The Office of Propagation of the Faith

The Office of Propagation of the Faith seeks to support Catholic missionary efforts around the globe. If you are a representative for a mission society and would like to take part in our Mission Co-op program, please contact:

Deacon Omar F. A. Gutiérrez
ofgutierrez@archomaha.org
(402) 558-3100

In everything, remember that we are called to love as Christ loved, and to serve as He served by laying down our lives for our neighbor.

More Information:

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) was founded in 1969 as a programmatic strategy by the U.S. Bishops Conference to help address the root causes of poverty.

A yearly collection is taken up at Catholic parishes for CCHD and most of that is given to the national office to disburse in the form of grants to community organizations around the country that have a direct impact on improving the life of the poor. Some of those funds are kept here in the Archdiocese of Omaha and are shared with local organizations that help families and the marginalized. For instance, in the last year, grant funds were given to organizations that provide pre-natal care and support as well as run food banks.

In 2010, the U.S. Bishops reformed the application process for CCHD funds and narrowed the criteria by which an organization could receive funds. Those who contribute to CCHD ought to know that their support goes to organizations that support the entirety of the Catholic Social Teaching including care for the poor and the protection of life from conception to natural death.

If your organization would like to apply for local or national CCHD funds, please contact the Office of Missions and Justice for more information.

The Society of St. Peter the Apostle

The society raises funds through a mailing campaign to support men and women in the developing world to pursue a religious vocation in seminary or through a religious order.

The society began in 1889 when the Bigard sister supported the efforts of a French missionary bishop in Nagazaki, Japan who begged for help to keep his seminary open. From that time forward the Society of St. Peter the Apostle has continued to help keep vocations going.

Please consider supporting the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, a part of the Pontifical Mission Society.

Youth Events

Social Doctrine

The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church is a teaching of the Church that covers how we live out our lives while holding true to our Catholic principles. It is a teaching that seeks to add insight into questions of economics as well as how our chores at home can be made to participate in the life of God.

Read more about the Social Doctrine of the Church in Vocation of the Business Leader, A Reflection by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship

In 2007 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The document addresses the principles which should govern Catholic voting as well as some prudential judgment on pressing issues of our time. In 2011, the USCCB updated it to address certain issues which had arisen since 2007. All Catholics in the United States are encouraged to read the document and seek out formation around it, so that they can better be informed about their duties with regard to the proper formation of conscience in light of Church teaching.

Faithful Citizenship Morning

On October 11, 2014 Deacon Omar Gutierrez presented at St. Gerald’s Catholic Church the U.S. Bishops’ document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. That document is a means by which Catholics can better form their consciences as they approach the ballot box.

Please take some time to view the full video or the section which pertains to issues like conscience, prudence, the Catholic responsibility for voting, doing good & avoiding evil, the two temptations of public life and making moral choices.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship View the full video here.

Religious Liberty

The Catechism on Religious Liberty

Quoting from the Vatican II document “The Declaration on Religious Liberty” the Catechism teaches authoritatively that “Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits.”

As Catholics and as Americans we believe that every human person has the right to practice their faith not just privately but publicly. This is why the U.S. Bishops have forcefully taught that encroachments on religious liberty in the U.S. are violations not just of our Catholic faith but of the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and of fundamental human dignity. Visit the U.S. Bishops’ website for more information on this issue. Below are some helpful links. To stay up to date on these matters consider signing up for the newsletter from the USCCB and for action alerts.

The Future of Marriage and Religious Liberty

On October 8, 2015, Dr. Ryan T. Anderson came to Omaha in order to present on the how we might respond to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision which redefined marriage. The video of that presentation is here

Religious Liberty Issues

HHS Mandate – The Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that all insurance plans cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs at no cost to the insured. This means that companies that provide health insurance for their employees by paying in part or in whole the premiums for these plans will be paying for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

HHS has determined not to exempt those religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor – who care for the impoverished elderly – because of an overly narrow definition of religious activity. As a result, the Little Sisters of the Poor are faced with either violating their conscience or enormous fines (up to $36,500 per employee, per year) that would destroy the work of the sisters. Here is more information about the mandate and about recent court cases.

Conscience Protection – At the heart of religious liberty is the right of the conscience to be free from coercion. Yet, more and more the rights of conscience of pharmacists, doctors, nurses, lawyers, psychologists and many others are being routinely violated. The U.S. Bishops ask that Catholics support efforts at the federal and state levels to protect conscience. Here is more information about efforts to guard our rights of conscience.

Fortnight for Freedom – From June 24th to July 4th the U.S. Bishops are encouraging all Catholics and people of good will to engage in educational events, liturgical prayer and civic engagement around the issue of religious liberty. The Archdiocese of Omaha will be having events during the fortnight and encouraging parishes to pray for religious liberty.

Immigration Reform

What does the Church teach on Immigration reform?

Immigration Reform is a pressing issue in our country, and the longer our nation waits to address this problem in a unified way, the longer the problems will persist.

This page is meant to provide Catholics of the Archdiocese of Omaha with resources for understanding the Church’s teaching on immigration and immigration reform. Watch the video to learn more about the Church’s teaching on immigration and reform.

Watch video here.

