Mass Times

Saturday Vigil Mass
5:00 PM

Sunday Mass
9:00 AM
12:00 AM (in Spanish)

Weekday Mass
Check Calendar for weekday Mass times

Normally during the school year Mass is at 11:00 am Mon-Fri and 5:30 pm Wednesdays

Mass at the Ambassador 2:30 pm on Fridays



30 minutes before each Mass or by appointment Confession


Monday 6 AM - Saturday 12 AM
at St Mary's Community Hospital Chapel
Tuesday, October 13th

Eucharistic Adoration
Cup of Grace • 8:30am - 9:30am
Mass • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Wednesday, October 14th

Eucharistic Adoration
Mass • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Mass • 5:30pm - 6:00pm
CCD K-6grade • 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Alpha/RCIA at HS • 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Thursday, October 15th

Eucharistic Adoration
Mass • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Friday, October 16th

Eucharistic Adoration
Mass • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Mass (Ambassador) • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Saturday, October 17th

Confessions • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Mass • 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Saturday, 26 September 2015 03:25

St. Benedict Parish in Nebraska City will host a Year for Consecrated Life pilgrimage day of events Oct. 4 to honor the women religious who serve the community, as well as their patron, Saint Francis.  The celebration will begin with Mass at 9AM in St. Benedict’s. Fr. Cyza will offer the Mass for the intentions of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. The open house will be held from 2 –3PM. It will begin with a historical overview of St. Benedict presented by Deanna Sands. Sands edited the book the parish produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary in 2006. St. Benedict is the oldest continually-active Catholic church in the state of Nebraska. Sister Kathleen, OSF, will then present the history of the community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother and their apostolate to the Spanish-speaking, and religious education in the Plattsmouth / NE City area. Sr Cynthia, OSF, will then present her own personal vocation story. Fr Cyza will close this portion of the open house with a prayer service for vocations, featuring Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  At 3 p.m., a blessing of animals will be held in the church parking lot, in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. “St. Francis’ love for Our Eucharistic Lord in His Passion, Death and Resurrection transformed his seraphic heart, allowing it to overflow toward man and beast,” said Sister Ana Maria, OSF. “He delighted in listening to the many different sounds of the animals, each praising God in their own way and he blessed them. Therefore … as we commemorate the feast of St. Francis, bring your pets for a special blessing.” A light reception will follow until 4 p.m., giving visitors the opportunity to mingle with the Sisters. All are welcome to participate.  “The Sisters are a constant, welcome presence in our parish,” Sands said. “They are the backbone of our adult choir, which Sister Ana Maria directed before stepping down this fall. She still accompanies us. Sister also directed our youth choir for a number of years.  “They have raised thousands of dollars for the Guardian Angel Scholarship Fund (for tuition assistance at Lourdes Catholic School) by organizing ‘Steal-of-a-Deal’ events each spring and fall.” she continued, “and they are a source of great support for our Hispanic parishioners.”  The Sisters have served in the diocese since 2000. More information is available at


Ulbrick Chicken Dinner PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 September 2015 03:22

Sunday, October 18, 4-7 PM

St. Benedict Catholic Church, Nebraska City

The menu features fried chicken and all your favorite creamed vegetables and salads from Mary Ulbirick's cookbook. Plus beverages and lots of pie!!

Takeout orders available by reservation only-- call 402-297-1211 on Saturday, October 17 from 9 AM to 5 PM.

National Catholic Register PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 August 2015 20:58

Priests Go to School ... as Teachers or Administrators (2755)

Why ‘theology of presence’ is key to solid Catholic education.

by CHARLOTTE HAYS 08/03/2015 Comments (4)
CNA/Photo courtesy of San Miguel School

Students take part in Mass at San Miguel School. – CNA/Photo courtesy of San Miguel School

SAUK CITY, Wis. — When parents enroll their children at St. Aloysius, a pre-K-through-fifth-grade Catholic school in Sauk City, Wis., they know that Catholic priests will be an integral and highly visible part of their children’s school days. Five priests, all of whom have parish duties elsewhere, serve on the staff at St. Aloysius.

St. Aloysius mother Jenny Bellinder, who will have four children attending the school this fall, values having the priests as religious instructors. But she’s also pleased that one of the priests is a math teacher. This sends the right message about the breadth of the Church’s interests, according to Bellinder. “Our kids understand that sometimes priests study science,” Bellinder said.

For St. Aloysius kids,” she added, “a priest is not just somebody who shows up on Sunday. Our priests walk around the school, and they know us and our families and can minister to us. We’re in their prayers, and they’re in our prayers.”

 Father Peter Stravinskas, executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation, and a staunch advocate of having more priests involved in Catholic education, would call this the “theology of presence.” And he believes there should be more of it. 

 “Just the very fact that priests are in the building makes a difference,” said Father Stravinskas. “This doesn’t mean that every priest has to be a classroom teacher. What matters is that priests are present to students, in the halls, in the cafeteria and at sports and social events.”

