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THE ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA

| DECEMBER 6, 2019 |

catholicvoiceomaha.com

INSIDE

archomaha.org

PARISH ADVENT PRAYER

HOPE AFTER LOSS Those grieving the death of a loved one have opportunity to experience hope, healing. PAGE 5

JUST FOR MEN Eucharistic adoration anchors new ministry offering spiritual formation to men. PAGES 6-7

DAN ROSSINI/STAFF

Archbishop George J. Lucas and Father Damian Zuerlein, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Omaha, lead members of the parish in prayer as part of a tree-lighting ceremony on the front steps of the church Nov. 30. The annual ceremony marks the beginning of Advent for the parish.

Let the Christ Child grow in your heart this Advent By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

CONSOLING GAZE Devotion to Holy Face of Jesus growing thanks to Omaha apostolate. PAGE 9

Imagine being a parent waiting for the birth of a child. Imagine that baby and your new life together, the longing and desire in your heart. Imagine how your life will change once he or she arrives. Your life will never be the same, people tell you. You’ll have to make space for the child. Things you once thought were important will have to give way to the all-important task of caring for your baby. That anticipation and preparation is what Advent is like, spiritual directors say, as the faithful make way for the presence of Jesus in their lives. For some, the Advent experience might be that of new parents as they welcome Jesus into their lives for the first time in a meaningful and deliberate way, said Father Damian Zuerlein, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Omaha. For others who already have a relationship

INDEX

The Archbishop News

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with Christ but want to deepen that relationship, their Advent experience might be like welcoming a second or third child, he said. He said people must ask, “Is Jesus really alive for me in a real relationship, or is my faith like a club I belong to?” Like parents of a small child, the faithful need to take Christ everywhere they go, and consider him in all decisions, Father Zuerlein said. Diane Johnson, a member of St. Frances Cabrini, said she likes the analogy of Advent and pregnancy. Her work on a church decorating committee, which aims for “noble simplicity with elegance,” also shapes her Advent prayer. “Mary, mother of Jesus,” she prays, “we know that Jesus lives in our hearts. Help us prepare for him in a noble, simple way.” Doing too much can overpower the message of the season, in church decorating and in life, Johnson said. The attitude that “less is more” helps keep people focused.

Media & Culture Spiritual Life

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Her prayer in the morning might be a simple “Dear God, help me to be like Jesus. Let me bring joy and peace to someone. Let me bring a smile to someone’s face.” When Christ lives in someone, it’s apparent – and attractive – to others, she said. They notice and say: “That person has something, and I’d like that.” Jessi Kary, national director of the Pro Sanctity Movement, based in Omaha, said she shares advice from the late Caryll Houselander, a popular Catholic writer and mystic, to pay attention to the Christ Child growing within us. Even amid the hustle and bustle of the season, the Holy Spirit can transform people to make more room for Jesus, Kary said. “Stay attentive,” she advises, as a pregnant mother, like the Virgin Mary, would be to the life growing inside her.

Commentary Resurrection Joy

ADVENT >> Page 4

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Calendar Local Briefing

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2 « DECEMBER 6, 2019

| ARCHBISHOP’S MESSAGE |

God wants to transform our lives, possessions Dependence on him is the start of true stewardship In this week’s interview, communication manager David Hazen speaks with Archbishop George J. Lucas about the conclusion of the archdiocese’s highly successful Ignite the Faith capital campaign. This leads into a broader discussion of what stewardship is and why it makes sense to surrender everything in our lives to God.

The Shepherd’s Voice ARCHBISHOP GEORGE J. LUCAS

Q:

The archdiocese recently marked the conclusion of the Ignite the Faith capital campaign. Could you tell us a little about how that effort came about and its impact?

Several years ago, after we had done some pastoral planning for parishes and schools in several areas of our archdiocese, we realized that there were helpful new initiatives that we could launch if we had the necessary resources. After a feasibility study and consultation with people around the archdiocese, we launched a campaign called Ignite the Faith. It had a goal of $40 million, and we are celebrating the fact that we have received gifts totaling over $50 million. We heard from our people that they were most enthusiastic about supporting causes that have to do with Catholic education. So, a number of the facets of the campaign did just that, supporting further education for teachers, excellence grants for our schools, some capital improvements and help for inner city schools, and support for Catholic

education in rural areas of the archdiocese. We launched the Consortium of Catholic Schools in South Omaha. We funded our priests’ retirement, and we received additional money for the formation of our seminarians. It was really an excellent effort. I am so grateful to thousands and thousands of people across the archdiocese who supported the campaign, and also very grateful to our Stewardship and Development Office and those who accepted positions of leadership right from the beginning of the effort. As we have celebrated Thanksgiving recently, this is an extra reason for me to say thanks to God for the generosity of the people of the archdiocese and for the many good things that are now possible because of this campaign.

Q:

It is popular in our culture this time of year to talk about thankfulness and being generous to others. In what ways is the Christian understanding of stewardship deeper than this?

It is one thing to feel grateful, to have a heart full of warmth because something good has happened. But to give thanks to God is an act of worship, an act of acknowledgement of God’s fatherly care and his sovereignty over all of creation. We acknowledge that God is the source of every good gift and that we would have nothing without God willing it lovingly. What is owed to God is first of all thanks. The Scriptures help me see that all the gifts with which God surrounds me are not only for me. This is clear in St. Paul’s writings as the church begins to reflect on its own nature. As a member of the body of Christ, any gift I receive – whether spiritual or material – is given for my benefit, but also so that the life of the church can be enriched through me, through my sharing of what I have received. God entrusts the goods of this world, including my own life, my body, everything that I experience as a human person, to me for my careful use. But it all still belongs to God. That in no way implies that God is selfish or tentative about whether he wants to bless us. In a sense he puts confidence in us to take the things that are the fruit of his loving, creative will and use them in a way that’s respectful of God and of God’s purposes and also respectful of ourselves and of others. That is, not simply to devour them or consume them, but to see how they might be put to good use or simply enjoyed for their own sake in the company of our brothers and sisters. It is not unusual for us in the church to hear and respond to appeals for help with some particular need. Ignite the Faith is a great example of how the people of this archdiocese are routinely very generous. I say “routinely,” but I do not take it for granted – it is a beautiful and powerful thing to witness. Most of us face a little bit more of a challenge, however, going to the next step in understanding stewardship as a practice of

our faith. So we’re not thinking so much of the practical use of a gift that we have. Again, nothing wrong with that at all. But we begin with the notion of thanksgiving, that is, recognizing that everything I have comes from God and asking how I can offer a significant portion of what I have received back to God as a gift. It’s very much out in tradition of sacrifices in the Old Testament. We know that God doesn’t need anything that we have. God doesn’t need anything in this world, but God loves our thanks and our praise. God also tells us we must be aware of the needs of the community. So as we pray and reflect on what we have received and where it is all from, the Scriptures lead us to make a commitment – before we do anything else, before anybody even asks for anything, before I decide what I need for myself or even for my family – to set aside a certain portion of that as an offering of thanks to God. Then, I look at what the needs are around me and respond as people make requests. But I entrust the first portion of my monthly paycheck or my inheritance or my energy, whatever God has given me, to God, strictly for his purposes as he will make them known to me. It may seem like a subtle difference, but I think it is a significant one. This is a pure act of faith, a pure recognition that everything is from God anyway, and that I am utterly dependent on God’s providence. Whether I recognize it or not, it is true. The challenge of the Scriptures and of our Catholic faith is to begin with a stance of recognizing our dependence on God, of giving thanks and then making an offering to him without a lot of fanfare. We say to him in our own minds, and practically in our checkbooks, or by whatever means we have, “This significant portion of what I have received I am dedicating to you and to your purposes, and you will help me see how best to make use of it.”

Q:

This raises the question, “How much should I give?” I am reminded of the answer Jesus gives in the Gospel story of the rich young man …

Yes – Jesus wants everything. But why does Jesus want everything? Is it because he is hoarding things or he just wants to kind of keep us under his thumb? This is the temptation that the evil one offered to Adam and Eve, which we also face: thinking that God is somehow competing with us. We think that if we let God into our lives, we are going to get crowded out somehow, and that he is going to steal our time, energy, health, money, etc. We see in Jesus’ coming into our human experience, that God wants to be with us in all of these things. He comes not to take them away from us, but to transform our lives, our relationships with people and possessions into something that is good and life-giving. Jesus says to us, “I want everything.” It is worth praying over these questions: Why would he want that? Why does he want me? Why does he want anything I have? He humbles himself and enters right into the details, responsibilities and challenges of every day with us. It is his delight to be there. The more we let him in, the more he teaches us how to live in full praise of the Father and in gratitude for what we have received. He places us in right relationship with God, open to receiving everything that is being offered, ready to share, and knowing that in every moment we are in God’s hands. That is the realization of the Christian steward: This is God’s project, and I am privileged to be entrusted with a part of it.

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OFFICIAL SCHEDULE Archbishop George J. Lucas’ scheduled activities: DEC. 7-8 » Parish visit and confirmation – St. Leo the Great Parish, Omaha DEC. 9 » Gathering of St. John Paul II Newman Center students – Residence, Omaha DEC. 10 » Priest Council meeting – Chancery, Omaha DEC. 11 » Leadership Team meeting – Chancery, Omaha » Priest Retirement Board meeting – Chancery, Omaha » Our Lady of Guadalupe Vigil Mass – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Omaha DEC. 12 » Curia Advent and Christmas gathering – St. Cecilia Cathedral campus, Omaha DEC. 15 » Installation Mass for Father Ralph O’Donnell – St. Margaret Mary Parish, Omaha DEC. 17 » Investment Committee meeting – Chancery, Omaha DEC. 18 » Leadership Team meeting – Chancery, Omaha » Retired Priests Christmas gathering – St. John Vianney Residence, Omaha DEC. 19 » Pastoral Planning meeting – El Centro Pastoral Tepeyac, Omaha DEC. 20 » Seminarians Christmas gathering – St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Omaha

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

DEC. 8 » Confirmation – St. Pius X Parish, Omaha DEC. 15 » Installation Mass for Father Ralph O’Donnell – St. Margaret Mary Parish, Omaha DEC. 16 » Annual Memorial Mass – Saint Paul VI Institute, Omaha DEC. 18 » Retired Priests Christmas gathering – St. John Vianney Residence, Omaha DEC. 20 » Seminarians Christmas gathering – St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Omaha


| NEWS |

DECEMBER 6, 2019

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NEWS ROUNDUP British voters urged to question candidates on life issues MANCHESTER, England (CNS) – British bishops have made the right to life a priority for Catholics ahead of a general election in which two major political parties have promised to liberalize abortion laws. A statement from the bishops of England and Wales, released Nov. 29, put the right to life at the top of a list of key issues they want Catholic voters to raise with parliamentary candidates ahead of the Dec. 12 election. The bishops of Scotland also made abortion and euthanasia their primary concerns in a letter issued to voters Nov. 19. Their statements came as the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, in their pre-election manifestoes, promised to reform abortion laws.

Poll: Most Americans support life in prison WASHINGTON (CNS) – Most Americans support life imprisonment over the death penalty, according to a Gallup poll released Nov. 24, revealing a shift in the majority opinion on this issue for the first time in 34 years. The poll, based on results from telephone interviews conducted October 14-31 with a random sample of 1,526 adults in the U.S., showed 60% prefer that convicted murders receive a sentence of life imprisonment while 36% said capital punishment would be better. This view marks a shift in Americans’ opinion over the past two decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, the majority opinion leaned toward the death penalty. The survey is also

just the second time more people said they thought life in prison was a better punishment than the death penalty which they did by 1 percentage point in 2007 – 48% favoring life in prison to 47% favoring the death penalty. The current poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Pope: A world without nuclear weapons is possible HIROSHIMA, Japan (CNS) – Saying it is “perverse” to think the threat of nuclear weapons makes the world safer, Pope Francis urged a renewed commitment to disarmament and to the international treaties designed to limit or eliminate nuclear weapons. Pope Francis began his first full day in Japan Nov. 24 with a somber visit in the pouring rain to Nagasaki’s Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park, a memorial to the tens of thousands who died when the United States dropped a bomb on the city in 1945. In the evening, he visited the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, honoring the tens of thousands killed by an atomic bomb there, too. “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home,” Pope Francis told several hundred people gathered with him in Hiroshima. “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago,” he said. “We will be judged on this.”

ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA Archbishop George J. Lucas 2222 N. 111th St., Omaha, NE 68164 402-558-3100 • 888-303-2484 Fax: 402-551-4212 Chancellor Deacon Tim McNeil 402-558-3100, ext. 3029

Vicar for Clergy and Judicial Vicar Father Scott A. Hastings 402-558-3100, ext. 3030 Director of Pastoral Services Father Jeffrey P. Lorig 402-551-9003, ext. 1300

Hearty meal for the homeless

Archbishop George J. Lucas helps dish out Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 28 at the Stephen Center in Omaha. Serving next to him is Lena Henning, a longtime volunteer at the homeless shelter. They were among the more than 60 volunteers and 20 Stephen Center staff members who spent part of their holiday helping make the event a success. More than 200 people were fed, said Michael Murphy, marketing director at the shelter.

Study looks for ways to ensure viability of 18 urban parishes in Omaha area By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice

How to meet the spiritual needs of Catholics in the south, east and midtown areas of Omaha with fewer priests is the focus of a new study being conducted by the archdiocese’s Pastoral Planning Office. The study, called “Fulfilling the Promise,” is a follow-up to the 2012 study “Promise 2020,” conducted by Meitler Consulting. That effort led to closing several parishes east of 72nd Street and creating the Catholic School Consortium to ensure the viability of five Catholic schools. But planners hope for a different outcome for parishes this time, said Father Jeffrey Lorig, director of pastoral services, who is heading up the new study. “We are hoping not to close any parishes if it can be avoided,” he said.

CATHOLIC VOICE Volume 117, Number 9

ARCHBISHOP GEORGE J. LUCAS

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The 18 parishes involved in the study are Assumption-Guadalupe, St. Bridget-St. Rose, Ss. Peter and Paul, St. Mary, St. Stanislaus, Holy Ghost, St. Thomas More, St. Joan of Arc, Holy Cross, Our Lady of Lourdes-St. Adalbert, Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph, St. Frances Cabrini, St. Peter, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Andrew Kim and Our Lady of Fatima, all in Omaha, and St. Bernadette in Bellevue. “The number one goal is to prepare the archdiocese for (having) 30 fewer priests within 10 years,” said Father Lorig, “and to provide the structures that are capable of taking care of the people in those parishes.” Another goal is to better serve changing Catholic populations in certain zip code areas of the city, given the growth of the Hispanic community and other nationality

groups, he said. A strategy similar to that used to group rural parishes together earlier this year is being considered, Father Lorig said. This strategy would involve establishing groupings of two or more parishes, served by one pastor who is assisted by one or more associate pastors, he said. “We’re hearing good things” concerning how that approach is working in rural parishes, Father Lorig said. “And the priests are enjoying working together as a team and sharing a sense of brotherhood.” Planning meetings, which began Oct. 24 with the pastors of the affected parishes and their selected parish leaders, will continue this winter, he said. Preliminary recommendations should be released later this winter and discussed with parish leaders, Father Lorig said.

Collection helps fund religious’ retirement Catholic Voice

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA

SUSAN SZALEWSKI/STAFF

They were our teachers, our nurses and spiritual guides, working for little-to-no pay during decades of service. Now, with aging populations and declining vocations, their religious communities are unable to meet the needs of these retired priests, sisters and brothers. Catholics have an opportunity to help retired religious within the archdiocese and throughout the country during a special collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious at weekend Masses Dec. 7 and 8. Sponsored annually by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), the collection aids 30,000 senior religious order priests, brothers and sisters nationally who have given a lifetime of service, ministering in our parishes, schools, hospitals and social services organizations.

