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The Pastor’s Connection – May 3, 2018

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of their people and officers over them… I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so that you will not bear it all by yourself.’” Numbers 11: 16-17

Dear Saint Stephen Parish,

As Moses was leading the Israelites through their 40-year journey in the desert, the daily needs of the people were overwhelming. Moses got to a point of telling God that, “I am not able to carry this people alone, for they are too heavy for me.” In response, God shared the Spirit with the 70 elders, so that they could help Moses care for his people.

There are some days that pastors feel like Moses. That’s why it is vital for pastors to have individuals and groups in their parishes that offer their prayerful support and guidance. As a part of building this support system, I have been working with the staff at the Archdiocesan Offices of Pastoral Planning and Evangelization and Catechesis, along with parish staff members and the Parish Pastoral Council in forming a Parish Leadership Team. To better describe the formation of a Leadership Team, I offer the following information from the Archdiocese of Omaha:

What is a Leadership Team?

A leadership team is a small group (4-6 people, including the pastor) of key leaders that help the pastor advance the vision he has for the parish. The pastor relies on this team to help him make strategic decisions that will further the vision and ensure implementation of those decisions. This team ultimately shares responsibility for the success of the parish’s mission with the pastor.

Why form a Leadership Team?

A pastor who desires to engage the parish in a process of pastoral conversion for the sake of mission will benefit from this new approach to leadership. The pastor can’t change the culture of the parish as a lone ranger, nor is it wise to make big decisions without healthy and constructive feedback. He needs the collective support, gifts, and investment of a team of key people who share the same vision and passion.

What does a Leadership Team do?

A leadership team addresses the practical, tactical questions related to structures, methods and ministry models, programming, use of resources, etc. that either further or hinder the realization of the vision. The team also assists the pastor with implementing decisions that are made.

How does a Leadership Team interact with current structures (Parish Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Religious Formation Board, School Advisory Board, etc.)?

Pastors have the freedom within the bounds of Canon Law to arrange structures to better serve their pastoral leadership. This is a brand new team that will focus on the day-to-day activities of the parish. The Pastoral Council, Finance Council, and all other advisory boards in the parish will continue in their primary function, which is to offer consultation on the long-term mission and vision of the parish.

The Leadership Team here at Saint Stephen began to meet about 2 months ago. Following the guidance of the Archdiocese of Omaha and other pastors who have made this change in their parish structure, we have developed a team of 6 members, with each member of the team overseeing the offices and ministries of the parish. Here is the Leadership Team and their responsibilities:

  • Pastor
  • Assistant Pastor (Clergy Team and Liturgy Team)
  • Business Manager (Parish Business Operations)
  • Pastoral Minister (Parish and Community Outreach)
  • School Principal (Elementary School and Kidzone)
  • Director of Evangelization and Catechesis (Newly-formed Evangelization ministries and Catechesis for all ages).

Please continue to pray for our staff and for our parish, so that we may be faithful to our mission to be “a community for all people to encounter Christ, know Christ, and proclaim Christ.”

In Christ,

Father Dave Belt


Parish Survey

Our Parish Survey will be closing at the end of this weekend. If you have not yet completed it please do not miss this opportunity to let your voice be heard. You can complete the survey on our website or here

Pastoral Council Open Positions

The Pastoral Council is looking for individuals who are passionate about their faith and their parish to serve on the Council.  New members would serve a 3 year term and would have the opportunity to contribute to the development and execution of a 3-5 year strategic plan for St. Stephen the Martyr Parish as well as advising and supporting the vision of our pastor.

Skills that would be particularly sought after include organizational development, strategic planning, communication and marketing, familiarity with our ministries, parish and archdiocese mechanics, etc.  But most of all, we seek those with the faith, energy, and drive to make St. Stephens the parish God is calling it to be.

Those interested in more information can contact the Parish Office at 402-861-4507 or or reach out to any of the current Pastoral Council Members. The deadline for applications is May 10.

Liturgical Schedule – June through September 2018

Please send your proactive Vacation/Unavailable Liturgical Requests to the liturgy office for the June through September 2018 timeframe.  If you are no longer able to meet your Ministry Committment, or you would like to be switched to a different Mass time, it would be a good time to let the liturgy office know.   Please email Karen at or contact her at 402-861-4537

Liturgical Ministers Needed

We are in need of more individuals to assist with our Liturgical Hospitality Ministries.  If you are interested in becoming a Greeter, Usher or Hospitality (Donuts and Coffee), please contact Karen at  These are great ministries that families can get involved with and do together.

Ascension Thursday Liturgical Ministers are needed for our upcoming Liturgies on Thursday May 10th, please sign up at the Gathering Table.

What is happening?

This week:

May 5/6 – Mr. Greg Weiss will be speaking before all the masses about the Apostolic Oblates.  There will be volunteers taking up a collection after mass in the dining room to benefit the Oblates and the building of a new home for them.

Next Week 

May 10 – The Solemnity of The Ascension of The Lord.  This is a Holy Day of Obligation.  We will have masses on Thursday at 6:30 am, 8:15 am, 12:00 pm and 5:30 pm.  There will be no vigil mass on Wednesday, May 9th because of the Confirmation mass that evening.  The Confirmation mass does fulfill the Holy Day obligation.

May 13 – We will have a second collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign.  50% of this collection will remain in the Archdiocese.

Coming Soon!!

May 23 – Last Day of School – 10:00 am Dismissal.

May 23 – Kick off committee meeting for the 2018 Parish Festival is at 7pm in the GPC.  All committee members and those interested in helping on the committee are invited.  We have a full agenda with lots of decisions to make.  We have been busy since March getting things going and now it is time to kick things into high gear.  We need many new volunteers this year for set-up and tear down, booth captains (new this year), raffle ticket sales and tracking.  We want to change up the Friday Night activities and focus.  Come share your ideas!

May 23 – Omaha Gives! sponsored by the American National Bank.  Our goal is $65,000 to knock out our Adopt-a-Project list.

– Repair School Roof ($33,000)
– Remodel Restrooms – North Hallway ($33,000 – $13,000 raised last year)
– Update 2nd Floor bathroom at rectory ($10,000)
– Replace ceiling tiles ($6,000)
– Replace Office Window Sills ($600)
– Replace Rectory Carpet ($6,525)
– Repair Rectory Kitchen Ceiling ($250)
– Purchase needed equipment ($7,844)

When:  May 23rd – You may schedule your gift starting May 1 for processing on May 23.


Go to

Click on “Non-profits”

In the name, Keyword box, type “St. Stephen the Martyr”, then hit enter

Click on St. Stephen the Martyr logo

Then click on “Donate Now” and set up your Omaha Gives! Profile.

Thank you for your support!!!

Ablaze Praise & Worship

St. Stephen the Martyr will be holding a night of Praise, Worship, and Adoration as we welcome back Fr. Michael Voithofer and the Ablaze Ministry Team Friday, June 15th at 7pm in the Worship Space. There is no better way for your family to spend a Friday night then to spend it worshiping and adoring our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

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