Midweek at Midtown

Missionary Priest

Fr. John Luong, an Oblates of the Virgin Mary Missionary, will visit Midtown Catholic churches this weekend, June 25-26. Fr. Luong will celebrate the 5:30 pm and 8:00 am Masses at St. Joan of Arc and the 10:30 am Mass at St. Thomas More on Sunday, June 26.

There will be a second collection at each of his weekend Masses. Please be generous.

State of the City and Neighborhoods

Jed Mullenix from Within Reach is hosting a 30-minute information session about the ambitious State of the City Project on Thurs, June 23rd from 3:00-3:30 pm. This is an ecumenical initiative in Omaha which aims to better understand the people of Douglas and Sarpy county and to collaboratively create solutions to the “unacceptable realities” in our city, so that “more lives, neighborhoods, and communities might be transformed by Jesus’ beauty and goodness.”

The primary avenue for participation at this time is to join a Neighborhood Assessment Team, which will be sent on a “listening tour” to hear the heart of our city. Teams of about 20 people will visit one of 5 regions of Douglas and Sarpy County to hold roughly 300 conversations with neighbors from July-September 2022.

Please invite anyone from your parish who might enjoy having conversations with people of different backgrounds in their community. Pass along the attached calendar invite and use the Zoom link below on Thursday, June 23rd from 3:00-3:30 pm to hear more from Jed.

https://archomaha.zoom.us/j/81659791421?pwd=UFZKc0V4VUo1a3FDVkJIRkhPSWVEUT09

This project will help Catholic parishes identify opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ in the wider community.

Pilgrimage to France

Fr. Frank Baumert is going to be leading a group tour of the best Catholic shrines in France. The group will be gone from
October 1st through October 12th, 2022. This cross-country Pilgrimage will take you across the country of France. From
small villages in the South of France to Paris, one of the greatest cities in the world. France is sure to take your breath away. On this pilgrimage, you will see magnificent Shrines and Churches and learn of the lives of St. Bernadette, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Veronica and Zaccheus, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Catherine Labourne. There is also a stop at the beaches in Normandy. Check out https://www.pilgrimages.com/frbaumert/ for all the details of this trip. This trip is set up by 206Tours. Their website is http://www.206Tours.com.

Serve Here

The surest way to grow is to serve. Check out the “Serve Here” page on the website and prayerfully consider ways to serve here and grow here.

Midweek at Midtown – June 15

Welcome CWS!

If you see a stranger at a weekend or daily Mass, there’s a good chance they’re here visiting for the College World Series. If you get a chance, be sure to welcome them to Omaha and our parish.

Corpus Christi Procession

Celebrate Corpus Christi with St. Peter Parish in Omaha

All are invited to accompany the Blessed Sacrament in the Annual Corpus Christi procession on Sunday, June 19th. The event will begin at 2:30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and will finish by 5pm at St. Peter Church, a distance of 1.4 miles. An ice cream reception will follow final Benediction, and buses will shuttle people back to Our Lady of Lourdes after the event. First Communicants are invited to wear their special attire and to bring baskets and flower petals to strew in the streets; Eucharistic and parish banners are welcome.

Happy Fathers Day

God, our Father
Bless these men,
that they may find strength as fathers.
Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
may honor them always
with a spirit of profound respect.

Missionary Priest

Fr. John Luong from the Oblates of the Virgin Mary will celebrate the following Masses on June 25/26 as part of the mission cooperative.

5:30 at SJA
8am at SJA
10:30 at STM

There will be a 2nd collection at all the Masses he celebrates.

Midweek at Midtown – June 8, 2022

Totus Tuus Registration is Open!

Totus Tuus is like Catholic Vacation Bible School. It’s a perfect opportunity for your kids or grandkids to get out of the house, have an amazingly fun time and learn more about their Catholic faith.

photography of people on grass field

Totus Tuus will be hosted at St. Thomas More Church and School the week of July 10-15.

The 1st through 5th grade program will meet on July 11-15 from 9am – 2:30pm

The 6th through 12th grade program will meet on July 10-14 from 7pm – 9pm.