“Because of their long careers of unselfish service, the faithful have an obligation to make sure they can live comfortably in retirement,” said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor for the archdiocese. “They have laid down their lives for the church and the church’s people, so this is a way to say ‘thank you.’” Within 10 years, more than three quarters of religious brothers, sisters and priests are projected to be over the age of 70. Also by 2029, retired religious are expected to outnumber wage-earning religious by three to one due to decreasing vocations. These factors, plus rising health care costs of older members, will continue to leave many religious communities across the nation with inadequate retirement savings. For 31 years, this special collection has provided financial assistance for necessities such as eldercare and medications, with

approximately 94% of donations going directly to these expenses. In 2019, 360 religious communities across the United States benefited from last year’s retirement collection appeal. Over $830 million has been distributed since 1989. Last year, people of the archdiocese contributed $185,598 to the collection, Deacon McNeil said. In 2018, the Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, the Missionary Society of St. Columban, Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey and the Servants of Mary received a combined total of $318,695 in financial assistance made possible by the national appeal. Additionally, religious who serve or have served in the archdiocese but whose communities are based elsewhere also benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious. Religious orders and their members rely on the assistance provided by the collection, Deacon McNeil said. “They can’t do it alone.”


| NEWS |

4 « DECEMBER 6, 2019

ADVENT: Prepare like an expectant parent >> Continued from Page 1

“It’s hard for pregnant women to forget something as all-consuming as that,” Kary said. Using the imagination in prayer, as St. Ignatius of Loyola taught, can be helpful in developing that mindset, she said. “Imagine the presence of Jesus growing within, and moving within,” Kary said. Instead of a physical womb, he grows spiritually in hearts. Men might consider St. Joseph’s perspective as they pray and contemplate, she said, focusing on the saint “making space in his own heart for the Christ Child.” She recommended

an Advent reflection written by Father Mark Toups, “Rejoice! Advent Meditations With Joseph” as a resource to facilitate that prayer. God made humans with physical senses, Kary said, and they can be used in a spiritual way, engaging the imagination to encounter him as one imagines oneself in a Scripture passage, taking in sights, sounds, smells and touch. Kary recommended resources by Father Timothy Gallagher of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary to help learn this style of prayer, particularly “An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer: Scriptural Reflections,” which offers directed meditations for learning Ignatian prayer with

ADVENT: TIME FOR QUIET, PRAYER RECOMMENDED By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice Make prayer a priority this Advent, advises Jessi Kary, national director of the Pro Sanctity Movement, a worldwide organization that promotes holiness in everyday life. Kary and Father Damian Zuerlein, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Church in Omaha, offered tips for growing closer to God and others this Advent. Set aside time, even minutes a day, to pray – especially in a church, Father Zuerlein recommends. “It’s amazing what 10 or 15 minutes in a quiet place can do.” Spend quiet time away with a loved one as well, he said. “Just sit with each other a few minutes.” Being still for prayer during this busy season can be difficult, especially as people tend to jump ahead to Christmas and overlook Advent, Father Zuerlein acknowledged. “It’s hard to fight the culture,” he said, and over the years he’s learned to try to transform it instead. In the midst of the busyness and overloaded calendars – the parties, shopping, decorating and cooking – try to transform those moments by pausing and thinking about why one bothers to do all those things, he said. “Bring a sense of love and peace into it.” When shopping, for example, one might be tempted to be irritated at the crowds and parking problems. Instead, try to focus on why you’re making the effort, Father Zuerlein said. “If I’m shopping for someone I love, it should be a fun thing,” he said. “Don’t let those moments be a hassle.” Christmas cards, too, can be written in a loving way. “For me, it’s a connection with old friends,” Father Zuerlein said. Not jumping into Christmas too soon, “holding back to increase the celebration” is “a very Catholic thing to do,” he said. During Advent the church looks at the Old Testament, before Jesus’ birth, and takes in “only little glimpses” of him, Father Zuerlein said.

Saint feast days and holy days during Advent – including those of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucy and St. Nicholas – also provide those anticipatory glimpses, he said. The light of Advent candles during the darkest days of the year points to the light Christ, “hope in a dark world,” he said. Lighting Advent wreath candles at dinner can be “a great tool to use for kids,” Father Zuerlein said. Candles tend to make an occasion special, he said, and prayers can be added as more candles are lit each week. If people live alone, maybe with family members displaced or deceased, they can “call them to mind and light a candle in their honor.” “Even when you’re sad, give it over to God,” Father Zuerlein said. Decorating Christmas trees also can be transformed into something sacred, he said. The decorations might remind a person of loved ones. Involving children can create new memories and traditions. “Don’t make it a chore, but a sacred time,” Father Zuerlein said. “You can make it somewhat prayerful in the process.” Every day during Advent, pray the joyful mysteries of the rosary, which focus on Jesus’ incarnation and birth, Kary suggests. Young children who might have trouble staying still during a family rosary can draw a picture of the rosary mystery the family is meditating on, she said. Or they could look at a picture illustrating the mystery. Children could be asked to close their eyes and picture Jesus with them. Ask them to share what they experienced, Kary said. She also suggests praying for a particular grace each week during Advent, individually or as a family. “Sometimes we forget to ask for what we need,” Kary said. “Jesus gives us his whole self at Christmas, but he also wants to give us the graces and gifts we need. Where you feel helpless, Jesus draws you to do something about that this Advent.”

Scripture. Accompanying this article is Kary’s own Scripture reflection to try. (See sidebar.) During busy times, even for just a moment, people can reflect back on their imaginative prayer, she said. “You could be standing in a store and have some sense of that meditation from the day before.” This type of prayer can be done as a family, too, she said. Although people can encounter Jesus in their imaginations, his presence is real – speaking as the Living Word of God and in the Eucharist, Archbishop George J. Lucas reminded parishioners at St. Frances Cabrini

in a Mass homily during a pastoral visit on the first weekend in Advent. “Jesus is not just in our imagination,” he said. “Now crucified and risen, he comes to live with us in the present moment.” The Lord is present for everyone and not given by the Father “as a prize for being perfect,” Archbishop Lucas said, and we can “invite him in to touch us and heal us.” As Jesus “lives in us and with us,” people will notice, he said. From Mass, worshippers are sent out as “ambassadors of hope.” “There are people not too far from the door,” he said, “who need us to give them his presence.”

ADVENT COMES ALIVE WITH IGNATIAN IMAGINATIVE PRAYER One way to enter more fully into Advent is to use an Ignatian method of prayer that involves using one’s imagination in reading an Advent Scripture passage, entering into the scene and envisioning what one might see, hear, smell or touch. Jessi Kary, an Apostolic Oblate and national director of the Pro Sanctity Movement, offers an Advent reflection based on this type of prayer. Matthew 11:2-5 – excerpt from the Gospel for Dec. 15 (Third Sunday in Advent) Invite the Holy Spirit to pray in you. Take a moment to notice the presence of the Spirit within you, the Father gazing upon you with love, Jesus with you. Slowly read the passage:

“When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him with this question, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’ Jesus said to them in reply, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the

dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.’” Walk with John’s disciples to Jesus. What do you talk about on the way? How do you feel on the journey? As you approach Jesus, he turns toward you. He looks at you. Notice what is it like to receive his gaze. He smiles at you. You notice that Jesus is surrounded by the blind, the deaf, the poor, those who are lame. Jesus knows your frailty. When he responds to the question of John’s disciples, you feel he is speaking to you, of you. With his gaze, he welcomes you into his heart. He wants you to share with him your need, your blindness and deafness, the way you are broken and poor, your fears, worries and burdens … You do not just see others being healed. He lays his hands upon you to heal you, to speak with you … Share with Jesus what you see and hear, what you think, feel and desire. Pay attention to how he wants to remain with you. Ask him for a particular gift to help you prepare to receive him in a new and deeper way this Christmas.

Big requests for prayers to Father Flanagan

COURTESY PHOTO

An image of Servant of God Father Edward J. Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, graces two large billboards in Omaha, encouraging the faithful to pray for miracles through his intercession. The billboards, located east of 24th and Cuming St. and near 80th St. and Interstate 80, were installed Nov. 10 and will remain until Jan. 10. “Catholics who are seriously ill or who know of those seriously ill are encouraged to pray for intercession by Father Flanagan” to help advance his sainthood cause, said Dan Daly, member of the Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion board. In October, the Vatican began reviewing Father Flanagan’s cause for evidence that he lived a life of heroic Christian virtue, a step toward being named venerable. Proof of two miracles is required for sainthood.


| NEWS |

DECEMBER 6, 2019

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Need for hope-filled grief program ‘monumental’ By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

Everywhere Carole Andersen turns, she finds her father. Her father, Harvey Andersen, lived with her at her Ralston home during the last of his nearly 88 years on earth. And as she looks around her home, she is reminded of him constantly. “He’s everywhere,” she says. She finds him in her bedroom, which was his before he died. In the kitchen, when Andersen is making breakfast, she talks to her father: “OK, Dad, you’re gone, and I finally learned how to make Mom’s hashbrowns.” Then there’s his recliner. “He had to have a recliner,” Andersen said. His chair broke during the move from his nearby, longtime home. So he got a replacement. Her father would sit in the chair as the two watched television together, especially football games. They had long conversations sitting together after she returned home from work. Those conversations helped make up for the years she had spent away, living in Texas, she said. “We became very close.” After his death in May 2018, seeing the constant reminders of her father was hard, Andersen said. But now, a year and a half later, she can look at those reminders and smile, she said, thanks in part to a six-week grieving program offered through Catholic Cemeteries. The program, called Grieving With Great Hope, is described as “prayerful, practical and personal grief support.” It draws on the graces and sacraments of the Catholic Church and encourages those who grieve to actively participate in their healing. Andersen said the workshop has allowed her to think of her father “with good and wonderful memories.” “I can have those thoughts and not be sad,” she said. “I can move on.” The program, Andersen said, “was very beautiful. I went in one person and came out another.” ‘MONUMENTAL’ NEED Catholic Cemeteries, in conjunction with St. Cecilia Parish in Omaha, offers Grieving With Great Hope about three times a year. The next session will be held Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Jan. 14 to Feb. 18 in the parish center dining room at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. The program’s focus is Catholic, but anyone can attend, organizers said. In a culture that doesn’t seem to

allow people to grieve, “the need for this is monumental,” Deacon James Tardy, outreach manager of Catholic Cemeteries, said of the program. “It’s huge.” People who haven’t had time to grieve after the death of a loved one might feel unsettled, even years later, said Deacon Tardy, who also serves at St. Cecilia. The workshop “is designed to help participants become comfortable with a new normal after the death of a loved one,” said Deacon Kevin Joyce, of Holy Name Parish in Omaha, who also helps facilitate the grief program, along with his wife, Liz. Both deacons have been through their own grief. Deacon Tardy’s wife, Virginia, died seven years ago. Her death helped steer him into grief ministry, he said. Deacon Joyce suffered the loss of his mother, Denaze Joyce, in 2005. Death is never something people “get over,” but they can adjust, Deacon Joyce said. “Mourning is part of life, the cost of loving.”

WANT TO GO? WHEN: Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Jan. 14 to Feb. 18 WHERE: Parish center dining room at St. Cecilia Parish, 3900 Webster St. COST: $20 for the program and materials; scholarships available TO REGISTER (REQUIRED): Contact Deacon Jim Tardy, 402-551-2313 or 402-391-3711, JTardy@ CatholicCem.com; or Deacon Kevin Joyce, DeaconKevin@ HolyNameOmaha.org

NOT ALONE Through Grieving With Great Hope people find ways to honor and remember their loved ones and learn to focus on the good memories, his wife said. “In a way,” Deacon Joyce said, that tribute to the deceased person “is a continuation of a wake and funeral. I remind people that it’s good to tell the stories.” Sharing fond memories helps mourners heal, he said. Participants watch videos, the facilitators guide them through the material and participants talk in small groups. The small groups are crucial, the facilitators said, because those who are grieving help heal each other. Andersen said her small group helped her realize she wasn’t alone. “They helped by sharing their feelings and thoughts, and they were sympathetic to mine.” She said the workshop, which she went through earlier this year, helped her accept her loss by making it feel more real. Even after going through her father’s funeral, she was in denial about his death, she said. The facilitators try to divide people into groups of four to six, based on factors such as age and the type of loss they have suffered. Ideally, people who have had a spouse die might be in one group, while those have suffered the death of a child would be together in another group. ‘SAFE TO SHARE’ People are often hesitant when they begin the session but become more at ease and confident, Liz

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As snow falls on a November afternoon, a mourner visits the gravesite of a loved one at Calvary Cemetery in Omaha. Joyce said. That was Andersen’s experience. “I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I’m not always willing to share my personal thoughts.” “At the first meeting I wasn’t willing to share, but at the second one I did.” It was OK if a person wasn’t ready to talk, Andersen said, “but the compassion of others made it feel safe to share.”

Group members become friends by the end of the six weeks, after crying together and helping to heal each other, Deacon Joyce said. Participants learn ways to mourn and honor their loved ones. They change from being a little lost at first to looking forward with hope, Liz Joyce said. TRANSFORMATION Grieving and mourning are not

synonymous in Grieving With Great Hope. Grieving is about the emotions and pain felt after a loved one dies, an interior disposition. “Grief just happens,” Deacon Joyce said. Mourning, however, is more about how a person decides to respond to the death of a loved one. Grieving With Great Hope offers seven ways to take action to help transform grief away from suffering and into healing and transformation, the facilitators said. One means is prayer, Deacon Joyce said. “It’s vital in the process. We have to turn to Jesus to guide us and help us – to heal us.” The last of the six sessions includes Eucharistic adoration and a memorial Mass in which each participant can bring a photo of the person they are mourning and place a candle before the picture. Each person can then take the candle home to use in prayer or remembrance. “I cried,” Andersen said of the final service. “And I cried when I went home afterwards – because it was beautiful.”


| NEWS |

6 « DECEMBER 6, 2019

Croisé challenges men to live according to God’s plan By MIKE MAY Catholic Voice

Father James Buckley is a man on a mission. Though that can be said of all priests, for him there’s a greater sense of urgency – for he knows his time is short. Father Buckley has incurable cancer, but that’s not stopping him from continuing and even expanding his priestly ministry while serving as senior associate pastor at St. Cecilia Parish in Omaha. Every Monday evening at St. Cecilia Cathedral, he leads 25-40 men in a “Challenge Hour of Prayer,” including eucharistic adoration, Scripture readings, vocal prayer and spiritual reflections. These sessions are part of a larger ministry called Croisé (pronounced kwaazay). Founded by Father Buckley in 2018, it offers spiritual formation for men to help them shape their lives and the world around them according to God’s plan. For Jim Elliston, a member of St. Cecilia Parish, the Monday sessions are helping him deepen his prayer life. “I feel closer to our Lord and savior, and I now pray on a daily basis,” he said, “finding that 15-20 minutes to share what’s on my heart with our Lord.” Elliston said the sessions help him refocus after a stressful day at work. “I walk out of here feeling refreshed.” Father Buckley deepened his devotion to the Holy Eucharist by embracing the spirituality of St. Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Congregation of the Blessed

WANT TO GO? WHO: Men age 18 and over WHAT: Challenge Hour of Prayer WHERE: St. Cecilia Cathedral, Our Lady of Nebraska Chapel, 701 N. 40th St., Omaha WHEN: Mondays, 7-8 p.m. Sacrament, a religious order dedicated to eucharistic adoration and service to the poor. “After the French Revolution, when things were in turmoil, he was one of the figures in France who rose up and drew people back into the sacramental life,” Father Buckley said. “He’s called the apostle of the Blessed Sacrament.” Eucharistic devotion is front and center during the Monday evening sessions, as Father Buckley exposes the Eucharist for prayer and adoration. “I just want to share that with all people, but specifically with men, because they need it so much right now,” Father Buckley said. “I very much appreciate the eucharisticcenteredness of the whole format, and I think it’s very good as an outreach to men,” said Michael Montag of St. Cecilia Parish. “We live in a society that is really having a crisis of manhood at this time, and I think anything we can do for our men is a wonderful thing, especially in the realm of spirituality,” he said. “We need a role model

Q:

You’ve said that years ago you had a sense that you would get cancer. How did you get that sense?

