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LOCAL BRIEFS - October 15, 2004


Monsignor honored on 60th
Monsignor Andrew Meister celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priesthood with a Mass, dinner and reception at his home parish, St. Boniface, Monterey. Pictured (front, from left) are: Father Jim Ryberg, Father Leo Kreikemeier, Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss, Msgr. Meister and Father Ed Hunkeler; (back) Father Norman Hunke, Omaha; Father Joseph Taphorn, vice-chancellor; Father Paul Albenisius, Snyder; Father Mark Merkel, St. Boniface; and Father Volker Futter, OSB, Schuyler. Msgr. Meister served as an assistant pastor at Blessed Sacrament, Omaha, from 1944 to 1953; as pastor at St. Paul, Plainview, and St. Ignatius, Brunswick, from 1953 to 1958. He was the founding pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Omaha, and served there for 25 years. In 1983, Meister became pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Schuyler, until 1992. After his first retirement, he went to Mexico to study Spanish. With the new population in Schuyler, he returned to serve the Spanish-speaking parishioners from 1993 to 2004. He has served on the Board of Consultors, the Priests' Council and APC Board of Directors. He was the Knights of Columbus state chaplain from 1994-1996.

Elizabeth Kish, head of school at Marian High School in Omaha, received national recognition for her contributions to Amercian Catholic Secondary Education.

Kish receives national honor
Elizabeth Kish, head of school at Marian High in Omaha, is the 2004 recipient of the National Catholic Educational Association's Secondary Education Award. She was recognized for her significant contributions to American Catholic Secondary Education.

"Her vision, sense of mission and extraordinary ability to engage her faculty, staff, students, parents and alumnae motivate Marian High School to thrive," said Patty Wiederholt, head of Marian's Board of Directors.

Kish, who assumed leadership of Marian in 1989, has seen the school's enrollment increase from 475 to nearly 700 students under her watch.

"Catholic education is a gift to society in its mission of educating youth in intellectual, moral and religious values," Kish said. "Marian's mission is particular to young women, teaching them to be leaders and thus bringing these values and hope to the world."

Along with her most recent honor, Kish's honors include Outstanding Principal of the Year for NASSP, Region II, in 2001; and Metro Administrator of the Year, Archdiocese of Omaha, in 2001. She was head of school when Marian received the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence twice in the 1990s.

During Kish's tenure, Marian also has received national recognition for its overall programs (math and science in particular), has become a leader in technology, established a campus ministry program that has been adopted by other schools, won numerous state titles in athletics, and improved its facilities through capital campaigns valued at nearly $8 million.

Parishioners assist Africans
Tim and Ruth Leacock, members of St. Pius X Parish in Omaha, perform a ministry that benefits thousands of students in Africa.

The ministry, known as "Computers for Africa," has Omaha students refurbishing used computers into ready-to-set-up labs for schools in Africa. Thousands of African students are already using these labs.

The Leacocks are leaving the parish for Africa this month to teach computer maintenance and repair for the next two years.

At a Mass on Sunday, Oct. 3, Father Lloyd Gnirk, pastor of St. Pius X Parish, blessed Mr. and Mrs. Leacocks, presented them with a crucifix carved by a parishioner, and a check for $2,200 donated by parishioners for their ministry.

Businesses and people interested in donating computers to the Leacocks can contact them at their web site –

CU's PR reps purchase firm
Stephen T. Kline and Joan Lukas-McLaughlin have entered into an agreement with Patricia A. Leslie and Edmund J. Leslie to acquire Leslie Associates, Inc., one of the Midwest's leading communications firms. They take over leadership of Leslie Kline Lukas & Associates Nov. 1.

For the past eight years, Kline has been executive director of Creighton University's Public Relations and Information Office.

Lukas-McLaughlin has been director of Media Relations at Creighton, responsible for university-wide news placements in media across the nation and in areas of the world where Creighton has programs.

'For more than 30 years, the Omaha-based firm has served clients worldwide, providing public relations counsel and solutions to corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and government entities.

"The firm is viewed as a leader on many fronts and is greatly respected by organizations in and outside Omaha. Our intent is to build upon that record of success. We will broaden the scope of what the firm can offer its local, regional and international clients," Kline said.

Kline and his family belong to St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion and Lukas-McLaughlin and family are members of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Omaha.

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