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Local Briefs

May 19, 2006

>> A roundup of news from around the archdiocese


Father Fangman to be recognized

Father Thomas M. Fangman will be among those honored May 30 at the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Midlands' 2006 Humanitarian Dinner.

Father Fangman will receive the Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Award at the event, held at the Holiday Inn Central in Omaha.

Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Omaha, Father Fangman graduated from Creighton Prep High School and the University of Kansas. He later earned two master's degrees in counseling and theology from Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo.

He is involved with the Christian Urban Education Service, Root to Fruit, Creighton Prep Alumni Council, Omaha 100, Domestic Violence Board of Catholic Charities and the Creighton University Community Affairs Committee.

Other winners of the Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Award are Dr. Magda Peck and the Rev. L.C. Menyweather-Woods. Rhonda and Howard Hawks, and Gail and Michael Yanney will be recognized with Humanitarian Awards. 

Co-chairs for the evening are Sharon and Dick C.E. David.

For information and to purchase tickets, contact the NCCJ Midlands regional office at 402-391-4460.

Servants of Mary plan spiritual morning

Mary Eileen Andreasen will be the presenter June 7 at the Servants of Mary morning of inspiration entitled, 'Spirituality of Aging: The Patchwork of our Lives."

Andreasen has worked extensively in acute health care settings, health care education, geriatrics and pastoral care before joining the staff of the Archdiocese of Omaha as the coordinator for Aging and Disabilities Ministries in 2001.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Servite Center for Compassion, 7400 Military Ave., Omaha. Cost is $10. To register or for more information, call Sister Charlotte Huetteman at 951-3026.


Peace prayers at St. Leo

Religious education students at St. Leo Parish in Omaha gather to pray for peace. A special peace candle was lighted and classes took turns leading the prayer at the special services held each week after class. The candle served as a visible reminder during the rest of the week for everyone to keep praying for peace.


Service League honors local child artists

Catholic Charities' Service League members recognized local Catholic elementary school winners of an art contest May 10 at their spring luncheon at Shadow Ridge Country Club.

The art contest was created by the Service League to promote the mission of Catholic Charities to younger audiences. Each entry had to be an original art piece, from a fifth or sixth grade student, depicting the theme, 'Volunteers: Providing Help, Creating Hope."

Fifth grade students at Mary Our Queen School in Omaha "“ Jack Micek, Chloe Sorrell and Miranda Borsh "“ claimed first, second and third place honors, while Joshua VonKampen, a sixth grade student at Blessed Sacrament School in Omaha, was fourth.

In addition to being honored at the Service League's spring luncheon, contest winners received cash prizes and their art work is displayed at the Catholic Charities' offices.

More than 150 Catholic school students from seven schools participated in this year's contest and all were judged on originality, imagination and artistic merit.

16 Sisters with Omaha ties celebrate jubilees

Sixteen School Sisters of St. Francis, with ties to the Archdiocese of Omaha are celebrating milestone anniversaries of service  June 17 as women religious.

Five of the sisters are native Nebraskans including Sisters Janet Guenther of Crofton, 40 years; Bernice Gall of Howells, 50 years; Anne Evers of St. Libory, 70 years; Iola Stecher of Snyder, 70 years; and Ann Marie Bichlmeier of Osmond, 75 years.

Other sisters celebrating milestone anniversaries include:

Forty years "“ Sister Marlene Neises.

Fifty years "“ Sisters Clare Maureen Connolly, Liz Heese, Jo Ann Miller and Agatha Marie Sadler.

Sixty years "“ Sisters Joselyn Brenner, Mary Dingman, Marietta Greiner and Margaret Mary Ryan.

Seventy years "“ Sisters Felice Eberhardy and Helen Schulteis.

Cards may be mailed to the sister's name, attention: Jubilee Committee, 1515 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53215.

Spirit of Service award presented to Wagners

The Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Foundation presented its 2006 Gerald T. Bergan Spirit of Service Award to Dr. Daniel and Patricia Wagner April 23 during Gerald T. Bergan Recognition Sunday at the Bergan Mercy Chapel.