I only revealed very recently that about 10 years ago I came to a sustained exact conclusion that I would die at a young age of cancer even though there is no history (of it) in our family. This was striking and odd, but I

held it with certainty. Then about five and a half years ago I often found myself in prayer telling God that I was ready if he wished to use me to glorify belief in the Resurrection by facing death with no fear in front of God’s people.

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for what a man is, and that man is Jesus.” Father Buckley grew up in St. John the Evangelist Parish in Valley, and originally planned to pursue a business career. But a suggestion by the mother of a fraternity brother planted a seed that eventually led to the priesthood. He attended seminary and was ordained in Philadelphia in 1990, serving one year as an associate pastor before returning to the Omaha archdiocese in 1991 to be near his mother who was experiencing health issues. He was incardinated as a priest of the archdiocese in 1994. Since then he has served as associate pastor, pastor and administrator at numerous urban and rural parishes, was president of St. Francis Elementary and High School in Humphrey, and served as a consultant with the archdiocesan Family Life Office. Now, with Croisé as an additional focus of his ministry, Father Buckley writes numerous reflections for the ministry’s website, croise. org. Subjects include spiritual topics such as the existence of God, as well as down-toearth observations and advice concerning the challenges men face in living a virtuous life. Father Buckley is at peace with his prognosis and has ambitious plans for his remaining time. Despite his short life expectancy, he is actively pursuing a new goal for Croisé – to obtain a house where single men can live for six or 12 months of spiritual formation while still attending school or working. He hopes to make that a reality in the next six months. “No matter what you’re going through,

Q:

What is your current prognosis?

The cancer has recessed twice and is currently active. Most cancer patients experience the inexact nature of treatment and its predicted results. I think death will come in one to three years.

Q:

What was your first reaction to receiving your diagnosis, and how did you begin to process it? Two and one half years ago I had severe physical symptoms which begged testing. The doctor came into the room with the results and I knew in my mind that this could be the moment of fulfillment. He boldly told me that my cancer was incurable, malignant and one in a hundred cases in severity. I experienced zero anxiety. He noted that most people do not react this way. I merely asked what the next step in pursuing good health would be. It took a while to realize that the reason I had no reaction was because I had reconciled myself to this reality years earlier. Through chemo, which had no effect and numerous side effects, I always kept in mind that I was on a mission which helped me always look beyond my current circumstance.

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CROISÉ GOALS 1. To accept that God not only exists but has created me with the purpose of knowing his holy Kingdom. 2​ . That I must study the life and teachings of Christ. 3. To trust that God will help me to imitate Christ and do great things in his name. 4. That I fully engage the Divine Presence in the sacraments of the church and in prayer especially before the eucharistic Body of the Lord at Mass and exposition. 5. To live a life of friendship and sacrifice toward those who also accept these goals. All these goals can be distilled into one prime goal: To live and die in Christ. even if you’re approaching death as a new life, I want people to order their lives and their goals based on the life to come, and store up treasure in heaven,” he said. Father Buckley shared some additional reflections on his own spirituality and the Croisé ministry in email responses to the following questions from the Catholic Voice.

Q:

Q:

Each Catholic has a vocation from God. All suffering must be seen in light of that vocation. The suffering helps the individual accomplish their mission. If one does not realize this, the meaning of the suffering will remain hidden and probably be resented. The Cross of Christ is the ultimate teacher of this. Our baptism is into his death. He suffered first. So must we. My suffering must be applied to the vocation of priesthood, to which many different sufferings are attached. When I anoint the dying, especially cancer victims, there is no doubt that in addition to the sacrament there is a unity and healing in both of our souls when they are aware of my condition.

Let your confidence in God’s providence rule the day. Learn quickly to not surrender your peace of mind and happiness to an unknown test result. The drudgery of treatment must be met with determination from the depth of your soul by your free will. Many squalls of depression can be calmed through the direction you choose to take. If you can bend over, grab your bootstraps. If you consciously stand against the devil and sin in the pursuit of holiness you will be very prepared to handle illness.

Does the Catholic view of suffering help you cope with your illness?

How?

Q:

Describe your spiritual journey with respect to your health challenges.

When you live with the inevitability of death ahead, it is easier to detach yourself from material things and earthly goals. When you see your body degrading at a rapid pace you must mourn it by replacing your desolation with a graced intensity of the promise of the life to come and your sense of obligation to make the future better for others if you can. God’s forgiveness comes in a new light because you must abandon any plans to make up for your past failures because there is no time to give restitution. The only choice is surrender to the path of mercy which lies ahead.

situation?

What words of advice can you offer to others facing a similar

Q:

What led you to found Croisé (pronounced kwaa-zay)?

Ever since I lived in Manhattan and prayed daily at the Church of St. Jean de Baptiste at 76th and Lexington Avenue, run by the religious order founded by St. (Peter Julian) Eymard, I have been proactive and tried to promote devotion to eucharistic adoration. Since 1985 I have studied and followed his teachings almost daily. I wanted to establish here in Omaha an opportunity to share Eymard’s sainthood with men because they need to hear God. Eymard said if we ignore God, we will not hear him. With the decline in religious orders, many more are ignoring God. Men do not know how to pray or where to go to find God. Therefore, most men do not form the goals of their life based on the Gospel but rather on the way of the world. Last year I felt a little better physically and knew that it would be my last chance to try this. My past is stone but my short future is still up to God. Continued on Page 7 >>


| NEWS |

MIKE MAY/STAFF

Father James Buckley gives a spiritual reflection during a Nov. 25 “Challenge Hour of Prayer” at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. >> Continued from Page 6

Q:

Describe this ministry and its goals.

Croisé teaches men how to pray through example and offers life lessons from St. Eymard and the (book) “The Imitation of Christ” (by Thomas à Kempis.) Through the website croise. org we are a constant source of ordered Christian thought

Q:

presented in succinct, easy-toread articles. Setting life goals that are obtainable is our prime offering. But one must pray to accomplish this. Establishing fraternity at our Challenge Hours is beginning to bind many together in their quest.

How does it address the spiritual needs of men in today’s culture?

I call our culture a Frankenstein society. We have sewn together the dead body parts of materialism, atheism, paganism, mythological religions and nihilism to create a monster with activity but no soul. All

men are attached to this in some way. We must work to reinstall a mentality which focuses on God’s design and not our own. Croisé does this for those who are willing. I was lost and then found, why not others?

Q:

Croisé ministry is going to expand to include a house where single men can live while deepening their spirituality. What are your plans? What are you trying to accomplish?

We are looking for a building which will hold 12 men and have a chapel. We want to provide a middle ground between religious life and secular life. We want a place where men can come to learn to pray through a house rule which will pull out of them the desire for holiness

and nobility which is hidden within. No vows will apply but merely a commitment to pursue an ordered Catholic life. They will stay for six or 12 months and then head back into the world to pursue being better (future) husbands, seminarians and public servants.

If we look at each other very long we soon glance away. When we look at the exposed face of Christ in the Eucharist, he never looks away. No matter what happens in our lives or what we bring to him, he lets us be near without reproach. Patience, wisdom and unity of suffering come hidden in bread, which has almost no earthly value on its own. We come like St. Francis because we know what has been hidden in the simplest of things. We no longer ignore. We now listen.

Q:

With recent Pew research showing that nearly 70% of Catholics view the Eucharist as only a symbol, what can the church do to restore belief in the Real Presence? Firstly, probably most of that 70% also do not believe that Jesus the man was also divine. They do not believe that he was God while walking on earth. If you do not see the divine in Christ, you will never see it in a piece of bread. Secondly, we must treat the Eucharist as though it is Christ. The Eucharist is not a pill. It is the person of Christ. If we make no demand to be worthy to receive it, or do not surround the presence with proper respect and awe, then many will pass by it just as many passed by Jesus on the streets of Nazareth, for they knew not who he was. Eventually they rejected him, too. Dependence must grow in the church upon the great gift of the Eucharist. This is why we must come before his face as communities and groups. This has been the great attraction of Croisé. We treat the sacrament as the worthy object of sacrificial love that it is.

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DECEMBER 6, 2019

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| NEWS |

8 « DECEMBER 6, 2019

Wisconsin farm prepared slain brother for service in Guatemala Brother James Miller to be beatified Dec. 7

accompany students on a picnic to celebrate Valentine’s Day. After returning, Brother Miller decided to fix a hole on a wall near the Casa Indigena entrance, just one block from the cathedral on a crowded shopping street. “He had to get up on a ladder in order to do it,” said Brother Joslin. While on the ladder, three men walking past the entrance, pulled out guns and shot him numerous times. Sister Madeleva Manzanares Suazo, a nurse serving at a nearby hospice, heard the gunshots and ran to find Brother Miller on the ground. He apparently died instantly. “When this happened, I was in the brothers’ house next to the school, which was one kilometer away from Casa Indigena,” said Brother Joslin. “When I got there, I can’t tell you how awful it was, the shock, but when I went to reach, to touch Santiago, there was a policeman standing there and he snapped at me and said, ‘Don’t touch him.’ “I did pick up the hat he was wearing ... and it was still full of sweat, as if he were still alive,” added Brother Joslin.

By SAM LUCERO

Catholic News Service

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Before donning the habit of a Christian Brother in 1962, Brother James Miller wore the bib overalls of a Wisconsin farm boy. While in his green work clothes, repairing a wall outside of the Casa Indigena De La Salle – his religious community’s school for indigenous boys in Huehuetenango, Guatemala – Brother Miller, then 37, was gunned down by three men Feb. 13, 1982. Nearly 37 years after his death, Brother Miller will be beatified during Mass Dec. 7 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Huehuetenango. He will be the first American-born Christian Brother declared blessed. To his friends and family, Brother Miller was a farm boy through and through. He was also a deeply spiritual man who grew to love the poor, indigenous people of Guatemala, who, like him, were close to the land. “Jim was a man of faith. He lived and gave his life helping poor Indian boys learn the trade of farming so they could feed themselves,” said fellow Christian Brother Stephen Markham, who grew up on a farm in Iowa and entered the Christian Brothers the same time as Brother Miller. Born Sept. 21, 1944, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Brother Miller was the oldest of Arnold and Lorraine Miller’s five children. His siblings include brothers Bill and Ralph, and sisters Pat Richter and Louise Shafranski. Their father operated a dairy farm that, at its peak, had 68 cows, said Ralph Miller, who today operates the family homestead in Ellis, Wisconsin, with his brother, Bill. The siblings recall their eldest brother as full of faith. “He always wanted to be a priest at the start,” Ralph Miller said in a telephone interview. When Brother Miller was young, he used to play the role of priest and celebrate Mass. “Jim made a tabernacle from an old clock and a monstrance from a tinker toy set,” said Brother Markham. “When he was around 10 or 12 years old, he was halfway home from confession when he exclaimed, ‘Oh, I forgot to say my penance.’ So he knelt right down there on the road and prayed.” PERFECT FIT Working with his hands and fixing things around the farm helped Brother Miller later on as a missionary, said Shafranski, his sister. “Jim’s background was a perfect fit,” she said in an email. “Not only did he have a true calling to the Christian Brothers, but the fact that he started from a humble farm background ... gave him the knowledge to know

ANNIVERSARIES Celebrating the sacrament of marriage Al and Helen Fuchs celebrated 65 years of marriage Oct 16 with a Mass and blessing at St. Isidore Church in Columbus. They also joined family for a celebration and dinner. The couple, members of St. Isidore, were married Oct 16, 1954, at St. Francis Church in Humphrey. They have three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

MEMORIAL MASSES

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS OF THE MIDWEST/CNS

Christian Brother James Miller is pictured with a child in an undated photo in front of the Colegio De La Salle in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Brother Miller was killed by unknown assassins Feb. 13, 1982. how to fix things. It also kept him grounded to the basics of land, faith and family.” He attended grade school in his hometown of Ellis, then entered Pacelli Catholic High School in Stevens Point in 1958. It was at Pacelli where Brother Miller was introduced to the Christian Brothers, who staffed the high school. After one year at Pacelli, he joined the junior novitiate. In September 1959 he was sent to Glencoe, Missouri. “In one day, I left the state of Wisconsin for the first time, took my first train ride and saw a building over four stories high,” Brother Miller wrote in a two-page autobiography for his religious community in June 1978. He finished his novitiate in Winona, Minnesota, in 1963, earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s College, Winona, in 1966, and was sent to teach Spanish at then-Cretin High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. WORK AMONG THE POOR Brother Miller’s first exposure to Central America was in July 1969, when he spent the summer in Bluefields, Nicaragua, studying Spanish. He returned to St. Paul, but made his way back to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, in March 1974. During his five years in Nicaragua, Brother Miller helped build an industrial arts and vocational education complex; served as principal of a government-owned high school, Instituto Nacional Bartolome Colon; and even volunteered as a local fire department chief. “Since I have quite a bit of experience in building construction, the Nicaraguan government recently asked me to supervise the construction of 10 new rural grade schools being built in the region,” he wrote in his autobiography. “I find a lot of satisfaction working among the very poor here in Nicaragua.” His association with the Nicaraguan gov-

ernment of Anastasio Somoza led to Brother Miller’s departure after the Sandinista revolution in 1979. He returned to St. Paul and taught one more year at Cretin before being assigned to Huehuetenango, Guatemala. CASA INDIGENA Brother Paul Joslin was president of the Christian Brothers community in Huehuetenango when Brother Miller arrived in January 1981. “Brother James and I were the director and co-director of Casa Indigena,” which housed about 150 indigenous youth from the Guatemalan highlands who were training to be teachers, said Brother Joslin. Brother Miller, whose name in Spanish was Hermano Santiago, quickly found ways to put his fix-it skills to work, repairing plumbing and electrical problems at Casa Indigena. In a telephone interview, Brother Joslin recalled the tense buildup of fear following reports of pending violence, and the disbelief when he received word of Brother Miller’s murder. The “preferential option for the poor,” a pastoral challenge presented by the Latin American bishops in 1968, influenced the Christian Brothers to provide education to the indigenous children in Guatemala and also led to military retaliation, he said. Just days before Brother Miller’s assassination, the religious community was warned by a border patrol agent, whose office was located at a nearby army base, that members of a death squad were looking for one of the seven Christian Brothers in Huehuetenango. “We were forewarned, but despite that, the decision that we made individually and collectively, was to remain in Huehuetenango for as long as possible,” said Brother Joslin. AWFUL SCENE On the morning of his death, Brother Miller informed Brother Joslin that he would

The local bishop celebrated Mass the following day; more than 1,000 students, parents and friends of the Christian Brothers then processed to the local airfield. Brother Miller’s body was flown to Guatemala City, where two more Masses were celebrated. Brother Joslin accompanied the coffin from Guatemala to St. Paul, where Archbishop John Roach celebrated Mass Feb. 16 at St. Paul Cathedral. The body of Brother Miller was returned to Wisconsin for another Mass, then burial at St. Martin Cemetery in Ellis, one mile south of the farm where he was raised. In a memorial written shortly after Brother Miller’s death, Brother Markham said his friend “followed no other star but his own.” “He was proud of his farm background and never hesitated to share his farm stories, no matter who the audience,” he said. “He loved his roots, he loved his family dearly.” RISKING DEATH In December 1981, during a visit to Minnesota, when Brother Miller had knee surgery, Brother Markham “asked Jim if he wasn’t frightened by the thought of returning.” “Jim responded, ‘You don’t think about that, that’s not why you’re there. There’s too much to be done. … If it happens, it happens,” Brother Markham wrote. Brother Miller was one of more than 200,000 people killed during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996. On Feb. 13, 2007, the 25th anniversary of Brother Miller’s death, Casa Indigena, the center he called home, was renamed Centro Indigena Santiago Miller. In an email, Shafranski recalled her brother telling her that he would return to Guatemala even though he faced danger. “I could be kidnapped, tortured and killed, or I could simply be gunned down,” she said he told her. “I knew Jim was very dedicated and committed to his students in Huehuetenango. There was no stopping him from going back.” Louise and Rich Shafranski will travel to Guatemala for the beatification Dec. 7. She is the only sibling who is able to attend. “The one thing I hope people (remember) is that Jim was a real person. He was a son, brother, Christian Brother and friend,” she said. “He had a hearty laugh, a ready smile, a quick wit, a good sense of humor, and was a genuine hard-working person. He was a man who felt happiness and sorrow, had great love for both family and the church. He loved working with his hands, and was through and through a little farm boy at heart.” Lucero is news and information manager for The Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay.


| NEWS |

DECEMBER 6, 2019

»9

Omaha apostolate spreads Holy Face devotion Home visits, new phone app fuel interest

me.’ I find that comforting,” said Kim. She and her husband have joined the Faulhabers in offering home visits. Snyder called looking at his face very countercultural. “You are being confronted with the violence done to Jesus, and that is uncomfortable. It forces you to review your life in the moment and throughout the day.