The Catechism on Immigration
The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Clarifications on Immigration Reform

Clarification #1: Why we need reform.

Clarification #2: Why closing the border is not enough.

Clarification #3: Why legal immigration is so difficult.

Clarification #4: What the U.S. Bishops are asking.

Why don’t they come here legally?

Birthright Citizenship: The Real Story.

On the Current Crisis of Unaccompanied Minors
“Central American children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are migrating to the United States alone in record numbers. While not a new phenomenon, the number of children who are making the perilous journey alone has increased exponentially—6,775, on average, arrived between 2003—2011, and upwards of 90,000 are projected to arrive in Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013—September 30, 2014). A delegation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) traveled to Central America in November 2013 and reported in Mission to Central America: The Flight of Unaccompanied Children to the United States that multiple interrelated factors are contributing to the increase in forced child migration. Some of these factors include: a lack of strong social institutions and civil society support, abuse in the family stemming from pressure on family units due to violence and family separation, a lack of viable economic and educational opportunities, and environmental factors affecting crop production. However, the delegation reported that ‘one overriding factor has played a decisive and forceful role in recent years: generalized violence at the state and local levels and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law have threatened citizen security and created a culture of fear and hopelessness.’”

What can I do?
Because this is a federal problem, the petitions for change must go to our federal representatives.

The website justiceforimmigrants.org has a postcard which you can print and send via post or send electronically. The postcard asks that our representatives follow the U.S. Bishops’ guidelines for reform. Join the network of Justice for Immigrants so that you can receive updates on timely opportunities for contacting your representatives and educational opportunities.

There are also parish kits provided through Justice for Immigrants to help launch a postcard campaign at your parish. The kits include resources about the Church’s teaching.

Talk to friends and neighbors. There are a lot of myths out there about immigration. It is good to correct the errors and confirm the facts about immigrants and about reform

Helpful Websites
USCCB’s Justice for Immigrant’s website
USCCB on the Church’s Teaching on Immigration Reform
Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.
Catholic Charities Omaha, Juan Diego Center.

IXM: Spirit of Solidarity

Mission Statement

We are disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ engaged in a ministry in the dioceses of Omaha and Huehuetenango that seeks the common good of our communities.

By sharing our lived realities, we cultivate relationships of friendship, faith and solidarity in order to build the Reign of God.

Ixim, pronounced “ee-sheem”, is the Mayan word for corn, a staple of Guatemala and a livelihood of Nebraska. This represents the common goal of forming relationships between the people of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska, and the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

Are You Called to Mission?

Have you ever considered doing a short term mission project in a foreign country? Have you felt the call from God to share faith with people from other lands but never knew how to make it happen?

In 2003 the Archdiocese of Omaha began a mission project called Ixim: Spirit of Solidarity, designed to build a relationship between the dioceses of Omaha and Huehuetenango in Guatemala. Groups from Omaha have traveled to Guatemala and worked side by side with the people there to improve the conditions and grow in faith.

If you would like to learn more about the next mission or would like to be part of a mission trip, send us an email or give us a call. Learn more about Ixim: Spirit of Solidarity Activities.

Next Mission Trip

Information Meetings
We have recently completed a series of five information meetings, each in a different parish around the Archdiocese. The primary purpose of those meetings was to share information about Ixim with people who might be interested in joining our next trip in June/July of 2018. If you were not able to attend one of these meetings, but still have an interest in making this trip, please call Mark Zimmer at 402.452.4980 or email him at mjzimmer@archomaha.org so he can send you an application form. Please contact Mark before Sunday, January 21, the date of our first Formation meeting.

Formation Meetings
In preparation for our next trip, we will have a Formation Meeting on the 3rd Sunday of each month, January-June, at the Cabrini Center at 1248 S. 10th St. in Omaha. These meetings will begin at 1:30 p.m. and last until 3:00 p.m. They will be followed by a 45 minute Spanish class which is optional but encouraged. Dates for these meetings will be January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15, May 20 and June 17. These meetings are very important in discerning the call to mission, preparing for our time in Huehuetenango and bonding as a cohesive group.

Questions? Contact Mark Zimmer at 402.452.4980, or check out the Ixim website.

Age Limit
This experience is designed for adults. If a student will graduate from high school prior to the trip and is accompanied by an adult family member, they may join the trip. A student who has completed one year of college may also join the mission. Maximum age is determined by health condition and stamina rather than an arbitrary number.

Travel Dates
We are currently in discussion with our partners in Guatemala regarding exact dates for the trip in 2018. The trip is usually for a total of 12 days and we are looking at sometime between June 20 and July 2. The exact dates will depend on schedules in Guatemala and the most economical air fares.

Estimated Expenses
The trip usually costs a missionary about $1,600. About $800 of that is for air fare. Another $350 per missionary is sent directly to the Diocese of Huehuetenango to pay for costs such as our transportation while we are in the country. The remaining expenses are for six nights in hotels in the course of the trip and a few meals at restaurants along the way. (If expense is the only obstacle to your going, please let us know. We have been able to find generous donors in the past who would help with a missionary’s expenses.)

Language
You do not have to speak Spanish in order to join this mission. (We will speak more about this at the Formation meetings.)