE – PLEASE REPLYber the Unborn – Jer. 1-5â€? on their shirts, LIFE Runners recently Please proofread very carefully. Once you okay this proof, your job goes completed their seventh annual Get the latest calendar listings online | into production, and we are not responsible for any errors in typesetting A-Cross America Relay, estimated or layout. to be the geographically largest Please advise us of any errors, corrections or changes in the copy or pro-life event in the world. layout. It is your responsibility to do the ďŹ nal prooďŹ ng. – Advertising “Our efforts are all based on Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey and School the idea of trying to change hearts Please e-mail your approval or corrections to: and minds and understand there If you are unable to e-mail, please check one of the boxes below and fax to: 402-558-6614. are options out there. Life is preNO CHANGES MAY BE TAKEN OVER THE PHONE cious,â€? said LIFE Runner Matt O.K. to print a Date: / / To: a Pohren, a member of St. Cecilia (Signature) Parish in Omaha. NOT O.K. to print From: a The 5,359-mile relay kicked as indicated. off July 4 at four starting points – New York City, San Antonio, San Francisco and Grand Forks, North Dakota. It culminated Aug. 11 with approximately 50 LIFE Runners representing the four arms of the relay coming together to walk to the finish line in Overland Park, Kansas. Patrick Castle, LIFE Runners founder and a member of both St. Matthew Parish in Bellevue and St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, said participants at the finish line represented teammates from 38 countries and more than 100 chapters, many of whom took part in IONAL remote legs of the 39-day relay in INVITAT 11:00 A.M. Parade of Teams their local communities. & Opening Ceremonies “We had people gathered at Flag Football Invitational the finish line from Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Omaha, Sioux Falls and the Kansas-Missouri region,â€? Castle said. “One of our bishops came from San Diego – Bishop Joe Coffey, the N E W auxiliary bishop to the military This Year! archdiocese.â€? Castle pointed out that only about half of all LIFE Runners Two Miles North of West Maple Road on 216th Street are actually runners. Some are 0RXQW0LFKDHO5RDGv(ONKRUQ1HEUDVND  walkers and some contribute in other ways, such as serving as prowww.mountmichael.comv 402.253.0950 life sidewalk advocates, offering

September 25th • 5:30 p.m.





Our 64th Year!


SEPT. 15




Come Celebrate With Us!

vocal encouragement to participants along the route of a running event or simply wearing their LIFE Runners shirts at work or in a public setting. The organization’s relay and marathon events include pauses for prayer, fellowship and rally huddles at strategic locations along the routes where participants recite the LIFE Runners Creed, based on a quote from St. Mother Teresa and the word “peace� (Prayer, Endurance, Awareness, Charity, End Abortion). LIFE Runners also have a cheer – “All in Christ – for pro-life,� which they chant in unison at various times during their running events and public gatherings. VARIED REACTIONS Pohren said LIFE Runners encounter positive and negative reactions to their public witness. “I’ve gotten honks and people say, ‘I love your jersey’ or ‘I love your message,’� he said, “but I’ve also had some people say, ‘How dare you tell me what I can or cannot do with my body – you don’t know what I’m going through.’� LIFE Runner Bernadette Costello, a member of St. Gerald Parish in Ralston, was at the finish line in Overland Park and also took part in the Omaha leg of the relay on July 31, which included pauses for prayer near Planned Parenthood facilities and at the “Remember The Unborn Child� memorial outside St. Mary School in Bellevue, located across the street from a clinic where abortions are performed. “Life is precious and it’s special. This is a loving way to say that and promote that,� Costello said. In addition to participating in public events, LIFE Runners typically wear their shirts on the first Wednesday of each month, but Costello, who is employed at a pharmacy, wears hers more frequently. “I wear my LIFE Runner shirt at work all the time and give out bracelets (bearing the organization’s pro-life message),� she said. “I’ve never gotten any neg-

ative feedback. It’s a conversation starter and people often thank me for wearing it.� STUDENT INVOLVEMENT Several LIFE Runners in the Omaha archdiocese, including Costello, have started student chapters of the organization at their parishes and schools. Nicole Janssen is the leader of a chapter at Ss. Peter and Paul School in Omaha, where she teaches seventh- and eighth-grade math and science. A member of St. Peter Parish in Omaha, she has students in grades K-8 in her Ss. Peter and Paul chapter. “Every first Wednesday of the month, our students are allowed to wear their LIFE Runners shirts with their uniforms,� she said. “After school, we have about a 45-minute or hourlong meeting.� A typical meeting starts with prayer and the LIFE Runners Creed, along with a meditation that usually includes a monthly challenge for the students. After the meditation, they break into two groups (K-4 and 5-8) for an activity, such as playing basketball, soccer or kickball. “The activity is really what the kids decide, because the vision I have for our school is getting kids excited about the pro-life movement,� she said. “Obviously, we want to see an end to abortion and change hearts through that, but I think that’s best done by embracing the gift of life – getting kids excited about their own life and the things they love to do and sharing that joy with each other, their families and anyone they may encounter.� Pohren said seeing young people being excited and involved with LIFE Runners is encouraging. “The organization is a wonderful thing and it continues to grow,� he said. “The goal is to have a chapter in every parish and every school in the Omaha metro and see that whole idea and model continue to expand across the country.�




Discipleship program builds community of faith way to make a personal connection with each of the girls in her group, she said. Whether McCuller had taught them or not, she made sure to greet the girls in her group as they passed in the hallway and check in with them on a regular basis, Gregory said.

By DANIKA LANG Catholic Voice

It was 6:30 a.m. and Maggie Kramer was still wiping the sleep from her eyes. But it was important for her to get to school early, because that hour had become one of the best parts of her week. “I’m involved in a lot at school,” Kramer said, “so it’s hard to find time to think and be still. It’s been a really great time to relax and be centered on my faith. My days are calmer and happier when centered around God.” For Kramer, a member of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish and now a senior at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, both in Omaha, participation in her school’s discipleship program has been a boon. It has helped her deepen her relationship with God and share her faith with others. Beginning its second year, the program uses small groups to help students explore their faith with the guidance of an adult mentor. And for Kramer, who is involved in her school’s pro-life group, Skyhawks for Life, she also gained more confidence to talk to others about the pro-life cause as well as her relationship with Jesus. For another Skutt senior, Julia Brockhouse, a member of St. Cecilia Parish in Omaha, the program helped her begin looking to the saints as models of holiness and discipleship to emulate. Her group, which last year met every Monday after school, compiled a list of favorite saints to study and discuss. “The saints are models for our own lives so we try to embody discipleship as these people did,” she said. During their meetings, her group also prayed the rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet, and set goals for their personal prayer, including daily Scripture readings and Lectio Divina. THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ACTION The idea of helping students like Kramer and Brockhouse become disciples of Christ began as wishful thinking for campus minister Christine French. But in only nine months, the Holy Spirit made her dream a reality. In January 2018, French attended the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ (FOCUS) Student Leadership Summit in Chicago. During that week, she went to one of the campus ministry breakout sessions entitled, “How to Bring FOCUS to Your Campus.” During the session she learned more about how FOCUS invites college students into deeper relationship with Jesus through authentic friendships and one-onone discipleship. Moved by the presentation, French asked the representatives from FOCUS how she could give her high school students the same experience. She was informed there was a FOCUS-trained missionary at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa, and the two were put in contact. Over the phone, the missionary, Addie Magruder, pitched the discipleship program “Ut Fidem” (Latin for “Keep the Faith”) she used at Dowling Catholic, and French



Skutt Catholic students gather with their mentor for discipleship at Panera Bread in December 2018. Top row, from left: Kathryn Fenner, Kaylee Swanson; bottom row: mentor Molly Conway, Kierstene Frye. knew this was exactly what she wanted for Skutt. “It really became clear to me that year that I couldn’t actually minister to everyone as a campus minister. I needed to set up a structure that could minister to everyone because I couldn’t by myself,” French said. The only problem was the money. She didn’t know how she would get approval and funds for such a program, yet she persisted. In April 2018, Magruder was in Omaha pitching “Ut Fidem” at French’s invitation for a small group of theology teachers, parents, an administrator and Skutt’s chaplain. At the end of the presentation, everyone was convinced of the value of the program, but French would presumably have to coordinate it for it to become a reality. She knew she needed more help, so she turned to prayer. Little did she know that God would answer her in short order. ANSWERED PRAYERS A week after the “Ut Fidem,” presentation, Skutt Catholic’s future discipleship coordinator paid French a visit. Quinlan Couri, an intern for the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at the time, was meeting with French to discuss some witness talks she’d outlined for Skutt’s campus ministry. Couri did not have a job for the following year, so she also wanted to ask French about opportunities in the ministry field. “I think it was a Holy Spirit moment,” French said. “We’re talking about something completely different and in the middle of our conversation she just leans forward and asks, ‘Do you have a job for me?’ And I was like, ‘Maybe!’” With a prospective candidate to lead the program, French pitched the idea of a discipleship program to Skutt’s president, Jeremy Moore, and principal, Rob Myers. The program was funded by May 2018 and in July, Couri was

hired as Skutt Catholic’s discipleship coordinator. Couri started formation and promotion of the discipleship program in August and by October the first groups had started meeting with their adult mentors on a weekly basis. The program’s stated mission was to “help students be formed as disciples of Jesus Christ, committed to growing in authentic friendship with Christ and his church through personal habits of discipleship and growth in authentic human friendships.” Groups of approximately four to seven friends, divided by gender, had a variety of methods for meeting this goal. Some studied Scripture, others followed the Alpha program that examines an important question about the Catholic faith each week for 11 weeks. Still others watched and discussed Father Mike Schmitz videos, Couri said. “That’s what’s so cool about this program – it’s really catered to the individuals in the group and it’s usually a group of friends,” she said. “They already have this basis of support and knowing each other and they’re all in one mind about how to go about knowing Jesus.”

personal it felt to him than the larger crowds at Sunday Mass. For Skutt junior Sarah Gregory, meeting with her discipleship group meant spending high-quality time with a tight-knit group of friends all striving to grow in relationship with the Lord. Whenever she or one of her friends was having a difficult week, struggling emotionally, socially or academically, her group would usually meet up in the school’s chapel to pray together and encourage one another, she said. Gregory’s mentor, Amy McCuller, a former Spanish teacher at Skutt, went out of her

As the discipleship program enters its second year this school year, Couri continues to raise the bar in hopes of expanding the program. “Last year we had 14 groups meeting every week by the end of the year and a couple groups that were wanting to launch this fall,” said Couri. “We lost six senior groups, so we’ll have nine groups to start with, which is pretty incredible, and our goal is to get to 17 by the end of the year,” she said. Couri would like to see students getting more personally involved in outreach to their peers as the discipleship program grows. “Last year the goal, and this will still be true, the goal of the groups was really to build them before we send them,” Couri said. A lot of what happens at Steubenville conferences and retreats is that the hearts of these young people are won over, but they’re told to go out, to take action as disciples of Christ before being taught how to be in relationship with him and how to pray, she said. “But once they get to a certain point, if we don’t teach them how to be sent, then we do them a huge disservice,” Couri said. “So the goal of this year is to start pushing that a little bit more and just encouraging them to stretch in that way. Learn how to bring up Jesus at the lunch table.” Assistant Editor Mike May contributed to this story.

NETWORK OF SUPPORT Luke Capoun, a senior at Skutt Catholic entering his second year of discipleship, said being part of these groups has given him new ways to develop his faith. At the end of their meetings, his mentor would ask each of the young men to work on a personal challenge for the week. They would return the next week and report their progress. “One thing I’d wanted to do was go to daily Mass more often,” said Capoun. “I hadn’t done anything about it for a while, but then my group leader challenged me to do it. And when he did, I was like, ‘All right, I’ve got to do it now.’ So I went to daily Mass,” he said. In taking up that challenge, Capoun discovered how much he enjoyed daily Mass and how much more

Back-to-school greetings


Glenn Mitchell, the new principal this year at Jesuit Academy in Omaha, greets seventh-grader Terrell White-Hill before the first day of school Aug. 14.


6 « SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

St. Bernadette student evangelizes family By ELIZABETH WELLS For the Catholic Voice

Three years ago, the Rodriquez and Baxter families never dreamed they would be Catholic. Stacey and Johnnie Rodriquez, their daughter Abby, Stacey’s brother Nick Baxter, and her parents, Georgeann and Denny Baxter, were doing just fine without much in the way of religion in their lives – or so they thought. But everything changed when Nico, Stacey and Johnnie’s son, then a preschooler at St. Bernadette School in Omaha, kept sharing the stories he was learning there. Although miles from their home in northwest Omaha, it was the only all-day preschool Stacey could find. Close to her parents’ home, St. Bernadette had been her school from kindergarten through third grade. “We never talked about religion until he went to preschool,” said Stacey. “I was the biggest anti-religious person – I believed in God – but wasn’t into organized religion. I told everyone, it’s only for preschool.” At the end of preschool, Nico persuaded his parents to let him attend kindergarten there. Nico was thriving, said Johnnie. SERIOUS INTEREST “He had a serious interest in what he was learning. Every day there was a quote from the Bible, and he asked me about it,” Johnnie said. “Nico definitely followed everything he learned. He started treating people the way that he was learning in the stories.” Stacey remembers Nico googling things he learned in school and then presenting them for discussion with the family at random times. “He was so intrigued. He wanted to pray before we ate and before he went to bed,” she said.

Nico also asked his mom and grandma to come with him to Friday all-school Masses. They attended, as did his sister Abby when she was available. According to Stacey and Georgeann, Mass left them with a sense of calm and of being at home. And Abby began asking to transfer into the school’s seventh grade, although the class was at capacity. As kindergarten neared completion, Nico again said he wanted to stay. About that time, a space in eighth grade opened for Abby. SURPRISE REQUEST Nico’s next request – to be baptized – surprised his parents. “I didn’t know what it meant to be baptized,” said Johnnie. “Stacey had been (baptized in another church), but I had a lot of questions.” Still, he told Stacey he wanted to support Nico’s enthusiasm and to better understand what had so captivated his son. They contacted the church and learned about Rite of Christian Initiation classes for Nico, and for Abby who wanted to be confirmed with her classmates. Johnnie and Stacey went along for more information. Nico also asked his uncle Nick Baxter to be his godfather. Nick was not Catholic, nor planning to be, but he went to the first Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) class to support his nephew. QUESTIONS ANSWERED Johnnie said RCIA provided answers to all his questions. Nick continued too. “It turned into a family thing. We did it together. It was the coolest thing in my life. I never believed in the afterlife and God before,” Johnnie said. Their new faith changed many


Stacy Rodriquez, right, sits with her children Nico, now a second grader at St. Bernadette School, and Abby, a sophomore at Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School, as they do their homework. things, Stacey said. “Abby is a totally different kid. She struggled in public school and was frustrated. I don’t even recognize her as the same kid from three years ago. “I am not the same person. I don’t worry about things like I used to. I believe God has a plan for us, and we’re here for a reason,” she said. “He doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.” During the time they attended RCIA, Stacey said, the family faced a couple of personal hardships. “What we learned (in RCIA) helped our family deal with what had happened. It helped us get through and brought us closer,” said Stacey. “We found peace in knowing God was helping us through it all.” GRANDPARENTS TOO Inspired by these transforma-

tions in their children and grandchildren, Georgeann said she and her husband began classes and entered the church the following year. “My husband had never been baptized. I never knew that until one night after the kids were going to RCIA. He said, ‘I’d go with you to classes if you want me to,’” she said. “He hadn’t thought about God or Jesus in his life before, as far as I know.” Nico is now a second grader at St. Bernadette and his family and teachers say, “Everyone knows Nico.” His teacher, Betsy Harding, said Nico seems to already understand what it means to be a good friend, someone who simply likes and accepts others in spite of differences. “He’s just a really fun-lov-

ing, warm-hearted child who makes an impression on you,” said Kathy Dostal, his firstgrade teacher. Nico seems unaffected by his appeal. He said he’s excited for first Communion. His favorite thing about school is “learning about Jesus. I like his story … especially the life he gives us.” When asked what he thinks about his family becoming Catholic, he shrugs. “He’s totally oblivious to what he’s done,” said Stacey. “I was told just weeks before I found out I was pregnant with him that I couldn’t have any more kids. I truly believe that Nico was put on this earth for a reason. He’s our surprise. He doesn’t know the impact he’s made. He’s just being who he’s supposed to be.”