By ELIZABETH WELLS For the Catholic Voice

Ian Snyder first heard about the Holy Face of Jesus devotion at a 2018 Ablaze Mass at the Holy Family Shrine outside Gretna. The His Holy Face apostolate in Omaha was promoting it, and initially, he avoided their information table. “It seemed very intense. For a lot of people, it can be off-putting. It’s not the happy thumbs-up Jesus,” said the 34-year-old member of St. Peter Parish in Omaha. Yet he felt drawn to learn more. A few months later, he and his wife, Jamie, who were preparing to enter the Catholic Church at the 2019 Easter Vigil, contacted the apostolate and asked for a “home visit.” The visit involves receiving a volunteer who leaves a picture of the Holy Face, based on the image that Jesus’ face left on Veronica’s veil during his Passion, and asks the recipient to complete a nineday novena and nine-day daily rosary. At the novena’s conclusion, the volunteer returns and says a prayer consecrating the home and family to the Holy Face of Jesus. Robert and Jeanna Faulhaber, members of St. Bernard Parish in Omaha and founders of the His Holy Face apostolate, the Catholic nonprofit that spreads the devotion, facilitated the Snyders’ home visit in January 2019. At the visit they explained that:

MIRACLES GREAT AND SMALL

ELIZABETH WELLS

Benita Habib, a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha, receives Kim and Chuck Zurcher, members of St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, who carry an image of the Holy Face of Jesus as part of a His Holy Face home visit. The Zurchers are volunteers for the His Holy Face apostolate, the Omahabased Catholic nonprofit that spreads the devotion. • St. Therese of Lisieux and her entire family had a strong devotion to Jesus’ face. Her full religious name was “Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.” ‘THE REAL DEAL’ “As they shared, I thought, ‘Wow, this is the real deal,’” said Snyder. He had tried to research the devotion before the visit but said information was hard to find. So during the home visit, Snyder offered to help the Faulhabers create an app for both iPhone and Android so people could easily access information about the Holy Face. The Faulhabers said it was an answer to prayer. “We want to shout it from the mountain tops. We want to share it with everybody,” said Robert about the devotion, which he has had since childhood, thanks to his grandmother and mother. The app, which launched Oct. 28, is an electronic pocket prayer book, according to Robert, with access to images, vocal

• The devotion to the face of Jesus sprang up within 100 years of the church’s founding. It comes from the tradition that when Veronica wiped the sweat and blood from Jesus’ face on his way to Calvary, the image was imprinted on the cloth. The sixth Station of the Cross commemorates the event. • The devotion has received papal approval and has been adopted by several saints throughout the years.

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prayers, video teachings and music. It is available in 146 countries and has already been downloaded in Canada, the Philippines, South Africa, Uganda and the United States. SEEDS PLANTED The Faulhabers planted the seeds of their apostolate in November 2014 when Robert spoke with Father Michael Voithofer, then associate pastor of St. James Parish in Omaha, and now associate pastor of St. Gerald Parish in Ralston. They discussed the need for a “neglected” Mass on the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus, Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. “Without hesitation, Father said, ‘I love it,’” reported Robert about Father Voithofer’s response to holding and celebrating the Shrove Tuesday Mass. Fifty people gathered in 2015 for Mass at St. James Church on Shrove Tuesday. This year, more than 300 people gathered for the Mass at St. Gerald Church.

The Faulhabers began home visits in 2017. As interest grew, they formed a religious non-profit, His Holy Face, Inc., in 2018 to provide literature, images, prayer cards and medals on HisHolyFace. com and at Catholic events. CONSOLING CHRIST Kim and Chuck Zurcher, members of St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, attended the Shrove Tuesday Mass in 2016 and signed up for a home visit, which occurred that August. Kim made the association between a photo she had seen of St. Therese holding an image of Jesus’ face and the image the Faulhabers brought to their home. “I remember thinking that’s really a distressful picture of Jesus,” she said, adding she believes the distress comes from the knowledge of how current secular culture or ignoring personal conscience can work against what Jesus did out of love. “One of the pieces of literature says, ‘Those who gaze upon my face are already consoling

“If you knew me, it’s a miracle I’m making Catholic apps. My whole life has been making video games,” said Snyder, who teaches virtual reality and game development at Metropolitan Community College. “I had a pretty radical conversion. I wasn’t even baptized. I wasn’t an atheist. I was more agnostic and identified as pagan,” he said. “They didn’t pay me. It’s something I felt called by God to do. For me that’s a minor miracle – maybe not a miracle with a capital M, but it’s (the devotion and working on the app) made my relationship with God very real to specifically be doing something to further the knowledge of this devotion.” The Faulhabers said they have heard of many miracles associated with prayerfully reflecting on the face of Jesus. Robert points to over 6,000 recorded miracles in Tours, France, beginning in 1851 with a devotion to the Holy Face promoted by the Venerable Leo Dupont and an image of the Holy Face he displayed with a vigil lamp. “That’s just one place. There are countless miracles that continue to happen today,” said Robert, adding, “Jesus’ face literally changes hearts. If you gaze on his face, I imagine he has something different to say to each of us.”


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Author: Find time for prayer amid busyness of life

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WASHINGTON – For Kathryn Jean Lopez, her new book “A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living” is a comprehensive collection of prayers that offer love, support and guidance to withstand the world’s challenges. “Wherever you are, you can take some time to get to know God better, which is really my prayer for this book, that it essentially helps people and helps them to respond to God’s will for them,” Lopez said. Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review Online and a nationally syndicated columnist. Lopez’s 365-page book contains short daily meditations and prayers that require readers to carve out a few minutes of each day. Lopez pulled inspiration from her colleague Gary Jansen’s book titled “The 15-Minute Prayer Solution.” In the book, Jansen mentions that 15 minutes equates to only 1% of the day. “I can give God at least 1% of my day to exclusively focus on God,” Lopez told Catholic News Service. She understands, however, that setting aside specific time for prayer and reflection is challenging, especially for mothers with young children whose quiet-and-alone time may be extremely limited. Lopez believes that committing to at least 15 minutes of prayer each day is possible, although it may require some dedication and experimentation. “Maybe at the beginning of the day is the best time, maybe waking up 15 minutes earlier just so you have those 15 minutes before you have to prepare breakfast or get out the door. Everybody can do 15 minutes,” Lopez said. Lopez noted that she intended to make the book user-friendly to accommodate the busyness of everyday life while prioritizing prayer. The book’s approach is to provide “bite-sized pieces” of the fruits offered by the numerous saints and other holy figures featured in the book. “I don’t want anyone to feel pressured by this book. There should just be joy. Do with it as the spirit leads you. Do what you feel comfortable with,” Lopez said. Lopez considers her book as a type of love story because it is centered around God’s love for all being made more intimately known. She stated that this is key so that God’s love can radiate within people’s lives. The passages in the book, she said, are filled with a real, deep love that she describes as a “magnetic force that draws you deeper into the life of the Trinity.” Lopez believes that as the

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ reader spends more time with the content in the book, he or she might find a greater desire to spend more time with God in prayer and in other ways, such as going to Mass during the week. She said that these are steps to a deeper prayer life, and ultimately, a more integrated life where God is part of our entire day. “Everything we do, we do it with a deeper knowledge of God’s heart, and then the world doesn’t quite look the same. We certainly can’t act the way we did before we really knew his love with such depth,” Lopez said. Lopez discussed how the book, published by Tan Books, has impacted the lives of others since its release in September. She recalled the testimony a male colleague sent to her before he died of cancer in October. After receiving a copy, he wrote to Lopez and thanked her for the book and told how on several occasions it was helping his peace of mind. He said that God was showing him that there was nothing to be afraid of. “If I’ve put this book together for him, thanks be to God,” Lopez said. Lopez explained the mystics she chose to feature in her book were a result of a lot of reading, prayer and a lifetime of being Catholic. She included wellknown figures, such as St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Kolkata, because they represent sanctity. “Sanctity is not something from the past. It’s not something that these remote people lived. It’s something that we’re all called to,” Lopez said. Other additions include Father Donald Haggerty, a priest from the Archdiocese of New York, Mother Angelica, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Lopez said their actions were “fueled by the prayer that they never let go of.” “A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living” is available for purchase online and for download on mobile phones and the Kindle E-reader.


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DECEMBER 6, 2019

» 11

REVIEW: A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Children’s TV icon continues to inspire By JOHN MULDERIG Catholic News Service

NEW YORK – Last year, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – filmmaker Morgan Neville’s documentary about iconic public television children’s show host Fred Rogers (1928-2003) – achieved both critical acclaim and remarkable success at the box office. With the advent of the factbased dramatization “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony), lightning, it would seem, has struck twice. Assigned, much against his will, to profile Rogers (Tom Hanks) for an edition of Esquire magazine devoted to heroes, troubled, cynical reporter Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) sets out to tarnish his subject’s halo. Instead, he finds his life transformed by the friendship into which his gentle, wise and unflappable new acquaintance gradually draws him. In particular, Rogers helps to alter Lloyd’s embittered attitude toward his estranged father, Jerry (Chris Cooper). Though Jerry has reached out in hopes of a reconciliation, Lloyd initially remains resolute in his refusal to forget his dad’s past transgressions, especially his abandonment of the family at a moment of crisis during which he was too busy womanizing to live up to his responsibilities. Rogers also has a positive influence on Lloyd’s marriage since the

RATING: PG for mature themes, including adultery, a fistfight, one mild oath and a single crass term. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II – adults and adolescents. latter’s compassionate wife, Andrea (Susan Kelechi Watson), believes her husband should accept Jerry’s repentance. In adapting a 1998 article by Lloyd’s real-life counterpart, Tom Junod, director Marielle Heller takes interesting artistic risks with powerful emotional results. Significantly, she makes room for the thoughtful silences and quiet speech by which Rogers’ subdued manner was marked. Visually, Heller makes her own the interplay between reality and imagination that was a trademark of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” throughout its long run from 1968 to 2001. A dream sequence even finds a miniaturized Lloyd dwelling temporarily in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, the realm, as many will recall, of King Friday XIII. The movie is at its best when the mesmerizing Hanks is on screen. But the treatment of topics like forgiveness, the need to prioritize family life over professional advancement and the power of prayer (Rogers was a Presbyterian

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Tom Hanks stars in a scene from the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” minister) are consistently handled with skill. What emerges is the portrait of a man whose childlike delicacy and vulnerability were precisely his sources of strength – and the products of relentless discipline and hard work. Although the script, by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, doesn’t mention the fact, Rog-

ers had a close friendship with Benedictine Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, the leader of a monastery in Rogers’ hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. That Rogers, with his high moral and spiritual aims, should have been drawn to the monastic life of Archabbot Nowicki’s community, St. Vincent Archabbey, hardly seems accidental. While Lloyd’s struggles are

too dark for little kids, teens and grown-ups will profit from this explicitly humane, implicitly religious movie. The spell Rogers cast, which could even inspire a subway car full of hard-bitten New Yorkers to join a group of schoolchildren in honoring him by joyously singing his program’s theme song, continues to exercise its magic from beyond the grave.

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12 « DECEMBER 6, 2019

E

Repentance says yes to the good God wants for us

ach year in Advent we have the appearance of St. John the Baptist calling the people to repent. That call for repentance was not just for the people 2,000 years ago. There’s a reason the church puts these words before us each Advent: We need to prepare the way for the Lord today.

At the core of the work of John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord was this call to repentance, to get people to change, to leave behind old ways and embrace new, holy ways. This is not optional for any of us if we desire to be holy. Repentance and conversion are not things we can take or leave as we please and still consider ourselves faithful. If we aren’t moving forward in the spiritual life, we’re very likely mov-

Scripture Reflections FATHER JOHN BROHEIMER ing backward. Jesus’ first words in his ministry were the same as John the Baptist: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That call – really it is a command – never fades in its urgency. We are never done working out our sanctity through God’s grace until we are finally in heaven. Repentance is hard work. It means we have to change – willingly. If you think about it, we commit sins because on some level we like them or we think that they bring us some kind of happiness. It is a false and fleeting happiness, of course. The false happiness of sin will distract us from the true source of our fulfillment in Christ. But even know-

ing this, it can still be difficult to leave old ways behind and take up new ones. This is where the grace of God helps us tremendously. We are weak beings, but it is in our weakness that God can do his best work. Do not be afraid to bring your weakness and faults to God and ask him to help you to overcome them. He delights in doing the work within us of making us more fully alive in him. May we take to heart the call of St. John. Let’s do anything we can to prepare the way for the Lord by considering what doors need to be opened to let Christ in and what clutter from the past needs to be cleared away so he has an easy path to us. He only wants what’s truly good for us, and at its heart repentance is simply us saying yes to the good God wants for us. Father John Broheimer is pastor of St. Peter Parish in Omaha.

