Diocesan News

Priests to Celebrate Jubilees at Chrism Mass

LINCOLN (SNR) - Priests of the Diocese of Lincoln will celebrate milestone anniversaries of their ordination this year at the annual Chrism Mass.

All are invited to help celebrate these jubilees at the Mass at 5 p.m. Monday, April 2, in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln.

60 Years – Father James O’Connor

Father O’Connor was born in Ireland. After attending St. Jarlath and St. Mary colleges in Ireland, he wrote to Bishop Louis Kucera in the Diocese of Lincoln and was welcomed to study for the priesthood in the United States. He attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained March 8, 1952 by Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter, D.D., for the Diocese of Lincoln.

Father O’Connor first served as assistant pastor of St. Andrew Church in Tecumseh, then at St. Cecilia in Hastings and Assumption Parish in Dwight. His first assignment as pastor came in 1957, and he served the parishes of St. Mary in Wallace and St. William in Wellfleet. He was later pastor of Resurrection in Elsie, St. Joseph in Superior and Sacred Heart in Nelson.

Father O’Connor’s longest assignments were serving as pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Falls City from 1969 to 1988, and at St. John Parish in Minden and Holy Family Parish in Heartwell from 1988 until his retirement in 2001. He now resides in Kearney.

55 Years – Father Dennis Hotovy

A native of the Diocese of Lincoln, Father Hotovy was ordained in his home parish of Immaculate Conception in Ulysses June 8, 1957, by Bishop John L. Paschang, D.D. He had attended St. John University in Collegeville, Minn., as well as St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

Father Hotovy’s first assignment was as assistant pastor at Assumption Parish in Dwight. During his active ministry, he was also assistant pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Falls City and St. Teresa in Lincoln, and he taught at Pius X High School.

Father Hotovy also served parishes in Julian, Dunbar and Peru, and St. James Parish in Curtis, St. William in Wellfleet and St. Joseph in Farnam. He was pastor of St. Mary Parish in Wymore and St. Joseph in Barneston from 1977 (adding St. Mary Parish in Odell in 1986) until his retirement in 2011. He now lives in Beatrice.

25 Years

On May 30, 1987, Bishop Glennon P. Flavin ordained five men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lincoln. The date was the 30th anniversary of the bishop’s episcopal ordination.

Father Christopher Barak

Father Barak was raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and attended St. Albert High School there. He attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before enrolling at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia.

In his ministry, he served as an assistant pastor at St. Wenceslaus Church in Wahoo and Blessed Sacrament in Lincoln. He also taught at Pius X and Bishop Neumann high schools. He pursued post-graduate studies in Rome for two years before being named pastor of St. Francis Parish in rural David City; he also taught at Aquinas High School.

In 1993 Father Barak was named pastor of St. Leo Parish in Palmyra, St. Martin Parish in Douglas and St. Michael Parish in Cheney. He was also assistant director of the Family Life Office and administrator of parishes in Aurora and Giltner.

Father Barak was named director of religious education for the Diocese of Lincoln in 1999. He also serves as a confessor for cloistered sisters of the diocese.

Father Steven Major

Father Major was born in Wayne, Neb., and graduated from Lexington High School before studying for a year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He then attended St. Pius X Seminary in Kentucky, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn., and St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie, in Yonkers, N.Y.

Father Major was assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish in Lincoln and taught at Pius X High School for two years before going to Rome for post-graduate studies. In 1991 he was named pastor of St. Joseph in Benkelman and St. Joseph in Barneston.

He served as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Nebraska City, where he taught at Lourdes Central School. He was also pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Lincoln, St. Ann in Doniphan and Sacred Heart in Kenesaw.

In addition to his other assignments, Father Major served the diocesan mission of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Venezuela, was spiritual director for Catholic Physicians of the diocese, assisted in the Spanish-speaking apostolate and was administrator of parishes in Orleans and Oxford.

Since 2006, Father Major has been serving as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Beatrice.

Father Kenneth Borowiak

Father Borowiak was born in York and attended St. Joseph Grade School and graduated from York High School. He attended Pius X Seminary in Erlanger, Ky., St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia and Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.

His first assignment was as assistant pastor of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, and he taught at Pius X High School. In 1989 he was named editor of the Southern Nebraska Register, an appointment he held until last summer. Also in 1989 he was named director of communications for the diocese - a position he still holds.

Currently pastor of St. Michael Parish in Lincoln, Father Borowiak serves as senior editorial advisor of the Register.

Father Borowiak also served as pastor in the parishes of St. Michael in Cheney, St. Leo in Palmyra and St. Martin in Douglas, Assumption in Dwight and St. Wenceslaus in Bee, and St. Stephen in Exeter. He has also served as diocesan director of the Charity and Stewardship Appeal (DDP) since 2004.


The fourth member of the 1987 ordination class, Father Philip Luther, died in 2008. A native of Holdrege, he was pastor of St. Joseph in Superior and Sacred Heart in Nelson at the time of his illness and death.

The fifth priest ordained with the group was Msgr. Daniel Seiker. After serving the diocesan tribunal since 1991, as judicial vicar since 1996, Msgr. Seiker was released from the Diocese of Lincoln to join Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monastery in Abiquiu, N.M. Now known as Father Augustine, he will visit the Diocese of Lincoln to attend the Chrism Mass and celebration April 2.

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