Diocesan News

Plattsmouth Parish to Celebrate 150 Years of Faith

PLATTSMOUTH (SNR) - The Church of the Holy Spirit in Plattsmouth plans an anniversary celebration of 150 years of continuous presence of the Catholic faith in the Plattsmouth community.

The parish intends to officially commemorate the occasion Sunday, May 26, with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 4 p.m.  Bishop James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln, will be the main celebrant of the Mass.

In addition to pastor Father Thomas Au, and assistant pastor Father Dhanam Marneni, all living former Holy Spirit pastors and associates, as well as all priests in the Diocese of Lincoln, have been invited to concelebrate. Father Thomas Smith, CSC, a native of Plattsmouth currently serving as pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya, will be the guest homilist.

Invitations to attend the celebration were also sent to retired priests, nuns, local clergy and city officials.

A Plattsmouth mayoral proclamation will be presented at the Mass. Afterward, a social and dinner will be held in the parish hall / school gymnasium.

Plans for the celebration have been ongoing the past year. Committees were formed to solicit input from all facets of parish life. Coordinators include Terry Little and Barb Toman, celebration; Stacey Case and Judy Roby, census and survey; Jim Ulrich, church and facility; Pat Carroll and Mary Lou Salazar, faith development; Bonnie Seyfer and Joy Scanlan, history; and Little, publicity. The theme "A Journey of Faith - Together in the Spirit" was selected by the combined anniversary committee.

A 150th anniversary logo, designed by parishioner Ron Kolb, is being used on the parish bulletin and web site (www.holyspiritplattsmouth.com), as well as on commemorative t-shirts, polo shirts and coffee mugs.

Special cards commemorating the anniversary will be printed with photos of the churches, past and present, on one side and the official logo and prayers on the other side.

A keepsake DVD, complete with historical photos and a video of the Mass, is being produced by Roger Schuette.

An anniversary choir, consisting of parish musicians old and new, will lead song at the anniversary Mass. A special song, "Journey of Faith," written by Terry Little, will be presented by the choir.

Holy Spirit Parish was formed from two former parishes, St. John the Baptist and Holy Rosary. St. John, the second oldest parish in the diocese, was established 150 years ago this fall. The first church was consecrated in June 1863.

The school, still named St. John the Baptist and opened in 1884, had a unique beginning.  It was the parishioners who took the initiative in working for the establishment of a parochial school, and it was they who worked to overcome all the obstacles that they met in reaching that goal.

Until 1891, all the Catholics in Plattsmouth were members of St. John the Baptist Parish.  However, Czechs who had settled in the region desired their own parish and Holy Rosary Church was dedicated in 1891.

As the years passed, it became evident that a national church for the Czech people was no longer needed.  Plattsmouth’s decline in population, coupled with a shortage of priests, influenced the decision to merge the two parishes.

Church of the Holy Spirit was formed in 1972 when the two Plattsmouth churches were merged into one.

"The two original parishes exist now only in memory," said Terry Little, "but their traditions of generosity of time, talent and treasure go on in a new setting.

"Its history is rich with spiritual and charitable works, tradition and activities; but just as importantly," he continued, "it is rich with people through the years who have been so dedicated to the love of God and neighbor and continuing God’s work."

He added, "Grateful to the clergy, religious and parishioners past and present who developed and maintained the spiritual life of the faith community, and with the Holy Spirit as its guide, the Church of the Holy Spirit is making history each day as it continues its journey of faith."

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