SCRIPTURE READINGS OF THE DAY DECEMBER 9 Monday – IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY: Gn 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98:1-4; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Lk 1:26-38 10 Tuesday: Is 40:1-11; Ps 96:1-3, 10-13; Mt 18:12-14 11 Wednesday: Is 40:25-31; Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10; Mt 11:28-30 12 Thursday – OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; (Ps) Jdt 13:18bc, 19; Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47 or any readings from the Lectionary for Mass 13 Friday: Is 48:17-19; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Mt 11:16-19

14 Saturday: Sir 48:1-4, 9-11; Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19; Mt 17:9a, 10-13 15 Sunday: Is 35:1-6a, 10; Ps 146:6-10; Jas 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11 16 Monday: Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a; Ps 25:4-9; Mt 21:23-27 17 Tuesday: Gn 49:2, 8-10; Ps 72:1-4, 7-8, 17; Mt 1:1-17 18 Wednesday: Jer 23:5-8; Ps 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Mt 1:18-25 19 Thursday: Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a; Ps 71:3-6, 16-17; Lk 1:5-25 20 Friday: Is 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 1:26-38 21 Saturday: Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:14-18a; Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Lk 1:39-45

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The essential elements of Christian prayer

“M

y Soul Thirsts for God, for the Living God,” published by Spain’s bishops’ conference in September, speaks powerfully and beautifully about authentic Christian prayer. In today’s column, we’ll consider Part IV of this document, which is titled “The Essential Elements of Christian Prayer.”

The bishops begin considering the essence of prayer by looking at the way Jesus prayed. Coincidentally, I began my columns for this calendar year the same way, with “Pray Like Jesus” (Catholic Voice, Jan. 18) and “Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray” (Feb. 1). Since Jesus is “the only way that leads us to the Father,” “his deeds and sayings are the standard and the primary referent of the Christian life” (“My Soul Thirsts,” no. 21). How did Jesus pray? He withdrew from the crowds, often praying alone, but sometimes taking one or more disciples with him. He taught his disciples the Our Father, which, as we saw previously, emphasizes our filial relationship with God. The bishops write, “The core of Jesus’ prayer is the communion with the Father, not his desires or the attainment of worldly happiness outside of God. Therefore, the criterion of the authenticity of Christian prayer is to have filial trust in God, to accept that his will always be done, never doubting him and putting oneself at the service of his plan of salvation. To live as if God did not exist is the greatest obstacle for prayer” (no. 22). Christian prayer, then, recognizes that we are God’s children, through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. In prayer, we entrust our cares to God. We address him with faith, love and reverence. But prayer does not stand on its own. A virtuous life must accompany prayer. Prayer is not magic and God is not Santa Claus, let alone a vend-

Conversation with God CONNIE ROSSINI ing machine. If we “live as if God did not exist,” we cannot expect him to answer our prayers; we cannot expect to attain the goal of prayer, which is communion with God. When we look at prayer in isolation from our moral lives, we risk emphasizing techniques over relationship. The bishops write, “In this time when it seems that for many people the first problem of prayer is the question of techniques to enter into it, it is remarkable that Jesus did not give any instructions about this. For him, outer simplicity and inner sincerity are more important. This is the key to understanding the Lord’s brief indications on how to pray that he gave to the disciples: life and prayer cannot be separated (cf. Mt 7:21); to present the offering on the altar, it is necessary to be first at peace with the brothers (cf. Mt 5:23-25) … the prayer that God hears is the one born from a humble heart (cf. Lk 18:914) …” (no. 24). As far as the Gospels tell us, Jesus neither practiced nor taught a technique. He taught us to be humble, persevering, penitent and forgiving. He taught us to put God’s will above our own. These are the essentials of Christian prayer. We can be confident that God hears our prayers, not because we have discovered a perfect method, but because we are his children in Christ and he loves us. Praying with this attitude makes us more truly God’s children, as we begin to resemble him in our priorities and loves. Authentic Christian prayer brings us to conversion. Connie Rossini is a member of St. Peter Parish in Omaha. She is the author of “The Q&A Guide to Mental Prayer,” now available at amazon. com, and five other books on Catholic spirituality.

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| SPIRITUAL LIFE |

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The interaction that arises from a child’s natural tendency to share their unfiltered heart can easily be transferred to a language of relational prayer with four fundamental movements: acknowledge, relate, receive and respond.

Can you teach children to pray like saints? By BETH CARLSON For the Catholic Voice

Several years ago, my brother-in-law decided to take his son to their parish church for a father/ son outing with a lesson on relational prayer. As they walked into the church, he had grand plans about what and how he would teach his son. His four-year-old, however, was incessantly chatting and would not focus on the prayer lesson. My brother-in-law became impatient and frustrated, but then he noticed that his son was telling him about his day. His son was relating everything about his day – thoughts, feelings, desires, details – to his father, who was distracted with his own desire for the day. Children are naturally inclined to share their unfiltered hearts with others. Think about the last time your toddler had a meltdown (that is, an unfiltered sharing of their heart). The reason was poorly articulated and probably seemed ridiculous. So what did you do? You said, “Tell me how you feel. Tell me what you want. Talk to me.” You encouraged your child to articulate what they were thinking and feeling. As my brother-in-law began listening and receiving his son’s unfiltered heart, he asked questions to draw out more details and shared his own heart with his son. Their interaction is easily translated into a natural and simple language of relational prayer called ARRR (a-triple-r): Acknowledge: The son is with the father and notices the thoughts, feelings and desires in his heart. Relate: The son tells his father everything. Receive: The son receives an outpouring of his father’s heart.

Respond: A response is stirred in the son’s heart. I find the simplicity of ARRR astounding and encouraging. It describes the fundamental movements of prayer, and even young children can learn to speak with God in this way. You can follow this simple and easy format for practicing relational prayer with your children. Your time in prayer with your child should focus on two feelings: gratitude and fear. These are very important to pay attention to as gratitude is always a gift from God and fear is never, ever from God. Acknowledging and relating our gratitude and fears to our Heavenly Father will naturally draw us closer to him and open our hearts to receiving and responding. Begin by gathering together in a comfortable place and allow time for everyone to settle down. Open with the Sign of the Cross and a prayer (for example, the Our Father or a short spontaneous prayer). Ask one child to share a moment of gratitude from their day: “What is something you would like to thank God for today?” It is easy to simply share with one another and forget to tell God: “I am grateful I saw Grandma today.” So encourage your child to talk to God: “Tell Jesus what you did with Grandma today.” Ask the next person to share their moment of gratitude (parents share, too!). Following the sharing of gratitude, everyone shares a fear (or frustration, worry, concern, or sadness) in the same format: “Would you like to tell God about a frustration or concern from your day?” You may notice a desire to respond or fix the fear of your child. Instead, encourage them to notice what God is say-

ing to them: “Is Jesus saying anything to you about this frustration or concern?” Once they share, take a moment to pray for them aloud and then ask if they notice a response in their heart: “Jesus, I ask that you comfort John, so he may know you are taking care of (name his concern).” Is Jesus asking you to do or say anything in response? Don’t be afraid to pause and allow moments of silence. Close the time of prayer with a short spontaneous prayer of thanks and praise: “Thank you, Jesus, for this time in prayer with you and one another.” And together pray an Our Father, Glory Be or Hail Mary and make the Sign of the Cross. It really is simple to have a conversation with God. Our own commitment to spending time every day with God through the practice of relational prayer will improve our ability to pass this gift on to your children. My brother-in-law’s experience of teaching his son to pray did not go as planned and yours may not either; however, Advent is a wonderful opportunity to begin cultivating this practice with your family. I challenge you to commit to praying as a family once a week this Advent season using the method I’ve outlined. I pray with confidence that the Father will grant you the grace to know and hear his voice. Beth Carlson works in the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Omaha. She can be contacted at bccarlson@archomaha. org. This column first appeared on the archdiocese’s Equip website (equip. archomaha.org), which helps pastoral leaders transform their cultures and live out the pastoral vision of the archdiocese: “One church: encountering Jesus, equipping disciples and living mercy.”

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“A

The laity are called to transform the world

n authentic faith … always involves a deep desire to change the world.” These words of Pope Francis from “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) echo the desire of Jesus Christ for all lay members of the church. These words were also at the core of the pontificate of St. Pope John Paul II. Carrying out the work of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II was devoted to the holiness of the laity. He also constantly exhorted them with their God-given responsibility to transform the temporal affairs of the everyday world. The great saint particularly did so in “Christifideles Laici” (“Christ’s Faithful People”), a papal document addressing “the mission and vocation of the lay faithful in the church and in the world.” This document contains many treasures for prayerful contemplation and provides the foundations for understanding the true identity of the laity, who daily labor in the Lord’s vineyard. Pope John Paul II recognized that transformation of the everyday world – in its economic, political, social and cultural dimensions – is impossible without the power of God. In the absence of God, the human person is not reverently approached in his or her inviolable dignity, as “one endowed with conscience and freedom, called to live responsibly in society and history, and oriented towards spiritual and religious values.” Instead, the human person is subjected to manipulation by those who are stronger and more powerful. In place of charity, false notions of free-

Faithful, Watchful Citizens TOM VENZOR dom are advanced and “the use of a liberty without bonds” is pursued. But the pope also acknowledged that the world is not doomed – the misuse of freedom and abuse of power are not a fait accompli. Far from it. Christ has come. He has redeemed the world. And through him we have been given the grace of baptism, bringing us into the family of God as children and heirs to the Kingdom. It is this baptism which bestows upon us our God-given roles as priest, prophet and king. In our priesthood, we offer our lives as sacrifice to the Father in our daily activities in the family, in the workplace and elsewhere. In our prophetic office, we proclaim the Truth and without hesitation “courageously identify and denounce evil.” In our kingly office, we help the world “overcome … the kingdom of sin” by serving our brothers and sisters in charity and justice. Transformed in baptism and constantly rooted in Jesus Christ, who is the Vine, our transformation of the world takes on a particular form as lay people – a “secular character” as Pope John Paul II called it. By this he meant that the laity are, quoting Pope Pius XII, on the “frontlines of the Church’s life.” The laity are those who “live in the world ... in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life …. They study, they work, they form relationships as friends, professionals, members of society, cultures, etc.” As the

pope further notes, this is not simply a sociological description of a lay person’s life, but an anthropological and theological reality. It is something essential to “the very fabric of (a lay person’s) existence.” All of this compels the human heart to interact with the world and to seek its transformation, including in its political dimensions. Each member of the laity is called and commanded to engage in the political sphere, to some degree or another as is fitting for their particular life circumstances and call to holiness. Fear cannot detract from this call and command. Instead, solace must be sought in the words of Scripture so often quoted by Pope John Paul II: “Be not afraid!” Pope Benedict XVI said with conviction that “the Church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” An authentic faith – rooted in an identity as a child of God the Father, continuously transformed by an encounter with Jesus Christ, driven by the mission of the Holy Spirit – must play a role in transforming the cultural and political conditions necessary to achieve peace and justice for all people. This is why Pope John Paul II could say without hesitation: “It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle” in the work of transforming the world for the sake of the Kingdom of God. As we seek to courageously participate as faithful citizens in the political sphere, let us ask for the intercession of St. Pope John Paul II! Tom Venzor is executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, with headquarters in Lincoln. Contact him at tvenzor@necatholic.org.

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Should the church just stay out of politics?

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mericans agree on a lot more than we think. Many times, it is for the good. Sometimes it isn’t. And an example of the latter is the agreement by a majority of Americans that religion should stay out of politics. In a new Pew survey, 63% of U.S. adults said that churches and religious organizations should “keep out of political matters.” This is not surprising when, as the same survey revealed, only 55% of Americans said that churches and religious organizations do more good than harm in American society. Almost a full quarter think that churches and religious organizations make no difference at all. And about strengthening the moral fabric of our nation, only 53% of Americans say that churches strengthen it. It would seem that a disturbingly large number of our fellow citizens view religious organizations to be useless at best and harmful at worst. But our fellow citizens are wrong. Our nation needs religion. Our church does a great deal of good. And the church should be involved in politics. Let me be clear, though, that I’m not saying the church should be endorsing or condemning candidates or political parties. And though the church is allowed by law to talk about public policy, I’m not saying that the church should always do so. The problem is not so much with the distinction between theology and politics but with misunderstanding what “politics” is. In my experience, many Catholics have no problem with the church commenting on a specific policy when the bishops agree with them. It is when the church disagrees with our own notions that the bishops are suddenly “playing politics” and so should just stick to theology. The word “politics” then shifts according to our own biases. More difficult is when, let’s say, there’s a party whose platform includes rounding up everyone named Omar for extermination. When the church stands up

Charity in Truth DEACON OMAR GUTIÉRREZ and condemns the mass killing, everyone knows that it is a condemnation, by extension, of that party. The church is then accused of “playing politics” when, in fact, the church is simply fulfilling her God-given obligation to defend the fundamental human dignity of all persons. The problem, then, is not with the church playing politics. It’s with many Americans, and I would say many American Catholics, who would prefer to conform their consciences to their own political and personal preferences rather than to the teachings of the Catholic Church. And so we get the Pew study which says, “Just stay out of politics.” What’s the solution? First, there is hope. Forty-two percent of Americans say that the loss of religious influence in America is a bad thing. Though a minority position, it is a large minority. It also lines up in agreement with the thinking of George Washington, John Adams and Charles Carroll, all men of different Christian religious stripes who agreed that religion was crucial for the success of our republic. Second, we Catholics should feel comfortable about being politically homeless. We should seek to better understand not just the bishops’ policy positions, but why they hold those positions, even when they are at odds with our preferred political party. Third, for those Catholics who are willing to hear what the church says about a public policy, the church needs to do a better job of explaining why and how doctrinal principles lead to their conclusions. Then, perhaps, politics will be seen not as a power struggle, but as the forum in which the church applies her teaching to defend the fundamental dignity of all human persons and promote the common good. Deacon Omar Gutiérrez is director of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Contact him at ofgutierrez@archomaha.org.


| COMMENTARY |

I

Happy holy days

s it my imagination, or has the Christmas shopping season (or “holiday shopping season”) extended itself by another few weeks? What we used to call “Black Friday” sales, beginning the day after Thanksgiving, seem to be creeping back toward early November. So we are heading toward an amorphous two-month “holiday season” – not much consolation to those who will be working harder than ever during these months, either to sell us presents or to earn enough money to buy them (or both). Some holiday. And Thanksgiving may increasingly lose its meaning, merely marking the halfway point in the commercial frenzy. It’s an embarrassing holiday for secularists anyway. Who or what can they thank? And ugh, Puritans are involved. Last year, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by some grocery store cashiers with “Merry Christmas.” I’m pretty sure this year it will be “Happy Holidays.” And I’m tempted to confuse my greeter by replying “Happy Holy Days!”, which has the advantage of covering both Christmas and Hanukkah. So I have some practical tips for keeping one’s sanity during this Advent and Christmas. First, be countercultural by setting your Christmas clock differently. Dec. 1 begins Advent, which means “It’s coming!” We await the first coming of Jesus in the manger, with an eye toward his second coming in glory. Hold off with Christmas decorations until Advent begins. (This may be hard if you have small children.) See Christmas day as the beginning (not the end) of festivity and gift-giving. On or near the 12th day of Christmas, hold an Epiphany party (you can tell your secular friends it’s an “after Christmas” party). People may ask why you’re doing things this way. Then you get to tell them. This is how evangelization begins. Second, find ways to keep the religious meaning of the season before your eyes. Pray, in ways and at times you usually don’t. The periodical “Magnificat” has a shortened version of morning and evening prayer for every day. Each day, with

A More Human Society RICHARD DOERFLINGER your loved ones, pray Mary’s own Magnificat (“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord …”), thanking God for choosing her as mother of the Savior and for overturning the schemes of the rich and mighty. Try some spiritual reading. “Watch for the Light” by Plough Publishing House has a reading by a great Christian writer for each day from Nov. 24 to Jan. 7. Each year, Bishop Robert E. Barron issues a booklet of Advent Gospel reflections. Other resources abound. Remember that Jesus is not someone you have to squeeze into an otherwise secular holiday. Christmas means anything at all because it marks the beginning of the central event in the history of the universe. When I’m in danger of forgetting that, I recall the poem “Christmas” by John Betjeman. Written decades ago and set in London, some of the poem seems dated and its references unfamiliar. But the last three stanzas are timeless: “And is it true? And is it true, This most tremendous tale of all, Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue, A Baby in an ox’s stall? The Maker of the stars and sea Become a Child on earth for me? “And is it true? For if it is, No loving fingers tying strings Around those tissued fripperies, The sweet and silly Christmas things, Bath salts and inexpensive scent And hideous tie so kindly meant. “No love that in a family dwells, No carolling in frosty air, Nor all the steeple-shaking bells Can with this single Truth compare – That God was Man in Palestine And lives today in Bread and Wine.” May you have a blessed Christmas. Doerflinger worked for 36 years in the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

DECEMBER 6, 2019

» 15

Why did the Wall fall, 30 years ago?

