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Mercy Series


Catholic Voice
Post date: 09/01/2016
Serving the bereaved through the simple gift of food, prepared and served with love, is a special ministry for Marilyn White and Donna Foxhoven, members of St. Michael Parish in South Sioux City – and hundreds of others in parishes across the archdiocese. While the corporal work or mercy – burying the dead – is a sign of honor and respect for the...
Post date: 09/01/2016
As a priest for 37 years, I have officiated at many, many funerals in church and committals at cemeteries. What a gift it is to pray with people at these significant moments. One committal I will always remember happened just a few years ago at St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery in Omaha. As you may know, we have a new societal challenge – families who...
Post date: 08/11/2016
About 50 priests, deacons, and lay people participate in the archdiocese’s Catholic Jail and Prison Ministry – but more volunteers are needed. And Deacon Al Aulner, ministry coordinator, refers to Pope Francis’ words and actions in describing the work’s importance. The pope has called on all Catholics to join him in proclaiming the Gospel to the...
Post date: 08/10/2016
Have you ever visited someone in prison, a correctional center, or a jail? I had a former high school student who was arrested for the tragic death of a State Patrol officer. The young man, who had committed a crime, was driving on Interstate 80 pursued by the State Patrol. His vehicle collided with a patrol car, killing the officer. He was...

Paulette Paprocki, left, and Mary Tworek-Hofstetter, right, both jail ministers from St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, meet with an inmate Aug. 2 at the Platte County Detention Center in Columbus.
Post date: 08/10/2016
  What happens when you go out of your way to help someone who is hurting? You can change lives. That’s what motivates Bill Wegener and Paulette Paprocki, members of St. Isidore Parish in Columbus, as they and other volunteers visit prisoners in county and juvenile detention centers – a corporal work of mercy. Wegener visits inmates in the Madison...
Post date: 07/14/2016
Many years ago, I attended a directed retreat. The spiritual director assigned to me was a 39-year-old Jesuit priest confined to a wheelchair, immobilized by multiple sclerosis. He said to me, "Jim, there’s a lot you can learn from the sick." He then asked me to assist him in going to the bathroom, an intimacy I had never experienced. Jesus was...

Theresa Perry distributes holy Communion to patients at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point.
Post date: 07/13/2016
Comforting the sick with compassion and the healing touch of Jesus in the Eucharist. That’s the mission – a corporal work of mercy – of Theresa Perry and Jan Ulrich, members of St. Mary Parish in West Point. They are among five volunteers who on weekends distribute holy Communion to Catholic patients at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point...
Post date: 06/09/2016
I saw him in the entryway to the church a couple minutes before Mass, looking through the assorted papers that surrounded the pile of bulletins. He looked like the stereotypical homeless person who would soon be asking parishioners for money, but instead of asking for money he wandered up the aisle during the penitential rite and sat in the third...

Mary Ann Vail, coordinator of Mary Our Queen Parish’s Ministry of Embrace, places a cross in the Omaha church’s sanctuary in remembrance of a parishioner who has died. Photo by Mike May/Staff.
Post date: 06/09/2016
You can’t fix grief, but you can accompany and support the grieving. That’s how Mary Ann Vail, a member of Mary Our Queen Parish in Omaha, describes her mission the past 13 years as coordinator of the parish’s "Ministry of Embrace" grief ministry. Comforting the afflicted, which includes the sorrowful, is a spiritual work of mercy, and Vail and...

Darlene and Roger Crane help hang clothes April 27 at Siena/Francis House homeless shelter in Omaha.
Post date: 05/04/2016
Clothing the naked – a corporal work of mercy – can go beyond helping clothe the body. It also can mean giving others the gift of self-respect. Darlene and Roger Crane, members of St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion, view that as part of their mission as they sort, organize and hang donated clothing at the Siena/Francis House homeless shelter in...

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