Spirit of St. Francis October 17, 2019 * 6pm Scott Conference Center

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House rivalry


Students at Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue participate in a tug-of-war Aug. 16, with different houses competing against one another. Freshmen and other new students at the school became members of the houses through a “sorting” ceremony during the first week of classes. The sorting event concluded with the tug-of-war in the gym.




Faith, music help teacher rebound from cancer learning in a graduate certification program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) – helped her thinking skills when she was unable to read because of problems with vision and staying focused, she said. Michaelis, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNO, is halfway through the program and plans to keep going.

Holy Name’s Michaelis is back in the classroom this fall By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

Not everyone is excited about Monday mornings. But on a recent Monday morning at Holy Name School in Omaha, music teacher Michele Michaelis is enthusiastic, greeting students in a hallway with high fives or a “Hi, sweetie, how are you?” Inside the second-floor music room, starting class with a group of eighth-graders, she shouts: “Are you ready? Woo!” If the students weren’t awake yet, they soon would be. As a teacher with more than 20 years of experience, four at Holy Name, she disciplines and guides mostly with encouragement. “Hey, that was nice. I like what I hear,” she says as one student’s singing voice stands out to her during warm-ups. Or “I like the smile on your face. Keep that up!” to another eighth-grader. But several months ago, Michaelis wasn’t so bubbly. Chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer drained her energy and restricted her mostly to bed. Last year’s stage 2A cancer diagnosis, which indicated that the cancer was just starting to spread, forced her to step away from her classroom with no promise of going back. But Michaelis (pronounced mi-shale-is) has rebounded. And buoyed by the prayers and support of family, friends, and co-workers and students at Holy Name, she’s regaining her former life, stronger in her Catholic faith, she says. Michaelis, a member of St. James Parish in Omaha, said she didn’t experience a radical change in faith, but more of a recommitment that has helped her deal with her health problems. Because of her relationship with God, “I felt like I had a good handle on stress,” she said. Michaelis returns to teaching with a full schedule, not only at Holy Name but at Sacred Heart and All Saints Schools in Omaha as well. She partners with another music teacher, Mark Morello, to take on that workload. She no longer has her long, curly hair, but co-workers compliment her on her short, stylish look, thanks to chemotherapy.



Music teacher Michele Michaelis teaches sixth-graders about composing music with the help of a parrot puppet Aug. 26 at Holy Name School. school and at home. Kierra said she and a friend wrote “Pray for Mrs. Michaelis” on their arms as a reminder. INSTRUMENTAL SUPPORT James Bass, also a seventh-grader, used to wait for his music teacher outside of school in the morning and help her carry bags and supplies inside, “even when the bags were bigger than him,” Michaelis said. He insisted on it. When she was gone from Holy Name, its show choir pretty much fell apart, and James lost one of his favorite activities. He said he prayed a lot for Michaelis as she struggled with her illness, and started praying the rosary regularly. “She’s like a good friend to me,” James said. Eighth-grader Carter Gintz said he lost enthusiasm for playing the saxophone when his music teacher left and he “kind of stopped playing.” He was learning to play the instrument through the Music in Catholic Schools program, but Michaelis found extra opportunities for him to showcase his talent at Holy Name events. This year, Michaelis is encouraging Carter to

continue playing. He said Michaelis knows a lot about music and “always has a smile on her face, even when she’s sick or down. She has a positive energy, never negative,” he said, even when she has to be strict. Mynor Strong, also in eighthgrade, agreed, calling his teacher “joyful” and “funny.” “If someone had a bad day, she would cheer them up,” Mynor said. “When you went to the class, you felt loved.” GAINING MOMENTUM Michaelis isn’t at full speed yet. At the end of her work day, she’s drained, she said. “I’m exhausted, but it feels good.” Her husband, Scott Michaelis, has been incredibly supportive, she said, letting her set her own pace at work, while he takes care of everything at home and focuses on her needs. The cancer and its treatment knocked her back for most of the last year, beginning with the diagnosis in October and including two surgeries, chemotherapy that ended in March, and a related weakened immune system that hospitalized her in May with pneumonia and other health problems.

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STUDENTS THRILLED And the Holy Name students who lost their music teacher last year are thrilled to have her back. “She’s one of my favorite teachers,” seventh-grader Kierra Bradley said before her music class. “Something was missing from Holy Name” when Michaelis was gone, Kierra said, and now, “that something is back.” The teacher brings a sweetness and love of music to her students, Kierra said, and she keeps them clapping, dancing and moving. After Michaelis left last year, students made cards for her, which she enjoyed reading when she was laid up, she said. The students prayed, too – in

Friends and family helped in many ways, including cleaning her house or by hiring professional cleaners, Michaelis said. Meanwhile her dog, a threelegged, “scrappy little guy” named Indie, stayed by her side offering comfort and protection, Michaelis said. The chemotherapy affected her brain for a while, she said, and she especially had trouble coming up with the right words to say. But along with her faith, music helped her recover. Practicing a method of teaching music called Kodlay – which she’s

She said having cancer has changed her, but she doesn’t want it to define who she is. “It will always be part of my narrative, but not my main narrative. It’s a thread in a tapestry.” She said she has learned from her illness that people don’t have as much control over their lives as they might think they do. Being forced to quit teaching was hard, she said, especially when her doctor told she might never return to work. But she’s regained much of her health, especially over the summer. Work is helping her cope, Michaelis said, and she’s glad to be back. “I’m just grateful for what I’ve been given,” she said. “I’m just grateful to be alive.” She said she wants to set an example for her daughters – twins Kaylen and Thara, both freshmen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – on how to “get back on the horse after taking a hit.” Morello, her fellow music teacher and a liturgist, says her comeback has been remarkable. “She’s a dynamo,” he said. “She’s going to beat cancer, because cancer won’t be able to keep up with her.”

Enjoy live music and wine tasting while viewing the artwork on display by CSM alumnae and friends.

Friday, September 13 • 5 - 7 p.m. College of Saint Mary, Hillmer Art Gallery 7000 Mercy Road, Omaha, Neb. 68106 Show runs through October 18.

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Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the Books of the illuminated Saint John’s Bible. CSM is the only university in the Midwest to have acquired this rare collection.

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8 « SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Schleppenbach: Being pro-life is about saving souls By CONNIE ROSSINI For the Catholic Voice

For Greg Schleppenbach, the pro-life movement isn’t just a means of saving the lives of the unborn and vulnerable. It’s a way to save souls. As a leader in that movement, he’s been evangelizing for most of his life. A native of Pierce, he recalls that his mother joined the pro-life movement immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. During his studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he became a member of Students for Life. With the establishment of a pro-life directorship at the Nebraska Catholic Conference in 1991, he took up that position and served in it until 2014. He worked with Nebraska’s three Catholic bishops to implement the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Two years as the NCC’s executive director followed. In 2016, Schleppenbach suc-

ceeded Richard Doerflinger as associate director for the USCCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. Since then, he has been working to influence public policy on life issues in Washington, D.C., and throughout the 50 states. On Sept. 20, Schleppenbach will be the keynote speaker at the annual Bishops’ Pro-Life Banquet and Conference, which this year will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the NCC. “Greg has the unique gift of inspiring and challenging us to live our lives in witness to the Gospel of Life, and we are confident that he will deliver a great message of encouragement and hope,” said Tom Venzor, current executive director, referring to the theme of this year’s conference, “Abound in Hope.” Schleppenbach spoke with the Catholic Voice about the successes he has seen over the years, especially in his new position at the USCCB, about maintaining hearts full of hope and current battles pro-lifers need to be aware of in efforts to build a culture of life.



My primary responsibilities are to focus on the public policy priorities of the Committee on Pro-life Activities, which is focused on abortion, end of life issues such as assisted suicide and euthanasia, and biomedical-research issues such as embryonic stem cell research, cloning, genetic manipulation and those types of things. Sort of the medical and ethical dimensions of biomedical research. My primary focus is to look at and analyze and work on federal legislation in those areas of pro-life issues. We also do provide some input as requested from states, on state legislation. We work closely with the state Catholic conferences around the country. When they have legislation that they want our input on, then they will contact us and we will provide help and then analysis for their state legislation.

On the federal (Congressional) level there’s been little positive. I mean, a little progress made, let me put it that way, on policy measures because of just the significant challenge that it is to get any piece of legislation through Congress. Even when we had a generally pro-life House and Senate and a pro-life president, the Senate was a real challenge to get the legislation through. You could maybe get pro-life legislation through the House, the previous House under Republican control. But you needed 60 votes to get past a filibuster in the Senate, and that has proven to be very challenging to get done. And now with a divided Congress, it’s even harder to get legislation through. So probably the best we can say is that the successes that we’ve had have been at least maintaining existing policies. And certainly, seeing this year a House of Representatives that has been attacking some existing pro-life policies, we, appear to be poised to prevent that from happening. With the President, the pro-life groups urged him at the beginning of this Congress in January to issue a letter indicating that he would veto any effort to weaken or repeal existing prolife laws. That was a pretty significant move and victory. There have been other significant victories with Trump. These

You have been associate director for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the USCCB for about three years. What are your primary responsibilities?


Have there been any major surprises in your


Greg Schleppenbach speaks with Kat Talalas, assistant director for Pro-Life Communications, USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, outside the U.S. Capitol in April 2019. They were discussing the filing of a discharge petition in the House to force a vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

new job? Yes. I’m not sure I was fully prepared for the quantity of the work, as well as just the general weight of doing this type of work on the national level where your focus is not only national – the federal level – but throughout the whole country. Also, just what it takes to get to understand, in a very detailed way, federal pro-life policy. Now, when I was the pro-life director at the Nebraska Catholic Conference, I had familiarity with most federal pro-life policy. But having to understand it in detail, and the history, and be an expert on those policies is a whole ‘nother matter. And understanding how federal law works in that process is a bit different from how we do things in Nebraska. It’s been challenging to learn the system.

What successes have you seen in your work? include restoration and expansion of the Mexico City Policy; issuance of new Title X regulations requiring recipients to maintain physical and financial separation between any abortion activities and Title X funded family planning activities, as well as a prohibition on making referrals for abortion; issuance of new regulations to better enforce conscience protection laws on abortion and assisted suicide, among others. And the appointment of two Supreme Court justices and dozens of federal district and appellate court judges who are likely to be more favorable to the pro-life position on abortion cases. At the state level, I would say, the successes have been maybe more around helping them to fight off assisted suicide. Even though there’s been some additional states that have passed it – just this year in New Jersey, in Maine – the vast majority of states that have had legislation introduced to legalize assisted suicide have failed. And there’s even been a handful of states that have passed laws specifically to outlaw assisted suicide. The effort with the American Medical Association, that was a two-year-plus battle of working with local, state medical associations or delegations of the AMA to finally get to this last June where they renewed their opposition to assisted suicide. That was a big win.


What: Bishops’ Pro-Life Banquet and Conference Where: Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln When: Sept. 20, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (banquet); Sept. 21, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (conference) Cost: banquet, $50; conference, $35; both, $80 To Register: Go to


What have been some of the major initiatives that you’ve worked on?

The thing I have to spend a lot of time on is on fighting measures to legalize assisted suicide in the states. I work with an organization called the Patients’ Rights Action Fund. They are a non-sectarian organization that helps to build a coalition. Their primary focus is to build broad, diverse coalitions at the state level to oppose the legalization of assisted suicide. I’ve worked pretty closely with them on that effort in individual states. I work closely with them on the efforts to urge medical associations to retain opposition to assisted suicide.


Can you tell our readers more about assisted suicide and how it could affect the lives of ordinary Catholics?

It’s a huge battle, and it is one that I think a lot of prolife folks who have been so focused on abortion for so long are maybe not fully seeing the threat that is assisted suicide. It’s a whole ‘nother challenge. We’re at a point, I think, in this battle where it could go either way. It’s somewhat unique in terms of the political dynamics and the cultural dynamics of it in this sense: that at least from a political sense, the abortion issue has sadly become sort of a partisan battle. That’s very, very unfortunate because it’s not a partisan issue. But generally, it is sort of seen as a Republican issue. I remember the days in Nebraska, when it was Democrats who were leading the pro-life effort in the Nebraska legislature. The abortion issue has unfortunately become very partisan. The assisted suicide issue has not yet. It’s critically important that that not be allowed to happen. One of the reasons why our efforts to oppose it at the state level, even in states, in the blue

states, the more liberal states, is precisely because there are a lot of liberal folks and Democrats who are strongly opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide. It’s really been a bipartisan effort. That’s been helped by the fact that some of the strongest opponents of assisted suicide are the disability rights community. They rightly see this pro-assisted-suicide advocacy as undermining their lives. Because the mentality behind assisted suicide is that there are certain lives that don’t warrant society’s usual response and protection for those who are suicidal. They see the dichotomy that’s being put forward by the assisted-suicide movement where you have certain people, certain categories of people, who are suicidal for whom we do everything possible as a society to prevent their suicide. And then there’s this other group that assisted suicide folks are suggesting through their legislation, who are suicidal but are terminally ill or disabled who we say, “We will assist you in your suicide.”

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It seems ironic that the disability rights community is fighting assisted suicide, and at the other end of the spectrum, we know that a lot of abortions are done on babies who are ill or disabled. Absolutely. It’s very true. There’s a lot of inconsistency for sure in how these issues are approached. That is one of them. I think the other is the fact that a lot of the organizations and efforts that work to prevent suicides, tend to not want to step out into the assisted suicide debate. And that also is very ironic, because of the very fact that if you have a so-called rational suicide, for certain categories of people, it only undermines efforts to prevent suicides in other contexts.

WANT MORE? Read an expanded version of this interview at the Catholic Voice’s website,



You are putting together a task force on authentic hospice care. What does that involve?

For some time there’s been concern about unethical practices going on within hospice and palliative care. Some refer to it as so-called stealth euthanasia, where actions or omissions are done with the intention of hastening a person’s death: withholding, withdrawing treatment or nutrition and hydration or some such thing, giving excess pain medication, with an intention of hastening death. And there have been some examples of abuse in that regard within hospice and palliative care. But the church starts from the perspective of strong support for hospice and palliative care as really beautiful in its authentic form, a beautiful expression of addressing the totality of the human person, who is either very sick or terminally ill and at the end of their life. And that is an approach that treats the whole person: physical suffering, spiritual suffering, emotional suffering, relational suffering. It really is a beautiful model and expression of authentic Catholic healthcare. But unfortunately, there have been these unethical practices in some cases and that has tarnished a bit of the practice of hospice and palliative

care. And the fact that some hospice organizations on the state level, or even on the national level, have taken a neutral stance on the legalization of assisted suicide. It hasn’t helped that perception. So, there are concerns with the practice that need to be addressed, and we need to work with experts and practitioners of hospice and palliative care to make sure we root out and eliminate these unethical practices. But at the same time, we need to reassure Catholics and others that, when practiced in an authentic way, hospice and palliative care is an authentic expression, a beautiful expression, of Catholic healthcare. So this task force is intended to try to do that, to bring together a broad range of experts and institutions that can really make a difference, that can really identify and address the potential threats to authentic hospice and palliative care, the unethical practices and such, but at the same time can communicate to Catholics and others what authentic hospice and palliative care should look like – as well as the red flags to be aware of when folks are contemplating hospice and palliative care.