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ov. 9 marked the 30th anniversary of the peaceful breach of the Berlin Wall – the symbolic high point of the Revolution of 1989, which would be completed seven weeks later by the fall of the Czechoslovak communist regime and Vaclav Havel’s election as that country’s president. A few days before the actual anniversary, German foreign minister Haiko Maas penned a brief essay on the reasons why the Wall came down, which was striking for what he didn’t mention. He did not mention NATO steadfastness against a vast Soviet campaign of agitation and propaganda over western military modernization in the 1980s. He did not mention President Ronald Reagan or Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – he didn’t even mention West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. From my point of view, however, the most glaring omission in Maas’s essay was his complete lack of attention to the pivotal figure in the Revolution of 1989, St. Pope John Paul II. Just as oddly, the foreign minister neglected to mention the moral revolution – the revolution of conscience – that John Paul II helped ignite and that gave the Revolution of 1989 its unique human texture. This is bad history. And bad history always raises warning flags about the future. Professor John Lewis Gaddis of Yale University is America’s most distinguished historian of the Cold War. He is not a Catholic, so he cannot be accused of special pleading or sectarian bias in writing that “when John Paul II kissed the ground at the War-

The Catholic Difference GEORGE WEIGEL saw Airport on June 2, 1979, he began the process by which communism in Poland – and ultimately everywhere – would come to an end.” My friendly amendment would be to note (as the Polish pope did) that a lot had been happening in east central Europe before John Paul’s June 1979 pilgrimage to Poland; so the pope did not so much begin, as he did accelerate, the process of dismantling European communism through an effective nonviolent resistance based on the assertion of basic human rights. And he did that in part by giving the Catholic components of the resistance new courage, rooted in the conviction that “Rome” now had their backs (as it hadn’t in the 1970s). But I will happily accept Gaddis’ citation of June 2, 1979, as a signal moment in this process. What happened that day? Unbelievably, after more than 30 years of communist repression, a pope from behind the iron curtain celebrated Mass in Warsaw’s Victory Square. And during that hitherto unimaginable event, a vast crowd chanted, “We want God! We want God!” That dramatic scene was the curtain-raiser on nine days of national renewal in which John Paul, in dozens of speeches and addresses, never mentioned politics or economics once and ignored the Polish communist government completely. Rather, he played numerous variations on one great theme: “You are not who they say you are. Remember who you are – reclaim the truth about yourselves as a nation formed by a Christian history and a vital faith – and you will

eventually discover tools of resistance that communism cannot match.” The demand for religious freedom, in other words, was at the center of the John Paul II-inspired Solidarity movement in Poland, even as it became an increasingly prominent part of the human rights resistance to communism in Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, and what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Getting this history straight is important, not just as a matter of intellectual hygiene, but for the future. Public officials who do not grasp the centrality of religious freedom to the collapse of European communism and the emergence of new democracies in central and eastern Europe are unlikely to appreciate the centrality of religious freedom to free and virtuous 21st-century societies and to 21st-century democracy. It is a sadness to note that Maas is not alone in his ignorance, and in what one fears may be his insouciance about the first freedom. A few days before the 30th anniversary of the Wall coming down, former Irish president Mary McAleese gave a lecture at Trinity College in Dublin. Did she celebrate her church’s role in liberating a continent? No. Instead, she made the bizarre claim that infant baptism and the consequent obligation of parents to raise their baptized children in the faith may violate the U.N.’s Covenant on the Rights of the Child. Hard to believe, but true – and an urgent reminder that bad history makes for bad public policy. 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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| RESURRECTION JOY |

16 « DECEMBER 6, 2019 The following mortuaries place notices for their Catholic services in the Catholic Voice: Bethany, La Vista; Korisko Larkin Staskiewicz, Crosby Burket Swanson Golden, John A. Gentleman, Heafey-HoffmannDworak-Cutler, Kremer, John E. Johnston and Son, Roeder, all in Omaha; Bellevue Memorial Chapel, Bellevue; Stokely, West Point and Dodge. If you would like to have your loved one included in Resurrection Joy, have your funeral home director contact the Catholic Voice, 402-5586611. There is a nominal charge. ANTON-Walter R. Sr., 85. Funeral Mass Nov. 21 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Survived by wife, Amparo; children and spouses, Walter Jr. and Kim Anton, Henry and Tracy Anton, Susan and Dan Hogue, Elizabeth and Scott Pullen, Johnny and Dawn Anton, Robert Anton Sr., and David and Jessica Anton; 18 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister, Kathrine Pekar. Memorials to Tangier Shrine Transportation Fund, 2823 S. 84th St., Omaha, 68124. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL BEACOM-Sharon Y. “Cher”, 71. Funeral service Nov. 11 at St. Leo the Great Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, James E. III; son, Daniel. Survived by daughter, Kimberly R. Peterson; son and daughter-in-law, Jason M. and Monica; seven grandchildren. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER BLANDFORD-Murray G., 58. Funeral Mass Nov. 16 at St. James Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by wife, Peggy; sons, Austin and Bryson; brother and sister-in-law, Grant and Juliet; nieces; nephews, relatives; friends. Memorials to St. James/Seton Catholic School or the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER BOLITA-James L., 81. Funeral Mass Nov. 25 at St. Bernadette Church, Bellevue. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents; wife, Marlene Bolita; brother, Tom Bolita. Survived by sons, Tony and Jeff Bolita; one grandson. Memorials to Boys Town Alumni Association. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME CAMERLINCK-Carmen “Nines”, 76. Funeral Mass Nov. 22 at St. Mary Church, Bellevue. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Bill; great-grandson, Carter; parents, Diego and Pascuala; four sisters. Survived by children and spouses, Lita and Scott Montgomery, Susie and Tom Merkley, Michael Camerlinck, Samantha White, Lisa and Scotty Young, and Mark and Sara Camerlinck; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; brother; sister; nieces; nephews; friends. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME CENTRETTO-Charles A. Jr., 86. Funeral service Nov. 12 at St. Peter Church. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Georgia L. Survived by daughter and son-in-law, Anna Marie and Dave Brown; son, Charles A.; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

COUGHLIN-Carol J., 75. Funeral service Nov. 15 at St. James Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Robert Coughlin; nephew, Brad Nystrom; siblings, Richard and John Molczyk, Joyce Nilius and Mary Ann Molczyk. Survived by children and spouses, Tim and Christine Coughlin, Jeannie Wright, and Todd and Melanie Coughlin; six grandchildren, sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Gene Nystrom; extended family; friends. Memorials to the family for grandchildren’s education. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN DeGEORGE-FRANK A., 69. Funeral service Nov. 25 at St. Peter Church. Preceded in death by parents, Angelo and Rose; brother, Sam. Survived by sisters and spouse, Diana DeGeorge, and Sharon and Thomas Renner; sister-in-law, Mary Lou DeGeorge; nieces; nephews; cousins. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER DeMARCO-Loreta L., 80. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at St. Joseph Church, Springfield. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by husband, Peter R. DeMarco, Springfield; son, Peter I. (Christian Hoeger) DeMarco; daughter, Angela E. (Shawn Haase) DeMarco, Rochester, Minnesota; six grandchildren; mother of grandchild, Jessica W. Myers, Houston; nephew; sisters, Soledad Miguel, Bourbonnais, Illinois, Rosalie Lim, St. Louis, Harriette (Eping) Gacad, Imperial, Missouri, Evelyn (Lito) Fajardo; sisters-inlaw, Gina DeMarco, M. Jayne DeMarco, Betty DeMarco, Canton, Ohio, M. Dianne DeMarco, Leawood, Kansas, Julie Lim, High Ridge, Missouri; brother-in-law, Arvine DeMarco; nieces; nephews; friends. Memorials to St. Joseph Church, 100 S. 9th Street, Springfield, NE, 68059 or Holy Family Shrine, 23122 Pflug Road, Gretna, NE, 68028. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN DURACINSKI-Clarence S. “Whitey”, 89. Funeral Mass Nov. 19 at St. Gerald Church. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Steve and Sophie Duracinski; son, Lee Duracinski; granddaughter, Miranda Hadnot. Survived by wife, Maxine Duracinski; children and spouses, Sue and Ron Hadnot, Steve and Denise Duracinski, Jon and Paula Duracinski; seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren. Memorials to the family to be used toward Alzheimer’s research advancement. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME ENGEN-Mary C., 85. Funeral service Nov. 18 at West Center Chapel. Interment Resurrection Cemetery Mausoleum. Survived by children and spouses, Mary Claire Ritter, Teri Eisenberg, Michael and Gail Engen, Dave and Tiny Engen, William and Roxanne Engen; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Bridgett Foster. Memorials to St. Robert Bellarmine Church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER EVERITT-Mary Ann, 90. Funeral Mass Nov. 25 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment St. Mary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Neill J. Everitt; son, Jerry.  Survived by children and spouses, Mamie and Mark Stiles, Neill Everitt III, Phil and Diane Everitt, Annie and Stefan Von Trapp, Steve Everitt, Florence and Todd August, Francis and Brian Vail, Bridget and Guy Rapoza, Joe and Katy Everitt, and Jim and Darka Everitt; 23 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister, Joanne Klosner; brother and sister-in-law, John and Noreen Frenking; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family for Masses. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

Over a Century of Service…

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED FOSTER-Theodore James “Ted”, 84. Funeral Mass Nov. 15 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by son, Jason. Survived by wife, Patricia; daughter and son-in-law, Paula and Steve Toth; four grandchildren. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER FRIEND-Phyllis T., 90. Funeral Mass Nov. 22 at St. Gerald Church. Survived by brother, John Tielke; children and spouses, Robin and Larry Brooks, Jeff and Gloria Friend, Julie and Dan McConnell, and Melanie and Chris Fox; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to St. Croix Hospice. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER GERARD-Joan Marie (Alt), 64. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at Mary Our Queen Church. Preceded in death by parents, Edith and Mark Alt; brother, Gary Alt. Survived by husband, Ronald C.; son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey C. and Maryellen; siblings and spouses, Cindy and Steve McCawley, and Chris and Mary Alt; nieces; nephews; relatives; friends. Memorials to Mary Our Queen Early Childhood Education and Youth Center. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER GLEBAVICIUS-Irene R., 59. Funeral service Nov. 9 at the funeral home. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Survived by brothers, Joe, Peter, Tony, Frank, Mike and Todd. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME GOODMAN-Robert F. Jr. “Bob”, 54. Funeral service Nov. 16 at the funeral home. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by father, Robert Sr. Survived by wife, Shirley; mother and stepfather, Leona and Frank Milacek; sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law; family; friends. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME GUINANE-Jeffrey J. “Jeff”, 59. Funeral Mass Nov. 16 at St. James Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by father, Jerry; grandparents, Jose Phine Andersen, Vera and Frank Guinane. Survived by wife, Kristine; mother, Jeanette “Jan”; siblings and spouse, Michael, Stephanie and Jeff Herrington, and Denise; father-in-law, Pierre Bossant; mother-in-law, Janet Rummel; brother-in-law and spouse, Phillip and Leila Bossant; nieces; nephews; grandnieces; grandnephews. Memorials to St. James Parish Center renovation. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER HAWLEY-Darlene Faye, 75. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at St. Bernard Church. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Ralph and Emily Robb; brother, Loy Robb; son-in-law, James Davis. Survived by husband, Michael Hawley; children and spouses, Lisa and Jeffrey McDermott, Michelle and John Romano, and Joseph Hawley; three grandchildren; two great-grandsons. Memorials to St. Bernard Church. ROEDER MORTUARY

Catholic Cemeteries ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA

HARRIS-David M., 69. Funeral service Nov. 11 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Interment Westlawn-Hillcrest Memorial Park. Preceded in death by father, Albert “Jim” Harris; mother-in-law, Barbara Vlcek. Survived by wife, Sheri Harris; children and spouses, Delena and Kevin Butcher, Dayna and Akouete Akakpo, Kimberly and Ashish Harris, and Mark and Jennifer Harris; seven grandchildren; mother, Madeline Harris; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Delmar and Pamela Vlcek; sisters and spouse, Patricia Wilson, and Mary and Randy Hicks; nephew; aunts; uncles; cousins; friends. Memorials to CHI Hospice or St. Columbkille Church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER HOSKINSON-Larry L, 84. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at St. Thomas More Church. Survived by wife, Dona Jean; son and spouse, Michael “Frog” and Tammy; two grandchildren; great-grandson; brothers, Jerry and John. Memorials to St. Thomas More Endowment Fund or Masses. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME JELLEN-David Henry, 75. Funeral Mass Nov. 12 at St. Columbkille Church, Papillion. Survived by wife, Mary Beth Jellen; children and spouses, Mark David and Holli Jellen, and Karen Marie and Alex Smith; five grandchildren. Memorials to St. Columbkille Parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KENNEY-Barbara J., 98. Funeral Mass Nov. 16 at St. Patrick Church, Elkhorn. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Frederick and Gertrude Anderst; sister, Betty Wear Hahn; husbands, Robert J. Phillip and Joseph H. Kenney. Survived by daughters and spouse, Jacqueline Hogen, and Patricia and William Gorham; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; niece; goddaughter; family; friends. Memorials in Barbara’s name to Lakeside Village Scholarship Fund or Siena/ Francis House. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KILCOIN-Gerald L. Jr. “Jerry”, 51. Funeral Mass Nov. 30 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by daughter, Shawna; grandparents, Everett and Lucille Morton, and George and Maude Kilcoin. Survived by children, Emily, Joshua, Molly, Aidan, and Hale; parents, Gerald and Bernadette Kilcoin; sister and brother-in-law, Krisanna and Alan Miller, sister, Jessi Kilcoin; long-time friend, Angela Hardin; nieces; nephews; grand-nephews; friends; co-workers. Memorials to the Kilcoin Children Education Fund. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER KOPIASZ-Julia, 94. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by husband, Edward; son-in-law, Gary Whitehill; parents, James and Opal Bissenas; brother; sisters. Survived by daughters, Tanya Whitehill and Anlia Kopiasz; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME

C C

Join us Wednesdays during Advent www.klsfuneralhome.com

Dec. 4, 11 & 18 • 6 p.m. Holy Angels Mausoleum at Resurrection Cemetery We invite those who have experienced the death of a loved one to join us. We will pray for your peace and healing as we await the coming of the Christ Child.

Walt Dworak

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Come and leave your prayer petitions on the Chrismas tree of remembrance and hope. Your petitions will be offered in prayer all of Advent and presented silently at the Jan. 6 Memorial Mass in Holy Angels Mausoleum.