Cost: $10 per student, maximum $50 per family

Registration will open on Wednesday, June 1st, at 6pm at an event hosted in the STM cafeteria/social hall. We anticipate that this program will fill to capacity quickly, so bringing your registration forms and fees to this event is your best chance of securing a spot for your child. Registration forms will be available on the Midtown Catholic Website the week prior to registration opening.

We also need host families and volunteers to feed and house our four Totus Tuus Missionaries during the week that they are here. Please consider volunteering for one of these opportunities.

For more information on registration and volunteering, please contact Rachel Bielstein at rjbielstein@midtowncatholic.church or 402-556-1456.

Scrip Fundraising

Fundraiser for St. Thomas More Parish and School works by putting your everyday household purchases to work by using Scrip.

What is Scrip?

Scrip/Hope cards are simply gift cards that our parish purchases at a discount and then we sell to you at full face value.  You receive the full face value from your purchase and our parishes get a percentage of the sale.  Scrip is available for grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and a variety of other department, home improvement, and entertainment stores.

How does the Scrip/Hope Program work? 

Our Scrip/Hope retailers provide rebates between 2 percent and 20 percent.  So, for example, if you buy a $50 face/5% rebate grocery Scrip card, then you can purchase $50 in groceries and St. Thomas More receives a $2.50 rebate.  If you buy $50 face/20 percent dining card, then you can enjoy a $50 dining experience and St. Thomas More enjoys a $10 rebate. You will receive a credit on next year’s tuition that is equal to 50% of the total rebate earned.

How to purchase the gift cards?

You can purchase Scrip cards before or after the weekend Masses at St. Thomas More. You can also purchase them at the parish office as well as the school office.

Check out the order form to which vendors are available.

Order Form

Midweek at Midtown – June 1

Totus Tuus – Can I volunteer?

Yes, and thanks for asking!

In order to make this program happen, we need your help! We are looking for:

  • Host families: Since the missionaries are traveling from parish to parish, they need a place to stay! We need two families to host our missionaries from Saturday afternoon, July 9 through Saturday morning, July 16. Two missionaries would be staying with you (women in one home, men in the other). We ask that these families provide breakfast for the missionaries each morning. Contact Rachel for more information.
  • Parent and High School Volunteers for the Day program
  • Meals: We need volunteers to prepare/order lunch and host dinner for our missionaries during the week. Contact Rachel for more information.

Priesthood Ordinations

Archbishop Lucas will ordain two men to the priesthood this Saturday. We highly recommend attending the ordination at 10am on June 4th at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral. If you are somewhat concerned about the priest shortage and would be open to having your son or grandson become a priest, this is a great celebration to plant a seed of an idea in someone’s heart. You can read more about our two new priests Brett Jamrog and Minh Tran here.

Security at St. Joan of Arc

Funds from the St. Joan of Arc Development dinner several years ago will be used to upgrade our security system at the church and school this summer. In light of too many tragic school shootings in our country, new policies along with the new system will be put into place to ensure the safety of our students and teachers. These policies will affect our adorers’ routine a bit, but shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience after working out the kinks and getting everyone on the same page. The new procedures are not ready to be published, but we wanted to give you a heads up.

Momento Mori

A new funeral page has been created for our website. Suggested enhancements are welcome.

To All the Graduates

The following is a letter written in 1962 by Flannery O’Connor to a college student who thought he was losing his faith.

I think that this experience you are having of losing your faith, or as you think, of having lost it, is an experience that in the long run belongs to faith …

I don’t know how the kind of faith required of a Christian living in the 20th century can be at all if it is not grounded on this experience that you are having right now of unbelief …Peter [sic] said, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” It is the most natural and most human and most agonizing prayer in the gospels, and I think it is the foundation prayer of faith.

As a freshman in college you are bombarded with new ideas, or rather pieces of ideas, new frames of reference, an activation of the intellectual life which is only beginning but which is already running ahead of your lived experience. After a year of this, you think you cannot believe. You are just beginning to realize how difficult it is to have faith and the measure of a commitment to it, but you are too young to decide you don’t have faith just because you feel you can’t believe …

Even in the life of a Christian, faith rises and falls like the tides of an invisible sea. It’s there, even when he can’t see it or feel it, if he wants it to be there.

