The archdiocese’s newly ordained priests are pictured with their parents after ordination on June 1. Above is Father Zachary Eischeid and his mother, Karen Eischeid. Below is Father Matthew Pohlman and his parents, Brent and Michele Pohlman. SUSAN SZALEWSKI STAFF


Mothers of new priests filled with joy & awe as sons celebrate their first Masses

Michele and Brent Pohlman sat in what had long been their regular first-row pew at St. Gerald Church in Ralston.

It was an especially familiar place for Michele, who had been a member of St. Gerald Parish for nearly her entire life.

It was within that same church that their son – Father Matthew Pohlman, a newly ordained priest – was baptized, received his First Holy Communion, first Confession and was Confirmed.

And now, on that particular Sunday – June 2, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Father Pohlman was about to celebrate his first Mass.

As Michele looked at the altar, she remembered how many times she saw her son there, helping at Mass as an altar server.

She became emotional as the memories came flooding back and as she tried to take in all that had been happening since her son’s ordination the day before, on June 1.

Days later, words were still insufficient to express her overwhelming joy and wonder, Michele Pohlman said.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s just so beautiful. All of our children’s vocations are just beautiful. But to know that Matthew is going to touch so many lives in so many ways through all the different sacraments, the way that he’ll be welcomed into the intimacy of people’s lives … that’s a beautiful thing to think about.”

“It’s a joy that Brent and I as parents get to share Matthew in that way with the Catholic community.”

Father Pohlman will be celebrating a Mass for his family’s new parish community, St. Robert Bellarmine in Omaha, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 9, followed by a reception.

The new priests embrace after their June 1 ordination. ERVIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Karen Eischeid has been feeling emotions similar to Michele Pohlman’s.  Her son, Father Zachary Eischeid, was ordained at the same Mass with Father Pohlman at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.

Father Eischeid returned to his home parish, St. Boniface in Elgin, to offer his first Mass.

“It was beautiful to experience,” his mother, Karen Eischeid, said, “him actually changing the everyday host and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, while I’m fighting back my emotions!

“We can’t fathom what was really going on at that moment,” she said. “We can only imagine!

“I still see him as my little boy! I don’t think it has sunk in yet. He was out the next day mowing and trimming up the yard like normal and helping me clean up.”

As Karen Eischeid and Michele Pohlman rejoice in their sons’ call to the priesthood, they also call attention to the vocations of their other children.

The Pohlmans have five children; Eischeid, a widow, has three.

“Zach has a very special vocation to fulfill,” Karen Eischeid said, “but I also have to give my two other kids, Chels and Jake, credit for their marriage vocations, which are just as important. I’m proud of all of my kids. They and their spouses are faith-filled.”

Members of the Eischeid family ERVIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Her children help and support each other and keep “the Catholic faith alive and growing, so when I’m gone, I know they will be continuing our faith with the grandkids, with help from Uncle Father Zach!”

Michele Pohlman also sees how her children help each other in their vocations.

Members of the Pohlman family ERVIN PHOTOGRAPHY

“Matthew’s got great siblings,” she said, “who are always going to support him, and they do support him in his vocation as a priest, just like he supports all four of them in their vocation of married life.

“That’s really a beautiful thing to see as a mom, watching all five of my children live out their vocations, all in the Catholic Church and in the Catholic faith.” 


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