Has your vision of the pro-life movement and its goal changed at all?

No. I mean, the vision has always been twofold. The first and most important vision for me as a Catholic working in the pro-life movement is to evangelize. I don’t know if that’s the vision; it’s as far

Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

One of the bits of wisdom that I’ve learned in doing this pro-life work – now it’s 28 years – it kind of goes back to that vision I mentioned as a Catholic, that as disciples of Christ, regardless of what field of battle he puts us on, our number one objective is the salvation of souls. It’s critically important that we keep that number one in our minds as we engage in whatever field of battle we’ve been placed on, whether it’s the pro-life battle or whether it is fighting poverty or whether it is fighting other kinds of injustices and violence or whatever it might be – that our number one role and

Knights of Columbus

Marcus Bell, FA

Omaha, NE Call or text 402-690-8927 Serving St. Cecilia Cathedral/ Omaha, St. Leo, St. Pius, Elkhorn, Creighton University and Ralston councils.

Norfolk, NE Call or text 402-860-9166 Serving Norfolk (L-Z), Battle Creek, Elgin, Neligh, Wisner and Stanton councils.

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Kevin Weber, FICF Gretna, NE Call or text 402-630-7877 Serving Gretna and Omaha/St. Wenceslaus councils. Serving local councils in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Would a position with the Knights Of Columbus be right for you?

Stewart Havranek, FA Omaha, NE Call or text 402-690-2568 Serving St. Stephen the Martyr (M-Z), St. Bernard, St. Philip Neri, #3019 Archbishop Ryan, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Margaret Mary, and Springfield councils.

Doug Kelly, FICF

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

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David City, NE Call or text 402-367-8132 Serving Columbus/St. Isidore, St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure David City, Bellwood, Shelby, Platte Center and Osceloa councils.

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purpose as disciples of Christ is the salvation of souls. If we don’t have that forefront in our minds, we can get a little askew and actually drive people away from Christ. So, we need to always keep that in mind, that we engage in these activities and these battles with a heart, the heart of Christ, a heart of Christ’s love, a heart that is full of hope. The battle against death has already been won. If we keep that forefront in our minds, then we will engage in this battle in a different way, in a way that does draw people to the beauty of the truth that we represent and the teachings of Christ about life and love. Jeremy Borchers, FICF

Roy Metter, FIC

Noah Pfeifer, FA

as our objective is. My goal within the pro-life movement specifically would be a society or world where abortion is not only illegal but is unthinkable, and that continues to be the vision.


Ryan Mascarello, FIC

Omaha, NE, 402-203-0208 Serving UNO, St. Thomas More, Plattsmouth, St. Charles, St. Joan of Arc, St. Stephen the Martyr (A-L), Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Peter, and Immaculate Conception councils.


Neil Pfeifer, FICF General agent serving Northeastern Nebraska 1-800-379-0180

Omaha, NE Call or text 402-960-3179 Serving Fort Calhoun, Holy Name, St. Elizabeth Ann, St. Vincent de Paul, Christ the King and St. James councils.


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10 « SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

FOCUS mission begins with simple invitation By DANIKA LANG Catholic Voice Their calls to missionary discipleship began with simple, but personal, invitations. For each of them, these invitations came in various forms – a note taped to a dorm room door, a peer’s suggestions to come to Newman Center events, a friend’s encouragement to join a Bible study, even a stranger who was willing to listen during a time of pain and vulnerability. These are the stories of four Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) missionaries from the Archdiocese of Omaha, all of whom received their call to serve as missionaries during their own formation in the FOCUS program as undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). “It wasn’t so much that the FOCUS program interested me as the FOCUS program took an interest in me, and that’s really how I came to be involved,” said University of South Dakota missionary Rob Cargill. The summer before his freshman year of college, Cargill received an invitation from an older UNL student from his parish, St. Columbkille in Papillion, to join a FOCUS Bible study. He was reluctant at first, but decided to give it a try. As he spent more time around the students and missionaries in FOCUS, Cargill began to experience a peace and joy that he couldn’t find anywhere else, he said. Gradually, he recognized that it was the power of their prayer


Ball State University students shout “Praise him” at a campus spaghetti meal during FOCUS’ SEEK 2019 conference in Indianapolis. FOCUS missionary Cody Fischer, top left in tie, served at Ball State University during the 2018-19 school year. that set these students apart. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in my life, and I wasn’t sure what could make me happy, but these people seemed happy. So I gave my life to God and I surrendered to him,” said Cargill. Then he prayed a prayer his mother had taught him to pray when he was younger: “‘Lord, I’ll go wherever you want me to go, I’ll do whatever you want me to do, I’ll give up whatever you want me to give

up and I’ll say whatever you want me to say.’ “When I had my reversion to my faith, I prayed that prayer and I really meant it for the first time, so I made that promise to God that when he called, I would answer,” Cargill said. DIVINE INTIMACY This simple, yet personal invitation to grow in relationship with the Lord demonstrates divine inti-

macy, one of FOCUS’ three key habits of missionary discipleship, said Katherine Nordhues, former missionary and current member of FOCUS’ recruitment team. The others are authentic friendship, which centers around developing virtuous relationships, and a commitment to spiritual multiplication: investing in the few to reach the many, she said. FOCUS’ model of spiritual multiplication is not an orig-

inal concept, but one that is drawn directly from the teachings of Christ, said Nordhues. Jesus invested in the few to reach the many; first he called “Peter, James and John, the three, and then the 12, then the 72 and then the 5,000,” she said. The three habits imply that FOCUS missionaries must model their ministry after that of Jesus. “The more I pay attention to the ministry of Jesus, I notice that it’s not too often that he’s inviting people into the synagogue; he’s often going out to meet them,” said Drake University missionary Cody Fischer, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington. For instance, when Jesus wants to encounter Peter and Andrew, he does not try to bring them into the synagogue but instead goes out to them on the fishing boats, Fischer said. When he wants to encounter Matthew, he goes to the tax collector’s booth and when he encounters Bartimaeus, he’s on the road. In the same way, FOCUS missionaries go to college campuses and meet students on their turf, Fischer said. In his four years as a FOCUS missionary, Fischer has forged friendships with students at different stages of their faith. “I’ve gotten to meet students who are practicing Catholics, non-practicing Catholics, Protestants who have ended up coming to Bible studies,” he said. “I’ve gotten to meet different Muslim Continued on Page 11 »

ARCHDIOCESAN FOCUS MISSIONARIES Currently 33 active FOCUS missionaries are originally from the Archdiocese of Omaha. Each relies on the generosity of mission development partners to fundraise 100% of their yearly salary. To sponsor the ministry of a missionary, visit, search on their name and then select the “support” button below their photo.

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Emily Martinez – Omaha, parish not provided Joe McCoy – St. Bernadette, Bellevue Luke and Hayley Miller – St. Wenceslaus, Omaha Paul Mosher – St. Margaret Mary, Omaha Anne Mosher – St. Margaret Mary, Omaha Jessica Navin – St. John Vianney, Omaha Katherine Nordhues – Christ the King, Omaha Kelly Paolucci – St. Bonaventure, Columbus Stephanie Parks – Sacred Heart, Norfolk Amy Pica – St. John Vianney, Omaha Emily Runyan – St. Francis of Assisi, Humphrey Colby Spence – Norfolk, parish not provided Trey Stephens – St. Bonaventure, Columbus Travis Todd – St. Patrick, Fremont Regan Wiese – Holy Family, Lindsay Shannon Zurcher – St. Columbkille, Papillion

| COLLEGE GUIDE | » Continued from Page 10 students from Qatar or Egypt who have actually ended up, as a result of some of those interactions, coming to the events at the Newman Center or to daily Masses.” AUTHENTIC FRIENDSHIP As a FOCUS missionary, Fischer has learned to reach out to students wherever they are – on the soccer field, in the dining hall or at the local coffee shop. The summer before his third year as a missionary, he felt a stirring in his heart to join West Virginia University’s Quidditch team. Quidditch is a fictional sport from the popular Harry Potter book series. The objective is to throw the main ball, the quaffle, through one of three large hoops as players “fly around” on broomsticks. In the fall, Fischer began practicing with the team and soon after started to recognize a familiar face from the Quidditch pitch at Sunday Mass. He approached the young man, greeted him, and the two exchanged contact information. From there a genuine friendship developed. Fischer later discovered that it was because this student, Danny, had recognized him, both as a FOCUS missionary and as a member of the Quidditch team, that he stopped sporadically skipping Mass and decided to return to attending on a regular basis. A SIMPLE INVITATION For FOCUS missionaries like Fischer, extending an honest gesture of friendship can be all it takes to lead someone back to the Lord. In some instances, students who once felt lost are even inspired to con-

tinue sharing their renewed gift of faith with others, leading to spiritual multiplication. During his freshman year of college at UNL, missionary T.J. Engelkamp, a member of St. Peter Parish in Omaha, occasionally attended Sunday Mass for his parents’ sake, but otherwise did not pursue the faith. He was in an unhealthy relationship from high school that had resulted in a painful breakup, leaving him feeling broken and alone. After receiving a suggestion from one of his friends, a student leader from FOCUS invited Engelkamp to get out of his dorm. “Of course she didn’t invite me straight to the Catholic Church because she knew I had been away. I was considering leaving. I was pretty indifferent to my faith,” he said. That student leader, Lizzie, invited him to join her, along with a group of students from the Newman Center, to play board games at Hurt’s Donuts in Lincoln. Engelkamp admitted he was surprised at how joyful and carefree these individuals were, unlike any other group of college students he had met. SPIRITUAL MULTIPLICATION After spending time together, Lizzie, who had known about his breakup, asked Engelkamp to share what was on his mind and heart. She genuinely listened and then invited him back to church to experience the healing sacrament of reconciliation. “She just walked with me and didn’t really take a stance or anything,” said Engelkamp. “It meant a lot to me that she listened so well, and after that she had earned


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the right to make a suggestion like that,” he said. He made the decision to go to the Newman Center for confession. He had been away from the church since the fall of his senior year of high school and it was difficult, but that day in the confessional, Engelkamp said he felt the arms of God the Father wrapped around him for the first time. “Without Lizzie being missionary-minded and sensing the fact that I was kind of a lost soul, I don’t know where I would be in college,” he said. Through the formation he received during his own college experience with FOCUS, Engelkamp eventually said yes to a missionary vocation in hopes of reaching students just like him. He will be serving at Northern Arizona University this fall. “It’s a really beautiful opportunity to encounter people who are trying to find their way and presenting them with the truth in a compassionate and relevant way,” he said. WORTH IT ALL While being a missionary is a significant commitment of time and energy, the greatest rewards of the work stem from the greatest difficulties, said Cargill. “Persevering and seeing the fruits God is bringing from the work we’re doing is amazing,” he said. “The longer I stay with FOCUS, the more I get to see this through the conversions of men and women.” “I see men going to seminary and giving God the opportunity to call them into that vocation,” he said. “(I see) people who were Catholic and didn’t go to Mass come back to Mass


The FOCUS team from Northern Arizona University at the 2019 FOCUS summer formation at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Back row, from left: Ashley Kilzer, T.J. Engelkamp, Josh Fatzinger, his daughter Ellie Fatzinger, Katie Fatzinger and John Potts (regional director). Front row: Lexie Weber and Reagan Dimmitt. and believe in the Eucharist. (I) see people wrapped up in the party lifestyle and see them recognize that it’s not fulfilling and be able to love themselves and love others again.” In FOCUS recruitment, Nordhues is able to witness spiritual multiplication at an even deeper level. Her job is to help others discern the call to missionary discipleship. In

her transition from being a missionary to working for the recruitment team, she has witnessed FOCUS’ influence grow from the students she has personally affected to all of the students impacted by the missionaries she’s recruited. “That’s why I do what I do,” she said. “The ‘yes’ is worth it all. Even just for one.”


8/29/17 2:18 PM


12 « SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Supportive community key to keeping faith in college By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice

The statistics are alarming. Eighty-five percent of Catholic college students lose their faith during college, most within their first year, says an article on Dynamic Catholic, website of Catholic apologist and author Matthew Kelly. Curtis Martin, founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), puts that number over 90%. The reasons vary – from disagreement with church teachings to conflicting priorities and time demands. The good news is, Catholic college students can find a supportive environment to nurture their faith if they look for it – often through campus ministries at Catholic colleges and universities as well as residential and Catholic ministry centers, called Newman Centers, at non-Catholic institutions. For Father Daniel Andrews, director and pastor of the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha, and Father Jeffrey Mollner, chaplain to the Catholic Newman Community at Wayne State College in Wayne, a supportive community is the key. “Faith is a very difficult thing to pursue if you’re doing it on your own, said Father Mollner, who also is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Wayne. “Trying to keep and build our faith on our own – that’s not what we saw the Lord do. Our Lord always gathered people into

groups,” he said. Father Andrews agrees. “The Christian faith was never meant to be lived in isolation,” he said. “The gateway to the Christian life is a surrender to him (Jesus). It’s a big step, so when we have support and the assurance that we’re not alone, it increases the chances exponentially that we can grow.” That kind of support and camaraderie was instrumental in helping Blair Stuthman not only maintain, but strengthen her faith during college. Stuthman, a junior at Wayne State, attended public high school and was involved in the youth group at St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, but she described her faith then as lukewarm. “I went to Mass every Sunday and never really questioned my faith, but it wasn’t a personal faith. I knew I wanted something more.” She found the spiritual growth she was looking for through the Newman community, taking part in Bible study and prayer teams, and meeting weekly for spiritual formation with a FOCUS missionary. Newman communities also provide support for Catholic students through daily Mass, retreats and social activities. Omaha’s Newman Center, which opened in 2016 and is affiliated with the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), provides not only a spiritual environment, but residential housing for

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up to 164 students. The Catholic Newman Community at Wayne State serves about 50 Catholic students, holding its activities at St. Mary Church in Wayne. CONSISTENCY For UNO sophomore Madison Koperski, the Omaha Newman Center’s spiritual atmosphere gave her a feeling of consistency and familiarity, having attended both Catholic grade school and high school. Koperski, who with the encouragement of her best friend moved into the center when it opened in 2016, has made the most of her time there and is now a resident advisor. With the availability of a chapel, daily Mass and plenty of peers inviting her to pray or worship, she said she is going to Mass more often, spending more time in prayer and becoming more comfortable talking about Jesus. Though a shy person, Koperski now has more confidence to share her faith with others on campus. “People know me as, ‘Oh, that’s the Jesus girl’ – Oh yeah I am, that’s awesome. People outside of the Newman Center know that’s important to me,” she said. NUMEROUS CHALLENGES But community support is not a cure-all. College students, especially those moving away from home, face numerous challenges to an active faith life, paramount among them the many new demands on their time. “When they get to college there are so many other things that compete for their time and attention,” Father Mollner said, “and they’re put into an environment where it (faith) is not given a priority. It’s easier for them to deprioritize it little by little. An academic climate that emphasizes achievement and future careers has something to do with that, he said. “We live in a culture that doesn’t always value faith, but defines success as a worldly type of success,” he said. “This culture instills the idea of being a selfmade person and that your value is determined not by who you are, but what you do. And that begins with how well you do in college.” Then there’s the temptations of the party and hookup culture found at many colleges. That’s why having a group of likeminded students challenging one another to reach for a higher standard is important. Ulises Orozco, now a senior