For more information please contact Deacon Jim Tardy at 402-391-3711 or jtardy@catholiccem.com

LEUTZINGER-William J., 90. Funeral service Nov. 9 at Holy Ghost Church. Interment St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery. Survived by wife, Joanne; children and spouses, Joyce and Jack Lovell, Kathryn and Gary Povondra, Edward and Susan Leutzinger, and Joseph and Nancy Leutzinger; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Fred Ira. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME MARTIN-Patte Lucille, 87. Funeral Mass Nov. 22 at St. John Church on Creighton University campus. Interment Evergreen Memorial Park. Preceded in death by husband, Bob D. Martin; sisters, Judy Forney and Carolyn Powell-Trimble. Survived by sons, Steven Martin (Amy Haddad), and Stuart (Nancy) Martin, Fort Worth, Texas; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. Memorials to St. John Church on Creighton University campus or the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER MATULKA-Robert G., 72. Funeral service Nov. 20 at the funeral home. Inurnment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Survived by wife, Diane; daughters and spouses, Charlene and Shawn Blaha, and Carrie and Thomas Wilson; four grandchildren. Memorials to the family. BELLEVUE MEMORIAL CHAPEL MORRISON-Jeffrey, 47. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at Mary Our Queen Church. Interment St. John Cemetery, Bellevue. Preceded in death by mother, Janet Greenlee; grandfather, Leroy. Survived by brother, Jim Morrison; aunt and spouse, Kathy and Jim Sparks; grandmother, Evelyn Stern; nieces. BETHANY FUNERAL HOME MULLERSMAN-Kristi L. (Stolz), 47. Funeral Mass Nov. 23 at St. Patrick Church, Gretna. Survived by daughter, Cameron; parents, Joe and Julia Stolz; sister and brother-in-law, Jennifer and Ricardo Vizuete; niece; nephew; Sean Murphy. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER PETERS-Mikki (Griger), 45. Funeral Mass Nov. 15 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Preceded in death by father, Richard Griger. Survived by daughters, Hollie and Lily Peters; mother, Suzanne Griger; brothers, Nick and Richard Griger; nieces; nephews. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME PUTERBAUGH-Eugene R., 90. Funeral Mass Nov. 26 at St. Stephen the Martyr Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by wife, June; sister-in-law, Sharon Dunn (David); children and spouses, Thomas and Renee Puterbaugh, Patricia and Jeffrey Schneider, Lisa and Philip Perrone, and Nancy and Michael Behle; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER RUFFINO-Betty J., 84. Graveside service Nov. 15 at Resurrection Cemetery Mausoleum. Preceded in death by husband, Frank M. Survived by children and spouses, Sherry and Bill O’Doherty, Frank M. and Marcie Ruffino, Jan and Tim Charf, and Jean and Don North; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SABATINI-Theresa M. (Plog), 100. Graveside service Nov. 22 at Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husbands, Lorenzo Plog and William Sabatini; children, Larry Plog, John Richard Plog, and Shirley Smith. Survived by sons, Russell Terry (Kathy), and Gary J. (Debie); nine grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; greatgreat-grandchild. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SCHENKELBERG-Richard O., 83. Funeral Mass Nov. 18 at St. Gerald Church. Interment Omaha National Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Bernard, Hildegard and Cecilia; brothers, Lambert, Gilbert and Bernard Schenkelberg, and Dick Cartwright. Survived by wife, Judy; children and spouse, Lisa and Don Fedde, Greg, Gina; five grandchildren; sister, Gretchen Schutte-Moylan; brother, John; sisters-in-law, Barbara Schenkelberg and Helene Cartwright; nieces; nephews; relatives; friends. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SEVERA-Dr. James D., MD, 69. Funeral service Nov. 8 at St. Stanislaus Church. Interment Clarkson Catholic Cemetery, Clarkson. Survived by wife, Dr. Julie Otten; son, Jimmy Severa; family; friends. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN SHELY-William D. “Bill”, 80. Funeral service Nov. 23 at Faith Christian Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by wife, Dianna Lee. Survived by children and spouses, Rose and Steve Wray, Scott and Tifany Shely, Shawn, and Daniel and Jodi Shely; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, David and Barbara Ritchie; sister, Carolyn Ayala. Memorials to Boys Town or the Alzheimer’s Association. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER

Continued on Page 17 >>


| RESURRECTION JOY |

Deacon Capoun remembered as a storyteller Catholic Voice

Deacon Marv Capoun’s travels as a member of a polka band and his work as a postmaster gave him a lot of friends and a lot of stories to tell, a fellow deacon said. Deacon Capoun DEACON died Nov. 10 at St. MARV Joseph’s Villa and CAPOUN Court in David City, Nebraska. He was 85. A funeral Mass was held Nov. 13 at St. Mary Church in David City, where he and his wife, Clarice, moved after his retirement from active ministry. His stories brought smiles, laughs and piqued people’s interest – and he used them in his ministry as he visited the elderly or delivered a homily, said Deacon Danny Hastings, a longtime friend who

served with Deacon Capoun at Divine Mercy Parish in Schuyler. “He knew a lot of people and impacted a lot of people,” Deacon Hastings said. He described Deacon Capoun, who was ordained in 1991, as a “caring soul,” who “always had a story, and I think people were looking for that.” “He was just a kind and gracious man,” his friend said. “He impacted people just by being himself.” Deacon Hastings said Deacon Capoun was the first to suggest that he should be a deacon. “He planted the seed.” Deacon Hastings’ wife, Carol, said the Capouns “taught by example” during their time at Divine Mercy and before that at the former St. Augustine Parish in Schuyler, which merged with St. Mary Parish there to form

Divine Mercy. “Marv will be missed very much,” she said. Father Gerald Gonderinger, pastor at Divine Mercy, said Deacon Capoun was “a delightful man, a true gentleman with a wry sense of humor.” Deacon Capoun was a Grand Knight and Fourth Degree Knight with the Schuyler Knights of Columbus Council. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Ann; brothers Robert (Margie) Ponec and William Ponec; and sister, Myra (Bernie) Kouma. Survivors include his wife of 59 years; sons David and Deacon Mark (Lynne) Capoun, who serves at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha; daughters Kay (Everette) Caldwell and Joan (Ted) Cech; sister-in-law Elsie Ponec; 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Deacon Conrad served in Schuyler and Omaha Catholic Voice

Deacon James Conrad died Nov. 11. He was 89. A funeral Mass was held Nov. 15 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Omaha, with interment at St. John Cemetery in Bellevue. Deacon Con- DEACON rad was ordained JAMES in 1998 and served CONRAD at both St. Mary Parish in Schuyler and Ss. Peter and Paul Parish. Father Donald Shane, a retired >> Continued from Page 16 SING-John Andrew Joseph, 66. Funeral Mass Nov. 16 at Dowd Memorial Chapel of Immaculate Conception Church, Boys Town. Preceded in death by parents, Paul and Mabel. Survived by wife, Sharon Marie (Lee) Sing; children and spouses, Jamie and Todd McCarty, and Jason and Tymaree Sing; seven grandchildren. Memorials to fire fighters’ or police officers’ associations. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER SPELIC-Nicholas Joseph, 37. Funeral Mass Nov. 15 at St. John Church on Creighton University campus. Preceded in death by father, Stephen; grandparents, John Joseph Stockard and Joann Munagle, and Joseph and Clair Spelic. Survived by mother, Stephanie Stockard Spelic; brother, Zachary Spelic (Chassidy Kruger); nieces; aunts; uncles; cousins; friends. Memorials to Lauritzen Gardens, Nebraska Border Collie Rescue (Gretna) or St. John Parish Social Justice Group. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER STESSMAN-Phyllis A., 87. Funeral Mass Nov. 13 at St. Joan of Arc Church. Preceded in death by husband, Ted J. Stessman III. Survived by children and spouses, Karen and Larry Weber, Ted IV and Julie Stessman, Laurie and Bob Barnes, and Susie and Jim Blue; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, John and Katie DiBaise. Memorials to St. Bernard School, St. Joan of Arc Church, Matt Talbot Soup Kitchen and Outreach (Lincoln) or the VNA. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER STRUDL-Charles A., 64. Funeral service Nov. 8 at Mary Our Queen Church. Preceded in death by parents. Survived by wife, Nancy; daughters, Nicole Sheckler and Jennifer Strudl (Tyler Buhrman); 10 grandchildren; siblings, Janet (Jim) Baird, and Michael (Deb) Strudl; nieces; nephews. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME SVENDSEN-Robert H., 82. Funeral service Nov. 23 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Preceded in death by wife, Rose. Survived by children and spouses, Tim and Suzanne Svendsen, Jerry and Carrie Svendsen, Adam and Gina Svendsen, Barbara and Robert Shannon, Susan Gouger, Karen and Dan Conner, and Jeannie and David Bruck; grandchildren; great-grandchildren. Memorials to the family. KORISKO LARKIN STASKIEWICZ FUNERAL HOME

priest who was pastor of St. Mary, knew him as a kind man who was always concerned with doing the right thing and caring for his family. “It was a priority to do everything he could to foster his relationship with Jesus and pass that along to his family,” Father Shane said. “And if you needed anything, he would be there for you.” According to his funeral program, he “was a man with a caring heart and a jovial smile. He positively impacted the many lives of whom he came in contact with. It

TEJRAL-Thomas G., 61. Funeral service Nov. 15 at West Center Chapel. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Survived by wife, Pamela S.; sons and daughters-in-law, Travis G. and Sheri, Jason S. and Melissa, and Lucas M. and Gina; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother, Ron. Memorials to the family. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER THURMOND-Robert N. III “Bobby”, 76. Funeral service Nov. 23 at St. James Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Robert N. and Mary Jo (Albers) Thurmond. Survived by siblings and spouses, Dr. John and Nancy Thurmond, Joie and Matt Letter, Ann Marie Thurmond, Shelly O’Keefe, William and Susan Thurmond, and Thomas Thurmond; nieces; nephews. Memorials to ENCOR Services, 4715 S. 132 St., Omaha, 68137. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN WHITE-Donna L., 89. Funeral service Nov. 15 at St. Wenceslaus Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Preceded in death by husband, Lewis “Gene”; brothers, Louis and Robert “Rex” Shober; sister, Geraldine Dross.  Survived by children and spouses, Lewis “Bill” and Ellen White, Jody and Fred Galata, Gerald “Rex” White, Mike and Ann White, Sherri and Darrell Smith, and Steve and Barb White; 12 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews. Memorials to the church. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK-CUTLER WILLIAMS-Dr. Perry T. Jr., 96. Funeral Mass Nov. 19 at Christ the King Church. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Preceded in death by parents, Perry and Catherine (MacRae) Williams; wife, Donna (Hodges); infant daughter, Diane; brother, John MacRae “Mac” Williams. Survived by sons, Perry III, Stephen, M.D. (Lori), Mark Williams (Cindy Bokhof); seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. Memorials to Institute for Priestly Formation or Cathedral Arts Project. JOHN A. GENTLEMAN WILMES-John William “Jack”, 92. Funeral Mass Nov. 13 at St. Andrew Church, Tecumseh, Nebraska. Interment St. Andrew Catholic Cemetery, Tecumseh. Preceded in death by wife, Ruth; parents, John and Margaret Wilmes; brother and sister-in-law, Henry and Beata Wilmes; brothers-in-law, Paul Moser and Willie Fanta. Survived by children and spouses, John J. and Julie Wilmes, Michael J. and Patti Wilmes, Patricia A. Johnson, and Barbara J. and Dennis “Felco” Gottula; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; siblings and spouse, Robert and Marlene Wilmes, Mary Ann Moser, and Marlene Fanta; nieces; nephews; friends. Memorials to the family. WHERRY MORTUARY

didn’t matter if you were young or old, ... he still gave you his undivided attention.” Along with his wife, Rose, Deacon Conrad received the “Service to Mankind” award from the Schuyler Chamber of Commerce. He was preceded in death by his parents, James J. Sr. and Madeline Conrad; wife, Rose Marie Conrad; brothers, Joe and Robert Conrad and sister, Mary Ann Bowman. He is survived by children, Jean Conrad, Jim Conrad III and Jeff (Maria) Conrad; two granddaughters; nieces, nephews and cousins.

DECEMBER 6, 2019

» 17

Pope advances sainthood causes of bishop, priest By CAROL GLATZ

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis advanced the sainthood cause of Bishop Ovide Charlebois – a Canadian Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate who ministered to First Nations peoples and migrant workers scattered throughout the vast, lake-covered province of Manitoba. The pope recognized the Quebec native, who lived from 1862 to 1933, as having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way. The pope also recognized the martyrdom of Father Jan Franciszek Macha, a Polish priest who began his parish ministry when the Nazis invaded Poland and was imprisoned and murdered by its elite force, the SS, despite his mother’s efforts to secure a pardon from Adolf Hitler. The pope also formally recognized the martyrdom of 16 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the causes of eight other men and women. During a meeting Nov. 28 with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope signed the decree approving the heroic virtues of Bishop Charlebois, making him “venerable.” Before he can be beatified, the Vatican must recognize that a miracle has occurred through his intercession. The seventh of 14 children and born in Oka, Quebec, Bishop Charlebois was ordained in 1887 and immediately began serving in Saskatchewan, establishing a school,

teaching and traveling thousands of miles by snowshoe and dogsled to minister to the Metis and other indigenous peoples. He helped start a French-language Catholic newspaper and served as the principal and taught catechism in Cree to students at a residential school, which, like many residential schools at the time, were hotbeds of disease and unsanitary conditions, resulting in startling death rates among the students. At the age of 48, he was named the first apostolic vicar of Keewatin, Manitoba, when it was erected in 1910. Being a skilled carpenter, he built the cathedral of Le Pas and the bishop’s residence – a 14-square-foot log cabin – as well as other chapels, schools and residences. He was fluent in Cree and Chipewyan, and he traveled throughout the vicariate, visiting 14 missions and posts, covering thousands of miles on foot, by canoe, wagon and train. While his work began as establishing new missions and ministering to the First Nations people, the discovery and extraction of natural resources in the region triggered a massive influx of Caucasian workers, creating, in turn, serious social problems in the area. The number of missions, clergy and religious grew under his leadership, and he continued to travel in difficult conditions until his death at the age of 71.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS Classified ads will be accepted up until noon on Tuesday, Dec. 10, for the Dec. 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 classifi ed open rate $24.95 per column inch. To place your classified ad, mail to: Classifi ed Advertising, Catholic Voice, P.O. Box 641250, Omaha, NE 68164-3817; or visit catholicvoiceomaha.com.

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PUBLIC NOTICES The Omaha Archdiocesan Schools admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origins to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools. They do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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| CALENDAR |

18 « DECEMBER 6, 2019 EVENTS

CATHOLIC COMMUNITY CALENDAR

Catholic Charities – Hoops for Hope Pep Rally: Dec. 7, before the Creighton vs. Husker men’s basketball game, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Omaha Downtown, 1001 Cass St. Enjoy complimentary hor d’oeuvres, raffle prizes and a cash bar. A free event open to all. To make an online donation: https://www.ccomaha.org/ get-involved/donate or contact Denise Bartels at deniseb@ccomaha.org. St. John Vianney Parish’s Living Nativity: Dec. 13 and 14, 7-9 p.m. at 5801 Oak Hills Drive (south of 126th & Q St. in Millard). Drive through the luminary path to the beautiful manger scene. Stop inside afterward for hot chocolate and goodies. All are welcome to this free event. The Institute for Priestly Formation – Advent Morning of Reflection, “All Flesh Shall See the Salvation of God”: Dec. 14, 8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 654 S. 86th St., Omaha. A “mini-retreat” including Mass, breakfast, presentations, prayer and reflection. An opportunity for the laity to experience the IPF charism used in the spiritual formation of diocesan seminarians and priests who participate in its programs. No cost; free will offering accepted. To register, contact Linda at 402-280-3901 or email http://priestlyformation.org/ contact-ipf-staff-forms/1187.html.

