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Local Briefs

September 1, 2006

>> A roundup of news from around the archdiocese


Servants of Mary fund-raising event
The Servants of Mary will host a wine tasting and hors d'oeuvers fund-raiser Sept. 7, 6-8 p.m. at the Omaha Country Club.

The evening will celebrate partnership and all proceeds will go towards the Servants of Mary Annual Fund.

The cost is $50 per person.

For information or tickets contact Machaela Cavanaugh, director of development, at 951-3060 or  



Sisters of Mercy welcome candidate Fascianella
Tiffany Fascianella was welcomed as a candidate into the Sisters of Mercy Aug. 13 in the Our Lady of Mercy Chapel on the College of Saint Mary campus.

A native of Omaha, Fascianella is the daughter of Leo and Patricia Fascianella. She attended St. Joan of Arc School and is a 2001 graduate of Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School.

She is currently a theology major at College of Saint Mary, with a minor in secondary education and social science. After graduation, she hopes to teach high school.

'Tiffany's request for candidacy brings our community great joy," said Sister Patricia Forret, Omaha regional community president. 'We are truly blessed to have new life among us."



St. Gerald youth service trip to Mississippi
Eleven youths and nine adults from St. Gerald Parish in Ralston traveled to Pass Christian, Miss. July 15-21 on a Mission of Mercy to assist with hurricane relief.

The group finished work on two homes and also did odd jobs in a school, nursing home and cemetery.

'We knew that we were meant to be there and we felt that God was with us every step of the every day," said Kathy Kensinger, youth/young adult ministry at St. Gerald Parish. 'It was really a growth experience for all of us."

In addition to Kensinger, the group consisted of Teresa Bolas, Christine Bolas, Dana Brockhaus, Megan Bystron, Lauren Cassidy, Abby Handleman, Laura Haller, Marita Hunt, Mary Hunt, Deanna Grund, Jessica Grund, Jonathan Grund, Marcia Kennelly, Kim Norris, Alena Thoene, Bruce Thoene, Clair Thoene, Bill Wachtler and Sherry Wachtler.

Columbus Youth Mission 2006
As part of Youth Mission 2006, 13 teens from Columbus area youth groups traveled to Rosebud Native American reservation in South Dakota the week of July 16-21 to assist with various tasks, including house painting. Thirty-nine other teens traveled to destinations including Juarez, Mexico, the Ozarks, and Brooklyn, N.Y. as part of the same event. The 52 teens were sent off by a commissioning Mass July 15 held at St. Isidore Church in Columbus.



Three native Nebraska sisters celebrate jubilees
Three Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration, all of whom were born and served in the Archdiocese of Omaha, celebrated jubilees July 1 with a Mass of thanksgiving at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Colorado Springs with Bishop Richard Hanifen as celebrant.

Sister Marilyn Uhing, who is originally from West Point, and Sister Clarice Gentrup, a native of Beemer, celebrated 50 years, while Sister Winifred Moersen, from Columbus, marked her 60th year.

Not only a priest, but a flyer and climber, too
Father Joseph Miksch, pastor of St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, is not your typical priest.

Since the 1960s, Father Miksch has been piloting airplanes and climbing mountains.

Not only has he flown over just about every mountain range west of the Mississippi River in the lower 48 states, he has also climbed all of the major Teton peaks in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

'Forty years ago it was all a matter of principle for me that no one ever passed me on a trail, today I'm just glad to be on the trail," said Father Miksch.

This summer, Father Miksch did a week-long climb in the Grand Teton National Park and also took a scenic flight over the Apostles Islands in Lake Superior.

Profession of final vows for Sister Lewandoski
Sister Valeria Lewandoski, OSM, professed her final vows to the Servants of Mary Aug. 7 at the Servants of Mary Motherhouse.

Sister Valeria professed her vows in the presence of Sister Virginia Silvestri, OSM, provincial of the American province, and Father Jack Tooper, OSM, director of The Grotto in Portland, celebrated the liturgy.

A dinner reception followed at College of Saint Mary.

Sister Valeria is originally from St. Charles, Ill., and currently ministers as counselor and spiritual director at The Grotto in Portland, a national sanctuary.

Before her current assignment, Sister Valeria worked as a part-time therapist for Catholic Charities Family Therapy Services in Omaha.



New prayer garden at St. Joan of Arc School
Father Dan Soltys, pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Omaha, blesses a new prayer garden and Blessed Virgin Mary statue after the all-school Mass Aug. 24. The new garden is located in a courtyard between the school and church, and was funded by donations from alumni and parishioners.

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