Father Daniel Andrews, left, director and pastor of the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha, visits with students Michaela Moriarty and Sam Wilder during an Aug. 28 cookout at the center to welcome students back for the 2019-2020 school year. at UNO, began his college career at Northern State University in South Dakota where he took part in the party life, but found it wanting. “You want to fit in, but in the back of your head you’re thinking, am I supposed to be doing this?” he said. After one year at Northern State, Orozco moved to Omaha to attend Metropolitan Community College, and is now finishing his bachelor’s degree at UNO while living at the Newman Center. “That faith community and environment helps me stay on the right path,” he said. OTHER FACTORS The likelihood of college students continuing to practice their faith is already somewhat determined when they arrive on campus, based on the extent to which a personal relationship with Jesus was nurtured at home and at school, Father Andrews said. “The most important factor in any young person really receiving from the heart of Jesus as they’re growing up is seeing their parents receiving from the heart of Jesus,” he said. “We can go to Mass, say prayers before meals and receive the sacraments – those things have the power to deepen relationship with God. But people will know the difference, whether it’s just going through the motions or whether this is a living relationship.” Attendance at Mass and frequent reception of the sacraments are important for fostering that relationship with Jesus, Father Andrews said. “Go to Mass, even when you don’t feel like it,” he said. “Over time, you’ll see the way God is speaking to you. It’s really diffi-

cult to hear that if you never give yourself the chance.” He also encourages students to “take a bold step” and attend a Newman Center retreat, or a FOCUS retreat or conference such as the SEEK and SLS conferences, held each year around the country. A PROFOUND EXPERIENCE Steve Mahoney, a senior at Wayne State, had a profound experience of Jesus during the 2017 SEEK Conference in San Antonio. Although baptized in the Lutheran church, he and his family didn’t attend church or talk about God, so he didn’t know what he was missing, he said. And in high school, Mahoney began to question whether there was a God. Once in college, he became friends with several FOCUS missionaries and was attracted by the joy that was evident in their lives. Their invitation led to his attendance at SEEK and eventual initiation into the Catholic Church. At the conference, Mahoney said, he encountered the Lord during eucharistic adoration. “During the procession I had goosebumps from head to toe. I was so convinced at that moment, I knew that Jesus is real in the Eucharist. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I wanted to join the church,” he said. Father Mollner said college students like Mahoney are looking for something more in their lives – and for those who seek it, that need can be filled by experiencing a personal relationship with and love of Jesus. “We find students that are struggling the most in their hearts are really craving love. They’re craving to be loved because that’s what they were created to do,” he said.



Free online video series on Aquinas available

Catholic University of America offers M.A. degree program on human rights

Catholic News Service


WASHINGTON – The Thomistic Institute in Washington has launched “Aquinas 101,” a free online video course that instructs interested viewers in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. “Aquinas 101” will consist of 85 to 90 videos released over the course of the year. The series will introduce the basics of the Catholic intellectual tradition with Aquinas as a guide. The first three videos can now be viewed on or on The videos in the course each feature a Dominican friar/professor and are animated to illustrate the doctrines described. The priests featured include Fathers Dominic Legge, Thomas Joseph White, Thomas Petri, James Brent and Gregory Pine. The course proceeds through an introduction to St. Thomas, a basic description of his philosophy and an in-depth study of his masterwork, the “Summa Theologiae.” “At the end of the course, the viewer can expect to have gained a basic mastery of the essentials of Aquinas and to have acquired the tools to engage many difficult issues of faith and science, reason and revelation, and beyond,” said a news release from the Thomistic Institute announcing the course. By enrolling in the free video course, subscribers also will have access to selected readings,

Catholic News Service

Gene Plaisted/CNS

St. Thomas Aquinas is seen in stained glass at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Guelph, Ontario. recommended podcasts and further resources. This series is funded in part by a grant titled “Growing the Conversation on Science and Faith” from the John Templeton Foundation. The Thomistic Institute was founded 10 years ago and seeks to promote Catholic truth in the contemporary world by strengthening the intellectual formation of Christians especially at top-tier universities. Editor’s Note: More Information about the Thomistic Institute and its resources can be found at

WASHINGTON – This fall, five graduate students will embark on a unique, one-year journey back to the origins of thought on human nature. They will study natural law and natural rights, anthropology, international law, religious liberty, global politics and papal encyclicals, emerging from the program with a fully formed, Catholic understanding of human rights and a zeal to defend and explain these rights. The Institute for Human Ecology at The Catholic University of America is offering this master of arts degree in human rights for the first time in the fall of 2019. The program, headed and organized by William Saunders, lawyer and longtime human rights scholar and activist, is interdisciplinary, drawing classes from five of Catholic University’s schools. “Now is the time for this, because we need people who can help us think clearly about human rights to be part of this conversation,” Saunders told Catholic News Service. “Any ordinary person on the street would be in favor of human rights, but if you ask, ‘What are human rights?’ they don’t know.” According to Saunders, the master’s program will provide students with a holistic understanding of the underlying philosophy that governs the accepted lists of human rights, and explains their purpose.

For Saunders, documents such as the 1948 U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other assertions of rights are mere laundry lists without the Catholic understanding. Without a unifying understanding, Saunders says that it becomes easy to tack “rights” on like a wish list, without any consideration of whether they fit the definition of a true human right. “What’s missing is a coherent philosophical understanding of why these rights are recognized. Catholic tradition supplies that, and helps you to think about it in a way that will be congruent to Catholicism,” Saunders said. “Because the Catholic perspective is not just a theological thing. It is a hard tradition of reason as well.” The program will prepare students for any number of careers, from nonprofit relief organizations, to nongovernmental organizations, to Capitol Hill committees, to the private sector, according to Saunders. “So far as we know, there is no other university offering (a masters of arts in human rights) from the uniquely Catholic perspective,” Saunders said. “Things like natural law, papal encyclicals, human anthropology, and theological anthropology are a part of it. There are a number of masters of arts in human rights, but not from this perspective, and certainly not in the nation’s capital, where you can so easily get involved.” Some of the central courses include philosophy of natural right

and natural law, Christian anthropology, public international law, international human rights and religious liberty. Saunders emphasized that the program is neither exclusively for Catholics, nor any kind of Catholic conversion machine. He cited St. John Paul II’s encyclicals, in which he often engaged with people of goodwill who were not Catholic, but desired to understand the rich Catholic teaching on human rights issues. “Natural rights are not disguised Catholic theology,” Saunders said. “They are just based on the idea that we share some things as human beings, and if we find those things out, we can figure out an answer to Aristotle’s question: How can we order our lives?” Bradley Lewis, associate professor of philosophy at Catholic University, will teach two of the foundational classes for the program: “The Philosophy of Natural Rights and Natural Law” and “Morality and Law.” He explained that Catholic thought is historically enmeshed in human rights decisions. “If you go to the beginning of modern human rights projects, a lot of people involved in promoting human rights in the late 1940s and 1950s were Christians and, in many cases, Catholic,” Lewis said. “This approach is something that we have had within the Catholic world, and, at a certain point, it was lost and fell out of discussion. We want to put it back in.”


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College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL, 60604-1413. 800-621-7440.


14 « SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Discipleship is not for the faint of heart


o you have what it takes to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Try not to answer too quickly, for the demands of discipleship are extremely difficult and not for the faint of heart.

Jesus clearly warns his disciples and would-be disciples about this truth in our passage for today. He tells them there is a cost that comes with being one of his followers. He says to be his disciple you must “hate” your family, take up your cross and renounce all of your possessions. Let’s see what he means by each of these three conditions. First, the call to follow him compels us to make a choice. Once we make a decision to follow him, we are better able to recog-


Scripture Reflections FATHER WALTER NOLTE nize that he is the supreme good for which our hearts long. Our relationship with him must take primacy with respect to all other things or the path of discipleship will be impossible for us. When we choose to put him first by being his disciple, we choose to live new relationships with those we love in the world and even with those we struggle to love. This is what he means by “hating” your family. The second condition for discipleship is met by our fulfillment of the first. In making Jesus our first love, we are necessarily

choosing to take up our cross. When we choose the cross, we choose to live mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the greatest act of freedom a disciple can perform because failing to forgive means that we are holding a grudge and choosing to remain chained to the past rather than choosing to live in the freedom Jesus won for us on the Cross. Finally, we must be willing to relinquish all our possessions. Total commitment to Jesus requires us to be detached from anything that will slow down or impede our mission to make the love of Christ known to the world. These possessions can be attachments to worldly possessions or even an attachment to unforgiveness. No matter what it is, if it keeps us from holiness, we must cast it aside.

SCRIPTURE READINGS OF THE DAY SEPTEMBER 9 Monday: Col 1:24–2:3; Ps 62:6-7, 9; Lk 6:6-11 10 Tuesday: Col 2:6-15; Ps 145:1b-2, 8-11; Lk 6:12-19 11 Wednesday: Col 3:1-11; Ps 145:2-3; 10-13b; Lk 6:20-26 12 Thursday: Col 3:12-17; Ps 150:1b-6; Lk 6:27-38 13 Friday: 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14; Ps 16:1b-2a, 5, 7-8, 11; Lk 6:39-42 14 Saturday, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: Nm 21:4b-9; Ps 78:1b-2, 34-38; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17 15 Sunday: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19; 1 Tm 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32 or 15:1-10 16 Monday: 1 Tm 2:1-8; Ps 28:2, 7-9; Lk 7:1-10 17 Tuesday: 1 Tm 3:1-13; Ps 101:1b-3b, 5-6; Lk 7:11-17 18 Wednesday: 1 Tm 3:14-16; Ps 116:1-6; Lk 7:31-35 19 Thursday: 1 Tm 4:12-16; Ps 111:7-10; Lk 7:36-50 20 Friday: 1 Tm 6:2c-12; Ps 49:6-10, 17-20; Lk 8:1-3 21 Saturday: Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; Ps 19:2-5; Mt 9:9-13

Pope Francis and the prayer of adoration

he Catechism speaks of four forms of prayer: blessing and adoration (which can also be spoken of separately), petition, intercession and thanksgiving (nos. 2625-43). Pope Francis emphasized the importance of one of these forms, “the prayer of adoration,” in his Angelus address on Aug. 18. What is this prayer and why should we practice it? Pope Francis was commenting on Jesus’ words, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing” (Lk 12:49). The pope said, “Adherence to the fire of love that Jesus brought to earth envelopes our entire existence and requires the adoration of

God as well as a willingness to serve others …. This is why I invite everyone to discover the beauty of the prayer of adoration and to recite (or practice) it often.” When we hear the word “adoration,” we might think first of eucharistic adoration. Pope Francis does practice eucharistic adoration daily, and he often urges others to do the same. However “the prayer of adoration” has a wider meaning. It is the form of prayer often prayed before the Eucharist, but we can pray it anywhere, any time. Francis spoke about this prayer in more detail in an earlier address on Oct. 20, 2016. He said that to adore is to praise God, to sit in silence and “waste time before the Lord.” Such adoration causes us, he said, to

Conversation with God CONNIE ROSSINI see ourselves as the sinners we are, recognizing our unworthiness to be in God’s presence. The Catechism speaks of adoration in a similar way: “Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the ‘King of Glory,’ respectful silence in the presence of the ‘ever greater’ God. Adoration of the thriceholy and sovereign God of love



blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications” (no. 2628). Imagine if you had the opportunity for a private audience with the pope, one in which you were alone and could have a real conversation with him. You might prepare a little speech to thank him for his service to God. You might plan to ask him a favor, for prayers or some action he could perform to help you or those you love. You might bring a gift for him. These plans roughly relate to the prayer forms known as petition, intercession and thanksgiving. When you actually stood in his presence, however, you might find yourself too nervous to speak, overawed by the fact that you were standing before the Vicar of Christ. Now imagine coming into the

presence of God himself. Petition, intercession and thanksgiving would definitely have their place, but without a sense of awe, without an acknowledgment of who it was you were standing before, these forms of prayer could be mere presumption. Pope Francis’ words on Aug. 18 teach that if the love of God is blazing in your heart, adoration should at times overwhelm you, bringing you to silence before God. Adoration is especially appropriate at Mass and before the Eucharist. But adoration can and should be a part of our daily prayer as well. Otherwise, prayer could become focused on ourselves and what we want God to do for us. Adoration preserves the attitude of humility and love that is necessary for true communion with God.



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Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian were champions of mercy By DEACON OMAR GUTIÉRREZ For the Catholic Voice

In the early years of the church, in the midst of terrible persecutions under the Emperor Decius, Christians found themselves reeling. Pope Fabian had died on Jan. 20, 250, but the church could not find another man to take the Chair of St. Peter for over a year. Whoever did so would almost certainly perish in a horrible manner under the evil emperor. In the meantime, theological problems arose in North Africa. The persecutions of the Christians resulted in many apostates, men and women rejecting Christ and sacrificing to the emperor. But some repented of their infidelity and wished to return to the faith. A debate arose about whether they could be allowed back in, a debate that tested the church’s teaching and the authority of the Magisterium. In the midst of this controversy, a priest named Cornelius was elected the 21st pope on March 13, 251. Cornelius was not the brightest man in Rome. He was perhaps not the most learned or eloquent, but he was just the right man for the time. Pope Cornelius was a courageous man, and he had the opportunity to test this courage right out of the gates. In North Africa a priest named Novatian insisted that apostates should not be allowed back into the fold. Murderers, adulterers and fornicators must also be excised from Christianity. His vision of Christ’s pure church did not include any of those kinds of sinners. Against Novatian and his rigorist approach to the faith was Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage. When the Decian persecutions had started in Carthage, scores of Christians stumbled over themselves to disavow the faith. “Cyprian to the lions!” was their cry, and so, Cyprian went into hiding. He received a great deal of criticism, but it was in hiding that Cyprian could write several letters to the

SAINTS OF THE MONTH faithful encouraging them to persevere. When the persecutions were over, the debate about the apostates began, and thanks to Cyprian’s arguments Pope Cornelius condemned Novatian’s teaching. So it was that Novatian made his way to Rome to set himself up as the first anti-pope. Smarter and more eloquent a preacher than Cornelius, Novatian was sure he could rally the bishops of the church around his point of view. But it was Cornelius’ courage and Cyprian’s theological writings that helped stem the tide. A synod of bishops called by Cornelius would settle the matter once and for all, and one of the earliest attempts to remake church teaching by seizing the papacy ended. This was just before another set of persecutions erupted in Rome. However, this time not one Christian apostatized while Cornelius was exiled by the emperor. Pope Cornelius would die in exile in the year 253 and was considered a martyr. Cyprian, his friend and great help during his two-year reign, would live a few years longer. He would organize the Christians of Carthage during a terrible plague and encourage them to care for their enemies as well. Then, under the persecution of the Emperor Valerian, he too was martyred in the year 257. Pope St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian were not perfect men. Cornelius was not as learned or eloquent as Cyprian. Cyprian didn’t have the courage of Cornelius. But it was perhaps their imperfections that allowed them to understand the centrality of mercy in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They share Sept. 16 as their feast day, and we benefit from their witness to and defense of mercy to this day.


“St. Cornelius as Pope and Martyr” and “St. Cyprian as Bishop and Martyr” by Master of Messkirch, oil on canvas, circa 1535/40, housed in the Stattsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany. Panels are from the former side altars of the Baroque Church of St. Martin in Messkirch, Germany.