In its 24th year, the Gerald T. Bergan Spirit of Service Award goes to individuals, organizations or businesses for significant contributions of time and commitment to further Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center's mission.

Born and raised in Pringhar, Iowa, Dr. Wagner graduated from Creighton Medical School in 1958 and entered the anesthesiology residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1962.

During his career, he was chief of anesthesia and medical director of the School of Nurse Anesthesia at Creighton Memorial-St. Joseph Hospital and chief of anesthesia and a member of the executive, surgical advisory and utilization committees of Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center. He also is past president of the Nebraska Society of Anesthesiologists.

A Hastings native, Patricia Wagner graduated from Creighton University and taught six years for the Omaha Public Schools.

She has served on many boards including Bergan Mercy Auxiliary, the Christ Child Society, the Creighton University Alumni and College of Saint Mary Women's council. In addition, she served on fund-raising committees for Ryan and Holy Name High Schools.

The Wagner's have five children.

The foundation designed this award in remembrance of Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan, for whom the Sisters of Mercy named the hospital in 1964.

Females governing Girls and Boys Town

For the first time in Girls and Boys Town history, girls hold the top spots in city government.

Traci Ramos of Amarillo, Texas, has been elected the 104th mayor, and Caitlin Huber, 17, of Lincoln, is the new vice mayor of Girls and Boys Town.

Ramos, a 16-year-old junior, says she wants to be a true leader for all Girls and Boys Town students. 'It's a great honor to become mayor," said Ramos.

Ramos has been at Girls and Boys Town since 2004. She excels in both athletics and academics, participating in student council, yearbook and volleyball. She is also a volunteer at Wegner Middle School and was elected to be the Boys Town High School representative at Girls State at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ramos plans to attend college in Texas, majoring in social work and criminal justice, and hopes for a career as a drug counselor or probation officer. 'I want to influence all students to be more positive so that they can achieve more for themselves," she said.

Huber has been a Girls and Boys Town resident since 2004. She has received first and second honors in both academics and extracurricular activities including, JROTC, soccer, cheerleading, drill team, Voices of Boys Town and the Chambers Chapel choir.

Huber plans to first attend cosmetology school and then the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to major in communications. She plans to take classes in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and hopes one day to become a translator and master scuba diver.

Two Sisters of Mercy call on Washington

Two Omaha Sisters of Mercy joined sisters from around the country May 4 in Washington, D.C. to call for immigration reform legislation.

Sister Patricia Forret, RSM, president of the Omaha Regional Community, and Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, vice president of the Institute Leadership Team, joined presidents of the other 25 regional communities of the Sisters of Mercy and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in their plea for immigration reform.

That same day, the entire Mercy community observed a day of prayer and fasting for immigration reform.


Humphrey students help sister school

Kindergarten students from St. Francis School in Humphrey hold up their earnings after a year-long collection for Catholic Academy School in New Orleans. The school earned $1,414.52 for the gulf school. In total, the Archdiocese of Omaha has raised $11,864.26 for the adopted school.

First graduating class at St. Patrick School

Six years after St. Patrick School in Elkhorn opened its doors for its first classes; the first graduating class celebrated with a Mass May 16 and the graduation ceremony May 17.

Of the 14 graduating students, 12 are going on to Catholic high schools.

Spring field trip for St. Mary School students

To learn more about the early days of the U.S. space program, sixth and seventh grade students from St. Mary School in Bellevue took a field trip April 19 to the Strategic Air and Space Museum. Students, from left, Shawn Schaefer, Dan Sjostedt, Cody King and Shane Giles, examine a Mercury space capsule, part of the temporary Lost Space Craft exhibit. This trip coincided with a space lesson in Cheryl Shanker and Sid Eckerman's sciences classes.

Duchesne graduate named Gates scholar

Erin Dailey, a senior at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha, recently was named a winner of the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

The Gate Millennium Scholarship provides full tuition for outstanding minority students to the college of their choice.

Dailey will be entering the nursing program at Creighton University in the fall.

This is the second year in a row a Duchesne senior has won the prestigious award. Last year's winner, Whitney Ijem has just completed her first year at Washington University in St. Louis.

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