 To promote the idea that there should be more priests present in Catholic elementary and secondary education, Father Stravinskas is hosting a seminar for Catholic clergy and seminarians on “The Role of the Priest in Today’s Catholic School,” Aug. 18-19, at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the Catholic Education Foundation board, has called the seminar “a most needed initiative.”

 The seminar will include sessions on conciliar and papal documents about Catholic education, the history of Catholic education in the United States and “the priest as the public-relations man of the school.” Father Stravinskas said that, while not all priests are born educators, all have a responsibility to promote Catholic education, the subject of the
“public relations” segment of the program.

 “Parish priests need to do more than put a note in the bulletin that the school is having a registration drive,” said Father Stravinskas.


According to Father Stravinskas, the mere presence of priests presents pastoral opportunities, including offering students more opportunities to go to confession.

Father Mark Cyza, principal of Lourdes Central Catholic High School in Nebraska City, Neb., and pastor of St. Benedict Church, concurs. “Sometimes after lunch kids say to me, ‘Father, can I come talk?’ Sometimes it is talk and sometimes it is confession,” Father Czya said. “Having a priest present helps young people become more comfortable with the sacraments.”

While Father Stravinskas said that priests were much more visible in schools until around the 1970s, Timothy Walch, author of Parish School: American Catholic Parochial Education From Colonial Times to the Present, said that it is difficult to generalize on the role of priests in Catholic schools. However, he said that in much of Catholic education history in the U.S., the pastor of a church with a school invited nuns to staff the school; it was often the nuns who were seen in the day-to-day operations of the schools. Priests who taught in schools tended to be religious-order priests.

“Priests were always involved in Catholic education, but it wasn’t necessarily rolling up their sleeves and teaching. It would be very unusual for priests to have a daily role in K through eighth grade,” he said.

Father Stravinskas disagrees. “For nine years of grammar school, we had a priest assigned to teach religion at least once a week and priests omnipresent throughout the day,” he remembered. “For my four years of high school, three of my full-time religion teachers were priests. All of them were diocesan clergy, not religious. And my experience was normative, not atypical.”

Walch said that more involvement of priests in the schools today would be “lauded by people,” but that it would place more demands on priests who already have parish assignments.

Fuels Vocations

Supporters of placing more priests in elementary and secondary education say that this is a self-solving problem: The visibility of priests often leads to more vocations.

“We’ve been very blessed with plentiful vocations for a diocese of our size,” said Franciscan Sister Colette Bruskewitz, assistant superintendent of education for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and sister of Bishop Emeritus Fabian Bruskewitz. Sister Colette attributes the diocese’s good record with vocations in part to a strong emphasis on having priests in the schools, either as teachers or administrators, calling such involvement “a great encourager of vocations.”

Sister Collette said that in Lincoln “almost all our young priests do teach” in the Catholic-school system. While in seminary, they visit diocesan schools. Lincoln priests also obtain state education certification. Like Father Cyza, also a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln, they also have parish assignments.

“The priests have advanced degrees in theology. Who better to answer the questions of students?” Sister Colette said.

There is another benefit: “The priests learn to be pastoral by working in schools. What is really interesting is that so many of our students invite priests from high school to be the celebrant at their weddings later when they get married,” Sister Colette said.

Although Father Thomas Pastorius, administrator of Epiphany of Our Lord parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, is no longer an educator, he has a long history of instructing children in Catholic schools, and he believes that a priest can bring to the school setting something nobody else can. “The first thing kids get from having priests available at schools is the image of a caring God,” said Father Pastorius. “In many ways, the priest represents God as nobody else does. If the priest shows concern about their education and what is going on in their lives, they assume that God cares too.” 

“What I tried to do is give young people a positive experience with the faith,” he said.

As an instructor of younger students, Father Pastorius developed a popular Bingo-like game he called “O, Mary,” where the answers to questions were various appearances of Mary. When a student got the name of the apparition right, Father Pastorius would ask, “Anybody know to whom she appeared?”

“Priests who invest themselves in the school make the sacraments more central,” he added.

‘A Great Experience’

Daniela Saldana, principal of St. Aloysius in Sauk City, said that because of the five priests who are on staff, “Our children are not afraid to go to Confession and they see it as a normal thing.”

There seems to be a lot of current interest beyond Sauk City about how priests can serve in Catholic schools.

“At present, we have about 15 dioceses sending priests to our seminar, even though it is occurring in the last days of summer vacation,” said Father Stravinskas. “I think this speaks volumes about how important bishops and priests consider this effort.”

For her part, principal Saldana knows the importance firsthand: “Our priests dress as priests and that is a public testimony and you can see how respectful the kids are. It’s a great experience for children to see men who have given their lives to God and are happy, normal people.”

Charlotte Hays writes from Washington.
For more information on the seminar on the role of priests:

Contact Father Peter Stravinskas:                                                                                                                      Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: (732) 914-1222









































Father Cyza Birthday Extravaganza PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 May 2015 15:47

Father Cyza Birthday Extravaganza from Father Mark Cyza on Vimeo.

Friends of the Cross - Retreat 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 February 2015 13:21
Father Cyza is offering a retreat this weekend. You can listen to the audio downloads by visiting his website at or IMAGE
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