16 « SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 EVENTS Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study and Faith Formation’s 10-Year Anniversary Conference: Sept. 7, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the La Vista Hotel and Conference Center, 12520 Westport Pkwy., La Vista. Speakers are Sharon Doran, Father John Riccardo and Peter Herbeck. Cost $25 per person. Register at Nebraska vs. Colorado Tailgate: Sept. 7, Ss. Peter and Paul Gym, 3619 X St., Omaha. Pre-game 1:30 p.m., kickoff 2:30 p.m. Watch the Huskers on the big screen along with food, drinks, raffles, games and giveaways. Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey Oblates of St. Benedict: Sept. 8 at the abbey, 22520 Mount Michael Road near Elkhorn. A spiritual meeting and discussion for anyone interested in becoming an oblate. Contact Brother Jerome Kmiecik at 402-206-2069. Grief Support Group: Second Monday of every month. Next meeting Sept. 9, 1 p.m., lower level of Mary Our Queen Parish Office Building, 3535 S. 119th St. Meetings open to anyone. Call 402-3338662 with questions. Vigil for Life: Sept. 14, 8 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 2302 Crawford St., Bellevue. Mass with Archbishop George J. Lucas followed by exposition and a rosary procession to Bellevue abortion facility. Contact Whitney Bradley for more information at 402-557-5516 or Couple to Couple League’s Natural Family Planning: Series of three classes, Sept. 15, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17, 2-4:30 p.m. at St. Stephen the Martyr Church, 16701 S St., Omaha. Teaching couple is Jason and Lynette Oberg. Register to Magnificat-Omaha Brunch: Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 114th and Fort streets, Omaha. Speaker is former missionary Barbara Heil. Cost $20. For reservations go to Magnificat is an archdiocese-wide Catholic women’s group devoted to evangelization. Mary Full of Grace – Kearney Magnificat Brunch: Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to noon at the Ramada Inn, 301 2nd Ave., Kearney. Speaker is Cathy Emrick. Theme is “The Unveiling of My Eyes.” Meal is $15 for adults and $10 for students; pay at the door. RSVP required by Sept. 17 to Marlene Rasmussen, 575-574-8183 or email ChristLife Program – Discovering Christ: A seven-week experience every Sunday, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 22 at St. Mary Parish Center, 2302 Crawford St., Bellevue. Dinner, dessert and conversation. Go to www. to register online or call Tina Targy at 402-709-6980. Teams of Our Lady for a Better Marriage: Sept. 26, 7 p.m., Sept. 29, 4 p.m. or Sept. 30, 7 p.m. at 5614 N. 151st St., Omaha. Informational meetings on enriching marriage with other couples and a spiritual counselor. Call Sue and Tony Plaza at 402-515-3461 or email to register or for questions. 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.


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 4010, Omaha, NE 68104-0010 Call Nancy Flaherty at 402-312-9324 or Nicole Florez at 402-496-7988, ext. 221. LaSalle Club: Single Catholic archdiocesan young adult group. For more information, see lasalleo, or email 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, or Kent at 402-339-6826 or kkriesberg@ 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. Be Not Afraid Family Hour: 6-7 p.m. each Sunday at Christ the King Church, 654 S. 86th St., Omaha. • Sept. 8: Identity in Christ • Sept. 15: Creating Your Family Mission • Sept. 22: A Deep Dive in the Parable of the Prodigal Son • Sept. 29: Believing in God is Rational • Oct. 6: Rediscovering the Sacraments Memorare Mothers Family Mass: Oct. 16, 6:30 p.m. in the Mainelli Center at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 11802 Pacific St., Omaha. Mass celebrated in loving memory of deceased children. Fellowship to follow Mass. Bring appetizer or an hors d’oeuvre to share. Contact Mary Anne Hoover at 402-333-6863 or Mary Ann Kellogg at 402-334-8519 with questions.

SCHOOLS Mount Michael’s 64th Annual Fall Festival: Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey &

FAX » 402-558-6614 EMAIL » Notices cannot be taken by phone. DEADLINES » Deadline for the Sept. 20 issue is noon, Tuesday, Sept. 10. ON THE WEB » Want to know what’s going on in the Archdiocese of Omaha? Visit Catholic Voice Online – – for more details and an updated list of archdiocesan activities.

School, 22520 Mount Michael Road near Elkhorn. Food, family games, first ever beer garden.

PARISHES Holy Cross Parish Festival: Sept. 6 and 8 at Holy Cross Church, 48th Street and Woolworth Avenue. Sept. 6, over-21 concert, 6:30-10:30 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Sept. 8, Holy Cross Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Inflatable rides and booth games, bake sale, raffle, food booths. For more information, visit St. Stanislaus Parish Centennial Celebration: Sept. 15. Mass at 10:30 a.m. with Archbishop George J. Lucas at the church, 4002 J St. in Omaha, followed by dinner and program at noon at The Polish Home Omaha, 201 East 1st St., Papillion. Advance reservation required for dinner, cost is $20 per person. Questions call 402-731-4152. Our Lady of Lourdes Fall Festival and Rummage Sale: Rummage sale Sept. 20 and 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sept. 22, noon to 6 p.m. in St. Bernadette Hall (lower level of church), 2110 S. 32nd Ave., Omaha. Fall Festival Sept. 22, noon to 9 p.m. on the parish grounds featuring raffle, silent auction, music, food, cash bingo, games and more. For information call 402-346-1153.

Mass. All available on demand online at Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Adalbert Parish’s Holy Hour for Priests and Vocations: Every Tuesday, 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 402346-3584. Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Peter Church, 2706 Leavenworth St., Omaha. Use west wheelchair door. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: Perpetual adoration/exposition at St. Joan of Arc Church, 74th and Grover streets, Omaha. Open 24 hours. UNDONE – Candlelight Healing Service for Women: Thursday, Sept.19, 6:30 p.m. at St. Wenceslaus Church, 15353 Pacific St., Omaha. Prayer reflection by Krista Anderson. Adoration and music by Rick Jacobi, Ben Hirschfeld, Jean Pedersen and Sherry Schmit. Wine and dessert reception sponsored by CDA and Guild after program. RSVP preferred to

Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha. To register, call 402-951-3026, email or visit • Weekly Contemplative Prayer Group: Mondays, 6:30 p.m. in the chapel. Silent prayer/meditation within a traditional framework of sitting and walking meditation. • World Religions Study Group: First Wednesday of each month, September to May, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cost: $45. Using the book “World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery” by Jeffrey Brodd. Participants are responsible for obtaining the book. Facilitator is Margaret Stratman, OSM. • Caregiver Solutions Group: First Thursday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m. Facilitator is Nancy Flaherty, MS, CDP. • St. Peregrine Liturgy: Third Saturday of each month, 11 a.m. in the chapel. No cost and no registration needed. • Is It Normal Aging or Something Else?: Sept. 7, 9:30-11 a.m. Free will offering. Facilitator is Nancy Flaherty, MS, CDP. • Walking Through the Fire of Grief: Sept. 21, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Kay Buhrman, grief minister, will explore how God helps us journey through the “fire” of grief to experience joy once again. Cost $10. St. Benedict Center, three miles north of Schuyler. Call 402-352-8819, email or register online at stbenedictcenter. com. Rooms $45 single, $37 double, meals are $27.65 per day; tax on rooms and meals. • From Inspiration to Illumination – An Introduction to the Saint John’s Bible: Sept. 10, 7 p.m. Presenter is Tim Ternesfrom. Free of charge. • From Darkness to Light – Finding God While Struggling with Cancer: Sept. 14. One-day retreat with Sister Ann Marie Petrylka, OSM. Program fee $30. Lunch available for $10.76.

St. Philip Neri-Blessed Sacrament Parish Fall Festival: Sept. 21, 8202 N. 31st St., Omaha. Food, family games, beer garden. Begins at 11 a.m. and runs all day. St. Philip Neri-Blessed Sacrament Parish/St. Bernard Parish Halfway 2 Heaven Hill Challenge: Sept. 21, kids 100-yard dash at 10 a.m. and 5k walk/ run at 10:30 a.m., both at 8202 N. 31st St., Omaha. Prizes awarded. Well-Read Mom Small Group: Second Sunday of each month, 2 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc Church, 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. Vincent de Paul Parish’s Hour of Adoration: Third Sunday of each month, 3 p.m. at the church, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha. Call Kathy at 402-496-7988 or Mary at 402-496-0075. St. Robert Bellarmine Parish’s Daily Rosary and Mass for the Homebound: Monday through Saturday, 8:05 a.m. rosary, 8:30 a.m. Mass, Sunday 11 a.m.

12th Annual Elden Curtiss Lecture on Catholic Thought

Stories from Around the Globe:

Option for the Poor as Justice Featuring Dr. Kim Lamberty, Director of Catholic Engagement, Changing the Way We Care

Wednesday, September 18 • 7 p.m. College of Saint Mary, Gross Auditorium 7000 Mercy Road • Omaha, Neb. Free admission. RSVP at

WEST CENTER CHAPEL 7805 W Center Rd 402-391-3900

KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ CHAPEL 5108 F St 402-731-1234 BELLEVUE CHAPEL 2202 Hancock St Bellevue 402-291-5000

Tom Heafey

Our Legacy of Service Continues

DWORAK CHAPEL 2466 S 16th St 402-346-1144

| RESURRECTION JOY | 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. ANZALDO-Sebastian A. “Subby,” Sr., 86. Funeral Mass Aug. 17 at St. Peter Church. Interment Resurrection Mausoleum. Preceded in death by grandson, Jeremy Michael Anzaldo; great-grandchildren, Kamdin Ferrin and Annabelle Anzaldo. Survived by wife, Janice Anzaldo; children, Sebastian Anzaldo Jr., Tim Anzaldo (Lori), Terry Anzaldo, Tony Anzaldo, and Gia Bodnar; sister, Mary Jane DeMaria (Yano and family); 19 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER APARO-Sebastino J. “Subby”, 92. Graveside service Aug. 5 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Vincenzo and Francesca Aparo; brother and spouse, Charles and Rose Aparo; sister and spouse, Mary Ann and Carl Segreto. Survived by nieces; nephews. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER BUSH-Lavern Louis “Vern”, 91. Funeral Mass Aug. 23 at Immaculate Conception Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Leslie Rudolph Bush and Laura Catherine Schutte; brother, Milton James Bush; wife, Wilma Pankowsky Bush; son, Joseph Leslie Bush; daughter, Laura Beth Scott; granddaughter, Allison Marie Costello. Survived by children and spouses, Ruth Ann and Ron Popp, Mary and Gordon Lickert, Jeannette and Mike Costello, Paul and SaeWha Bush, Katherine and Steve Laubert; grandchildren; great-grandchildren. Memorials to the church or Poor Clares. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER CEPURAN-Theresa, 91. Funeral Mass Aug. 6 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by sisters, Daniela Patach, Ann Paska and Mary Cepuran; brothers, John and Joseph Cepuran. Survived by nieces; nephews. Memorials to Ss. Peter and Paul Church. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME CHLEBORAD-Patricia A., 86. Memorial service Aug. 26 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Preceded in death by husband, Richard; son, Nicholas. Survived by children, Terisia of Eagle River, Alaska; Karen and Richard Chleborad; two granddaughters. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN CONLEY-Father Martin P., 87. Funeral Mass Aug. 12 at St. Cecilia Cathedral. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Martin and Rose Anne Burke Conley; sisters and brother-in-law, Mary K. and George T. Arens, Rose Ann Conley, and Margaret Grace Conley. Survived by nieces; nephews; grandniece; grandnephews; retired priests, staff, and other residents at St. John Vianney Residence; caregiver, Paul Kini and staff with Beautiful Life Family Home Care; friend, Larry Dwyer; parishioners; friends. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER DOWD-Thomas F., 81. Funeral Mass Aug. 12 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by son, Thomas F. “Tom” Dowd, Jr. Survived by wife, Sally Dowd; children and spouses, Mike and Rosi Dowd, Tim and Jennifer Dowd, Kathy and Paul Walz; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren. Memorials to CUES (Christian Urban Education Services) or Parkinson’s Foundation. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER DOZELENCIC-Michael S., 67. Funeral Mass Aug. 29 at St. Mary Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, Michael J. and Leona (Saniuk) Dozelencic. Survived by sisters, Lucy Hulse and Joanne Dozelencic. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME EDNEY-Mary Jane McGowan, 95. Funeral Mass Aug. 6 at St. John Church on the Creighton University campus. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by son, Joseph D. Edney; parents, James and Loretta McGowan; brothers; sister. Survived by James A. Edney (Debbie), John J. Edney (Patricia), Mary Lynn Schwietz (Greg) and Joanne Edney Coray (David); nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren. Memorials to CUES, Holy Name School or Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN

FILIPOWICZ-Mary Ann (Dragon), 89. Funeral Mass Aug. 21 at St. Bridget Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Paul; daughter, Mary Lou Krayneski; brothers and sisters. Survived by daughters, Debbie Mason and Lorraine Walters; son and spouse, Mike and Michele Filipowicz; son-in-law, Larry Krayneski; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister, Dorothy Wolfe; nieces; nephews. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME

KENKEL-Lois (Guinan), 74. Funeral Mass Aug. 9 at St. Wenceslaus Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Thomas and Frances Guinan; sisters, Darlene Pierce, Joan Wood and Bonnie Grubs; brothers, Terry Guinan and Larry Guinan. Survived by husband, Dean; sons, Timothy and Jeff; daughter-in-law, Donna; three grandchildren; brothers, Mickey, John and Pat Guinan. Memorials to the family for donation to Lois’ favorite charities. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN

FRANKSMANN-Virginia M., 73. Funeral service Aug. 10 at West Center Chapel. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Survived by husband, Alex; son, Brett; brother and spouse, Bob and Mary Parolek; sister, Phyllis Laudenklos; two grandchildren. Memorials to American Cancer Society or National Kidney Foundation. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

KLUTHE- Melvin P., 78. Funeral Mass Aug. 13 at St. Joan of Arc Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Conrad and Leona. Survived by wife, Lois Kluthe; children and spouses, David and Diana Kluthe, Tom and Melissa Kluthe, Michelle and Chris Zuroske, Sue and Scott Heaney, and Steve and Ryann Kluthe; 14 grandchildren; sister, Sr. Kathleen Kluthe. Memorials to St. Joan of Arc Endowment Fund or the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

FRUHWIRTH-Elizabeth “Betty”, 95. Memorial service Aug. 10 at Christ the King Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, John; granddaughter, Jennifer. Survived by children and spouses, Marcia and Donald West, Cynthia and John Moore, Sheryl and Jack Hohensee, John and Barbara Fruhwirth, Bill and Sandy Fruhwirth; 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. Memorials to Christ the King Educational Fund or Muddy Paws Second Chance Rescue. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN GARTNER-Geralda Ann “Geri”, 81. Funeral Mass Aug. 16 at St. Leo the Great Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Hugo and Leona Kathol; grandson, Joshua Martin. Survived by husband, Ron Gartner; children and spouses, Jim and Lori Gartner, Michelle and Greg Martin, Steve and Kim Gartner; siblings, Ken, Charleen, Arlyce, Donna, Carol, Joan and Janel; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren. ROEDER MORTUARY GREGOIRE-Robert Gerard, 88. Funeral Mass Aug. 19 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Bellevue Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Victoria; son, Joseph. Survived by children and spouses, Theresa Gregoire, Robert Gregoire, Stephen and Connie Gregoire, and Paulette and Kevin Hawkins; sister, Carol Flynn; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren. Memorials to Nebraska Humane Society. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL GREISE-Doris E., 95. Funeral Mass Aug. 19 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Francis J. Greise Sr.; daughter, Anne Marie Greise; son, Francis J. Greise Jr.; grandson, Christopher Harshbarger. Survived by children and spouses, Margaret and Don Ojeski, Dorothy and Tom Urwin, Barb Greise, Michael and Alice Greise, Joan and Rick Harshbarger, Mary and Doug Rushing, and James and Linda Greise; daughter-in-law, Cathie Greise; 22 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Stan Meyer. Memorials to Masses or League of Human Dignity. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER HALBACH-James J., 76. Funeral Mass Aug. 24 at Christ the King Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Ray and Alice; brother and spouse, Jack and Anna; nephew, Mike Halbach; nephew-in-law, James Quintana. Survived by sister, Rosie Halbach; nieces; nephews; niece-in-law; grandnieces; grandnephews; great-grandniece; great-grandnephew. Memorials to Masses or Victory Noll Sisters. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER HOMAN-Mary Alice, 83. Funeral Mass Aug. 6 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Bellevue Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Kenneth “Jerry” Homan; daughter, Michelle Dozier. Survived by children and spouses, Deborah and David Gray, and Janelle and Tim Bowen; son-in-law, Steve Dozier; former son-inlaw, John Cleveland; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren. Memorials to Alzheimer’s Association, HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KAMINSKI-Sarah R. “Rose”, 94. Graveside service Aug. 7 at Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Michael Kaminski. Memorials to St. Bernard Church or the Nebraska Humane Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KENNEY-N. Patrick, 87. Funeral Mass Aug. 22 at Mary Our Queen Church. Private Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Survived by his wife, Helen Kenney; children and spouses, JoEllen Kenney, Patty Kenney, Kathy and Jeff Cohn, Steve and Julie Kenney, and John and Cecilia Kenney; 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to Creighton Prep or Stephen Center. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN KOSMICKI-Raymond D. “Ray”, 82. Funeral Mass Aug. 16 at St. Joan of Arc Church. Interment St. Michael Cemetery, West Point. Survived by wife, Kathleen E. Kosmicki; brothers, Gerald and Ronald; children, Kent, Robert, Michael and Karen; grandchildren; relatives; friends. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

