Building Our Catholic Community
Earlier this summer, I had the honor of representing YCP Omaha at the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America.” This gathering brought together over 3,500 Catholics from across the US to share experiences about the Church engaging with modern US culture. The majority of the US bishops were in attendance, along with clergy and lay Catholic leaders from across the country. Interestingly, this was the largest gathering assembled by the bishops in 100 years – when Catholics assembled in Washington D.C. to craft the Church’s response to World War I.
The Convocation consisted of prayer and discussion, with a number of speakers and breakout panels to address the opportunities and challenges facing the Catholic Church in America. It was powerful to witness firsthand the universality of the Catholic Church. This diverse group of individuals represented hundreds of organizations and apostolates – all addressing specific needs that together make up the body of the Church. The opening processional at Mass gave me chills – over 10 minutes with all of the bishops processing to the altar!
Archbishop Lucas brought a delegation of about 20 people from the Archdiocese of Omaha, and we spent time discussing how we can bring our experiences back to Omaha for the betterment of our diocese. One underlying theme that kept coming up was the importance of building up the diocese at the parish level. It took me several years after college to join a parish, and my reasons for avoidance were numerous: ‘I don’t know how long I’ll be living here,’ ‘I’ll wait until I have a family,’ ‘I bounce around from Church to Church on Sundays,’ ‘I get my share of Catholic fellowship elsewhere,’ ‘I’m too busy to join,’ etc. I’m sure other Young Catholic Professionals can relate.
Personally, being an active parishioner has helped me build a greater commitment to practicing my faith, and meeting others in the community has been a positive experience. St. Pius X Catholic Church’s website sums this up nicely: “A Catholic parish is the single most important part of our Catholic Church. This is where we continue the mission of Jesus Christ. This is where we publicly express our faith, joining together with others to give witness of our communion with God and with one another.”
One thing YCP has made clear to me over the past few years is that we have a very exciting and vibrant community of young Catholics in the Omaha area. Let’s bring this excitement and vibrancy to the parish level and join a parish near you!
Note: Click here for a map and contact info of parishes in your area.
Written by : Nick Nevole, Chairman of YCP Omaha’s Board of Directors