Reeson’s Ramblings :: May 20, 2018
HAIL AND FAREWELL!
It is with both joy and sadness that I get to announce tremendous news: Archbishop Lucas has given Fr. Pat Nields a new assignment to become the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi (Neligh, NE) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Tilden, NE).
I am very sad that Fr. Pat is being transferred. However, I trust in the wisdom of the archbishop and the Personnel Board, who work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that this is a good move for him. Fr. Pat has been a tremendous blessing to our parish and to me. I had hoped that he would stay here until I retired.
He works very hard and cares deeply about the people of St. Columbkille. He is a prayerful man of deep faith, is often the voice of reason and is easy to work with. I feel blessed to have a brother priest like Fr. Pat, and I know he will do very well as a pastor.
Fr. Pat’s new assignment will occur at the usual or traditional time for new priestly assignments, this year falling on the weekend of June 30/July 1st. His last day at St. Columbkille will be Thursday, June 28th, allowing him to move to his new assignment on June 29th and with first masses there on June 30th.
I think God has also richly blessed me and our parish with the new priest that is being assigned to our parish, Fr. Tom Greisen. Fr. Tom has served our archdiocese well. He, Fr. Damian Zuerlein and I all served at St. Pius X under the guidance of Fr. Tom O’Brien. He has been the director of formation and spiritual direction at Conception Seminary College, and director of the lay formation program for the Archdiocese of Omaha.
For the last 10+ years, he has served directly under the archbishop as the Servant Minister for the archdiocese. He is spiritual director for many and has led a multitude of retreats and parish missions. His gifts will add a lot to our St. Columbkille community, and we will learn much more about Fr. Tom when he introduces himself during his first homily at the parish on the weekend of June 30th/July 1st.
We are blessed to have so many wonderful clergy and religious assisting at St. Columbkille, and we are constantly building on the shoulders of giants I’d like to take this opportunity to educate all our parishioners about some very important women in our church’s history, the Benedictine Sisters.
When St. Columbkille School (then Sacred Heart Academy) was established in 1916, Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica from Atchison, Kansas served as our principal, teachers, and housekeepers. Sister Celestine Nordhus was our first principal, and she served here for 15-years. For the first 46-years, the school was entirely run by Benedictine Sisters.
In fact, the first lay teacher was not hired until 1962, and the first lay principal in 1980. The Sisters overcame many hardships, especially in those first few years when the school was still being built, and look at all the good that has come from it!
These women are just a few of those who have made St. Columbkille a great place to be. There are many other women religious who have worked at our parish and school over the years, and we would like to thank them all for giving glory to God through their work!
Today, Sister Jean Marie Faltus helps organize and lead many of our parish ministries, such as Creation Care and Spirituality Alive, and Sister Vivian still helps out at our school. Someday, we hope to have more women religious at our parish to continue building this foundation of faith!