KONECK-Eugenia D. “Jean”, 92. Funeral Mass Aug. 23 at Holy Cross Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Lawrence F. Koneck; daughter, Margaret K. Shanahan. Survived by daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Joe Schalm; sons and daughters-in-law, Robert John and Laurie Koneck, Lawrence Michael and Ericka Koneck, and John Andrew and Stacy Koneck; son-in-law, Ronald Shanahan; sisters and spouses, Rosemary and Duane Dougherty, and Louise and Jim Overfelt; brother, Michael Gloeb; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to Holy Cross Education Fund or Mercy High School. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KRZYCKI-Dolores Ann (Tenczer), 86. Funeral Mass Aug. 22 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment St. John Mausoleum, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, Frank and Josephine Tenczer; sister, Carol Zoucha; brothers, Donald and Frank Tenczer. Survived by children, Susan Schwalm, Diane Vancil, Michael Krzycki and Beverly (Burton) Kragskow; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren. Memorials to St. Stanislaus Church for Masses. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME KUKER-Elizabeth C., 98. Funeral Mass Aug. 6 at Christ the King Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Adolph Kuker; son, Wayne Kuker; daughters, Sharon Patterson and Diane Jorgensen. Survived by son and daughter-in-law, Gerald and Mary Jo Kuker; sons-in-law, John Patterson and Donald Jorgensen; 10 grandchildren; great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren. Memorials to Christ the King Church. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN KUSH-Lester J., 89. Funeral Mass Aug. 16 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Louis and Dorothy Kush; brothers, Edwin, Bernard and John; sisters, Katherine, Angeline, Helen, Minnie, Regina, Alice and Rosie; son, Robin. Survived by wife, Delores “Dee” Kush; children, Leslie, Rodney, Raymond, Lisa and Laniese; sisters, Evelyn and Bertha; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; other family members. Memorials to the church for Masses or to the family. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME LUBY-Thomas E., 77. Funeral Mass Aug. 13 at Christ the King Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Roger and Marie (Theros) Luby; sister, Elaine. Survived by wife, Mary Jo; daughter, Christine Luby Brown; sons and daughter-in-law, Steven, and Jeffrey and Faith; 11 grandchildren; sisters and brother-in-law, Delores and Ken Miller, Patricia Pawol, and Connie Luby; nieces; nephews; extended family and friends. Memorials to Holy Name School, Christ the King Education Trust, or charity of choice. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 MASTERS-Raymond A. “Ray”, 87. Funeral Mass Aug. 13 at St. Patrick Church in Elkhorn. Preceded in death by parents, Jess and Effie Masters. Survived by wife, Alyce (Nelson); daughter and son-in-law, Lorrie and Dan Kurfman; sons and daughter-in-law, Ray Jr. and Rima Masters, Charlottesville, Virginia, and John Masters, Valley, Nebraska; brother, Wayne Masters, Columbus, Ohio; sisters, Dolores Novak, Rowley, Iowa, and Norma VanHaaften, Minnetonka, Minnesota; seven grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters of Christ the King in Lincoln or St. Patrick Parish in Elkhorn. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER MCDONALD-MaryAnn, 88. Funeral Mass Aug. 24 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Jake and Rose Kripal; husbands, Raymond McDonald and Edward Bobier; brothers, Tom and Laddie Kripal; sisters, Dorothy (Bill) Ciesalik and Gerry (Al) Novak; other family members. Survived by step-daughter and spouse, Lori and Arthur Jorgensen, Madison, Wisconsin; sister, Rosemary Melanis; nieces; nephews; friends, Rita Costello, Todd Jarvis and Tim Cook; family; friends. Memorials to St. Mary Church, Bellevue or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL MOORE-Robert N., 80. Funeral Mass Aug. 7 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Interment CedarDale Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Charles and Helen Moore; brother, Charles Moore. Survived by wife, Mary Ann; children, Bob, Barb (Monty) and Mark (Leslie); brothers, Don and Terry Moore; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME MUENCH-Jill Ann, 60. Funeral Mass Aug. 16 at St. Matthew Church, Bellevue. Inurnment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by grandparents; parents, Norman and Darlene Kiser; father-in-law, Edwin Muench; aunts; uncles; cousins; friends. Survived by husband, Brian Muench; son, Tyler Muench; brother, Gary (Keven) Kiser; mother-in-law, Genevieve Muench; sisters-in-law, Cheryl (Dan) Moriarty, and Kathy (Tim) Brown; aunts; uncles; niece; nephews; cousins; friends. Memorials to the family for further designation. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN MURPHY-Jerome M., 78. Funeral Mass Aug. 13 at St. Gerald Church. Preceded in death by parents; brothers, James and Joe; daughter, Brenda. Survived by wife, Nancy; daughters and son-in-law, Trisha Murphy, and Rebecca and Jon Hendrickson; two granddaughters, two great-granddaughters and one great-grandson; family; friends. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME NARDUZZO-Richard J. “Dick”, 79. Funeral service Aug. 10 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Albert and Louise; brothers, John and Albert; nephew, Jim Narduzzo. Survived by wife, Oksana; daughters and sons-in-law, Natalie and Robert Heser, and Stephanie and Mark Healy; eight grandchildren; brother, Paul; nieces; nephews; other relatives. Memorials to the Rev. Donald Shane Endowment Fund or Wounded Warriors. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

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FUNERAL NOTICES & OBITUARIES ONLINE Visit Catholic Voice Online at for current and up-to-date funeral notices and obituaries. NEALON-Thomas J., 88. Funeral service Aug. 3 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Inurnment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by sisters, Mary Agnes Finnerty, Therese Mahoney and Ruth Barrett; brother, Jack Nealon; parents, Thomas G. and Marie (Hansen) Nealon; fatherin-law, Leo Haverkamp; mother-in-law, Mary (Freking) Haverkamp; stepmother-in-law, Nora (Amick) Haverkamp; brother, Jack Nealon; brother-in-law, Dale Lingren; Survived by wife, Delores (Haverkamp) Nealon; children, Mike (Susan Clinton) Nealon, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Annette (Jim) Ludeman, Bob (Cindy Wuerz) Nealon, Naperville, Illinois, and Dr. James (Shelly Balkovec) Nealon, Silverton, Oregon; 10 grandchildren; sisters, Kathryn Lingren, Arlington, Texas, and Sharon (Ken) Cheney, Lincoln; sisterin-law, Marilyn Nealon, formerly of Omaha. Memorials to American Legion Post 186 (Greeley, Nebraska) or Sisters of St. Francis Sister Water Project (a project to bring safe water to villages in Tanzania and Honduras). HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER NEGRETE-Lupe, 86. Funeral Mass Aug. 19 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Anthony; brothers, Pete, Joe and Salvador Gonzalez; sister, Carmen Gomez; two great-grandchildren. Survived by daughter and spouse, Cyndi and Ed Negrete-Hornig; son and spouse, Anthony and Laurie Negrete; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sisters and spouses, Toni and Fernando Torres, Sally and Ken Bale; numerous relatives; friends. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME NORRIS-Richard F., 88. Funeral Mass Aug. 24 at St. Wenceslaus Church. Interment Resurrection Mausoleum. Preceded in death by sister, Dorothy; wives, Robbi and JoAnn; son, Gary. Survived by children and spouses: Mark Norris, Nancy and Arld Johnson, Jeffrey and Lori Norris, and Keri and Stuart Quattlebaum; three grandchildren. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER PLACEK-Helen E., 93. Funeral Mass Aug. 22 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Jim; son, Dennis. Survived by daughters and spouses, Dottie and Donald Halsey, Patty and John Poltack; nine grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; sister, Neola Boyer. Memorials to Masses or charity of choice. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER POPE-Georgia A., 73. Funeral Mass Aug. 27 at Mary Our Queen Church. Survived by daughters, Terri (Roy), Tami and Tonia (Andy); six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sisters, Margie and Shari (Lew); nieces; nephews; family; friends. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME

Continued on Page 18 »

Over a Century of Service…

LUEDTKE-Barbara, 101. Funeral Mass Aug. 8 at St. Pius X Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Lue Frank Brim and Mary (Klanecky) Brim; sisters, Agnes, Josephine and Mary; brother, Louis; husband, Elmer; son, Alvin; grandparents, Vaclav F. Klanecky and Barbara Josephine (Wachal) Klanecky. Survived by children and spouses, Bonnie and Jerry Siders, and Leo and Jean Luedtke; daughter-in-law, Carol Luedtke; 11 grandchildren: 21 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren. Memorials to the family. KREMER FUNERAL HOME LYPACZEWSKI-Chris P. Eng., 65. Funeral Mass Aug. 10 at Mary Our Queen Church. Private interment. Survived by wife, Gina (Ricci); son, Nicholas; daughter, Angela (Keith Costello); one granddaughter; mother, Mary; sisters, Mary (Gary Kielo) and Claire (Dan Mallette); brother, Paul (Carole Moore); nieces; nephews; grandnieces; grandnephews. Memorials to Engineers Without Borders-USA or Engineers Without Borders-Canada. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

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RAMIREZ-Gregory Allen, Sr., 68. Funeral Mass Aug. 20 at St. Frances Cabrini Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, George and Mary Rose (Puckkee) Ramirez; sister, Joan (Edward) Ventura; niece, Mary Alcuran; niece-in-law, Jeanette Ernestine Ventura; nephews, Sonny and James Desautels. Survived by wife, Sandra (Maguire) Ramirez; daughters, Marina (Sergio) Bustillos, Danielle (fiancé Gabriel) Ramirez; sons, Gregory Jr. (Tracy) Ramirez, Vicente (Jessica) Ramirez, and Maximilian Ramirez; sisters, Rosemarie Desautels, Loretta Ramirez, Georgiana (Frankie) Alcuran, Geraldine (Ross) Martinez, and Ramona Ramirez-Alvarez; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandson; nieces; nephews; cousins. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME RAMIREZ-Mary Ann (Vaccaro), 83. Funeral Mass Aug. 26 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Entombment Calvary Mausoleum. Preceded in death by parents, Rose and Joe Vaccaro. Survived by children, Jimmy Ramirez (Mary Jo), Nikki Meyer, and Rene Campos (Chris); brothers, Jack Vaccaro and Joe Vaccaro (Pat); five grandchildren; great-grandchildren; other family and friends. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

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REEDER-Edward “Dan”, 91. Funeral Mass Aug. 2 at Mary Our Queen Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Otto and Rosemary Reeder; sisters, Lorraine, Bette and Sally. Survived by wife, Virginia; sons and spouses, Dan and Janelle Reeder; Steve and Brenda Reeder; daughter and spouse, Mari and Jeff Rensch; brothers, Ted, Lance and Bernie; sisters, Maryanne and Susanne; 10 grandchildren; nieces; nephews. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER ROARTY-Grace Elizabeth, 18. Funeral Mass Aug. 24 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Survived by parents, Christopher and Carol Roarty; brother, Jacob Roarty; grandparents, William and Betty Roarty, James Kosiske Sr. and Connie Kosiske; aunts and uncles, Kathy Roarty, James Roarty, Beth and Dennis McNeil, Mary Roarty, James and Pam Kosiske, Karen and Kurt Wenck, John and Jill Kosiske; cousins. Memorials to Children’s Cancer Network. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER RYAN-Father James H., S.J., 82. Funeral Mass Aug. 1 at St. Camillus Jesuit Chapel in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Memorial Mass Sept. 13 at St. John Church on the Creighton University campus. Preceded in death by parents, George and Nora Ryan; siblings, Sabina Ryan OP, Marie Collette Ryan OP, Thomas Ryan, Nora Moore, Francis Ryan, Susan Rochford and Ann Ryan. Survived by Nora Ryan OP, Imelda McMillan, Mary Rehan, George Ryan, Virginia Garner and John Ryan; nieces, nephews and offspring. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN SANCHEZ-Ignacio “Papo” P., Sr., 87. Funeral Mass Aug. 14 at St. Gerald Church. Preceded in death by wife, Celia; brothers and sisters; grandson, Benito. Survived by sons and spouses, Ignacio “Nacho” Jr. and Juliana Sanchez, Ruben and Cathy Sanchez, Paul and Lisa Sanchez; daughter, Rebecca “Becky” Becerra; grandchildren, great grandchildren; greatgreat grandson. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ


Please proofread very carefully. Once you okay this proof, your job goes into production, and we are not responsible for any errors in typesetting or layout.

