Friday, March 8, 2013

Going Back to Franciscan Attraction

This past week when I was home to Albion, Nebraska for a short time, I decided to give in to my attraction to Franciscan territory. The heart of Franciscanism for me is the area of Humphrey, Nebraska. My mother was born and raised a few miles from there, St. Bernard, Nebraska. My Mom's family only moved to Boone County -- Petersburg, Nebraska-- during the depression years.

Below are a few photos of St. Francis of Assisi in Humphrey, Nebraska. They were taken Wednesday morning, March 6, 2013.

This photo was taken approaching Humphrey. The most visible structure is the church -- from miles around. This steeple of the church is incredibly high. Indeed, it is an awesome sign and symbol.

                                 I missed the very top of the steeple. But is it not awesome?

        A seated Francis --- in front of the church -- He is relaxed with creation all around him.

      This is the monastery that connects to the church. When is was a child, I thought I might live here some day. The building is a wonderful structure and is now the rectory for the parish. The elementary and high schools are behind the rectory.

Like St. Michael's in Albion, the stain glass windows are really awesome. When one walks into this church, one KNOWS immediately that it is Franciscan, whether there are Fanciscans living there or not!

                                                           High Altar

                                        The top of the High Altar and the painting above

                                              St. Anthony -- another Franciscan Saint

                                                Side Altar -- St. Joseph

                                               Painting on the south wall of the High Altar -- notice Saint Claire

                                          Main Body of the church -- view from the High Altar
I have always liked Zefferilli's story of Francis and Clare. Yes, it is a bit romantic, but then that is the story of these two saints. Enjoy a clip from BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON.

Just a few last comments. A few summers ago, I took the Suing twins (Ben and Blake) up home with me as a token of my appreication for all they did to help as the grounds keeping crew that summer. We had a great home cooked meal by my Aunt Bernie Spieker and then we toured St. Boniface in Raeville, Ne. The church and rectory are below. At one time this too was Franciscan. This whole complex is really an awesome place. It appears on one my earlier blogs as well.

On the way back I showed them St. Francis of Assisi in Humphrey and let them know how much Franciscanism was inside me. I think Ben said that this was the most beautiful church he had ever seen. They both liked it alot. I would love to bring all Mount Michael students here to see these wonderful Franciscan places and share a huge home cooked farm meal with all of them.

                                                   Blake               Padre J               Ben

And lastly -- Humphrey, St. Francis, and surrounding area, one day you WILL have me. I promise!

March 10, 2013

I keep thinking of more material that belongs on this blog and so it continues to grow. Below are a three photos that I took when I visited St. Bonaventure's in Columbus, Nebraska last year -- 2012. Paul & Joyce Dohmen belong to this parish. Both are very active members and do alot of work at this parish. They are there daily for the Eucharist. Just recently St. Bon's redid the whole church. Although the church was basically stripped of its Franciscan flavor and flare in the 1960s, a good portion of Franciscanism has been restored. It is really very beautiful. Congratulations to St. Bon's in its restoration. Later there will be a much more extensive blog on all the contributions that the Dohmen family has given to me and  to Mount Michael. But these photos fit here for now.


The cross is very Franciscan for me. While the outline of the cross is painted on the wall, the wooden beams are deminsional as well as the corpus of Jesus. Paul Dohmen made the wooden cross at his home. It is solid oak. St Francis is on the right and St. Bonaventure is on the left.

Our Fr. Louis Sojka grew up in this parish.

I am sure that I will have more to add to this blog as I recall more of Franciscan influences of my life. These are all wonderful places to visit. One could easily do a "Franciscan pilgrimage" in this area of Nebraska.


  1. So many wonderful memories of the church in Raeville. Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures. I think we are safe in saying that Saint Francis is the Patron Saint of the Borer Family.

    Jackie Brown

  2. Coz Jackie,
    Yes, Raeville will always have a very special place in my heart and not just because our family reunions take place there. It really is a spiritual place for me. Please look forward to more blogs on Raeville and surrounding area. And thank you for all you do for the family. The video you did a few years ago is primarily because of you and your sister, Jean. I would like to think that the Rita, Sally generation is being carried on.

    Blessings --- fr. john

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