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April 2019

Volunteers at Archbishop Bergan Catholic School in Fremont prepare burritos March 18 for distribution to flood victims there. FATHER DAMIEN WEE

Faith and generosity sustain flood victims

For Naoma Borgmann, the first sign of trouble was the look on her husband’s face.

Although wind gusts of 60 mph were howling and 4- to 5-foot waves were crashing on the banks of the Missouri River near their home March 13, it was the sight of the water on the ground that shocked.

“He said, ‘Naoma, I don’t know how to tell you this, but we are surrounded by water,’” she said.

Safe environment coordinator Cathi Snyder reviews procedures for enrolling staff and volunteers in training sessions and submitting background checks at the coordinator in-service at St. Leo the Great Church in Omaha March 12. DANIKA LANG/STAFF

Archdiocese’s safe environment training enhanced for better child protection

Revisions made in June 2018 to the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are leading to significant changes in the archdiocese’s safe environment training and policies to better protect children and young adults. These enhancements come in addition to safe environment initiatives the archdiocese is undertaking on its own.

Taylor Wiester, left, a second grade teacher at Holy Cross School, assists student Julia Hernandez Wiley with independent spelling work during Lexia small group rotations March 13. DANIKA LANG/STAFF

Blended learning spurs reading, math success

Blended learning works, and the Archdiocese of Omaha Catholic Schools Office (CSO) has the numbers to prove it.

The blended learning initiative is a new CSO program in which technology is used to improve  instruction in math and reading in grades K-8. The project was organized in 2013, piloted during the 2017-18 school year and is now in its first year of full implementation. 

Archdiocese of Omaha deacon candidate Librado Maiz, center, and his family pray together Feb. 22 at Divine Mercy Church in Schuyler. From left: Daniel, 11, Judith, 13, Dilcia, Librado, Elizabeth, 4, and Felipe, 7. DANIKA LANG/STAFF

Annual Appeal supports Latino vocations to diaconate

“Why am I not studying to be a deacon?”

Librado Maiz, a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Schuyler, asked himself this question as he considered what more he could do for his parish community. 

Deacon Gutiérrez: In the midst of disaster, the love of God unites us

I had written a column for this month. It was a continuation of last month’s theme on areas of public policy where we agree. But the news about the flooding in Nebraska and a couple of conversations made me change my mind.

If we’re going to talk about unity, we should talk about what is going on right now in our archdiocese and across the state. 

Mary Parizek transports needed items March 22 to her grandson, who with a friend airlifted them to flood victims in Fremont following historic flooding that isolated the town for several days in mid-March. Parizek’s concern for meeting human need is most evident in her work on Mary Our Queen’s Human Needs Committee, an organization she co-founded in 1976. ELIZABETH WELLS

Senior’s name synonymous with meeting need

Mary and Dick Mollner first met Mary Parizek when their fifth child was born prematurely. Mary Mollner couldn’t work during the baby’s short 17-month life, and hardships were common. A can of special formula lasted three days and cost $40. It was 1980.


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