SCHEIBLHOFER- Joann C., 89. Funeral Mass Aug. 16 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Martin E. Scheiblhofer; daughter, Ann Tompkins. Survived by son, John M. Scheiblhofer; Paul Pancer; two grandchildren, one great-grandchild. Memorials to St. Robert Bellarmine Parish or Nebraska Humane Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SCHMIDT, Mary T., 91. Funeral Mass Aug. 27 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Bellevue Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Thomas, Sr.; parents, Frank and Rose Knott; grandson, Tyson Loseke. Survived by children, Thomas, Jr. (Diana), John, Terence (Sue), Laurence (Chrissy) Schmidt, and Kirsten (Jay) McCauley; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; siblings, Keitha MacIntire and Reuben James, Brother Richard James OSF; Lori Schmidt; niece and nephews and families. Memorials to St. Mary’s Ladies’ Guild, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, or Alzheimer’s Association BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL SINOS-Ann M., 93. Funeral Mass Aug. 28 at St. Columbkille Church in Papillion. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, George L. Sinos Sr. Survived by son, George L. Sinos Jr.; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister, Sylvia Dempsey; nieces; nephews. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SMITH-Christine L., 69. Funeral Mass Aug. 14 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, John and Elizabeth; brother, John; sisters, Cheryl and Annette. Survived by significant other Mark; children, James, Kim and Nichole; siblings, Cathy, Debra, Patrick, Charles and Brian; nieces; nephews; other family members. Memorials to the family. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME SOBCZYK-Brother Stanislaus (John Michael) FSC, 74. Funeral Mass Aug. 10 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, Mary and John Sobczyk. Survived by sister, Lucille Ratcliff; brother, Jim; Rubin Rodriguez; nieces; nephews; grandnieces. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME ST. LUCAS-Jennie E., 104. Funeral Mass Aug. 21 at New Cassel Retirement Center. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Frank; sister, Marie Vlcek. Survived by son, Frank St. Lucas Jr.; daughter, Dianne Chval; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild. Memorials to New Cassel Retirement Center. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER TOLO-Michaela Naylon, 62. Funeral Mass Aug. 26 at St. Wenceslaus Church. Preceded in death by parents, Harry and Corinne Naylon. Survived by husband, David M. Tolo; daughter, Cara Rector; sisters and spouses, Sharon and Mike Daughtery, Sheila and Steve Heldridge, and Margaret Naylon; brothers and spouses, Mark and Lisa Naylon, Harry and Beverly Naylon, Jim and Sherry Naylon, Dan Naylon; three grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center or St. Wenceslaus Church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

VACEK-Donald R. “Don”, 90. Funeral Mass Aug. 26 at Mary Our Queen Church. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents; seven brothers and sisters. Survived by wife, Dorothy; children, Mary Diane (Wally) Neneman, Shirley (Dave) Copple, Donald Jr. (Mary Pat) Vacek, Tricia (Jim) Sullivan, Mark (Jill) Vacek, Cindy (Matt Anderson); numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WALLACE-Stephen E., 99. Funeral Mass Aug. 19 at St. Gerald Church. Interment Calvary Mausoleum. Preceded in death by parents, Maurice and Mary Wallace; son, Kevin; sisters, Alma Kersenbrock and Evelyn Connors; brother, Dr. Robert Wallace; grandson, Mark Wallace. Survived by wife, Loretta; children, Patrick (Cheryl), Ann Schroeder (Van), and Mary Kirby (Greg); five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to Siena/Francis House. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME WALLS-Stephen J., 76. Funeral Mass Aug. 8 at St. Stanislaus Church. Commital St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by parents, Frank and Louise Walls; sisters, Nadine Walls and Linda Hoult; granddaughter, Jennifer Rose Bartunek. Survived by wife, Carrie Lynn Walls (Ojeski); children and spouses, Jeanette and John Bartunek, Stephen and Tamara Walls, Kathleen and Brent Hodgen; five grandchildren; brother, Chuck Walls; sister and spouse, Bonnie and Larry Gerlt; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME WALSH-Eileen, 96. Service Aug. 12 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Francis Walsh; daughter, Betsy Walsh. Survived by daughters and spouses, Linda and Robert Fell, Nancy and John Thomas; brother, Richard Giever; three grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. Robert Bellarmine Church. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN WEIGEL-D. Chris. Funeral Mass Aug. 9 at St. John Vianney Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Ed and Helen Weigel. Survived by wife, Kathy Weigel; children and spouses, Lorie and Dennis Jaeger, Susan and Jay Shellberg, Scott Weigel; four grandchildren; brother and sisterin-law, Tom and Dottie Weigel; one nephew. Memorials to Wounded Warrior Project. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WEINFURTNER-Paul M., 79. Funeral Mass Aug. 8 at Immaculate Conception Church. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Judy Weinfurtner; infant daughter, Paula Weinfurtner. Survived by wife, Kathie Weinfurtner; children and spouses, Marty and Rose Weinfurtner, Julie and Steve Martin, Theresa and Sam Caruso, Kurt Weinfurtner; sisters, Marlene Young and Marion Gibbs; grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN funeral-notices


Please advise us of any errors, corrections or changes in the copy or layout. It is your responsibility to do the final proofing. – Advertising

Father Ryan was Omaha native

Our Lady of Sorrows Month Catholic Voice Please e-mail your approval or corrections to:

Jesuit Father James Ryan, If you are unable to e-mail, please check one of the boxes below and fax to: 402-558-6614. whose 63 years as a Jesuit NO CHANGES MAY BE TAKEN OVER THE PHONE included 50 in the priesthood, O.K. to print a Date: / / To: a died July 28 at the (Signature) St. Camillus Jesuit NOT O.K. to print From: a Retirement Comas indicated. munity in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 82. A funeral Mass was held Aug. 1 at the St. Camil- FATHER JAMES lus community RYAN chapel in Wauwatosa. A memorial Mass was held Aug. 13 at St. John Church on the Creighton University camSaint Books, Statues, pus in Omaha. Medals and MORE An Omaha native, Father Ryan attended St. Cecilia and St. MarPlease COME SHOP our 15,000+ square foot facility!! We are NEBRASKA’S LARGEST church goods store faithfully serving our Catholic Community since 1944.

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garet Mary grade schools. He graduated from Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha in 1955. Father Ryan was ordained in 1969 at St. John Church on the Creighton University campus in Omaha. For 24 years, he served in Jesuit secondary schools including Creighton Prep, Campion High School in western Wisconsin, Marquette High School in Milwaukee, and Boston College High School. He ministered for 18 years in South Dakota to Native Americans, including at St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Rapid City, St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation and Holy Rosary Mission on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Father Ryan also served as the

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superior for the Jesuit communities at Marquette High School and Creighton Prep. He was preceded in death by parents, George and Nora Ryan; siblings, Sister Sabina Ryan OP, Sister Marie Collette Ryan OP, Thomas Ryan, Nora Moore, Francis Ryan, Susan Rochford and Ann Ryan. He is survived by siblings Sister Nora Ryan OP, Imelda McMillan, Mary Rehan, George Ryan, Virginia Garner and John Ryan; nieces, nephews, grandneices and grandnephews.


Brother Stan was Roncalli principal Catholic Voice

Brother Stanislaus (Stan) Sobczyk, a De La Salle Christian Brother whose 57 years of service included teaching throughout the United States and serving as principal at Roncalli Catholic High School in Omaha, died July 22 in Napa, California. He was 74. A funeral Mass was held BROTHER Aug. 10 at St. STANISLAUS C o l u m b k i l l e SOBCZYK Church in Papillion with interment at St. John Cemetery in Bellevue. Born in Omaha in 1944, Brother Stan entered the novitiate in 1962 and took his final vows in 1969. At the then-named Archbishop Rummel High School, he served as dean in 1973. After one year away from Omaha in 1974, he returned in 1975 to become principal for the newly-named Roncalli Catholic High School for the next four years. Father Lloyd Gnirk, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in

Valley and president emeritus of the school, knew Brother Stan in passing over the years through the administrative operations of the school. Brother Stanislaus worked well with students, was straightforward and maintained good discipline at the school, Father Gnirk said. “(He) especially provided education for what would be considered underprivileged youth ... for those who weren’t able to afford it.” Brother Stanislaus earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, and master’s degrees from St. Louis University and the University of Memphis. He later received a doctorate from the University of San Francisco. His ministry included teaching at high schools in Memphis, Galesburg, Illinois, and Jefferson City, Missouri. Brother Stanislaus was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and John Sobczyk. He is survived by his sister, Lucille Ratcliff, brother Jim, nieces and spouses, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Sister Marie Patrice taught in Omaha Catholic Voice

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Marie Patrice O’Donnell, whose 71 years of religious life included teaching in Omaha, died July 26 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. She was 91. A funeral Mass was held Aug. 6 at the motherhouse chapel in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, with interment in the motherhouse cemetery. SISTER MARIE An Omaha PATRICE native, Sister Marie O’DONNELL Patrice graduated from Sacred Heart Grade School and Sacred Heart High School, both in Omaha. She professed her first vows as a Sinsinawa Dominican in 1947 and perpetual vows in 1950.


Sister Marie Patrice taught for 50 years in five different dioceses including at St. Cecilia School in Omaha from 19821998, where she continued serving as librarian until 2007. She also taught in Illinois, Wisconsin, Alabama and Colorado. Sister Marie Patrice was preceded in death by parents, Patrick and Agnes (Long) O’Donnell; sisters, Mary Alice Bratrsovsky, Helen Figlewicz and Mary Agnes Bratrsovsky; brothers, Bernard O’Donnell, Leo O’Donnell, Patrick O’Donnell, Terrence O’Donnell, Martin O’Donnell, Herman O’Donnell, William O’Donnell, John O’Donnell, Father Ralph O’Donnell, Francis O’Donnell, Charles O’Donnell and Msgr. Edward O’Donnell. She is survived by nieces, nephews and the Dominican Sisters.

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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS Classified ads will be accepted up until noon on Tues. Sept. 10, for the Sept. 20 issue. All classified ads must be paid in advance, unless credit has been approved. Ad requests partially paid will receive an invoice for balance due. If ad requests are not fully paid within 30 days of receipt, any monies received will be returned. Ad requests sent anonymously and not fully paid will be considered a donation, without the ad being published. COSTS: Up to 5 lines $13.00, each additional line $2.50. Approximately 27 characters/spaces per line. Display classified open rate $24.95 per column inch. To place your classified ad, mail to: Classified Advertising, Catholic Voice, P.O. Box 4010, Omaha, NE 68104-0010; or visit



COMMUNICATIONS ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT The Catholic Voice, official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Omaha, seeks a full-time Communications Administrative Assistant for its dedicated team of hardworking communication professionals. The primary purposes of this position are to update the subscriber database for the newspaper’s print publications and to write, edit and proof news items for publication. The successful candidate will have a solid grasp of the English language, a passion for preparing content for newspaper and digital publication, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, and excellent attention to detail. Other responsibilities of this position include: • Coordinating the collection of information for the Archdiocese of Omaha Directory. • Answering the telephone and greeting the public. Qualifications include: • Demonstrated interest and aptitude for furthering the mission of the Catholic Church by developing news content, as well as by providing administrative support for publications. • Active, practicing Roman Catholic in full communion with the Catholic Church preferred. • High school diploma, with some post-secondary education • Five years of secretarial or administrative assistant experience in a business setting; newspaper experience preferred. To view a full job description and complete an online application, please go to

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Who’s ignoring women’s health?


ou are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

This observation, attributed to Democratic politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan, comes to mind as I see warring opinions about the Trump administration’s latest conflict with Planned Parenthood. The administration has issued regulations to keep the federal Title X family planning program from promoting abortion. Title X projects must be financially and physically separate from abortion activity, and stop doing referrals for abortion as a method of family planning. Planned Parenthood and others, including many states, filed suit against the regulations but have been rebuffed in federal court – and Planned Parenthood is leaving the Title X program in protest, forgoing almost $60 million in federal funds. One opinion is that the administration has shown its disdain for women’s health, depriving over a million low-income women of health services in its zeal to defund Planned Parenthood. It has injected its ideology between doctors and patients with its “gag rule” on abortion, aided by the president’s rightwing court appointments. Salon magazine even says the goal is to end access to birth control because Republicans “hate the power it gives women.” So now the facts. When Congress created Title X in 1970, it included an amendment by Democratic (not Republican) congressman John Dingell: “None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” Rep. Dingell said his intent was that “abortion is not to be encouraged or promoted in any way through this legislation.” Projects that treat abortion as family planning would be ineligible for federal funds because family planning programs should work to “reduce the incidence of abortion.” And he cited “evidence that the prevalence of abortion as a substitute or a backup for contraceptive methods can reduce the effectiveness of family plan-

A More Human Society RICHARD DOERFLINGER ning programs.” In other words, when you offer both, abortion tends to replace contraception. His amendment would keep this program focused on its stated purpose and make family planning more effective. In 1988, the Reagan administration issued regulations, similar to the Trump regulations, to enforce this policy. In 1991, these rules were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court – including two justices, Kennedy and Souter, who supported a constitutional “right” to abortion. They said the court had long held that government may use its funding power to encourage childbirth over abortion; the administration was simply enforcing a policy enacted by Congress; and there was no intrusion into the doctor/ patient relationship, because abortion conversations could freely continue outside this federal program. Judges are upholding the Trump regulations because they must follow precedents set by the highest court in the land. The Trump regulations don’t even “gag” counseling on abortion as a pregnancy option. They only rescind a Clinton-era rule mandating such counseling. Nor does the loss of $60 million “defund” Planned Parenthood: It received $563.8 million in taxpayer funds last year, and states with pro-abortion policies will try to replace what Planned Parenthood loses in federal funds. The new regulations also insist that Title X clinics provide timely referrals to primary health care providers, such as the nearly 10,000 federally funded community health centers serving low-income women. A question remains. Why would Planned Parenthood leave Title X if it really thinks this undermines women’s health – when all it must do to stay in the program is tell its Title X grantees not to do abortion referrals? The answer seems to lie in a fierce ideological commitment to abortion, compared to which women’s health is unimportant. But that ideology is not that of the administration.




Esteemed computer scientist David Gelertner argues that Darwin’s theory of evolution fails to account for the emergence of new life forms in the fossil record – especially the so-called “Cambrian explosion” – combined with the fact that the information necessary to produce those life forms was encoded in their cells’ DNA.


Getting beyond Darwin

ishop Robert Barron and others working hard to evangelize the “Nones” – young adults without religious conviction – tell us that a major obstacle to a None embracing Christianity is the cultural assumption that science explains everything. And if science explains it all, who needs God, revelation, Christ or the church? To be even more specific: If Darwin and the Darwinian theory of evolution explain the origins of us (and everything else), why bother with Genesis 1-3 and Colossians 1:15-20 (much less Augustine’s “Thou hast made us for thee and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee”)? That’s why “Giving Up Darwin,” an essay by David Gelernter in the Spring 2019 issue of the “Claremont Review of Books,” is both a fascinating article and a potential tool in the New Evangelization. No one can accuse Gelernter of being an anti-modern knucklehead. He’s a pioneering computer scientist, a full professor at Yale and a remarkable human being: A package from the Unabomber blew off his right hand and permanently damaged his right eye, but didn’t impede his remarkable intellectual, literary and artistic productivity. In his “Claremont Review” essay, Gelernter gives full credit to what he calls “Darwin’s brilliant and lovely theory” and readily concedes that “there’s no reason to doubt that Darwin successfully explained the small adjustments by which an organism adapts to local circumstances: changes to fur density or wing style or beak shape.” But Darwinian evolution can’t “explain the big picture – (which involves) not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones.” What Darwin cannot explain, in short, is “the ori-

The Catholic Difference GEORGE WEIGEL gin of species” – the title of the British naturalist’s first, revolutionary book. The argument is complex, so it’s important to read Gelernter’s entire article carefully, and more than once. But to be desperately brief: First, Darwinian evolutionary theory can’t explain the so-called “Cambrian explosion,” in which, half a billion years ago, a “striking variety of new organisms – including the first-ever animals – pop up suddenly in the fossil record.” How did this “great outburst” of new life forms happen? The slow-motion processes of Darwinian evolution can’t answer that question. Gelernter concludes that “the ever-expanding fossil record” doesn’t “look good for Darwin, who made clear and concrete predictions that have (so far) been falsified.” (This gaping Cambrian hole in the Darwinian account goes unremarked in the otherwise-magnificent new David H. Koch Hall of Fossils at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.) But there is more. For “Darwin’s main problem … is molecular biology”: a scientific field that didn’t exist in his era. Given that he knew nothing about the inner-workings of cells through proteins, Darwin “did brilliantly” in explaining species adaptation. But Darwin and his neo-Darwinian disciples can’t account for the incredible complexity of the basic building-blocks of life: For as we now know, “genes, in storing blueprints for the proteins that form the basis of cellular life, encode an awe-inspiring amount of information …. Where on earth did it all (that is, all that “profound biochemical knowledge”) come from?” From ran-

dom mutations? Maybe, but very unlikely, for as Gelernter puts it, “You don’t turn up a useful protein by doodling on the back of an envelope, any more than you write a Mozart aria by assembling three sheets of staff paper and scattering notes around.” Put the Cambrian fossil record together with the high statistical improbability that the information-dense building-blocks of life happened through random mutations and you’re forced to consider what amounts to cultural heresy: that “the explosion of detailed, precise information that was necessary to build the brand-new Cambrian organisms, and the fact that the information was encoded, represented symbolically, in DNA …” falsify the Darwinian explanation of the big picture. Gelernter is intrigued by “intelligent design” approaches to these evolutionary conundra but also suggests that, “as a theory,” intelligent design “would seem to have a long way to go.” But to dismiss intelligent design out of hand – to brand it piety masquerading as science – is, well, unscientific. The fossil record and molecular biology now suggest that Darwinian answers to the big questions constitute the real fundamentalism: a materialistic fideism that, however shaky in dealing with the facts, is nonetheless deeply entrenched in 21st-century imaginations. Thus, Gelernter asks whether today’s scientists will display Darwin’s own courage in risking cultural disdain by upsetting intellectual apple carts. The empirical evidence suggests that the notions of a purposeful Creator and a purposeful creation cannot be dismissed as mere pre-modern mythology. That may help a few Nones out of the materialist bogs in which they’re stuck. George Weigel is distinguished senior fellow and William E. Simon chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.



