Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Franciscan Pilgrimage of November 9, 2013

Although there were some Mount Michael students who signed up for the Fransican pilgrimage, none of them could actually do it because of other commitments. However, an alum of Mount Michael, Blake Suing of 2005 and his wife, Amy, did do this pilgrimage.

We left Mount Michael approximately 7:15 on Saturday morning, Nov. 9. Our first stop and destination was St. Bonaventure in Columbus, Nebraska. St. Bon's has just recently been repainted and restored to its Franciscan flavor. It is nothing short of magnificent. We met cousins of mine there in the parking lot of St. Bon's, Paul and Joyce Dohmen. They were our hosts and tour guides. Almost for a lifetime have Paul and Joyce Dohmen been parishoners of this parish--St. Bon's. Both Paul and Joyce have done much for this parish over many, many years.  It is located directly across the street from Columubs Scotus High School. Below are some photos of the renovation St. Bon's. Paul's expertise in woodworking can be noticed with the main crucifix and Joyce is the reader at the podium for the dedication when the Archbishop was there.

After a great tour of St. Bon's by Paul and Joyce, they took us to the museum there in Columbus where Paul has worked for a good number of years as well. The museum has a display of every town in Platte County. It gave my guests a great idea of what the little town of St. Bernard was like when it was in its heyday. St. Bernard's is where my mother was born and raised for most of her childhood until the family moved to Boone County. There is not much that remains at St. Ben's, but Paul Dohmen along with his brother George restored one of the little chapels that was in the corners of the cemetry years ago. St. Ben's has always held lots of memories for me as a little boy. It was part of my dream to be a Franciscan in that rural area of Nebraska. Below are some photos of the little chapel that Paul and George Dohmen refurbished. If you look closely at the last photo, you can see Paul and George inside the chapel. And then in the background part of the wall remains that surround St. Bernard's.

Perhaps the best Fransican stronghold of Nebraska is St. Francis of Assisi, in Humphrey, Nebraska. This place is absolutey incredible. We spent a good deal of time here and met another cousin of mine who has been in the parish for many years, Marilyn Eisenmenger. Below are some photos of St. Francis in Humphrey, Nebraska.

From there we headed towards my home town -- Albion. Although St. Michael's in Albion is not Franciscan, I am sure it was interesting for my guests to note that I have been with the Archangel Michael all my life -- first Albion and then Mount Michael.

Below are some photos of Albion's St. Michael's.

Then we headed north to the final destination of Franciscan Nebraska -- Raeville, Nebraska. Amy said that perhaps this was the most beautiful of all of them. I think it was because of it location -- literally in the middle of a corn field. Below are some photos from there.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

History of the Marian Shrine -- Chapel -- A New Member of Catholic Church

Sunday, November 3, 2013 was a momentous day for the Peetz-Tagel family at Mount Michael.

For approximately five months I have been working with Mike Tagel (alum of 1991) and Jodie Tuttle in preparation for their future wedding and also Jodie’s reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. I must say that it has been an enjoyable and at the same time spiritual experience.

Jodie was received into the Catholic Church on November 3rd, but she joined her new family, experiencing a lot of history and tradition, just like one experiences studying and realizing the history of the Catholic Church.

Jodie joins the Peetz—Tagel family, which is a Mount Michael relationship that began with the inception of Mount Michael. When Mount Michael was just being built, Frank Peetz (Mike Tagel’s great grandfather) took his wife, Bertha, to visit their son, a medical doctor, Dwaine Peetz I. Bertha had a small growth under her chin which she wanted removed. Their son, Dwaine, was willing to do this surgery for his mother. But then the couple thought differently about this surgery and wanted to go to Omaha to have this surgery performed. So that they did. Unfortunately, there were complications in the anathesia process and in Frank’s words, “Bertha woke up in heaven.”

Frank was comforted and visited by Mount Michael’s former monk, Fr. Marion Sitzman. Since we were just building Mount Michael at the time, Fr. Marion asked Frank if he wanted to remember his wife, Bertha in a special way by helping us build the Marian Chapel – the little chapel at the entrance to our main chapel. And that Frank did. The Marian Shrine was dedicated to Bertha Peetz.

So on November 3, 2013, we also recalled the history of this little chapel and presented Dr. Dwaine Peetz I a new plaque that was redone a little. It now reads Marian Shrine – In Memory of Frank and Bertha Peetz. And Dr. Dwaine Peetz was present to receive this new plaque.

The Tagel family has always been connected to Mount Michael over the years as well. Another former monk, Fr. Frederic Schindler was connected to the Tagel family by marriage.

We at Mount Michael are grateful for all the connections and relationships to many, many families. And it is wonderful to recall the history and continue to make history. Thanks to all the members of the Peetz – Tagel families! You will be forever remembered in our Mount Michael history.