Photo: Ron Reiring (CC BY 2.0)


News from around the archdiocese


Father Bauwens honored by education association

Father Thomas Bauwens, pastor of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Omaha, was selected to receive the 2020 Lead, Learn, Proclaim award from the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) in recognition of his leadership and contributions to Catholic education.

“Father Bauwens is a true champion of Catholic education,” said Michael Ashton, superintendent of Catholic Schools. “He knows what it takes to shepherd and integrate a vibrant parish and school community.”

Having been associated with several schools during his 33 years of priesthood, Father Bauwens has led St. Wenceslaus parish and school since 2011. With 877 students, the school is the largest elementary school in the Omaha archdiocese.

“It is an honor and privilege to be a part of a faculty and staff that helps shape and mold future leaders of the church, community and our nation in the spirit of Jesus,” he said. “To receive this award is humbling, knowing many others have given their time, talent and treasure to make Catholic education in northeast Nebraska not only possible, but a reality.”

He will receive the award at NCEA’s annual convention in Baltimore in April.

Pope John XXIII students raise $13,870 for school

Students at Pope John XXIII Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Elgin recently practiced their best sales skills to support their school as part of the annual Committee for Continuation of Pope John fund drive.

Selling certificates to several area grocery stores to support their school, they raised $13,870 for the school’s operating budget. Purchasers of the certificates paid $105 for every $100 certificate, with $5 each going to the school.

Top sales person was seventh-grader Kaitey Schumacher and the top-selling family included seventh-grader Natalie and junior Alyssa Burenheide. Between the three, they sold $21,000 in certificates.

Participating area grocers were Dean’s Market, Clearwater Market, Ewing Family Foods, Rae Valley Market and Thriftway Market. Other donors and patrons also contributed to the fund drive.


Rwandan genocide survivor to lead retreat

A woman who survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994 will lead a retreat April 3-4 at Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington.

Immaculée Ilibagiza, author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Genocide,” hid for 91 days with seven other women in a small bathroom as members of the Hutu tribe slaughtered 800,000 of her fellow Tutsi tribe members.

Despite the murder of her family, she was able, through prayer and the power of faith, to turn from anger and resentment to forgive the perpatrators.

Tickets are on sale now at the church for $57 per person or $76 for two people. The retreat, on Palm Sunday weekend, runs from 5-9 p.m. April 3 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 4.

Contact Susan Kathol at 402-841-2079 or, or Jan Arens at 402-841-7292 or for tickets or more information.



Polish Heritage Society essay contest underway

Students of Polish descent graduating this spring from Omaha-area grade schools and planning to attend a Catholic high school have an opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship in the annual Pope Saint John Paul II scholarship essay contest.

Sponsored by the Polish Heritage Society, the contest invites students to write about how their Polish heritage and Catholic faith have helped form them.

For more details, contest rules and application forms, parents should contact, with the word “scholarship” in the subject line.

The scholarships are supported by donors, as well as proceeds from the society’s annual “Bigos and Beer” fundraiser, which raised more than $3,000 last November.

KC ultrasounds change women’s minds

More than 84% of abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable women who viewed an ultrasound image of their babies through ultrasound machines provided by the Nebraska Knights of Columbus were convinced to choose life.

Through its Culture of Life Foundation, the Nebraska Knights have purchased and placed 10 ultrasound machines in qualifying women’s resource centers throughout Nebraska since 2009. In 2018, eight of those centers reported that, of the 2,558 women given an ultrasound, 2,157 chose not to abort.

The Knights “Ultrasound Initiative” is funded mainly through the One Rose-One Life campaign conducted in parishes throughout the archdiocese on or near the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and matching funds from the Supreme Council.

Nationally, the effort has placed more than 1,000 ultrasound machines since 2009.

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