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Pro-life banquet to celebrate NCC’s 50 years


n 1969, the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC) was formed. According to one historical account, it entered the public policy scene “with a yawn.”

At the time, it was unclear what a Catholic Conference was, what it was intended to accomplish, who its leadership would be, and what, if any, influence it would ultimately have on policy and politics in Nebraska. Fifty years later, experience has proven that the NCC is an influential, professional and faithful organization committed to the common good, not just for Catholics but for all of society. Whether the task has been advancing marriage and family, advocating for the poor and vulnerable, protecting unborn life and caring for pregnant and new mothers, defending religious liberty, promoting the public good of Catholic education, or any number of other initiatives, the NCC has been bearing the light of Christ in the public square.

Faithful, Watchful Citizens TOM VENZOR about the various social, cultural and political achievements of the NCC over the last 50 years. To take us on this journey will be Greg Schleppenbach, a 25-year veteran of the NCC and former pro-life director and executive director. Greg now serves our country’s bishops as the associate director for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The following day will be our annual educational conference. The conference begins with Mass at 8 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church (across the street from the State Capitol). Educational programming begins at 9 a.m. and will conclude by 4 p.m., with lunch included. This will take place at the Cornhusker Marriott’s lower level conference room. The day’s talks will focus on the theme of hope for the future of the pro-

life movement. We will discuss “Hope in Healthcare: New and Better Options for Women,” which will explore new horizons in holistic medical care for pregnant mothers. We will look at the various ways public policy can provide critical safety nets for families in need, in a talk entitled “Hope in the Public Square: Legislation, Public Assistance Programs and Catholic Social Teaching.” We will also discover innovative ways and frameworks for meeting the needs of mothers in our own communities by focusing on unique and impactful ways we can extend our personal charity. In “Hope After Abortion: Evangelizing Those Suffering from Past Abortion” we will learn about the tools we can implement to identify those who are personally struggling with the emotional, spiritual and physical effects of abortion, and discern how we can accompany those who suffer to provide healing and hope for the future. We will end the day with two

important panel discussions. First, we will take time to hear from our Protestant brothers and sisters about how we can engage in more meaningful partnerships and be united in the shared mission to build a culture of life. Second, we will discuss “ProLife Advocacy and Messaging in a Politically Extreme World,” which will tackle some of the fundamental problems we face as a nation and how to overcome these divisions through effective pro-life advocacy. The banquet and conference will not disappoint, and will undoubtedly be a great moment for solidarity, celebration and renewal. I can’t wait to see you there (and don’t forget to bring a half dozen of your closest friends and family). To register go to or call our office at 402-477-7517. As they say: “Be there or be square!” Tom Venzor is executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, with headquarters in Lincoln. Contact him at tvenzor@

Racism is more than mere ideology


ast month I started to write about racism and the difficulty that arises as we seek common ground on the matter. I’ll never forget the day I was in first grade and an older boy ran up to me on the playground during recess and yelled, “Spick, go home.” For readers who don’t know, that’s a racial slur. I didn’t know that at the time. I was just six. But the hatred in that kid’s face and eyes will always be seared into my memory. The image rose up again recently when our President told four American women, all of them duly elected representatives, all of them citizens, and three of the four born here in the U.S., to “go back” to the “places from which they came.” The President, never one to apologize for anything, did try to walk back the statement. He tried to explain that all he meant was that if they were so unhappy with our nation then they should just leave. That may be what he meant to say. But it wasn’t what he did say, and it wasn’t what I and many other children of immigrants heard. What we heard was what


This has been due to the visionary leadership of Nebraska’s bishops, the previous executive directors and staff of the NCC, and the thousands upon thousands of Catholic advocates who have carried out their Christian responsibility to transform the public square. In honor of this history and the years ahead, this year’s prolife banquet and conference is themed “Abound in Hope: The Next 50 Years.” The event will provide a moment to gather in friendship as brothers and sisters in Christ to honor and celebrate the work of the NCC, especially our work related to building a culture of life and a civilization of love. The banquet and conference will be held Sept. 20-21 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln. The banquet will take place on Friday evening, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour (cash bar) and a 6:30 p.m. dinner and program. It will be an opportunity to join our Nebraska bishops – active and retired – in a delightful evening, reminiscing

Charity in Truth DEACON OMAR GUTIÉRREZ I heard that day in first grade: If you’re not like us, you’re not a real American. Last month I said that with the exception of very few in America, all of us agree that racism is bad. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If you doubt me, take the case of Jean Cramer, candidate for city council for Marysville, Michigan, who said during a debate at the end of August that she wants to keep her city “a white community as much as possible. White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born, no foreign people.” She also said that there should be no mixed marriages between the races, but averred that “as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not.” That’s the fascinating thing. Racism is so widely condemned by the American conscience that despite her clear racism, Cramer knows that she shouldn’t be a racist. So she has to define racism in a way that doesn’t include her. And that’s the problem with racism. It can take many forms. American Renaissance, a periodical that dates back to the early 90s, claims that whites are



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genetically superior to blacks and Hispanics. We all agree that’s racism. But what if a public policy results in a disproportionate harm to one race over any other? Even if the advocates of the policy never intended the result, can that policy be called racist? And can those who advocate for it be labeled racists themselves? That is the flashpoint today, because it has become increasingly hard for some to believe that an honest disagreement about policy is just that and not crypto-racism.

The church would have us know at least two things. The first is the fundamental evil of racism. The second is the point that racism is more than just an ideology out of which one must be convinced. Racism is a kind of vice, a distorted habit of thinking, the eighth deadly sin if you will. Therefore, against it a conversion of heart is required. And to that end, Americans, all of us, ought to look into our hearts to root out racist or let’s just call them oppositionist atti-

tudes or presumptions that cause us to look down upon others, fear others, or condemn others merely because of their name, their skin color, their accent, their place of birth or their political affiliation. Let us pray and fast together for a greater conversion of heart so that we might love as Jesus loves. Deacon Omar Gutiérrez is director of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Contact him at




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Charming drama explores friendship, family life By JOHN MULDERIG Catholic News Service

Abundant charm and an insightful depiction of the ups and downs of both friendship and family life make “Blinded by the Light” (Warner Bros.) – writer-director Gurinder Chadha’s touching factbased mix of drama and comedy – a winner. Though it’s safest for grownups, the valuable lessons of the film qualify it as possibly acceptable for mature teens, despite some vulgarity in the script. Amid political and racial tensions – the hardscrabble world of 1980s Luton, England, provides the movie’s setting – British Pakistani teen Javed (Viveik Kalra) aspires to be a poet. But he’s hemmed in by his overbearing father, Malik (Kulvinder Ghir), who wants him to pursue a more lucrative career. Introduced, more or less accidentally, to the music of Bruce Springsteen by classmate Roops (Aaron Phagura), Javed finds a fresh source of inspiration in the Boss’ working-class anthems, which resonate with his own experiences. Javed’s newfound enthu-


Viveik Kalra and Nell Williams star in a scene from the movie “Blinded by the Light.” siasm is shared by Eliza (Nell Williams), the fellow student for whom he’s fallen. Yet Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman), Javed’s best friend since childhood – with whom his

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relationship has already become fraught – remains indifferent to the Bard of Asbury Park. As Javed seeks to balance personal fulfillment and filial duty, he and Eliza pursue a romance that contradicts Malik’s stated intention to arrange a marriage for his son. Though a scene of them necking in Javed’s house while the rest of the family are away is left open-ended, the overall timbre of the movie would suggest that they don’t go much beyond kissing. Fans of Margaret Thatcher, the late British prime minister, will

be put off by the fact that Chadha’s script implicitly links her to the degraded behavior of the skinheads and neo-Nazis, young and old, who antagonize Javed and his friends. Under their guidance, one little boy makes a statement by urinating through the mail slot in the front door of one of Javed’s acquaintances. Viewers will be confident that such unpleasantness will not prevail over the appealing characters who predominate in “Blinded by the Light” – and for whom they’ll find themselves enthusiastically root-

RATING: PG-13 for some mild sensuality, a scatological incident, at least one use of profanity, an ethnic stereotyping theme, and occasional crude and crass talk. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. ing. By turns amusing and moving, this is a lively, well-made picture with a sunny disposition and a positive message about the enduring bond linking youngsters and their parents.

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News from around the archdiocese ORGANIZATIONS

EPS announces new executive director Essential Pregnancy Services (EPS) of Omaha, an organization that has served expectant women and parenting families for more than 46 years, announced Laura Buddenberg as its new executive director, effective Sept. 30. Buddenberg will oversee development activities, financial management and promotion of the EPS mission. With extensive experience in strategic planning and development, problem-solving and public speaking, she previously served as EPS director from 1997 to 2000, and as an EPS board member from 2010 to 2017. “Laura has command of the pro-life landscape, is well-respected by her peers and is a role model for others,” EPS Board President Doug Wilwerding said. “She possesses a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will, and we are confident in Laura’s leadership ability.” For the past 19 years, Buddenberg has held leadership roles at Boys Town, where she is currently director of Pastoral Affairs. She holds a master’s degree in family and youth services from Bellevue University and certification in family life ministry from the Archdiocese of Omaha.


CSM student earns Marie Curie Scholarship College of Saint Mary (CSM) freshman Macey McGargill was presented with an $80,000 scholarship and named a Marie Curie Scholar, funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

McGargill, who exhibited academic talent and leadership, earned the scholarship after achieving numerous honors at Mercy High School in Omaha. Her academic and extracurricular accolades include Academic Honor Roll, Good Samaritan Award, Outstanding Fine Arts Award and Excellence in Theatre Award. “This desire to learn is reflected in her choices she’s made during high school … ,” said the writer of one of her recommendation letters. “Her inquisitive nature would serve her well in the field of research, and in my opinion would be reflective of the Nobel Prize Winner, Marie Curie, for whom the scholarship is named,” the writer said. One of five national recipients of this year’s Marie Curie Scholarship, McGargill plans to study biology this fall. The program provides financial support and resources for young women pursuing study in STEM majors such as biology, chemistry or math.

Four CSM students win national video contest The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas chose four College of Saint Mary seniors last May as winners of the order’s third annual “Make Mercy Real” nationwide video contest for their submission, “Injustice in India’s Villages.” Grace Wettengel, Morgan Lee, Michelle Delgado and Nina Bennett, now graduate students at CSM, traveled to a rural Indian village, capturing the inhabitants’ struggle to maintain a traditional and sustainable way of life in a technologically advancing and challenging political time. They placed first out of 66 national video submissions.

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The four wanted to spread the message of how the inhabitants live. “They might be poor financially compared to us … but when it comes to spirituality and happiness, they were 10 times richer than any of us there,” Wettengel said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Delgado said. “We got to see how the people there were living and their different ways of life.” The students received $500 for winning the contest, which they donated to the village where they filmed the video.


Annual Parish 2 Parish race stresses unity More than 300 runners and 30 volunteers gathered for the sixth annual Parish 2 Parish run at Mary Our Queen Parish in Omaha Aug. 17. The run, which featured 50 teams of six people from about 11 different Omaha area parishes, started and ended at Mary Our Queen, and included checkpoints at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, and St. Stephen the Martyr and St. Robert Bellarmine churches. The individual team title went to a group from St. Stephen the Martyr Parish. “It’s great to see the parishes kind of unite,” said Rob Woodling, an organizer of the run. “It was kind of like an old grade school reunion. Great weather, everything worked out great. Everybody had a good time.” The race finished with a cookout. T-shirts were handed out to all runners and volunteers. The event allowed teams to compete, share conversation and connect with the community.

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The Archbishop’s Dinner for Education is an annual event that honors outstanding educators and administrators in our Catholic schools, raises important dollars for tuition assistance and celebrates the gift of Catholic education in our archdiocese. The eight educators featured below will be honored at this year’s dinner. To purchase tickets, contact Janet Griffin at 402-827-3764,, or go online to

Congratulations to these 2019 Archbishop’s Dinner for Education honorees:

ADMINISTRATORS OF THE YEAR One Administrator of the Year award funded by the Past Chair Endowment Mike Dempsey

Jennifer Fiscus

Assistant principal/activities director


“I hope that I have been there to help do the little things behind the scenes so that the school runs without a hitch. I have tried to help make all the people in Gross Catholic feel welcome and enjoy their time at the school.” – Mike Dempsey

“I pray that I have helped the students of St. Rose get to Heaven. Yes, I want them to be successful academically, but I want them to be filled with faith and love for God, themselves and others more than anything. I have a sincere love for St. Rose School and pray every day that I am doing what God has planned for me and the school community.” – Jennifer Fiscus

Gross Catholic High School, Bellevue

St. Rose of Lima School, Crofton



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Cindy Menzel

St. Mary School, Bellevue Fifth-grade teacher “I am hopeful that my efforts in guiding students to find their own gifts and to see the gifts in others will have a lasting impact. Perhaps most of all, I pray that my love of Christ and willingness to encourage students to recognize His great love for each of us will remain with them long after they have passed through my doors.” – Cindy Menzel

Marsha Kalkowski Marian High School, Omaha

Journalism I and II, honors freshman English teacher “I’d like to say that I have helped to empower young women to find their voice, share their voice and be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. I hope that my classroom has always been a faith community, as well as a mutual learning environment. I believe it has also been a safe place for young women to continue to become who God meant them to be.” – Marsha Kalkowski

Nancy Hochstein

Karen Schmeichel

Fifth-grade teacher

Seventh through twelfthgrade English/language arts teacher

Holy Trinity School, Hartington “I hope that I have impacted my students by helping them grow in their faith to become stronger Christians and by setting high expectations in my classroom to help them be successful in their future endeavors.” – Nancy Hochstein

St. Mary High School, O’Neill

“Soren Kierkegaard said that it isn’t about what children learn – rather, it is about arousing energy and interest. St. Ignatius said, ‘the glory of God is man fully alive.’ I want to live fully alive and to challenge my students to not quit at a certain age but to keep on living fully.” – Karen Schmeichel

Suzanne Seyler

St. Bernard School, Omaha Second-grade teacher “Each student has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. Nothing makes me happier than the grace-filled moment of a smile from a student after a difficult concept is mastered. As a Catholic classroom teacher, I guide and teach young students on the importance of prayer and making Christ present in their daily life. ” – Suzanne Seyler

Diane Vaiskunas

Madonna School & Community-Based Services, Omaha Physical education teacher/Special Olympics director “Regardless of their abilities, I work hard with my students to help them be successful and reach their full potential – whether it is in the classroom, at the job site, on the track or in the pool. I have high expectations for each of them, and I help them meet those expectations.” – Diane Vaiskunas

Celebrating Catholic Education

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Catholic Voice - Sept. 6, 2019  

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