One result of the stimulation of your intellectual life that takes place in college is usually a shrinking of the imaginative life. This sounds like a paradox, but I have often found it to be true. Students get so bound up with difficulties such as reconciling the clashing of so many different faiths such as Buddhism, Mohammedanism, etc., that they cease to look for God in other ways. [Robert] Bridges once wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins and asked him to tell him how he, Bridges, could believe. He must have expected from Hopkins a long philosophical answer. Hopkins wrote back, “Give alms.” He was trying to say to Bridges that God is to be experienced in charity (in the sense of love
for the divine image in human beings). Don’t get so entangled with intellectual difficulties that you fail to look for God in this way.

The intellectual difficulties have to be met, however, and you will be meeting them for the rest of your life. …Where you have absolute solutions, however, you have no need of faith. Faith is what you have in the absence of knowledge. …You can’t fit the Almighty into your intellectual categories …

What kept me a skeptic in college was precisely my Christian faith. It always said wait, don’t bite on this, get a wider picture, continue to read. If you want your faith, you have to work for it. It is a gift, but for very few is it a gift given without any demand for equal time devoted to its cultivation. For every book you read that is anti-Christian, make it your business to read one that presents the other side of the picture; if one isn’t satisfactory read others. Don’t think that you have to abandon reason to be a Christian. …To find out about faith, you have to go to the people who
have it and you have to go to the most intelligent ones if you are going to stand up intellectually to agnostics and the general run of pagans that you are going to find in the majority of people around you…

“You realize, I think, that [faith] is more valuable, more mysterious, altogether more immense than anything you can learn or decide upon in college. Learn what you can but cultivate Christian skepticism. It will keep you free — not free to do anything you please, but free to be formed by something larger than your own intellect or the intellects of those around you…”

Midweek at Midtown – May 25

Midtown Parish Council

The Midtown Catholic Parish Council will be meeting on Tuesday, May 31st at 7pm. We’ll be meeting in St. Joan of Arc’s Teachers’ Lounge. An agenda has not been formalized but here are the likely topics: new board members, Journey of Faith pastoral planning, and finalizing the new council bylaws.

There are a few people who have expressed interest in becoming a council member, which is great. Anyone else? Here’s an application.

Ascension Masses

Is the stained glass at St. Thomas More an image of the Ascension or the Resurrection?

Wednesday at 5:30 PM at St. Thomas More

Thursday at 7:00 AM at St. Thomas More

Thursday at 8:15 AM at St. Thomas More

Thursday at 8:30 AM at St. Joan of Arc

Thursday at 6:00 PM at St. Joan of Arc

(The Solemnity of the Ascension is a Holy Day of Obligation)

Low-Gluten

Did you know you can receive low-gluten communion hosts at any of our weekend Masses? The priest carries a special container of low-gluten hosts during communion time. When approaching the priest, just indicate to him that you would like to receive a low-gluten host. Easy peasy.

Totus Tuus 2022

Dear Families of St. Thomas More and St. Joan of Arc,

I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting information regarding Totus Tuus for this summer, and I thank you for your patience.   I am excited to finally share registration information with you, and give some insight as to what to expect this year and why. 

Midtown Catholic Parishes will be hosting Totus Tuus during the week of July 10-15.  It will take place at St. Thomas More Church and School.  This weeklong summer program engages students entering 1st-12th grades in worship, catechesis, and games!  Young adult missionaries from the Archdiocese of Omaha travel around the Archdiocese leading this program, so participants get a unique opportunity to interact and learn from young people who are actively engaging in the faith and discerning their vocation. 

The elementary school program, which serves students entering 1st through 5th grades in the 22-23 school year, meets Monday-Friday from 9am to 2:30pm.  The middle and high school program, which serves students entering 6th through 12th grades in the 22-23 school year, meets Sunday-Thursday from 7pm to 9pm.  