Your guide to activities & events around the archdiocese Catholic Community Calendar is a listing of events from the parishes, schools, institutions and organizations in the Archdiocese of Omaha. SUBMIT » Include date, start and end times, street addresses, description of event and contact information. Items published up to two times as space allows. Notices may be sent three ways: MAIL » Catholic Community Calendar, Catholic Voice, P.O. Box 641250, Omaha, NE 68164-3817

FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) – Pancake Feed: Dec. 15, 8 a.m. to noon at St. Wenceslaus Church, 15353 Pacific St., Omaha. To support four full-time FOCUS missionaries. Questions, contact Dan Bleyhl at 402-691-0129. Young Catholic Professionals – Executive Speaker Series: Dec. 17, 6:159:15 p.m. at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, 3131 S. 156th St., Omaha. Mass at 6:15 p.m.; networking 7 p.m.; Wendy Townley, executive director, Omaha Public Library Foundation, will speak on “Finding My Religion – Returning to My

 n o ss e L and s l o r a C 6

Catholic Faith” at 7:45 p.m. Free drinks and appetizers. All young professionals in their 20s and 30s from every industry are invited. Catholic Business Group – Monthly Luncheon Meeting: Dec. 19, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Champion’s Run Country Club, 138th and Eagle Run Drive, Omaha. Whether a current member or interested in joining, reservations are required. Register at cpbcomaha.org/reservations/ or email CatholicBusinessClub@gmail.com for more information. FertilityCare Center of Omaha, Saint Paul VI Institute – Creighton Model FertilityCare System, Making Sense of Your Fertility: Upcoming introductory session Dec. 19, 7-9 p.m. at 6901 Mercy Road, Omaha. Class size limited to 10 people. Reservation required, call 402-3920842. Spanish-speaking teacher available upon request for Saturday appointments. Couple to Couple League – Natural Family Planning: The series of three classes begins Jan. 19, 2020, with subsequent classes on Feb. 16 and Mar. 15, 2-4:30 p.m. at St. Stephen the Martyr Church, 16701 ‘S’ St., Omaha. Teaching couple are Jason and Lynnette Oberg. Go to www.ccli.org for more information and to register.

C H R I S T M A S C O N C E RT

FRI

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

Caregivers’ Solution Group: Second Tuesday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church, St. Vincent Room, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha. Call Nancy Flaherty at 402-312-9324 or Nicole Florez at 402-496-7988, ext. 221.

DEC

A beloved Christmas tradition which began in England during the late 19th century and has since gained worldwide popularity for its entertaining, beautiful depiction of the Christmas story.

Pater Noster Fraternity – Secular Franciscans: Secular men, women, married, single, diocesan priests. Formation classes third Sunday of every month, 11:30 a.m., potluck 1 p.m. and Fraternity gathering, all at St. Stephen the Martyr Parish’s Gonderinger Center, 16701 S St., Omaha. Contact Luis at 402-594-0710 or lalvarez62@yahoo.com or Kent at 402339-6826 or kkriesberg@gmail.com. St. Clare Secular Franciscan Fraternity: Third Sunday of the month, 1 p.m. at Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 22625 Edgewater Road, Omaha. Call Ann or Larry at 402-493-6730.

$10 per person. RSVP at CSM.edu/Christmas CONCERT AT 7 P.M. DOORS OPEN AT 6:30 P.M.

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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. First Friday Evening Adoration at Holy Family Shrine: Every First Friday of the month, 6-9 p.m. at 23132 Pflug Road, Gretna. Adoration with the Blessed Sacrament. Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites – The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Carmel Study Group: Second Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. to noon at St. John Vianney Church, 5801 Oak Hills Drive, Omaha. This group is composed of practicing members of the Catholic Church from many walks of life. Call Molly Anderson 402-676-6221 or Theresa Kottwitz at 402-440-2617. World Apostolate of Fatima – The Blue Army: Mass first Saturday of the month, 7 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, Dowd Chapel, Boys Town, and Immaculate Conception Church, Omaha; 7:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Cathedral; 8 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church; 8:15 a.m. at Mary Our Queen Church, all in Omaha; 8:15 a.m. at St. Gerald Church (Lakeview Chapel), Ralston, and St. Columbkille Church, Papillion (Communion service). LaSalle Club: Single Catholic archdiocesan young adult group. For more information, see facebook.com/lasalleo, lasalleomaha. webs.com or email lasalleo@aol.com. Be Not Afraid Family Hour: 6-7 p.m. each Sunday at Christ the King Church, 654 S. 86th St., Omaha. • Dec. 8: Act of Consecration • Dec. 15: Behold Your Mother • Dec. 22: The Miraculous Medal • Dec. 29: Living Our Consecration

PARISHES Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Adalbert – Holy Hour for Priests and Vocations: Tuesdays, 8:45 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel (perpetual exposition) at 2110 S. 32nd Ave., Omaha. Enter in the northwest door by the ramp. For more information, call 402-346-3584.

Pro Sanctity Adoration: Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pro Sanctity Center, 11002 N. 204th St., near Elkhorn.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – Holy Hour for Vocations: Thursdays, 6-7 p.m. at 5419 N. 114th St., Omaha. Call Shelly at 402-4933006.

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.

St. Joan of Arc – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Perpetual Adoration: at 74th and Grover streets, Omaha. Open 24 hours.

St. Joan of Arc – Well-Read Mom Small Group: Second Sunday of each month, 2 p.m. at 74th and Grover streets, Omaha. Includes great books, spiritual classics, worthy reads, poetry and selected essays from the Catholic and Western traditions. $39.95 annual membership includes materials. Call 402-740-0004 for more information. St. Margaret Mary – Prayer and Praise Group: Mondays, 9:30-11 a.m. at the Suneg Center, 6116 Dodge St., Omaha. St. Peter – Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2706 Leavenworth St., Omaha. Use west wheelchair door. St. Peter – Chanted Vespers: Saturdays, 6:15 p.m. in Spanish; Sundays, 5 p.m. in English at 2706 Leavenworth St., Omaha. St. Robert Bellarmine – Daily Rosary and Mass for the Homebound: Monday through Saturday, 8:05 a.m. rosary, 8:30 a.m. Mass, Sunday 11 a.m. Mass. All available on demand online at stroberts. com. St. Vincent de Paul – Hour of Adoration: Third Sunday of each month, 3 p.m. at 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha. Call Kathy at 402-496-7988 or Mary at 402-496-0075.

SCHOOLS “A Cougar Family Christmas” Cabaret Show: Dec. 6 and 7, 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 8, 2 p.m. at Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School, 7700 S. 43rd St., Bellevue. Cost $10 for adults, $5 for students and alumni. Children can leave their shoes in the commons before the show to receive a special treat from St. Nicholas. Other activities following the Dec. 8 show. Tickets at www.showtix4u.com/eventdetails/36251.

SPIRITUALITY CENTERS Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha. To register, call 402-951-3026, email scc@osms.org or visit osms.org. • World Religions Study Group: First Wednesday of each month, September to May, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cost: $45. Using the book “World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery” by Jeffrey Brodd. Participants are responsible for obtaining the book. Facilitator is Margaret Stratman, OSM. • 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. St. Benedict Center, three miles north of Schuyler. Call 402-352-8819, email retreats@stbenedictcenter.com. • Christmas Craft Show: A special two-week opportunity to do Christmas shopping at St. Benedict Center, Schuyler, Dec. 1-15, Monday-Friday, 2-6:30 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. A large variety of crafts and gifts made by area artists for sale. Book and Gift Store will be open MondayFriday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Visit Nativity Scenes: Dec. 1-16 and Jan. 2-6, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Benedict Center. Make a pilgrimage to St. Benedict Center, view God’s love made visible in nativity scenes from the Holy Land, Africa, Asia, South and North America, and Europe. No cost.

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| LOCAL BRIEFING |

DECEMBER 6, 2019

» 19

News from around the archdiocese ORGANIZATIONS

Catholic Charities provides Thanksgiving meal kits Catholic Charities of Omaha held its annual Turkey Day meal kit distribution to the needy Nov. 25 at the Juan Diego Center in Omaha. The kits included a turkey, vegetables, fruit, rolls and dessert, as well as coloring books and crayons for children. In all, 150 meal kits were distributed to families in need. This event is offered through Catholic Charities’ Emergency and Supportive Food Services Program and is supported by St. Charles Borromeo Parish’s Knights of Columbus council; St. Columbkille, Holy Family and St. Stephen the Martyr parishes; students and staff from College of Saint Mary and the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s St. John Paul II Newman Center; Hy-Vee; Rotella’s Bakery and members of the Coast Guard.

SCHOOLS

Creighton Prep names new president Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha named Jesuit Father Matthew Spotts as the school’s 34th president, replacing Jesuit Father Tom Neitzke, who will leave Prep at the end of the school year. “After meeting Father Spotts, it was easy to see that his experience and energy will ensure that Prep flourishes well into the future,” Father Neitzke said. Father Spotts, 34, will take the helm for the 2021-22 school year; John Naatz, assistant to the president and former principal, will serve as interim president, the

school said. Father Spotts currently provides sacramental and pastoral ministry at Loyola Academy in suburban Chicago, and is an associate pastor at a nearby parish. Father Spotts was ordained this year and is completing a graduate degree in education. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in New York, a master’s degree from Saint Louis University and a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in California. He has served at parishes on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, ministered to death row inmates and others at San Quentin State Prison in California and taught history and religious studies at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.

OLL students donate to Stephen Center The Our Lady of Lourdes Youth Group held its annual Walk for the Homeless on Nov. 17 to raise awareness and money for the Stephen Center in Omaha. The sixth- through eighth-grade students planned the 1.5 mile walk from the church through the Hanscom Park neighborhood, leading the group in prayers for the homeless of Omaha and reflecting on the Beatitudes. Signs, developed by the eighth-grade leadership team, were placed along the route showing statistics about homelessness and how Stephen Center helps those in need. Stephen Center was presented a check for $3,200 at the All School Mass on Nov. 22. Donations included sponsorship money for walk participants, a second collection at weekend Masses and out-of-uniform day contributions from students.

Feeding the hungry

COURTESY PHOTO

Juniors from Pope John XXIII Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Elgin gather Nov. 21 to deliver donated food items to the Antelope County Food Pantry in Neligh. Students from Pope John XXIII and St. Boniface School, also in Elgin, brought 1,180 canned and non-perishable food items to school during November, surpassing their goal of 1,000 items.

One Community, Welcoming All Your support of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal helps us in our daily work of influencing the culture around us and empowering leaders of local churches and schools to experience unity in Christ. Our experience as One Church invites us to recognize that everything we have is given to deepen our faith and to bring us closer to Jesus and to one another. Thank you for prayerfully considering a gift to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal this year.

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| NEWS |

20 « DECEMBER 6, 2019

Operation Others food collection surpasses expectations By SUSAN SZALEWSKI Catholic Voice

Christmas will be a little easier for more than 1,200 families in need, thanks to Operation Others. Student volunteers from eight Omaha-area Catholic high schools and several elementary schools have been collecting turkeys and other holiday food items for the families, plus some cupboard staples. More than 500 volunteers are involved in Operation Others this year: students, plus some alumni, family members and friends, said Jerry Kinney, who has directed the annual effort for 13 years. He’s a Spanish teacher and retreat director at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, where Operation Others began in 1967. “The hope is to provide a decent holiday meal, plus a little extra,” Kinney said. James Chapman, a senior at Creighton Prep, is among the student volunteers. “I love sharing in the enthusiasm to serve that Operation Others inspires amongst my peers,” Chapman said. Operation Others “truly is an operation, and seeing every little piece come together over the course of months is incredibly impressive.” On Nov. 23 – a sunny, cool Saturday – volunteers like Chap-

man were stationed in parking lots outside Creighton Prep, V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School and GolfTEC in Omaha, accepting the frozen birds from drive-up donors and loading the food onto semi trailer freezers. They collected 1,237 turkeys, Kinney said, far exceeding their goal of 800. Participating high schools and grade schools have held drives to collect other food items. Mercy High School students collected 9,521 canned goods for Operation Others as part of the school’s Spirit Week, said Deborah Daley, a school spokeswoman. That number set a school record for the annual canned food drive, she said. Typically some of the elementary school students make Christmas cards to go along with the food delivery, which this year takes place on Dec. 21, Kinney said. The Operation Others volunteers grow in awareness that some people struggle to obtain basic needs, like food, he said. Meeting the families face to face is important, he said. “It’s a special experience, and both parties are impacted.” Chapman – a member of Mary Our Queen Parish in Omaha with his parents, Cheryl and Tom Chapman – said he feels obliged to help.

SUSAN SZALEWSKI/STAFF

Katie Corpuz, a junior at Marian High School in Omaha, unloads a turkey from a donor’s vehicle and hands it to Brendan Preisman, a sophomore at Creighton Preparatory School, also in Omaha. The two were among the volunteers accepting donations of frozen turkeys outside Creighton Prep on Nov. 23. “I participate in Operation Others because it is our duty – not only as Christians but also as neighbors

– to care for those on the margins, and to ensure that those whose suffering often goes unnoticed, as is

Kevin Weber, FICF

Gretna, NE Call or text 402-630-7877 kevin.weber@kofc.org Serving Gretna and Omaha/St. Wenceslaus councils.

often the case with those affected by the plight of food insecurity, receive compassionate care and attention.” J.G. Krawczyk, FICF, ChFC

Protecting Catholic Families Since 1882. Trust a Catholic company to protect your Catholic family.

Omaha, NE Call or text 402-216-9520 j.krawczyk@kofc.org Serving Papillion, Holy Cross, Mary Our Queen and Bellevue/ St. Matthew the Evangelist councils.

Doug Kelly, FICF

Marcus Bell, FA

Omaha, NE Call or text 402-578-5563 douglas.kelly@kofc.org Serving Bellevue/Columban, Millard/St. John Vianney and St. Robert Bellarmine councils.

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

Stewart Havranek, FA

Noah Pfeifer, FA

Troy Foecking, FICF

Roy Metter, FIC

Omaha, NE Call or text 402-690-2568 stewart.havranek@kofc.org 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.

Norfolk, NE Call or text 402-369-0489 noah.pfeifer@kofc.org Serving Norfolk (A-K), Albion, Humphrey, Cedar Rapids, Genoa, Clarkson, Leigh, Lindsay and St. Edward councils.

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

David City, NE Call or text 402-367-8132 roy.metter@kofc.org Columbus/ St. Isidore and St Bonaventure (M-Z), David City, Bellwood, Shelby, and Osceola. LIFE INSURANCE • DISABILITY INCOME INSURANCE • LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE • RETIREMENT ANNUITIES

Jeremy Borchers, FICF

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

Ryan Mascarello, FIC

Discover the Catholic Difference! GENERAL AGENT

Dustin Schrant, FA

Columbus, NE Call or text 402-910-3493 dustin.schrant@kofc.org Serving: Columbus/ St. Anthony and St. Bonaventure (A-L), Platte Center, Schuyler and North Bend.

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

Omaha, NE, 402-203-0208 ryan.mascarello@kofc.org 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.

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

Your Name

your.name@kofc.org Serving local councils in the Archdiocese of Omaha. Would a position with the Knights Of Columbus be right for you?

LIFE INSURANCE • DISABILITY INCOME INSURANCE • LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE • RETIREMENT ANNUITIES

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Catholic Voice - Dec. 6, 2019  

Catholic Voice - Dec. 6, 2019  

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