VIDEO SERIES: Priest explores early history of Catholicism in northeast Nebraska
August 24, 2023
Father Kevin Vogel has been inspired to create a video series called “Faith on the Frontier.”
In the series Father Vogel captures the history of the Church in rural areas of the archdiocese, particularly of churches that no longer exist.
He began researching in 2016, as pastoral changes were being implemented that eventually would lead to the archdiocese’s current plan, called Journey of Faith.
Journey of Faith has consolidated parishes into families and has made changes that will better equip the archdiocese to deal with trends of fewer priests and fewer worshiping Catholics – and to help parishes become more missional, more outreaching.
“I think we’ve forgotten some of our history,” Father Vogel said. “The changes we’re facing now are not the first ones we’ve had to go through. And the faith is still here … The Lord remains with us regardless of what kind of changes we go through.
“We can recall some of those places and honor the past,” he said, “even though we can’t return to it.”
The area of the seven parishes he serves – from Plainview in the west to Ponca in the east – had 15 churches in 1920, he said. Such information has “been helpful for me, just to put things in perspective.”
People often focus on how change affects them personally, which is natural, Father Vogel said. “But we don’t always think about how those things might affect other people too. … Hopefully we have a wider view of things.”
“I think one of the advantages potentially of all this is it requires us to think more ‘Catholic’ about things,” he said. “To be Catholic means to be universal, so we have to have that more universal way of looking at stuff.”
The “Faith on the Frontier” series takes on a universal perspective, “not only now, but through time.”
Watch Father Vogel’s Series
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