We will be trying a new registration format this year – a registration night.  It will be on Wednesday, June 1st, beginning at 6pm in the St. Thomas More school cafeteria.  No registrations will be accepted prior to this, but registration forms will be available on the parish website and at the school and parish offices one week prior to registration.  I highly encourage you to come to the registration evening or have somebody drop off your registration form for you, as we anticipate that spots will fill extremely quickly.  Registrations will be first come first serve, so please arrive early to have a best chance at securing your child’s spot in Totus Tuus.  As soon as all slots are filled, we will open a waitlist. 

In the event that we do not fill all of our slots during the June 1st event, we will accept registration forms at the Midtown Catholic parish office ONLY.  The deadline for registration is July 1st.

The reason for the limited number of slots and newer registration process is because unfortunately, due to the Archdiocese having a limited number of Totus Tuus teams available, we are only able to bring one team to Midtown Catholic.  We had originally reserved two teams to accommodate the anticipated number of youths wanting to participate, but the Archdiocese is dealing with low numbers of missionaries available to help this summer.  This is also affecting other parishes in our diocese, and it is reported that other dioceses around the country are experiencing similar issues.  Therefore, we are limited in the number of registrations we can accept, and anticipate that our slots will fill during the registration event.  It is unfortunate that we can’t have more teams joining us, but I am grateful that we are one of the lucky parishes that still gets to have Totus Tuus at all this summer.  Thank you in advance for your understanding!

Please keep an eye out on the parish website and social media pages for more information.  And please read the attached FAQs sheet for more specific information, especially regarding opportunities to host and provide meals for our missionaries while they are at our parish! 

Thank you,

Rachel Bielstein
Coordinator for Religious Education & Liturgical Music
Midtown Catholic
402-556-1456 | 
rjbielstein@midtowncatholic.church

FAQ – Totus Tuus

Midweek @ Midtown – May 18

Joy of Giving

Today is the day to give to your favorite Catholic organizations. Join us today as we celebrate the parishes, schools, ministries and organizations of the Archdiocese of Omaha!

St. Thomas More

St. Joan of Arc

Consortium Schools (St. Thomas More and the Dual Language Academy)

Totus Tuus

Midtown Catholic is hosting Totus Tuus this summer! Totus Tuus is like vacation bible school with a Catholic flavor. Missionaries come to our parishes and they do all the teaching and activities. We just help them pull off the best week our kids will experience this summer.

Learn more about how to register your child or grandchild as well as volunteer in other ways – Read Here.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Did you know St. Thomas More does a little extra to help our youngsters grow in their faith?

Midweek at Midtown: May 11th

EMHC & Lector Training

We are always in need of more people to serve as lectors and Extra Ordinary Ministers of Communion (EMHC). Please consider getting involved. Eligible candidates–practicing Catholics, in good standing, at least a rising junior in high school–can register at this link.

The archdiocesan portion of this formation is online and the timing is flexible.

Teaching ‘Mass’

On Thursday, May 12 at 6:30pm at St. Thomas More Church Fr. Frank will will be doing a “teaching Mass” for our new Catholics who just joined the Church. While you may have experienced one of these during an actual Mass, Fr. Frank will not actually be celebrating the Mass. However, he will be going through every part of the Mass and giving a thorough explanation. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Office Walk-In Hours

Our walk-in office hours will be changing starting next week on May 16th. Walk-in office hours will be from 8am – 2pm, Monday – Friday.

Beginning May 27th, we begin our summer office hours, which means the office will close at 12pm on Fridays.

If you need anything after those hours, please call ahead.

Keeping Catholic Schools in our Neighborhoods

The Omaha Catholic Consortium Schools are fulfilling the mission of keeping schools in our neighborhoods. Please consider giving to the Consortium on May 18th.

The Joy of Giving day is ONE WEEK AWAY

On May 18,  we hope you’ll show us your support during the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Joy of Giving Day! 

All donations we receive during Joy of Giving will help:

  • Increase teacher compensation rates and benefits
  • Update our school buildings
  • Offer more tuition assistance funds to families who desire a Catholic education
  • Provide necessary funds to help cover operational expenses 

Giving has begun! Advance donations are being accepted now through May 18.

More good news: Generous supporters have offered to match all gifts for the Joy of Giving! When you give, you will double the impact.