Cardinal helps celebrate milestone anniversary

A native son who now is a cardinal and Archbishop George J. Lucas helped Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Omaha celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Parishioners, former classmates, friends, members of his own family and others joined Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, now archbishop of Chicago, for a June 29 Mass at the church.

The Mass, on the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, capped several days of celebrations, including a June 25 Mass with Archbishop Lucas.

In his homily, Cardinal Cupich, who grew up in the parish, compared the faith and vision of the parish’s founding members to that of the two saints.

"The first thing that comes up very clearly is that Ss. Peter and Paul both experienced a sense of mystery," he said, referring to the Scripture accounts of St. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus and St. Peter’s release from prison by an angel.

"Both men cultivated and had a sense that life is more than just what we can see," Cardinal Cupich said. Those who helped found the parish also had a sense of what could be possible, he said. "They knew that if they did their part, God would do the rest."

Mary Alice Kubovy, whose 100-year-old mother, Alice Kruntorad Kubovy, participated in the presentation of gifts at the offertory, said she enjoyed the Mass. "What an honor it is to have a cardinal from our parish here to celebrate with the Ss. Peter and Paul community," she said.

Among those attending were Tom Hastings of St. Patrick Parish in Gretna and Colorado resident Mike Reddy, former classmates of Cardinal Cupich at then-St. John Vianney Seminary near Elkhorn. "It was a beautiful ceremony," Reddy said.

In addition to the two Masses, the parish’s anniversary celebrations, "Celebrating the Past, Welcoming the Future," included a trolley tour of historic sights and several ethnic murals, and a family night, dinner and dance June 24. A luncheon and dedication of a Croatian mural on a wall of a nearby social hall were held after the June 25 Mass, and people stayed after the June 29 Mass for a concert of instrumental and vocal music by parishioners and an ice cream social.

"It’s a good community to be a part of," said April Micklonis, a parishioner and home and school president for Ss. Peter and Paul School. "It was a nice Mass, and it was so neat to hear how Cardinal Cupich remembers things."

In his homily, Cardinal Cupich encouraged the congregation. "As we celebrate this 100-year anniversary, let’s praise God and thank the people who have done so much to build this community and make it what it is today, and leave here with a new sense of purpose … and a greater sense of solidarity and community," he said.

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